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It really depends upon the size of the pan you bake it in whether you end up with a banana cake or a tea bread.  For some, the cake (which I bake in a shallow bundt pan) is not as sweet as they might like, but for us it makes a tasty side for a hot cuppa “joe” or afternoon tea.   To make it a bit sweeter, drizzle on a plain or lemon-scented glaze or dust with confectioners’ sugar.  To make tea breads, just scrape the batter into either a 9-inch loaf pan or 3 of those little loaf pans.  Because the ripe bananas add so much moisture, either as a cake or bread, the baked result keeps very well.

1¾ cups sifted all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

⅓ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

⅔ cup sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup toasted walnut pieces (optional)

 

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Lightly coat the interior of your cake or loaf pan(s) with nonstick baking spray.  Set aside.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.  Set aside.

Place the butter in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle.  Mix on low to just soften.  Add the sugar, raise the speed to medium, and beat until light and creamy.  Beat in the bananas and vanilla.  Slowly add the flour mixture, beating to incorporate.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and using a rubber spatula, fold in the nuts.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan(s).  Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 45 minutes (for a large pan) to 30 minutes (for small pans) or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the tops are golden brown.  Remove from the oven and tip out of the pan(s) onto a wire rack to cool.

Serve warm or at room temperature.   May be stored, well-wrapped and refrigerated, for up to 1 week or frozen, for up to 3 months.

 

GLAZE:  All you have to do is combine about 1½ cups of confectioners’ sugar with a tablespoon of warm milk and a tablespoon of melted unsalted butter until it is smooth and runny.  If you want lemon-scented, replace the milk with lemon juice (and, if you like, a bit of lemon zest).  Drizzle the glaze over the still-warm cake and set aside to allow it to harden slightly.

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