WWII Banana Nut Cake

Banana Nut Cake with Buttercream Frosting

Banana Nut Cake with Buttercream Frosting

I learned to cook by experimenting with recipes I found in my mother’s old cookbooks.  This favorite of childhood, Banana Nut Cake, is from The Cook Book Compiled by the Women of the Mason County Home Bureau – Third Edition, 1945.

[Submitted By Mrs. Emmer Penewitt, Mason City, Ill.–some terminology updated]

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup ripe bananas cut fine or mashed [about 3]

1/4 cup sour milk

2 eggs [at room temperature]

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour

METHOD:  Sift flour, baking powder, soda and salt together 3 times.  Cream butter; add sugar and cream well.  Add beaten eggs and bananas, then flour and sour milk alternately, beating after each addition.  Add nuts and vanilla with some of the flour.

Bake in a greased 9×13-inch pan at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick just comes out clean. Cool.

BUTTER CREAM FROSTING:  I don’t use a recipe for this frosting.  In general I begin with 1/4 to 1/2 cup softened butter depending on the size of the cake or how rich you wish your frosting to be.  Add powdered sugar about a cup at a time to desired amount of frosting; add 1 teaspoon good vanilla and a small pinch of salt.  Beat in 1/2 and 1/2 until frosting is of desired spreading consistency.  Frost cooled cake and refrigerate.  Serve cold or at room temperature.

This cake was often simply drizzled with a glaze of powdered sugar and cream.  Drizzle the glaze on the hot cake and allow to cool.  The glaze soaks into the cake slightly making it even moister.

This is a delicious dense cake meant to be eaten slowly and savored with milk or coffee.  Enjoy!



About Sharon L. Clemens

Sharon and husband Merle and their children owned and operated a specialty shop and restaurant in a restored dairy barn for thirteen years in a village in Illinois. After closing their restaurant, they converted the barn into the family home and moved their shop to the garden level. They operated a collectable shop as a home-based business for another thirteen years before retiring to the country life. Sharon has been a special feature guest on the local NBC telelvision affiliate and has spoken professionally on topics relating to herb gardening and cottage lifestyle. In addition to conducting workshops and programs, Sharon writes a weekly cottage lifestyle e-newsletter called “Cottage Chat” and a Word Press blog: Seasons of Farm Grove. She has written five novels, The Younger Girl, Door County Cottage, Timeless-A Door County Love Story, Door County Cabin and Door County Escape, love stories with traditional values set in Door County, Wisconsin.
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