After immigrating to Canada our family lived in small rental flats until my parents saved enough money to put a down payment on our first house. The corner lot, two bedroom bungalow they purchased was bordered by short hedges and a white picket fence. This house was a mansion compared to previous accommodations.
Many years later I revisited the area and drove past the house. It certainly didn’t look as big as I remembered it from my childhood days and I wondered how our family of eventually four kids was able to live there. I must mention that my uncle and grandmother also lived with us there for several years.
My mind holds so many memories of those days and that house where we did most of our growing up. My sister and I quickly made friends and memories with the girls next door but my fondest memories by far are those of their mother, Mrs. Audrey Black.
Mrs. Black was a remarkable woman. As a child I admired her and as an adult I totally respect her memory. Her kindness and generosity spilled over into our lives as she regularly included us in many of her family outings.
How distinctly I remember one particular day when she took my sister and me to a special church event.
She had baked something to take that day and as she uncovered and placed it on the table I was simply awestruck! It was the most beautiful cake I had ever seen.
It towered over everything else on the table. Soft white icing swirled over the entire cake and what seemed to be a fresh snowfall of coconut covered the cake so delicately.
I still remember and will probably never forget the exact words that came to my mind that day. “One day I will make a cake just like that!”
I’ve made countless cakes over the years but have been especially fond of very tall cakes. It may very well be that Mrs. Black inspired my love of baking.
Although I usually bake from scratch, some recipes using mixes are too good to ignore when they produce such delicious results.
This Chocolate Banana Cake definitely qualifies as one of those recipes and unless someone asks for the recipe they need not know that it is made from a mix.
I’ve baked this cake in a Bundt pan with absolutely delicious results but it really does make a beautiful “very tall cake”.
Chocolate Banana Cake
1 package (2-layer size) chocolate cake mix
1 cup mashed fully ripe bananas (about 3)
1 cup sour cream
¼ cup vegetable or corn oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place cake mix in a medium bowl, make a well in the center and add the oil, eggs, sour cream and mashed banana.
- Beat with mixer until ingredients are well combined.
- Pour into 3 greased and floured 8 inch round cake pans
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Let rest in pans 5 minutes then remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.
- Fill and frost with favourite frosting or use Banana Cream Frosting (recipe follows).
1 package Jello instant Banana Pudding
1 cup milk
1 ½ cups whipping cream (35% cream)
- Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and beat with electric mixer until very thick.
- Makes enough frosting to fill 2 layers and frost cake.
Notes, Tips and Suggestions
- This recipe can be made in a Bundt Pan and baked for 50 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Bananas must be very ripe for best results. The worse they look the better they will work.
- Very ripe bananas freeze well. Place unpeeled bananas in a plastic bag and store in the freezer. Defrost, peel and use as needed.
- Try sifting cake mix before using to get rid of any lumps. Doing this also cuts down on beating time which produces a more tender cake.
- After greasing pans, line the bottom with a round piece of parchment paper. This makes getting the cake out of the pan much easier and in one piece.
- After frosting, coat sides of cake with finely chopped walnuts or grated chocolate.
- This cake mellows with age, make at least the day ahead for a delicious, moist cake.
- Store covered.