Banana Walnut Cake

Story by Holly
Banana Walnut Cake
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As wonderful as a thick slice of carrot cake is, piled high with cream cheese frosting, here at The Modern Proper we are banana cake fans all the way. Ask anyone in our circle of friends (yes, we are real life friends and hang out together ALL the time) and they’ll tell you that the banana cake is the dessert you’ll see most often at a shower or birthday party we are hosting. There is just something about a moist banana cake recipe from scratch that seems to be the perfect way to celebrate any occasion. The recipe I’m sharing today for our favorite cake is not only easy, moist and fluffy, it may just be the best banana cake in the world.

What's the difference between banana bread and banana cake?

So perhaps, unlike us, you’re not obsessed with all things banana and aren’t sure what the difference between banana bread and banana cake is. While both are moist, banana bread is dense, where as banana cake is all about the fluffiness and HELLO frosting! The total package is sweeter and much more dessert like, without being cloying or too rich and a tall glass of cold milk or hot cup of coffee are the perfect accompaniments.

A new tradition is born.

The morning we made this cake I set off for Natalie’s home (which is where we do most of our cooking and recipe shooting) and completely forgot the very ripe bananas I had been saving for this recipe. When it came time to add the bananas I realized what I had done and improvised, suggesting we take some less ripe bananas that Natalie had on hand and caramelize them before throwing them into batter. Holy yum! It worked guys, it really worked. So now you know- you will never again need to plan a week ahead of time to ensure your bananas are overripe and you can confidently use whatever you have on hand by just doing a tiny bit more prep.  

Banana Walnut Cake

Natalie and I have had the privilege of working on collaborations with our friends over at Diamond Nuts for almost a year now, and in that time we have fallen more and more in love with their products as we are constantly finding new ways to incorporate them into what we are cooking and baking. Our Tropical Kale Salad, Eggnog Pull-Apart Bread, Celery, Pear and Hazelnut Salad, and Almond Peach Bread Pudding are just a few of our past favorites that we’re pretty confident you’ll love, too. For this recipe, our most beloved banana walnut cake, only the best would do so we used Heirloom Reserve Diamond Nuts Walnuts and they were they were an amazing addition. Adding Diamond Nuts Walnuts made our near perfect recipe (we aren’t biased or anything) that much better with just the right amount of crunch and a rich nutty flavor that played beautifully off of the sweet bananas.

Banana Walnut Cake

If you and banana cake are not currently bffs, and unlike us you don’t make it for every single special event in your life that’s okay, we get it. But maybe, just maybe you haven’t had this banana cake yet, so you don’t know what you’re missing. Try it and let us know if (when) you become a convert.

Banana Walnut Cake

This sponsored post is written by TMP on behalf of Diamond of California. The opinions and text are all ours. Thank you for supporting the brands we love.

Banana Walnut Cake

Serves 10

Ingredients

6-7 bananas, divided (2 cups, sliced for layers / 3 whole bananas for caramelizing)
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter, room temp, divided
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup, plus 2 tbsp packed light or dark brown sugar, divided
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1 cup Diamond of California, Heirloom Walnuts, chopped, divided
4 oz white chocolate, shaved

Whipped Cream Frosting

1 quart heavy whipping cream, chilled
¼ cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.  Grease and flour two 8" or 9" cake pans. 
  2. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 cup butter, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 2 sliced bananas to the pan. Cook until the bananas are sweet and caramelized, about 5-7 minutes. Mash caramelized bananas with a fork and set aside. 
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
  4. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add white sugar and remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar and beat on high for 2 minutes until creamed together. 
  5. Add the eggs and the vanilla. Beat until combined. Beat in the caramelized bananas. 
  6. With the mixer on low speed, add the buttermilk and dry ingredients alternating in three additions. First the flour mixture, then buttermilk, then flour mixture etc. Do not over mix. 
  7. stir in 3/4 cup walnuts. 
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Baking times may vary. The cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Remove the cakes from the oven and set on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely. 
  10. Carefully slice the tops off both cakes, to even them out for stacking and frosting. You can make a two layer cake, or slice each layer in half to make a 4 layer cake.
  11. While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting. In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the chilled heavy cream, vanilla and 1/4 cup sugar together on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  12. spread each cake layer with whip cream frosting and banana slices. Cover the outside of cake with frosting and decorate with remaining walnuts and white chocolate.