Going Bananas (for my Big Brother)

courtesy of angrytrainerfitness.com

courtesy of angrytrainerfitness.com

This is going to sound weird, but I am always so disappointed when we don’t eat all of the bananas before they start to go bad.  My family seems to go in spurts with our banana eating.  Some weeks we eat two bunches between Monday and Friday and at other times, like a couple of days ago, there they hang, on the banana tree turning brown and mushy.  It annoys me beyond anything reasonable, I’m sure, even if it’s just one lone, soggy banana.  I think it’s my mother’s fault (of course) because the minute she started to see brown spots on her bananas she would say “Oh, bananas are going bad.  I better find something to do with them.”  By “do with them” she meant “bake with them.”  My older brother, as opposed to my oldest brother (don’t worry, he has his own food idiosyncrasies that I will expose one day), loved that moment because he knew what was coming.  Banana Sheet Cake.  He loved, no, LOVED it!  He would eat the majority of the cake!  Of course at 6’2″ he was the tallest person in the family so, I suppose if you are really reaching for an excuse you could say that he had the biggest appetite but, that would not be the real reason.  He laid claim to the cake and he would stand there, over it, knife in hand and a glass of milk.  While he chatted, he would proceed to cut a small square, followed by another small square, then another, and another until a whole vertical row of the cake was gone.  I’m telling you, if you were going to get some, you had to move quickly.

Funny what memories three rotting bananas can conjure up, huh?  Anyway, my recipe is a twist on my momma’s, but just as good.

Banana Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

1 1/2 c. all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 c. sugar

1 1/4 c. mashed banana

1/2 c. vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1 8 oz. can  crushed pineapple, drained

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl, whisk thoroughly. Combine banana and remaining ingredients and mix well.  Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and blend completely with a wooden spoon.  Pour batter into a greased and floured 13 x 9 inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool completely, in the pan, on a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1  3 oz. package of cream cheese, softened

1/4 c. butter, softened

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 1/4 c.  sifted powdered sugar.

Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed until creamy.  Add vanilla and powdered sugar, beating until smooth.  Spread on top of cooled cake.

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