Nailed it or Failed it: Banana pound cake

Today’s recipe was copied from an old issue of Southern Living magazine and was submitted by Janet Bean of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Banana Pound Cake

1 cup shortening

1/2 cup butter, softened

3 cups sugar

5 large eggs

3 ripe bananas, mashed

3 tablespoons milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

Beat shortening and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer about 2 minutes or until creamy.

Gradually add sugar, beating 5 to 7 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until yellow disappears.

Combine mashed bananas, milk and vanilla.

Combine flour, salt, and baking powder; add to shortening mixture alternately with banana mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.  Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.

Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove cake from pan, and let cool completely on wire rack.

I decided to make this cake after a dear lady brought cheese, crackers and fruit to my workplace as a thank you.

Friday before leaving work, there were a few bananas on the break table and I decided I’d take them home, bake something, and bring it to my co-workers on Monday.

Over the weekend, I started looking through my huge stack of dessert recipes for something that required bananas. To my surprise, I only found two recipes with bananas and decided on banana pound cake.

On Sunday morning, I sat the butter out to soften while we were at church. After we got home and ate lunch, I was ready to bake.

I greased and floured a tube pan, heated the oven and began gathering the ingredients for the cake.

I combined the shortening and butter in my stand mixer and gradually added the sugar while it continued mixing.

I did stop the mixer to add the eggs, one at a time just like the recipe stated. When the last egg had been added and the yellow had disappeared into the mixture, I turned the mixer off.

I mashed the bananas on a plate. Instead of pouring them into a bowl, I had the bright idea to add the vanilla and milk and gently stir to combine the three items while still on the plate.

I probably could have done that better if I’d used a dinner plate instead of a salad plate.

Mixing the vanilla into the mashed bananas was pretty easy, but when I poured the milk on top, the plate overflowed.

I tried to gently fold the milk into the bananas, but it was spilling over the edge of the plate, so I just stopped and moved on to combining the dry ingredients in a bowl.

I added about one-third of the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl. After it was combined with the shortening, butter and sugar mixture, I carefully picked up the plate of banana, vanilla and milk and took baby steps toward the mixer.

With a few drips, I made it and poured about half into the bowl and turned the mixer to combine the ingredients.

Next, I dumped in another third of the dry ingredients and let the mixer spin a few times before adding the remaining banana mixture, then the last of the dry ingredients.

With that out of the way, I filled the tube pan with batter and placed it in the oven.

While the cake baked, I started cleaning up the mess I’d made. Yes, there was definitely a mess.

I tested the cake after an hour and 20 minutes but it wasn’t done. I placed some foil over the top so it wouldn’t get too brown and let it bake 15 more minutes. The skewer came out clean that time and I let the cake cool.

A couple of hours, later I decided it was time to give the cake a try. The cake was still a little warm and we both enjoyed it.

Brad liked it because it wasn’t overly sweet. He likes bananas and thought the cake had a good flavor. I loved the cake. I like pound cake and I like bananas, so the combination was a winner.

The next day, I sliced most of it up to take to work. I also sent some slices with Brad to share with some friends.

The banana pound cake was a hit. My coworkers Michala and Cody both tried it immediately. Michala said it was yummy, while Cody went on to say the crunch of the outer layer was great.

Blake, another co worker wanted to know what it was. When I said banana pound cake, he wanted to know what pound cake was. I could hardly believe my ears. “What’s pound cake? Well it’s just about the best thing ever,” I wanted to say. He finally tried it and said, “That’s pretty good.”

Hands down this is a Nailed It recipe. I’ll be adding it to my self-made cookbook and am trying to decide how long I should wait to make it again.

After a trip to the doctor and stepping on the scale, I probably need to wait a while.

Sarah Condley is an amateur baker and chef who is compiling a cookbook of her favorite recipes.