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We are bad banana eaters. Very inconsistent. Some weeks we’ll go through a bunch in a couple of days and other weeks they will languish on the counter turning spotted and black as we both try our best to ignore them and hope the other one will deal with them. So, it is in everyone’s best interest to collect recipes that use up the bananas once they have passed the point of no return.

I did what I usually do when I have a baking question, I turned to Dorie Greenspan. There, on page 190 of Baking, From My Home to Yours, was this lovely banana cake just waiting to be baked. We even had the exact amount of bananas ripening away in our kitchen.

The cake is wonderful. Simple, sweet and satisfying. It was a little too sweet for me, so I cut back the sugar a bit (down to 1 3/4 cup) and next time might try reducing it even more. But it is lovely as is. It kept will under a cake dome for a few days and we have been happily slicing off a sliver throughout the day.

We’ve been getting drunk on your cocktail suggestions. It will be hard to narrow it down to just 3 or 4 finalists, but narrow it down we must. Then,  you can vote for the one you’d most like to spend the summer with. All of that coming to you next week. Until then, enjoy a slice of banana cake.

Classic Banana Bundt Cake (by Ellen Einstein via Dorie Greenspan)

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (8oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
  • 4 very ripe bananas, mashed (1 1/2-1 3/4 cups)
  • 1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Generously butter a 9- to 10-inch (12 cup) Bundt pan.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and beat at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, then add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each egg goes in. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the bananas. Finally, mix in half of the dry ingredients (don’t be disturbed when the batter curdles), all of the sour cream and then the rest of the dry ingredients. Scrape the batter into the pan, rap the pan on the counter to de-bubble the batter and smooth the top.

Bake for 65-75 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 to cool for 10 minutes before unmolding onto the rack to cool completely.

If you’ve got the time, wrap the cooled cake in plastic and allow it to sit on the counter overnight before serving—it’s better the next day.

Makes 14 servings.

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