1/2cupbutter, salted or unsalted, at room temperature
1 1/2cupswhite granulated sugar
2largeeggs, at room temperature, slightly beaten
1tspvanilla extract, or vanilla bean paste
1cupripe banana, mashed
2cupsall purpose flour, measured with the spoon and level method
1/2tspsalt, reduce to 1/4 tsp if using salted butter
1/2cupmilk, whole or 2% milk recommended, at room temperature
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Take your butter, eggs and milk out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature before starting.
Preheat oven to 350F (regular bake/not fan assisted). *Reduce temperature by 25F for glass pans or very dark (black) baking pans.
Prepare an 8x8-inch square cake pan or 9-inch round cake pan or springform baking pan (or 9x13-inch pan if doubling the recipe) by spraying with baking spray, cooking spray or by brushing lightly with vegetable oil. If you want to remove the entire cake from the pan easily, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter at medium speed for 1-2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low and gradually add the sugar until all the sugar has been added. Break the eggs into a small bowl and beat with a fork slightly. Add eggs to the batter and beat in thoroughly. Scrape down the bowl well and remix briefly. Add mashed banana and vanilla and beat in.
In a medium bowl, whisk dry ingredients together the flour, baking soda and salt. With mixer on medium-low, add the flour mixture to batter, alternately with the milk. (That means to add 1/3 of the flour, followed by 1/2 of the milk, the next 1/3 of the flour, the remaining milk and then the remaining flour mixture). Mix just until combined and smooth. (Do not over-mix after adding the flour).
Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth and level the top of the batter.
Bake at 350F 35-40 minutes (for 8x8 or 9-inch round cakes), or until a tester inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. (9x13 may take slightly longer. If doing a 1/2 recipe in a loaf pan, start checking earlier). Baking time will vary, depending on oven and baking pan. Check regularly after 30 minutes of baking. Avoid opening the oven door until you feel that the cake is ready to be tested. It is ready to be tested when it is slightly domed (not concave on top) and evenly golden.
Remove cake from oven and allow to cool in the pan completely, or at least 20-25 minutes, before removing from the pan to a wire rack to cool.
See below for some optional frosting options. If frosting, ensure that the cake is fully cooled before adding any frosting.
Baking Pan Options: You can use any of the following baking pans. You can use the scale recipe buttons on the Recipe Card below to increase or decrease the recipe ...For the base recipe (1X): 8x8-inch square cake pan 9-inch round cake pan or springform panFor a double recipe (2X): 9x13-inch cake panFor a mini cake (1/2X): 8x4-inch loaf panFrosting Options: All recipes for a small 8x8 or 9-inch round cake. Double for a 9x13 cake.Cream Cheese Frosting: 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature 2 Tbsp butter, at room temperature 1 tsp vanilla 1 1/2 cups icing/confectioners' sugarCream together cream cheese and butter. Mix in vanilla. Add confectioners sugar and beat until smooth.Brown Butter Frosting: 1/4 cup butter 2 cups icing/confectioners' sugar 1 1/2 Tablespoons milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extractMelt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until bubbling and golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla until a smooth.Brown Sugar Frosting: 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed 2 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature 3 Tablespoons milk 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups icing/confectioners' sugarIn a medium saucepan, bring brown sugar, butter and milk to a boil over medium heat. Boil, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the frosting to cool to lukewarm. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until frosting reaches spreading consistency.You can also sprinkle the frosting with chopped walnuts or pecans. If using cream cheese frosting, refrigerate cake to store.Nutritional information listed is for cake only and does not include any optional frosting.