Dana Treat – Treat Yourself

Banana-Date Tea Cake

Posted April 13, 2011

Banana-Date Tea Cake
Makes 1 large loaf

1 cup + 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3 medium bananas, very ripe
2 large eggs
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt
6 tbsp. (¾ stick) unsalted butter
¾ cup + 2 tbsp. sugar
1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
1¾ cups (about 8 oz.) dates, pitted and coarsely chopped

1 medium banana
2 tbsp. sugar

Preheat the oven to 325ºF.  Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.

This recipe is easily mixed by stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed or by hand with a wooden spoon.  In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda and stir too  mix.  Set aside.  Peel the bananas and place in a second bowl.  Mash with a fork until you have a chunky purée.  Add the eggs, vanilla, and salt to the bananas and stir to mix well.  Set aside.

In a third mixing bowl, beat the butter until light and creamy, about 2 minutes.  Slowly add the sugar and beat until light in color and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Slowly add the banana mixture and beat until incorporated.  Again scrape down the sides of the bowl, and then mix for anther 30 seconds to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated.

Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the banana mixture.  Then fold in the nuts and dates.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again, making sure all the ingredients are fully incorporated.

Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and smooth the surface with an offset spatula.  To top the cake, peel the banana and cut in half lengthwise.  Then place each half cut side down and cut in half lengthwise, to yield 4 long slices.  (DT: I didn’t do this quite right.)  Lay the slices on top of the batter.  Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour.  Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 20 minutes, and then invert onto rack, turn right side up, and let cool completely.  Serve the cake at room temperature.  It will keep, well wrapped, at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for about 1 week.

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