21 Jan2013


I love banana cake so much that I tend to try 2-3 new recipes for it every year — this one by David Lebovitz is terrific — moist and redolent with banana flavor. The original recipe zhugges up the base banana cake, adding a chocolate frosting and salted candied peanuts on top of that… but I never got beyond the cake! I like to buy the best (often lakatan) bananas I can find, then intentionally let them get overripe and black and mushy so that I can make a flavorful banana cake! Needless to say, my banana suki thought I was mad crazy when I asked for seriously overripe bananas… she didn’t have any, and gave me a whole bunch of perfectly ripe bananas as a Christmas present and told me to just wait until they turned black… :)


This recipe is from Mr. Lebovitz’s book, “Ready for Dessert” — a photo of it appears on the cover of the book. I made several recipes from this book over the holidays and was very pleased with the results. If you want to try this cake, see the recipe, here. Sorry, was too lazy to re-type the ingredients and method. But the cake was absolutely delicious and you need to check out this recipe if you are a fan of banana cake.


A few notes on getting this done well. The bananas must be overripe. Mush them and make sure they are gelatinous and fragrant. The espresso powder is a surprising but welcome addition, so is the cinnamon. Use lots of pecans, and toast them first. Walnuts are an alternative, but pecans ramp up the flavor. I didn’t have enough sour cream, so I added heavy cream and it turned out nicely. Thank you Mr. Lebovitz for what is definitely one of my top 3 banana cake recipes in my ever-running and changing list of banana cake recipes… :)

P.S. On banana cakes drying out. I find that cakes made with oil (vegetable or olive) tend to stay moist longer, and even after a stint in the fridge. Cakes made with butter generally seem to dry out faster. But then again, this isn’t a big deal in our household, as banana cakes don’t really last that long, and refrigeration is often not required…



  1. ami says:

    The original recipe with chocolate looks so decadent. Wow

    Jan 21, 2013 | 9:09 am


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  3. jakbkk says:

    delicious….will try this one day. thanks.

    Jan 21, 2013 | 9:18 am

  4. Footloose says:

    Bletting, allowing fruit to over-ripen (pinalulumon in Tagalog), is almost exclusively done here only with medlar. Even the Cake Bible’s banana cake which is my go to banana cake recipe makes no mention of this. It intensifies its flavor which bananas available here actually are in need of. I’m going to try this recipe soon because of the pecans and the cappucino element (plus I am sold on practically anything with DL’s imprimatur) although I am partial to Rose’s recipe because it calls for lemon rind which in combination with the banana flavor gives off a jasmine scent.

    And you guys back there are indeed fortunate because you have access to lakatan. I worked with a Jamaican guy once who bragged they have the best bananas and they are called lakatan. He did not know it originated down our way.

    Jan 21, 2013 | 9:19 am

  5. Betchay says:

    I will try this out soon.Your previously published banana cake recipe has become a mainstay in our household. Am sure this will be a mainstay too!

    Jan 21, 2013 | 9:24 am

  6. rac says:

    my 2 cents: a couple of teaspoons of good rum enchances the banana flavour and mayonnaise to keep it moist.

    Jan 21, 2013 | 10:16 am

  7. Suzette says:

    I’m a fan of banana cakes. I love the smell in the house when it’s baking.

    Jan 21, 2013 | 11:06 am

  8. Jannah says:

    I love banana cake so much, look delish.

    Jan 21, 2013 | 12:00 pm

  9. redberry says:

    I have tried your and Mr. Lebovitz’s recipe for banana cake (from your earlier posts)…both are very good. I must try this one with the espresso and of course the frosting! Thanks for sharing.

    Jan 21, 2013 | 1:43 pm

  10. Joy says:

    Hi MM, the platter you are using, is that crystal antique? I sort of inherited something very similar from my mother-in-law.

    Jan 21, 2013 | 2:05 pm

  11. JB says:

    Must. Share. This. With. Wife. :)

    Jan 21, 2013 | 4:54 pm

  12. Marketman says:

    Joy, I believe it’s cut glass, pre-war, inherited from my grandmother. But while it’s beautiful and interesting, it isn’t crystal and it’s more sentimental than intrinsic or collectible value… perhaps a few thousand pesos at most.

    Jan 21, 2013 | 8:18 pm

  13. joey @ 80 breakfasts says:

    I am also a big fan of banana bread/cake (in fact I have multiple recipes on my blog too because I never tire of trying new ones out!). I’ll definitely add this to my list!!

    Jan 21, 2013 | 11:46 pm

  14. Nina says:

    Loved, loved DL… his humor and foolproof recipes! My go-to guide for anything Paris (esp. patisseries, chocolates, and restaurants).

    Jan 22, 2013 | 12:38 am

  15. Footloose says:

    If intended as a snacking cake as opposed to dessert, I can’t blame you for not going all out into the mocha icing and peanut brittlely topping that the recipe suggests. Just too sweet, in all likelihood geared towards the American palate. Sa picture pa lang e mukang masyadong very rich na.

    Looking at other aspects though, I admire DL’s humor (self-deprecating, no doubt) about his tenuous command of French. I was traumatized too in my early attempts traveling in France. There was this ornery pharmacist who almost bit my head off correcting my dropping the final s of cassis. Cassiss m’sieu, cassiss!, he hissed. Yet another reason for traveling while young. Your sensibilities are still resilient and able to shrug off slings and arrows of outrageous natives.

    Jan 22, 2013 | 9:38 am

  16. Susie says:

    MM, try the ginger cake recipe in the same book. Life changing experience :-)

    Jan 22, 2013 | 10:33 am

  17. Pamela says:

    this is the banana recipe from David Lebovitz too that i use all the time http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2007/09/banana-bread-or-1/
    i get overripe bananas (lacatan) from sm savemore. i believe they repack those that dont get sold. around 5-6 pcs. per pack cost between fifteen to seventeen pesos. instead of chocolate chips, i just chop up some dark chocolate.

    Jan 22, 2013 | 12:20 pm

  18. Nina says:

    That was a good one, Footloose. I believe the French are very protective, to say the least of their language, hahaha. Have you experienced being yelled at bec. you were touching a produce? That’s another no-no…yikees! They would not hesitate to correct you… and since I go there often, I just stop taking it personally, C’est la vie. But, I also dealt with the most kind-hearted and generous people I’ve met in Europe esp. when you start your conversation the way they want it… am sure you’ve heard about it/familiar with it? Anyways, DL’s episodes re kitchen remodeling in Paris was funny and traumatic at the same time. How about his episodes with the utility companies and post office? Makes you feel very lucky to live in other places other than France (or Europe?).

    Jan 22, 2013 | 11:55 pm

  19. Footloose says:

    No because that much I was aware of even from the start. Here I was back in 2008 re this very subject. “you can run into a lot of trouble if you did that in a French market where touching the fruit display is a big no no. Yes in the cheese shop, you can press, poke and palpate to your heart’s content” but interfere with their fruit pyramid and you’re chop liver. I’m grateful for my all-asian appearance, however, they seem to hold in reserve their most withering contempt for Americans.

    Jan 23, 2013 | 12:40 am

  20. Meg says:

    The secret ingredient for this moist DL banana cake is sour cream or yogurt. This is a tested way of making banana cakes moist and soft and not overdry and crumbly. I put crumbled walnut and dark brown sugar on top of my banana cake.

    Jan 25, 2013 | 5:12 am

  21. Tracy says:

    Oh yes, back in college bananas would routinely be left unnoticed and get overripe, but when made into banana muffins… gone in a day. We froze our overripe bananas, so that they don’t have to be made into bread immediately. That also made them mushy and ready to be baked once thawed.

    Jan 27, 2013 | 4:24 pm

  22. AM says:

    Plain greek yogurt like FAGE is a good alternative to sour cream. It will keep the banana cake or bread moist.

    Jan 29, 2013 | 1:20 pm

  23. Shalimar says:

    top with cinnamon cream frosting… and with a hint of nutmeg ! oh lala.

    Feb 1, 2013 | 9:48 pm

  24. Sheila says:

    Just want to say that I’ve been a longtime fan of your blog. And banana cakes. ;)

    May 2, 2013 | 11:11 am


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