banana bread vs. banana cake

bread vs. cake

You have three over-ripe bananas waiting to be transformed. Are you going to make a banana bread or a banana cake? These two recipes will make the choice all the more difficult...

chocolate-y banana bread (from The New Best Recipe)
makes 1 loaf

2 C all-purpose flour
1 1/4 C mix of chocolate chips and pecans or walnuts (the classic question of adding chocolate and nuts is kind of a no-brainer for me...I add both)
1/2 C sugar (use a bit more if you aren't putting in chocolate chips)
3/4 teas baking soda
1/2 teas salt
3 very ripe, mushy, darkly bananas, mashed
1/4 C plain yogurt
2 eggs, beaten
6 Tbs unsalted butter
1 teas vanilla

Put oven rack in the lower-middle position. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan and dust with flour.

Whisk flour, sugar, soda, salt, and nuts/chips together in a large bowl. In another bowl, mix together bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla. Fold wet mix into the dry mix until just combined. The batter will be thick and chunky, but shouldn't have any streaks of white flour.

(bananas are disgustingly slurpy when you thaw them from a freezer!)

Bake until golden, and the cake test is clean (about an hour). Cool in the pan for 5 minutes or so before turning out unto a wire rack. And, as much as you hate to wait, the bread is better if you give it several hours to cool before you cut into it -- something to do with the flavours needing some alone.

Now for the contender: banana cake. This recipe comes from Joann, a.k.a. Max's mom. Apparently she wouldn't dream of wasting her ripe bananas on a loaf of bread. After partaking of her banana cake, I can see why -- I think I'm converted.

Joann's banana cake (from an ol' C&H sugar pkg)
makes a 13x9 sheet cake

1 1/4 C sugar
1/2 C butter
1/2 teas nutmeg
2 eggs
3 mashed, ripe bananas
1 teas vanilla
2 1/2 C all purpose flour
1 1/2 teas baking powder
1 teas baking soda
1/2 teas salt
1/2 C buttermilk*
1/2 C nuts -- optional

*To substitute for buttermilk, I used 1/2 C milk and the juice of 1/2 lemon.

Preheat oven to 350. Cream together sugar, butter, and nutmeg until nice n' fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Stir in bananas and vanilla.

Combine dry ingredients and beat into creamed mixture, alternately with buttermilk. Stir in nuts, if using. Spread batter in greased 9x13 pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until cake tester comes out clean.

Cream cheese frosting is a great addition, but not really necessary --this cake is sweet enough without it.

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