So, as usual, I had some over-ripe bananas sitting on my counter and wanted to make something else besides my quick and easy banana bread or my favorite banana streusal cake.  But again, as usual, I was pressed for time and my hand is still not back to normal — so I wasn’t up for the burnt caramel banana tart, or the banana pudding that I am eager to make.  Instead I found a quick and easy and interesting banana idea in Flo Brakers Baking For All Occasions.  This one calls for poppy seeds and a lemon glaze and it just sang to me.  The banana flavor is really mellow here.  In fact Greg’s friend Sam (who really dislikes banana) was very reluctant to try, but the peer pressure was too much and he had no choice.  He said it was good despite the banana.  Matt gave it the thumbs up and Greg really liked it too.  We all loved the icing and I really enjoyed the poppy seeds mixed with the banana.  This has great texture and the poppy’s added a new dimension to the banana cake and the lemon glaze just brightened the whole sweet up.  Sylvie, Rob and Andy too really enjoyed these sweet treats.  You can make in muffin tins or cake rounds – play around and have fun.  Serve for brunch or dessert or with an afternoon cup of tea.  Enjoy-

banana poppy seed cake (slightly adapted from Flo Braker’s Baking for all Occasions):


1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds
3/4 cup mashed bananas (2 small or one large)
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk (well shaken)
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

lemon glaze

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest – finely grated
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
pinch or two of kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and line the bottom of a 10 x 2 inch round cake pan and then grease again and lightly flour – tapping out excess.  Any shape pan will do if you use an 8×8, the baking time will be less and you can make some muffins or mini cakes with the extra batter.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.  Place poppy seeds on top and set aside.  In a small bowl, stir together the bananas and buttermilk.  Set aside.

With the paddle attachment of you mixer, beat the butter on medium low until smooth, about a minute.  Scrape the bowl, then on medium speed, add the sugar in a nice steady stream and continue to beat until light and fluffy – about 3-5 minutes.  Stop here and there to scrape down the bowl.

On medium speed, add the eggs, just a little at a time (2 tablespoons) and mix until each addition is incorporated into the batter.  Continue to beat after all of the eggs are added until the mixture is fluffy and pale.  This should take about 3 minutes or so.

On the lowest speed, add the banana/buttermilk mixture and mix until blended.

Remove from mixer and then using a spatula, fold in the flour mixture in 3 additions and mix until the batter is smooth.

Pour into prepped pan and bake until it is golden and springs back when you touch it gently and the cake has pulled away from the sides of the pan – slightly.

Start your timer for 30 minutes – and then continue to check from there – it will all depend on the size of the cake pan you used.  Keep checking in 5-3-2 minute increments and pull when just done.  Try not to over-bake.

Let cool for 5-10 minutes, run a knife around the edges and then invert onto a cooling rack.  Turn right side up by inverting again with another cooling rack.  Or any way you can make this happen!

Let cool completely.  If your pan is decorative – you can keep in the pan and glaze the cake in it.


In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, lemon juice and zest, vanilla and dash of salt – until smooth.  Add the poppy seeds and then drizzle and spread all over the cake.


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