Banana cake made with oil is a light and decadently sweet treat. Serve banana cake as a tasty and healthy dessert, which is rich in potassium from the bananas it contains. Because bananas and vegetable oil both add moisture to any baked goods, your finished cake will be deliciously rich and soft in texture.
Let Them Eat Cake
When making your banana cake, use cake flour, which contains less protein and more acid than all-purpose or whole wheat flour, and results in a lighter, fluffier texture to your finished product. Using bread, whole wheat or all-purpose flour to make your banana cake will cause it to have a dense and chewy texture. To make a banana cake without having to worry about the type of flour, simply use a vanilla cake mix that calls for oil as the base for your banana cake, adding in a few mashed bananas to it. Because the bananas will add extra moisture to the cake, you can reduce the oil called for in your recipe by one-quarter, which will also reduce some of the fat content.
Don't Throw Out Those Bananas
To make a moist and naturally sweet banana cake, you'll need to use over-ripe brown bananas, along with vegetable oil. Very ripe bananas that are brown contain more sugar than those that are green or yellow because the starches that the bananas contain covert to sugar as they ripen, according to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension website. These bananas also have a soft texture and are easier to mash into your cake recipe. If you only have green or yellow bananas on hand, place them in a paper bag with an apple or tomato overnight to ripen them more quickly. You can also use ripe, but not over-ripe, bananas in your cake, mashed with a little honey for added sweetness.
Oil to the Rescue
Vegetable oil is not only a healthier option in your banana cake than butter, because of its polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat content, but it also adds moisture. Use oil with a neutral flavor, such as canola oil, which won't interfere with the flavor of your bananas. Oil tends to coat the flour in your cake batter very well, even better than solid fats such as butter or shortening, therefore resulting in a tender, moist cake. Cakes made with oil usually contain eggs or some type of leavening agent such as baking soda or baking powder because oil doesn't become aerated when mixed the way solid fats do.
Putting it All Together
You can add many extras to your basic banana cake, which usually consists of bananas, flour, eggs, vegetable oil and sugar, along with leavening agents and liquids such as milk or buttermilk. Vanilla extract adds a pleasant flavor to a banana cake, or you could add some cocoa powder for a chocolate version. Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and orange zest add a little zing to the recipe. Substitute two egg whites for each egg in your recipe to make a healthier, lighter version. Grease your pan with extra vegetable oil to keep it from sticking. Serve your cake with a bit of cream cheese frosting, chopped nuts, a sprinkling of powdered sugar or a sugary glaze on top.
- United States Department of Agriculture: Basic Report: 09040, Bananas, Raw
- Ohio State University Extension: Modifying a Recipe to be Healthier
- University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension: South Florida Tropicals: Banana
- The Cake Mix Doctor; Anne Byrn
- King Arthur Flour: Cake Primer
- King Arthur Flour: Fats: The Baker’s Friend
- The Cake Mix Doctor Returns!: With 160 All-New Recipes; Anne Byrn
- Cook and Eat Better: Recipe Box: Banana Cake vs. Banana Bread
- TheHuffingtonPost.com: Flour Guide: Which Types To Use For Baking
- JoyofBaking.com: Types of Foam Cakes
- Chiquita Bananas: Banana Ripening & Storage
- BBC GoodFood: Banana Cake
- Weightloss.com.au: Low Fat Banana Cake Recipe
- Nigella.com: Oil Instead of Butter for Baking
- Betty Crocker: Easy Cake-Mix Banana Bread
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.