I had been staring at some overripe bananas on the kitchen counter for a couple of days, pondering whether to toss them or make something. Normally it’s chocolate chip banana bread. But the warm sweet scent of my grandmother’s banana cake came wafting through my memory. I dug the index card out of her recipe box. What a treasure!
My grandmother would normally frost the cake with chocolate since that was the family favorite. I believe she would also use cream cheese frosting at times, which sounds even better to me. I did make some adjustments here and there. I also decided to make an icing as you would for German chocolate cake. To be honest I’ve never liked German chocolate cake. I want chocolate frosting with my chocolate cake! The more chocolate the better! But banana and pecan and coconut together? Yum! I have to say, the cake is divine! It takes all the self control I have not the eat the whole thing while my children are at school. Coincidentally it’s also the tail end of gardenia season in the South. Gardenias happened to be my grandmother’s favorite flower. I clipped the gardenia out of my own garden. I also used pecans from Valdosta in Southern Georgia. I hope you enjoy the cake if you make it. Just don’t eat the gardenia! 😉
Banana Bundt Cake with Pecan Coconut Icing
For cake: 2 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for pan), 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/2 cup unsalted softened butter (plus extra for pan), 1 cup sugar, 1 egg, 3 overripe mashed bananas, 1 tsp vanilla, 3/4 cup buttermilk
For icing: 1/2 cup evaporated milk, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 beaten egg yolk, 4 Tbs unsalted butter, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans, 1/2 cup flaked toasted coconut
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Butter and flour a bundt pan. Sift together the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Whisk in the salt. In a separate bowl, cream the butter with the sugar and add the vanilla. Beat well. Add the mashed bananas and beat again. Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture, alternating with the buttermilk. Make sure to add some flour last. Pour batter into the bundt pan and smooth so it is evenly distributed. Bake for 40 minutes or until a tester does not have wet batter on it. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Remove the cake from the pan and let cool on a rack while you make the icing.
In a saucepan, combine the evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolk and butter. Stir over low heat for 5-10 minutes until thickened. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla, pecans and coconut.
Place the cake on a platter or dish even if it is still warm. Pour the warm icing over the top. It is supposed to fall over the sides of the cake. Ooey gooey banana goodness.