The story that accompanies this cake is extremely short: I’m on an insane dose of steroids. Steroids make a person hungry. They make me crave, in particular, anything remotely sweet. (Steroids also make you believe you’re invincible, which is why I reorganized the living room and four bookshelves this weekend.)
I’ve made it twice now, in three days. It’s the love child of banana bread and the simplest vanilla cake, just sturdy enough to carry across the living room in the palm of your hand, if you’re into that sort of thing, but sweet enough to dependably call a dessert.
The first time, I noticed that it only took me about ten minutes to scrape together. The second time, it took 8, but then I realized I’d already heated the oven and the milk and eggs were out on the counter. That adds a portion of a minute, easily.
So it might take you eleven minutes. Twelve, if you’re a deliberate masher or if you have an unreasonably large kitchen.
For the record, the kind of steroids I’m on do not make one a better athlete. Unless eating cake is a sport. In that case, sign me up.
Laced with cardamom, this stir-and-dump cake is a good, reliable crutch for the dessert-desperate. Serve the cake warm, with whipped cream and sliced bananas, if you’re so inspired.
TIME: 10 minutes active time
MAKES: 8 servings
Vegetable oil spray
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 very ripe bananas, well mashed
1 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9” cake pan with the vegetable oil spray and set aside.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, cardamom and salt together into a mixing bowl and set aside.
Mash the bananas in the bottom of another mixing bowl. Add the sugar, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla, and whisk until well blended. Add the dry ingredients and the oil, and gently fold the batter together with a spatula, just until no dry spots remain.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake the cake on the middle rack for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake is lightly browned at the edges and just barely beginning to crack in the center.
When the cake is done, let it cool for about 10 minutes. Run a small knife around the edge. Using oven mitts, place a cooling rack on top of the cake pan and flip the cake and the rack together. Remove the cake pan, so the cake is upside-down on the rack. Place a serving plate upside-down on the bottom of the cake, and flip the plate and the rack together, so the cake is now right side-up on the serving plate. Serve warm.