When they talk about food from heaven, this must surely be what they are talking about. If I was marooned on a desert island and could take one food item with me this would be it! This recipe was given to me by my wonderful hairdresser Fe Warbuton (Hi Fe!) back in 2012. She told me that her husband, Alex, is not a dessert person but this cake quickly converted him.
This recipe challenges the conventions of baking – who puts a cake in the freezer once it is cooked? Well you will when you make this amazing banana cake. It uses the best ingredients of cake making; brown sugar, butter, eggs, flour and vanilla bean paste but demands you freeze the cake straight from the oven and before you ice it. Your patience will be rewarded with the most deliciously moist, fudgy and more-ish banana cake imaginable.
Fe did indicate in her recipe to use low-fat cream cheese and rice bran oil instead of butter but come on, this is not a cake that deserves low-fat anything! I used the full fat version of everything and it was the best decision I could have made.
I am sure you can tell by my description of this recipe that it is well worth your effort.
Transcendent Banana Cake with Vanilla Bean Cloud Icing by Fe Warbuton
For the Cake
- 180g butter
- 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 3 free range eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 3 cups plain flour
- 1½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups buttermilk (or sour the equivalent of low-fat milk with a teaspoon of white vinegar)
- 1½ cups mashed over-ripe bananas
For the Icing
- 125g butter, softened
- 200g cream cheese, softened
- 3 cups icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
For the Cake:
- Preheat the oven to very low, 135oC. Make room in your freezer to accommodate the hot cake pan, moving all your precious frozen food to another space in the freezer in anticipation. Grease and line a 22cm round spring form cake pan.
- In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking soda and salt together. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer or large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla bean paste.
- Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, being careful not to over mix. Stir in the mashed banana.
- Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove the hot cake from the oven and place it, pan and all, directly into the freezer for 45 minutes (I placed mine on a chopping board so it would damage my freezer drawer).
For the Icing:
- In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in vanilla bean paste.
- Add icing sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high until icing is whipped into a fluffy smooth cloud.
- Spread on cooled cake, swirling into attractive peaks and then down the sides. You can decorate it with gold leaf, crystallised violets or whatever takes your fancy.
- Chill in the fridge for half an hour. Slice and serve, and as Fe would say, prepare to swoon.
Complexity Rating: – Time is required.