Banana Refrigerator Cake

  I have never much liked bananas, mostly because the fruit from the supermarket tends to be dry and mealy. Not my preferred fruit experience. In Hawaii, I was introduced to the amazingly delicious apple banana. (Did you know a bunch of bananas is called a hand? That is cool.) When I was in the Philippines, my whole banana world was rocked. I was there for about 10 days, and we had fresh bananas every day, and seemingly never the same variety of banana twice. Who knew so many different bananas existed? Let me tell you, if you can ever get your hands on a freshly picked banana, especially if it isn't the grocery store variety we Americans have become accustomed to, do it. And prepared to be wowed.

Bananas baked into bread or cake is pretty much the only way I eat grocery store bananas, and this cake is a quick and easy way to do it.

Banana Refrigerator Cake

April 10, 2010
Name of cake: Sneaking in the Bananas
Occasion: HCB
Constituents: banana cake, made with oil instead of butter

I know! Oil instead of butter! It does make a very light and moist cake, and to be honest I didn't really miss the butter. (I know! Who am I?)

This cake is a riff on Rose's Sour Cream Banana Cake from the Cake Bible. Some of the changes are the substitution of oil for butter, and creme fraiche for sour cream (although she does give the option to use sour cream). I decided not to use creme fraiche, deliciously creamy as it is, and then decided to sub plain full-fat yogurt for the sour cream. As I was already wandering off the page, so to speak, I also thumbed my nose at my food processor and used the immersion blender to puree the bananas and yogurt. This worked like a charm, and so much easier to clean!

Banana Refrigerator Cake

The banana puree is added to turbinado sugar (another change--the Cake Bible cake is made with superfine sugar) in the mixer and whipped until the sugar dissolves. Other mixing stuff happens, which involve eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, oil, and some dry ingredients, but I can't really remember how it all goes.

My cake took awhile to fully bake, and even after 40 minutes (the maximum time) there was still a gooey spot in the top. You can see it in this photo, where the crack is:

Banana Refrigerator Cake

We decided to skip the frosting (I wasn't too keen on pulling out the food processor) and instead ate the cake about 30 minutes after coming out of the oven with vanilla ice cream. This way, we could enjoy the cake warm and still got a little creamy love on the side. I bet the Dreamy Creamy frosting is incredible, but I couldn't be bothered. Do try it warm, with some ice cream, because it was really good!

Banana Refrigerator Cake

The Sour Cream Banana Cake in the Cake Bible is wonderful, but a bit dense as well. This cake had a nice thin, crisp crust that gave away to insides that were light and almost feathery. It still had the same great banana flavor and wasn't too sweet. I like the caramel notes the turbinado sugar gives to this cake--in fact I think a salted caramel sauce would be a fantastic accompaniment. Super easy, super yummy, and a great source of potassium and fiber! Like last week's Pecan Torte, this Banana Cake was healthy and tasty breakfast. ;)


  1. Jennifer,
    Now I want a freshly picked banana! Your cake looks super yummy and as much as I would enjoy it with Dreamy Creamy frosting given a choice, I would opt for a slice served with vanilla ice cream.

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  3. How funny -- baked in cakes or muffins is the only way I will eat bananas! I can't even stand the smell of fresh bananas. Last time I remember eating one I was five, and my mom came out crying and told me her Nana had died... I think I had a vague idea it was my fault for eating a 'nana. Should probably go to therapy or something, so I can eat bananas... Maybe when we go to Hawaii this summer I'll give a super-fresh one a try.

    I like your idea of using the immersion blender instead of the food pro -- I've been thinking about getting one for just this sort of thing. It's always so messy doing purees in the food processor.

    Why is this called a refrigerator cake? Did you have to hold it in the fridge before baking? What's the reasoning behind that?

    Looking good, ECL!

  4. Oriana, I too am a big fan of cake and ice cream, and when the cake is warm? Heaven!

    Rauichka, it is called a refrigerator cake b/c when frosted with the dreamy creamy frosting it needs to be kept in the refrigerator (cream cheese frosting). That's why she used oil instead of butter btw.

    I love my immersion blender! I've used it for all sorts of fun things, like making graham cracker crumbs and whipping cream. So much easier to deal with than the food processor.

    Thanks lady!

  5. I have tried freshly picked bananas. My father in law was a banana farmer!
    Over ripe bananas are an on going problem at my I have only recently written about! But I will insist on buying too many.

    Poor Raiuchka and her therapy nana's!
    I can just imagine a 5 year old accepting the blame for eating a nana. What a burden to bear!

    I haven't made this cake yet, but I will. I am always wanting to use up the 4 billion over ripe bananas I have in the house!
    I am glad you are going to get to meet Rose. Yeah!

  6. Funny. I'm not much of a banana eater either, unless it's in a bread or cake. When I read about your salted caramel sauce, I smiled because I frosted my cake with Caramel Whipped Cream :o) In the end, your cake turned out great. Eating it slightly warm sounds wonderful!

  7. Melinda, you are lucky to have had fresh bananas! I look forward to hearing about what you think of this cake. Thank you so much for alerting me to Rose's Portland visit!! To think, I could have missed my chance to meet her. I'm getting all nervous about it!

    Hanaa, yum, caramel whipped cream would be a great option. Do try it slightly warm!

  8. Now I am thinking about a deep caramel cream cheese icing to go on this cake... you are a complete inspiration!

  9. why, thanks Nicola! You are very kind. I look forward to hearing about your deep caramel cream cheese icing--delicious!


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