I’ve had this recipe for a coffee cake-style bundt for years. Like a coffee cake, it has a topping of nuts and sugar, and another layer of nuts and sugar in-between. I had cut the recipe out of a magazine (which tells you this was sometime before Flipboard!), yet this is the first time I got around to trying it. When I unmolded the cake, half of the sugar in the topping had caramelized and welded itself to the bottom of the pan. Ever tried to get caramelized sugar out of a pan that isn’t non-stick?! Major bother! So this is how I discovered the recipe was untested, for what was missing from the topping was the butter. I also removed the cinnamon from the topping because I ended up with a two-tone cake; due to gravity all the cinnamon in the middle migrated to the bottom. Here it is corrected for the butter and cinnamon, and weights have been added to the measurement of ingredients where it matters most. Despite the mishaps, this is a cake with a tender crumb, lightly sweet, and nutty-crunchy with a smooth banana flavor.
Banana Bundt Cake (from a magazine which shall be nameless)
1/2 cup (118g) almonds, chopped
1/4 cup (56g) sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup (113g) all vegetable shortening, room temperature
1 cup (225g)superfine sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup (227g) bananas; mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (123g) sour cream or plain yogurt
2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven 350˚F/180˚C
Make the topping. Combine almonds, sugar, and butter; stir well, and set aside. Grease (1 tablespoon unsalted butter) and flour (1/2 tablespoon flour) 10 inch bundt pan. Use all to generously grease and flour the crevices. Tap out the excess flour.
Make the cake. Combine shortening and 1 cup sugar; cream until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time; add bananas and vanilla; fold in sour cream or yogurt.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; add all at once to creamed mixture, and fold until just combined.
Sprinkle half of reserved almond mixture into bottom of prepared bundt cake pan; spoon half of batter into pan. Gently smooth the top. Sprinkle remaining cinnamon mixture over batter; spoon remaining batter into pan. Gently smooth the top. Rap pan on counter to eliminate air bubbles.
Cake Baker’s Note: Drop dollops of topping in the pan and spread it out. Also, drop dollops of batter in the pan and smooth the top.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool cake 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Loosen edges of cake, if necessary. Invert cake on serving plate; serve warm or cold. Dust completely cooled cake with with powdered sugar if desired.
April 15, 2015: Here’s a picture of the cake after I adjusted for the butter in the topping and the cinnamon in the cake batter! I felt like it needed something decadent, so I poured some home made caramel sauce on the cake.