Since April 2013 I’ve been working in Aalto University, Creative Sustainability Master Program (the one I graduated from), as an events coordinator / teaching assistant. My job is mainly to organise academic and social events / activities related to the program.
Last February, as part of my job, I started organising monthly breakfast sessions that are open to the program’s students and staff, under the name CS Breakfast. In these breakfast sessions, we come together and have a modest, healthy breakfast together. In each session we also have one or more guests, from Aalto or outside, and we get to know these people, creating new connections and collaborations.
For each session I also try to bake at least 1 thing of course! And this banana cake is what I baked for the last breakfast session. It is an adaptation from Sally’s Baking Addiction. In some cases I see that this is called “Banana Bread” but in my understanding this is definitely a cake.
Banana in this recipe makes the cake really moist (there are 4 bananas in it!!) and there is also yogurt to help with the moisture. The pecans add a nice nutty taste and cream cheese frosting gives a nice twist as it is quite sweet but when you tell people that it is mostly cream cheese they are surprised!
You can also bake this without the addition of cream cheese frosting but I wanted to get close as possible with the original recipe so I used the frosting as well. But I assure you, even without the frosting this cake is gorgeous! Hope you enjoy! Happy baking!
(makes 1 loaf of cake)
For the cake:
113 gr. butter, in room temperature
3/4 cup / 1.8 dl brown sugar (light or dark, I used light)
2 eggs, preferably in room temperature
1/3 cup / 0.8 dl yogurt (Turkish, Greek, Bulgarian…)
2 cups / 4.8 dl mashed bananas (4 large bananas)
1 tsp / 5 ml vanilla extract
2 cups / 4.8 dl flour (I used wheat flour but I guess whole-wheat flour would work nice as well)
1 tsp / 5 ml baking soda
1/4 tsp / 1.25 ml salt
1/2 tsp / 2.5 ml ground cinnamon
1/2 cup / 1.2 dl chopped pecans (I chopped them in quite big pieces)
112 gr. cream cheese, in room temperature
60 gr. butter, in room temperature
1 cup / 2.4 dl powdered sugar
1 tbsp / 15 ml milk (use täysmaito. I actually used kahvikerma (coffee cream) since I did not want to buy 1 lt milk for 15 ml use)
chopped pecans, as much as you like, for decoration
Soundtrack: Buena Vista Social Club!
1. Preheat the oven to 175C.
2. In the bowl of a hand or standing mixer, put butter and brown sugar. In medium speed, for about 3 minutes, cream them together.
3. Add one egg at a time and continue mixing. After adding each egg, mix it in medium speed until well incorporated.
4. Add yogurt, bananas and vanilla extract and continue mixing, until you get a nice and smooth batter.
5. In another bowl, put flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and whisk them well.
6. To the dry ingredients, add wet batter. Fold in gently. Do not over mix, just fold gently until all the flour is mixed with wet ingredients. Finally add the pecans and fold a bit more.
7. Grease and prepare your cake mould. Pour cake batter in it and smooth out the surface (it is quite a thick batter so you may need to smooth out yourself or shake the mould a bit so that the batter spreads in it evenly). Put in the oven, in middle rack.
8. After 30 minutes in the oven, cover the surface of the cake with an aluminium foil. Continue baking for about 30-35 minutes more, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. When it bakes, take it out and leave it to cool.
9. When cake is cool, prepare the frosting. In a medium bowl, put cream cheese and butter and whisk them well.
10. Add powdered sugar and continue whisking. Finally, add milk and continue whisking more, until you get a creamy frosting.
11. Spread the frosting on the cake. Add chopped pecans on top. Leave it a bit in the fridge (for an hour or so) before serving. And then enjoy its rich taste!!