This is banana bread masquerading as a snack cake.
A few years ago, one of the mom’s at my daughter’s school asked me if I had a “go to” banana bread recipe. She knew I baked a lot and that I was always on the hunt to find or develop the perfect version of whatever my current obsession was. At that time it was scones, so when she asked me about banana bread, I was a bit stumped. I didn’t have a go to banana bread. I had over a dozen recipes; some I liked better than others…some were lightened up, some decadent, but I didn’t have “the one.”
I shared the recipes I liked best with her, but made a mental note to work on finding a solid recipe I could ear mark as my “go to.” I don’t remember exactly how I happened upon this recipe, but it’s from the famous Flour Bakery. I remember my sister texting me pics of treats from there when she was visiting Boston. She raved about the choices she made. So when I found this particular recipe, I thought it was worth a trial run.
And it was. This banana bread is moist and full of banana flavor. The long whipping time at the beginning of the recipe adds some loft to the batter, but be careful not to go too crazy with beating or the cake will sink when it cools. Oh, right, did I say cake? Banana bread snack cake? Well, back to that…I often like to bake quick breads in square baking pans instead of the traditional loaf pans. The first reason is that quick breads bake ever so much quicker in a square pan; the second reason is that I think banana bread is one of the most delicious bases for a dessert.
Because it was a weeknight and dessert is not an every day occurrence at our house (much as my kids might support that idea…) I tried to not go too crazy with an over the top dessert. So, I torted each square, spread some nutella on the cut half, added some sliced bananas, put the top back on and then drizzled with sweetened condensed milk. I think some toasted nuts would have been delish in the filling as well, but the concoction was quite popular as it was, rendering my family silent while they enjoyed their weeknight treat.
Being able to cut your “bread” into squares and then top it with delicious things takes banana bread from its classic bread slice….to easy snack cake….. to decadent dessert….”quick”ly.
Banana Bread Snack Cake
- 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1 1/4 cups mashed ripe banana about 3 or 4 medium bananas
- 2 Tablespoons plain greek yogurt or sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- sliced bananas
- sweetened condensed milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8 or 9 " metal square pan with baking spray. (I also lined the bottom of my pan with a piece of parchment, but I don't think you'll have any issues if you don't.)
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
- Beat sugar and eggs with a whisk until light and fluffy. Depending upon whether you do this by hand or with your whisk attachment on your mixer, this could take 5 to 10 minutes. If you overbeat it, your cake will sink when cooling, so just whisk until your mixture is nice and fluffy.
- Drizzle in oil and mix.
- Stir in mashed bananas, yogurt and vanilla.
- Fold in dry ingredients until combined.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Mine took exactly 30 minutes in a 9" pan. If you use an 8" pan, it may take a few minutes longer. Always check at the earliest time. Over baking will render your cake dry.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and finish cooling on a rack.
*I've never baked this in a loaf pan, so I don't know about the volume of this batter vs. how big your pan might be.
*Different pans will yield different results.
*You will need to increase baking time to anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.
*Use only metal pans for this recipe. Glass pans are not the best for banana bread.
*Trader Joe's sells organic sweetened condensed milk in a squeeze bottle which is perfect for topping individual desserts.
*Store wrapped or covered at room temperature.
Adapted from Flour's Famous Banana Bread
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