Best Banana Cake Ever

Wall Street Journal March1-2, 2014

Best Banana Cake Ever

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  • Prep Time

    minutes

  • Total Time

    minutes

  • Servings

    servings


Ingredients

  • For the cake:

  • cups sifted cake flour, plus more for flouring pan

  • cups sugar

  • 1

    tablespoon baking powder

  • 1

    teaspoon, plus a pinch of salt

  • ½

    cup vegetable oil

  • 5

    large egg yolks

  • ¼

    cup orange juice

  • ½

    cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1

    teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 8

    large egg whites, at room temperature

  • teaspoons cream of tartar

  • cups shredded, sweetened coconut, toasted (optional)

  • 3

    firm-ripe bananas, sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds (optional)

  • For the icing:

  • 3

    large egg whites, at room temperature

  • cups sugar

  • 6

    tablespoons cold water

  • ½

    teaspoon cream of tartar

  • tablespoons light corn syrup

  • 1

    teaspoon vanilla extract

  • For the banana filling:

  • 2

    cups cold heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

  • 3

    large overripe bananas, coarsely chopped

  • 1

    tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • ounces instant vanilla pudding mix

  • cups whole milk

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan. 2. Sift flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt together into a bowl. In this order, add the following, one at a time, to flour mixture stirring after each addition: oil, egg yolks, juices and vanilla. Mix until smooth. 3. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer at low speed to whisk egg whites, cream of tartar and a pinch of salt until opaque. Slowly add remaining sugar and beat on medium-high until soft peaks form. Stir in a quarter of beaten whites into flour mixture, then fold in the rest. 4. Pour batter into greased pan, smoothing the top and rapping once on the table to eliminate air bubbles. Place on middle rack in oven and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan, upside down, on a rack. 5. Remove cake from pan, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days. 6. Make icing: Place all ingredients except vanilla in a large stainless steel bowl. Use an electric mixer or a whisk to beat until combined. Fill a wide, deep skillet with 2 inches of water and set over medium heat. Bring to a steady simmer and place bowl in skillet, making sure water level is at least as high as egg whites inside bowl. Beat on low speed until mixture reaches 140 degrees, using an instant-read thermometer to monitor temperature. (Do not stop beating or egg whites will overcook.) Increase speed to high and continue to beat exactly 6 minutes. (Icing will be very thick.) Remove from heat, add vanilla and beat on low speed to cool, 2-3 minutes. Set aside. (Use within 6 hours.) 7. Make banana filling: In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to whip heavy cream until soft peaks form, 2-4 minutes. In a large bowl, toss bananas with lemon juice. Add instant pudding and milk to bananas and stir. Gently fold in whipped cream. Set aside. 8. To assemble, use a large knife to slice cake horizontally into three even layers. Place bottom cake layer on a large plate. Spread half of banana filling on top, then lay second cake layer on top of filling. Spread on remaining filling, then lay third cake layer on top. Spread icing over top and sides of cake. If you are garnishing with coconut or banana rounds, distribute them over top and sides of cake. (Bananas should be added just before serving as they will brown quickly.) Serve immediately or refrigerate and then serve.


Nutrition

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