My son turned 17 yesterday. Even though he’s half a head taller than his old mom, he’s still my Little T.
I bought this pan on impulse at the grocery store this week, and T. decided he wanted a banana nut cake on his birthday. I wanted to make this Paula Deen recipe without the eggs, but after consulting with my peeps at VegPeople, I made a yellow cake with bananas in place of the eggs.
This cake is a triumph of substitutions. First, I started with the eggiest yellow cake recipe I could find, and used bananas. Then, I added some baking soda and vinegar to the recipe, since I’ve had good experiences with that addition in previous eggless cakes. I couldn’t find cake flour at the grocery store, so per this site, I substituted all purpose flour and cornstarch. Finally, I used Frangelico hazelnut liqueur instead of vanilla, and doubled it. Judging by the recipe that came with the cake pan, I needed more batter than the yellow cake made, but I only needed half the icing. The icing is a non-dairy version of Paula Deens, but with a pinch of salt and more Frangelico.
This cake tastes like an Italian Cream Cake, but with banana instead of coconut. It’s really moist inside and has a nice texture, not too heavy. It’s a bit dry on the edges, almost crunchy, but I expect that has everything to do with baking it in such a deep pan in a convection oven. I probably need to turn the temperature down and bake it longer next time. I could probably throw an extra banana in it, too. The icing is the bomb diggity. I wouldn't change a thing here. (Yeah, I said bomb diggity, whatcha gonna do about it?)
Vegan Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour*
6 tablespoons cornstarch*
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons Earth Balance margarine, slightly softened
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons soy milk
1 cup pecan pieces
2 tablespoons Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Preheat oven to 325F.
Fluff up flour with a fork before measuring, and level off the flour with the back of a knife after spooning into dry measuring cups. In a medium bowl, combine flour with cornstarch, baking powder and soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat margarine and sugar with an electric mixer on high until fluffy. Add bananas and continue to beat until well-combined.
(You can’t beat sugar and fat too much when making a cake or muffins. Once you add the flour, however, it’s best to beat on low until ingredients are barely combined, or you’ll release the gluten in the flour, making the cake tough.)
Add about a third of the dry ingredients and third of the soy milk and beat on low for a few seconds. Add another third of the dry ingredients and soy milk and beat briefly, the finish with the remaining thirds. Finally, scrape the sides of the bowl, and stir in the pecan pieces, Frangelico and vinegar by hand.
Divide batter into two pans. If using a giant cupcake pan, bake for 60 minutes in a convection oven, or about 80 minutes in a conventional one, until a knife inserted deep into the center is free of batter. Allow to cool before icing cake.
This should fill up a couple of regular 9 inch cake pans nicely, maybe with a bit of batter left over for cupcakes. In that case, you would bake this at 350, probably for 20 to 25 minutes. Cupcakes will cook faster.
*you can use 3 cups of cake flour instead of all-purpose plus cornstarch
Cream Cheese Icing
4 ounces Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
4 ounces Earth Balance margarine
1/2 package powdered sugar (8 ounces by weight, about 1 1/3 cups)
1 tablespoon Frangelico liqueur
pinch of salt
Beat all ingredients together until fluffy.
Double this recipe if baking cake in regular pans.