Friday, November 5, 2010

Holiday Open House - Banana Bundt Cake

For the holiday season it is always nice to have things prepared in case unexpected visitors arrive... or you need a quick hostess gift. This is my favorite make-ahead or freeze-ahead cake. It is so easy and looks fabulous.

Banana Bundt Cake

You will need:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
About 4 very ripe bananas, mashed (you should have 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups)
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9- to 10-inch (12 cup) Bundt pan. (If you use a silicone Bundt pan there’s no need to butter it.)

First, whisk together  the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a separate bowl beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and beat at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, then add  eggs one at a time making sure each is incorporated before adding the next. Reduce speed to low and mix in the bananas.  Then add in half the dry ingredients (don’t be surprised if the batter curdles), all the sour cream and then the rest of the flour mixture. Scrape the batter into the pan, rap the pan on the counter to reduce bubbles.

Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted deep into the center of the cake comes out clean. Check the cake after about 30 minutes - if it is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with a foil tent. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before taking it out of the pan and transferring to a rack to cool to room temperature.

This cake is better the next day, just like banana bread. So after it has cooled, wrap it up tightly. Serve it with a dusting of powdered sugar or with a simple banana butter cream.
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