Cake of the Day: Banana Buttermilk Bread from ‘The Violet Bakery Cookbook’

Every day, Yahoo Food features delectable cakes. They taste good, they look good, and they’re made by good people — talented bakers from around the world. Today, owner Claire Ptak of East London’s Violet Bakery shares a cake to go bananas for from her new cookbook The Violet Bakery Cookbook.


Banana Buttermilk Bread, the most popular cake from Violet Bakery in London. (Photo: Kristin Perers)

By Claire Ptak

Banana Buttermilk Bread
Makes one 10 by 4-inch loaf cake, which cuts into 8 slices

For the first five years of Violet, I resisted adding banana bread to the menu. It always seemed to me like something you only made at home, with old bananas. I am not a huge fan of banana and, indeed, was never a huge fan of cake made from them. Eventually, however, I grew tired of telling customers we didn’t have it and set out to make a version I could be proud of. This cake is now one of the most popular items on our menu, and for good reason.

Butter, for greasing the pan
6 very ripe bananas
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon dark rum
2 eggs
1/3 cup cultured buttermilk or plain yogurt
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons sugar

Preheat the oven to 355°F (320°F convection). Butter a 10 by 4-inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper.

Reserve half a banana for the top of the cake and mash the remaining bananas well.

In a bowl, whisk together the oil, brown sugar, vanilla, rum, eggs, and buttermilk or yogurt. Add the mashed banana and set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Fold this into the banana mixture until just combined, then pour into your prepared pan. Smooth the top with an icing spatula or rubber spatula and place the reserved banana half, cut lengthwise, on top. Sprinkle with the sugar.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean and the top of the cake has set and starts to caramelize. I sometimes use a kitchen blowtorch to help this along. Leave to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Reprinted with permission from The Violet Bakery Cookbook, by Claire Ptak (Ten Speed Press).


The Violet Bakery Cookbook by Claire Ptak. (Photo: Kristin Perers)

More cakes to go bananas over:

Caramelized Banana Upside Down Cake

Banana-Nutella Cake

Banana-Rum Icebox Cake