Far too often I buy fresh fruit with every intention of eating it as a snack or on my cereal, but then I see that same fruit in the bowl a week later – soft, brown and sad.
In most cases this means a silent curse and a trip to the trash for the mealy apple or pear, but not so for the banana. For the banana, there is a chance at redemption in the form of baked goods, which do better with overripe bananas.
This weekend I had a few (okay, five) overripe bananas on my counter, so I made it up to them by throwing three into the batter for this cake, which also has dried cherries and toasted pecans. As you should know by now, I like my cakes dense, studded with nuts and dried fruit, and sans frosting.
This cake is dense and moist and not too sweet. It would be fine with a cream cheese glaze or generous dusting of powdered sugar, but I left it as-is. If it looks more like a slice of muffin, I won’t feel so bad when I eat it for breakfast all week.
I also know bananas and cherries aren’t very Christmassy, hence, the snowflake napkin.
See what I did there? Instant holiday cheer.
Banana Cherry Pecan Cake
Adapted from Bundt Classics by Dorothy Dalquist (2003)
1 3/4 cups sugar
2/3 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsps. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
1 cup dried cherries (or cranberries)
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-12 cup Bundt or tube pan, or generously spray with baking cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the bananas, eggs, and vanilla and mix until combined.
- Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to batter until combined. Fold in the dried cherries and pecans.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, then bake for 70-80 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.