Cloves and cinnamon lend a delicately spiced update to classic banana cake.
This cake is a beautiful blend of banana bread and spice cake. The buttermilk makes it light and tender, while the bananas keep it moist and sweet. The banana flavour is subtle, just enough to blend with a touch of cinnamon, cloves and allspice. It’s delicious by itself, but is pretty much close to perfection topped with a lush layer of tangy cream cheese frosting.
It’s banana cake all grown up. And speaking of growing up, I recently registered the Sidekick for kindergarten. After a lot of back and forth, we decided to put him in early French immersion. The registration process for this program can be a little insane here (parents lining up at the crack of dawn, or having to arrange “call-in” registration parties). Luckily, Burnaby is fairly civilized, using a lottery system if there are more applications than available spots. The joys of being on the dreaded wait-list!
Anyway, back to the cake. After all that cliché (but oh-so-true) mama angst about how my baby is all grown up, I needed serious comfort. This cake is classic and comforting, but elevated just enough to really feel like something special. Perfect for the occasion. I needed a cappuccino, a slice (or two) of this cake, a good book and an hour to just … breathe.
The smell coming from the oven when this was baking was nothing short of heavenly. The recipe is easily doubled to make a layer cake, but it rises so beautifully that one layer makes a nice towering slice.
Banana Spice Cake
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 and 1/2 bananas, mashed
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 113 g (half a brick) of cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- up to 2 cups icing sugar
- Preheat oven to 325 °. Line the bottom of a 9″ inch cake pan with parchment paper, and lightly grease top of parchment paper and sides of pan.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add in the vanilla, lemon juice and mashed banana, and mix to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ground cloves, allspice, baking soda and salt.
- Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the butter mixture, stirring just until combined. Pour batter into the prepared cake pan.
- Bake 45 – 50 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- While the cake is cooling, prepare the buttercream. Cream the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add in the vanilla.
- Sift in the icing sugar, 1/2 a cup at a time, until desired consistency is reached and the frosting is smooth and spreadable. Frost the cake once completely cooled.