Here is a simple banana cake recipe using a cake mix that is easy and delicious. It can be baked either in a 9×13-inch pan or in a bundt pan (my preference).
My husband is having a slice with ice cream and just declared it “one of the best” banana cakes ever; hearty praise from a true cake lover!
The purist in me wishes cakes made from scratch with whole wheat flour and other more wholesome ingredients were met with such excitement, but sadly they’re not. The savvy realist within me admits that cake mix recipes often turn out better than from scratch cakes. They are more consistent, with better texture, especially when you know how to “doctor them up.” And in the final analysis, life is too short to eat anything less than delicious cake.
Have I mentioned that I am a huge fan of Anne Byrn, The Cake Mix Doctor? Everything I’ve ever made from her cookbooks has turned out great, but I’ve been reluctant to admit it, until I learned that Jamie Lee Curtis recently declared The Cake Mix Doctor her favorite cookbook on the Rachel Ray Show!
This recipe is from The Cake Mix Doctor Returns. I made a few changes to the original recipe. I omitted the additional 1/4 cup of sugar, replaced the 1/2 cup sour cream with plain yogurt, and skipped the 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans to keep it friendly for those who have nut allergies. I also added 2 tablespoons of flour which is a trick my mother learned from her Home Ec teacher decades ago to help cake mix cakes be less crumbly.
Simple Banana Cake Recipe
Serves 16 to 20 or 12 to 16 as a bundt cake
Vegetable oil spray for coating the pan
Flour for dusting the pan
1 cup mashed bananas (from 2 or 3 very ripe bananas)
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup sugar (optional)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
1 cup (6 ounces) miniature chocolate chips
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)
2 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar, for dusting on top
Position an a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly mist a 13×9 inch metal cake pan (or bunt pan) with vegetable oil spray. Dust with flour, shake out the excess flour and set the pan aside.
In a large mixing bowl, place the mashed bananas, cake mix,flour, sugar (if using), oil, sour cream, eggs and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the ingredients are incorporated, about 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat on medium speed until the mixture lightens and is smooth, about 1 1/2 minutes longer. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again, if necessary. Stir in the chocolate chips.( If you are intending to bake the cake in a bundt pan, stir in the pecans too, if you are using them.)
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Smooth out the top with a rubber spatula. If you are baking the cake in a 9×13-inch pan, scatter the pecans (if using) evenly over the top and place the pan in the oven.
Bake the cake until is deeply golden brown on top and the top springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, 43 to 48 minutes (50 to 55 minutes for a bundt cake). Remove the cake from the oven and immediately sift the confectioners sugar over the top so that it melts to form a glaze. Let the cake cook for 20 minutes, then slice and serve while still a little warm. (If you are using a bundt pan, allow it to cool for about 10 minutes, then turn it out of the pan and sprinkle with the sugar.)
Storage: Store this cake, covered, at room temperature for up to three days or for up to one week in the refrigerator.