Chesterman: Banana Cake Recipe

Dining critic Lesley Chesterman can be heard every Wednesday morning at 7:10 A.M. on CHOM 97 7 in Montreal.

For more recipes and kitchen tips, follow Lesley on Instagram: @lesleychestrman.

This recipe was in the original manuscript of my book but got cut and I ran a version of it in the Gazette ages ago but it’s still one of my favourites. Enjoy!

Banana Cake 
Serves 12

My inspiration for this recipe was the frozen, Sara Lee banana cakes of my youth, but as it’s homemade, it’s even better. It goes without saying that for the best banana flavour, be sure to use overripe bananas. I frost it with a cream cheese icing, but its also nice left plain.

  • 2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (250 mL) mashed banana (about 3 medium-size bananas)
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) buttermilk


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 C). Grease a 13- by 9-inch pan then line the bottom with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set two large spoonfuls of sugar aside.

In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with half the remaining sugar, then slowly incorporate the oil. Add the second half of sugar, beat until light in texture, then add the mashed banana and buttermilk, and mix well. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and beat until smooth.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the two spoonfuls of sugar until they hold soft peaks. Don’t over-whip them or the cake will rise and fall. Fold the whites into the base mixture in until blended.

Spread evenly in the prepared cake pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan, then frost with cream cheese icing.

Lesley Chesterman

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 6 tablespoons (80 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons butter (80 g), at room temperature
  • 2 cups (250g) icing sugar (sifted, if lumpy)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or rum

Beat together the cream cheese, butter, icing sugar, vanilla and lemon juice (or rum) until smooth and spreadable.

Lesley Chesterman

For more recipes and kitchen tips, follow Lesley on Instagram: @lesleychestrman.