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I suspect that the #1 item baked during this pandemic has been banana bread. Just a hunch. I, too, have partaken in many a banana bread, from all sorts of recipes on the Interwebs to my own Banana Bread recipe. If you read my Banana Bread post, you know that, when it comes to banana, I’m pretty much a purist. Especially in any banana bread. My feelings don’t change much when it comes to a banana cake. I do, however, require a moist cake. This Banana Snack Cake satisfies all my wants and needs. I did gild the lily a bit with this Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting. Um, YUM!!!

banana snack cake with decorative brown sugar cream cheese frosting, cut into 16 squares with two set apart
The perfect “grab and go” snack cake!

This Banana Snack Cake is super easy to make, and it is sooo moist and flavorful. Seriously. This recipe is the ideal size for a few people (with some leftovers to linger for a couple of days) or for a small dinner soiree.

The key to success for this cake? Very ripe bananas. And the best part is that, since this is sort of “small batch”, you only need two average sized bananas.

How to Make Banana Snack Cake

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients. It’s a good idea to whisk them together so that the baking soda and salt spread out more evenly amongst the flour.
  2. Blend the bananas with the wet ingredients. Using the blender for this is so great! It makes life much easier because you don’t have to mush the bananas. It also makes for a more ideal cake without clumps of bananas. I believe this step helps ensure full banana flavor in every bite.
  3. Cream the butter and sugarsNothing extraordinary about this step! But be sure to do more than just mix the butter and sugars together. Run the mixer on high for a couple minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, to help aerate the mixture. You’ll have a fluffier cake in the end.
  4. Mix and bake. Add the liquid and dry ingredients in thirds, alternating between the two. When adding the flour the first two times, there’s no need to fully mix the flour in. It’s best to add the wet ingredients just before all the flour is absorbed. When you end with the last round of flour, be sure it is fully mixed in (disappeared), being careful not to over-mix. Pour into your pan, and bake! Make sure the center is fully baked before you remove it from the oven.
  5. Frost. The brown sugar cream cheese frosting is also super easy to make. It’s best to first cream the cream cheese, butter and brown sugar, then let it sit for about 10 minutes just to make sure the brown sugar fully dissolves into the mixture. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. While optional, I do recommend adding the molasses because it deepens the brown sugar flavor and helps smooth out the frosting consistency.

Banana Snack Cake with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 16 slices
This moist, flavorful snack cake is enough for a small family or "just because" with leftovers for a couple of days. Boasting in sweet banana, the cake is paired with a brown sugar cream cheese frosting.

Ingredients

Banana Cake:

  • 180 g. all purpose flour (1½ cups)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. fine sea salt
  • 227 g. bananas (about 2 average sized bananas, weighed after being peeled)
  • 60 g. sour cream, at room temperature (¼ cup)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 30 g. vegetable oil (2 Tbsp.)
  • ½ tsp. vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 113 g. unsalted butter, at room temperature (8 Tbsp.)
  • 105 g. light brown sugar (½ cup)
  • 75 g. sugar (¼ cup plus 2 tbsp.)

Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at cold room temperature (softened)
  • 85 g. unsalted butter, at room temperature (6 Tbsp.)
  • 147 g. light brown sugar (⅔ cup, packed )
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. molasses (optional)
  • tsp. salt
  • 300 g. confectioner’s sugar, plus more as needed (2½ cups)

Instructions 

Banana Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Line an 8 inch x 8 inch baking pan with parchment paper or grease the pan with non-stick spray or butter.
  • In small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • In a blender, puree the bananas, sour cream, eggs, oil, vinegar and vanilla until smooth.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer (or in a bowl with a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugars.
  • Add ⅓ of the liquid mixture to the butter/sugar mixer, beating until combined. Add ⅓ of the flour mixture and then ⅓ of the liquid mixture before the flour is fully aborbed. Repeat, ending with the flour mixture, mixing just until the flour mixture is fully absorbed. Be careful not to overmix.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 35-40 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean.

Frosting:

  • Beat together cream cheese, butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes to allow the brown sugar to fully dissolve. Mix in vanilla, molasses (if using), salt, and confectioner’s sugar. Add additional sugar if needed so it is thick and spreadable. Whip another minute or two until it is smooth, light and creamy. Spread or pipe onto cooled cake as desired.

Notes

  • Instead of vinegar, you can use 1 tsp. lemon juice.
  • To make this snack cake last even longer, freeze individually wrapped slices. It will come to room temperature in about a half hour, and no one will know it was ever frozen.
Author: Rob Finkelstein
Course: brunch, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: banana, brown sugar frosting, snack cake

 

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