Learn How to Make Monica’s Grandmother’s Banana Cake
Hey friends! Today I’m going to share my grandmother’s banana cake recipe that is so good it will be likely become one of your family’s favorites too. Like all our recipes, this one can easily be made gluten-free with a quick flour substitution and a couple of small additions. My grandmother, whom we lovingly called Mom-Mom, was a fabulous cook. While she didn’t make a great variety of foods and desserts, the ones she did make were second-to-none, and her banana cake was the best! As a child I recall always asking for more icing, so when I list the recipe below, the icing ingredients will already be doubled.
Family Favorite Made-From-Scratch Moist Delicious Cake
I am a cake person through and through. I’ll take cake over cookies any day of the week. This cake is extra-moist thanks to bananas and is absolutely decadent with banana buttercream frosting. I always sift my flour and baking soda to ensure a smooth and fluffy texture.
Why a Gluten-Free Cake Recipe?
Let’s talk gluten-free for a moment, and why gluten-free recipes are a hallmark of our cooking. I was diagnosed with celiac disease about 20 years ago, after years of severe illness. Some people choose to eat gluten-free because of gluten sensitivity or gluten allergy; however, celiac disease is much more serious–even deadly. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder where the small intestine is seriously damaged by the ingestion of gluten.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is the protein found in many grains, like wheat and barley, that makes food sticky. Think of dough that rises and stretches, or foods with a chewy texture. Gluten-free foods have come a long way over the last 20 years, thanks to improvements in gluten-free flours, and to food scientists who have finally largely mastered the “texture” issue. In the past, flours were heavy and grainy, and pasta tasted like sand. Today virtually any food can be made gluten-free from scratch, and many wonderful commercial products can be found on grocery store shelves.
How to Make Mom-Mom’s Banana Cake Gluten-Free
Our banana cake can be converted to gluten-free with a flour substitution: use gluten-free flour in place of regular flour; King Arthur’s Gluten-Free Flour is a direct 1:1 substitution. Add an additional egg for a little extra body and a little more leavening (baking soda and baking powder; I add an extra ¼ teaspoon each for gluten-free). The rest of the recipe is already naturally gluten-free!
Mom-Mom’s Banana Cake (Gluten-Free Recipe)
Ingredients for the Banana Cake:
- 2 cups gluten-free flour, sifted
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ teaspoons baking soda
- ¾ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 stick of butter softened at room temperature
- ¼ cup sour milk (add ½ teaspoon white vinegar to whole milk to make ¼ cup)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I always add a little extra)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (ripe bananas work best; mash with fork)
Steps to Make Banana Cake
- Using an electric mixer, take butter, eggs, and sugar and mix well.
- Add sifted flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and mix.
- Add mashed bananas, sour milk, and vanilla and mix for several minutes until smooth.
- Pour into greased and floured 8” or 9” round cake pans and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- If you have a convection oven, lower the temperature to 325 and bake for around 20-22 minutes, as convection baking results in significantly faster baking.
- Start checking my cakes for doneness at around 18 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pans for around 10 minutes.
- Remove from pans to serving platter and cool completely.
Ingredients for Banana Buttercream Icing
- 1 stick of softened butter
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 mashed banana
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract (we love Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Vanilla the best), plus a few drips extra (we always love a little extra vanilla)
Mix all icing ingredients until well blended. Frost your cake and enjoy!