Banana Snack Cake

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...What follows is my attempt to make bananas and banana cake a bit more interesting. Buried in the annuls of music history is a song called "Yes, We Have No Bananas". It was popular in the 1920's and the phrase was used on signs posted by British grocers decades later to let patrons know they were in compliance with bans that prohibited the importation of the fruit during WWII. It's generally thought that the song was inspired by a banana blight in Brazil, but it is harder to identify who originated the phrase. Some credit Jimmy Costas, a Long Island grocer, for the catchphrase. Others believe the honor should be given to the cartoonist, Thomas Dorgan. Whatever the case may be, the song became the theme of the Outdoor Relief protests that took place in Belfast, Ireland in 1932. Ironically, it was one of the few secular songs that both the Protestants and Catholics knew and could sing together. Over the years, the song has lent its title to a book about the depression in Belfast and been mentioned or heard in the movies Sabrina and The English Patient. I'm told the phrase was used as late as 2006 in Australia, when a large portion of the country's banana crop was destroyed by a cyclone and caused a shortage for most of the year. Now, as it happens, my youngest grandsons have assured that I have bananas aplenty today. This moist and flavorful cake is one of my favorite ways to use them. If you like banana cake, I hope you'll give this version a try. The frosting is especially nice. Yes, we do have bananas, we do have bananas today. We also have Louis Prima's version of the song for those of you have never heard it.

Banana Snack Cake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Maureen Saunders



1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup mashed ripe banana

1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted


1/2 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dash salt

2 to 2-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

1 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted + chopped pecans for topping


1) To make cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch square pan. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture just until combined. Fold in banana and pecans. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack.

2) To make frosting: Cream butter in a small bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in milk, vanilla, salt and enough confectioners' sugar to achieve spreading consistency. Stir in toasted pecans. Frost cake. Garnish with additional pecans. Yield: 9 servings.

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