Thursday, October 13, 2011

Granny Cake

If you asked me a week ago to bake you a granny cake, I would have had no idea what you were talking about. Was it a cake your grandma used to bake a lot? Maybe it was an old school recipe that dates back to your grandma's childhood? Turns out it is a spiced banana and pineapple cake, which tastes better than it sounds. I stumbled upon this recipe accidentally while searching for different ways to use up ripe bananas. I found so many recipes online that sounded great, but many were based on packaged cake mixes, which I'm not a fan of using if I'm going for the homemade angle. And as much as I love my aunt's recipe for banana bread (and yes, that one will always be my favorite), I wanted to try something different. At first this cake sounded like a hodgepodge of random ingredients, but I decided to try it out anyway. I was curious to see how cloves and pineapple would mix together in a cake, unsure if I would even like it.

Before I could try this cake, I was tortured by the delicious smells coming from the oven, and then again while waiting for it to cool. The original recipe makes a massive cake. I cut it in half and thought it was more than enough for one cake since I was only going to be feeding 3 people with it. What I loved about this cake was how moist it was, and it stayed moist siting out on the counter wrapped in plastic for 3 days. I'm sure this would be an easy recipe to make ahead of time since it is just as good on day two as it is the first. Though it will be hard to ever get me to love a banana bread/cake recipe more than my aunt's, this cake was a nice, flavorful change from the usual.

Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens
note: to make one normal sized cake, cut the recipe in half

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 5)
1 8 ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained 
3 eggs, at room temperature 
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat your oven to 325ºF/160ºC. Grease and flour a 10" tube pan if making the entire recipe or a 9" round pan or smaller cake form for half the recipe. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and cloves. Set aside.

Beat the butter at medium speed for about 30 seconds. Mix in the banana, undrained pineapple, eggs, and vanilla until incorporated. Add the flour mixture and beat it on low until combined. Mix for another minute and then fold in the pecans. Spread batter into your cake form.

Bake for 70 to 75 minutes if using a large tube pan. Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes if only making half of the batter. Allow the cake to cool in its form before serving.
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