I’ve never quite understood the difference between Banana Bread and Banana Cake. I’ve been wracking my brain trying to come up with an explanation but just can’t think of one. But no matter. Every loves banana bread – or whatever you call it!
Since I was on the subject of using up leftover egg whites a bit back, I was thinking about this Banana Cake, or Banana Bread, which uses up one of them. But also features ripe bananas, sour cream, and dark chocolate chips.
This is a recipe I’ve been making for years and I love it. It’s a variation of my Banana Upside Down Cake with Chocolate Chips, but I thought it was time to revisit it. And that one egg white was driving me nuts! You’ll notice I didn’t do the caramelized banana topping like on the original, which you’re welcome to do. Now stop loafing around and make it. It’s so simple—in fact, it’s a piece of cake. Or bread.
Banana Cake or Banana Bread
Makes one 9-inch (23 cm) cake
Be sure to use very ripe bananas, whichever you choose: the skin should have black speckles on them and be soft to the touch. I often add a shot of hyper-strong espresso to the batter, which is positively delicious. People often raise an eyebrow when I tell them how good coffee is with bananas, but since coffee is a tropical fruit (or berry), as are bananas, the combination makes sense.
If you prefer, you can substitute 1/2 to 3/4 cup of chopped nuts, such as walnuts or pecans, for the chocolate chips, for a more classic banana bread.
- 1½ cups (210g) flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder, preferably aluminum-free (I always use Rumford)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ cup (150g) sugar
- 2 tablespoons (30g) melted butter (salted or unsalted)
- 1 large egg white
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 cup (250ml) banana puree, made from about 2 very ripe medium-sized bananas
- ½ cup (125ml) sour cream, regular or low-fat
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup (60g) chocolate chips or 3 tablespoons (30 g) cocoa nibs
Butter a 9-inch (23cm) square pan and line the bottom with a sheet of parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350F (180 C).
1. Sift together in a bowl the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Mix in the sugar.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the butter, egg white, egg, banana puree, sour cream, vanilla and espresso, if using.
3. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and stir in the wet ingredients with a spatula until almost mixed. Add in the chocolate chips or cocoa nibs and stir until just combined, but don’t overstir: stop when any traces of flour disappear.
4. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes, or until the center feels lightly-springy and just done.
5. Cool on a baking rack.
Storage: This cake will keep well for 3-4 days, or can be frozen, wrapped in plastic wrap, for a few months.
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