[pinit] Are these lighter gluten free recipes becoming a ‘thing’ here on the blog? *Perhaps* Before we jump headlong into this moist and tender lighter recipe for gluten free banana cake, a few words about lighter recipes in general (well, a few more words – we have already had a few words on the subject when we made these lighter gluten free chocolate muffins, but who’s counting?). About those portion sizes…
This cake is made in a 9-inch x 12-inch baking pan. It’s not a tiny cake, but it’s not absolutely enormous either. Since I only provide nutrition information for these lighter recipes, and since this is a new thing for me generally (personally, I don’t count calories and I don’t think fat is in any way evil), I started looking around at other websites that provide nutrition information. I noticed something, well, curious. They tend to mess with the portion sizes quite a lot! That’s what I noticed. They might stretch a muffin recipe to make 16 instead of the 12 standard-size muffins it should make. Or they’ll slice a cake into slivers to keep the calorie count low. I think you can guess where I come out on this…
This cake makes 12 normal-size pieces. Sure, you can slice it into 16 pieces and lower the calorie-count per piece from nearly 200 calories (unfrosted) to closer to 150 calories (unfrosted). But that would be ridiculous. Why bother, if you’re just gonna ‘pick’? And since you’re a normal person, you’re gonna have 2 pieces, then.
I did provide separate nutrition information for the frosting, because if you’re really concerned with calories, don’t have the frosting. But it has real vanilla seeds in it. And it’s still delicious even though I used lighter cream cheese (something I don’t normally do because my love of cream cheese is pret-ty intense and they tend to call the lighter stuff something else that I can neither pronounce nor spell).
Oh, and a couple actual recipe notes: Bananas: Resist the urge to add more mashed ripe bananas. And please do measure by weight, not by banana. They vary so much! Seriously, if you load this up with bananas, your cake will be dense, will take forever to bake, and even when it does it will still have parts that seem raw. I made this cake 3 times and had to trash it all 3 times before I got the balance just right. And it killed me to waste ingredients just like it does you. For me, though, it’s an occupational hazard!
Substitutions: Since banana cake already has quite a lot of moisture from the bananas themselves, if you make any substitutions, you might have trouble! I know you’re going to ask anyway, but I can’t really recommend any subs since I had such a hard time nailing this recipe. As always, if you do make substitutions successfully, please let us all know in the comments!
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
5 tablespoons (70 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 tablespoons (72 g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (55 g) packed light brown sugar
1 egg (60 g, out of shell) + 2 egg whites (60 g total) at room temperature, beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup (200 g) mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium-size bananas, peeled and mashed)
1/2 cup (120 g) light sour cream (not nonfat)
Frosting 6 ounces light (1/3 less fat) cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup (86 g) confectioners’ sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract)
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease and line a 9-inch x 12-inch baking dish (not glass) and set it aside.
Make the cake. In a medium-size bowl, place the flour blend, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder and salt, and whisk to combine well. Set the bowl aside. Place the butter in the bowl of the stand mixer (or a large bowl with a hand mixer) and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar, then the egg, egg whites, vanilla and bananas, beating until well-combined after each addition. Add about 2/3 of the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl, then the sour cream, followed by the remaining dry ingredients, mixing to combine after each addition. The batter will be thick.
Scrape the cake batter into the prepared pan, and shake the pan from side to side and smooth with a wet spatula into an even layer. Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 22 to 24 minutes, or until the cake springs back when pressed gently in the center. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cake is cooling, making the frosting. Place all of the frosting ingredients in a large bowl (or the clean bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment) and beat with a hand mixer until smooth. Spread the frosting on top of the cooled cake and slice the cake with a sharp knife into 12 pieces. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information per piece of cake, as calculated with recipes.sparkpeople.com (I only provide nutrition info for recipes that I call “light” or “lighter”), assuming 12 pieces of cake:
Calories 192.8 | Total Fat 6.2 g | Cholesterol 30.3 mg | Sodium 202.1 mg | Potassium 100.8 mg | Total Carbohydrate 31.8 g (Dietary Fiber 0.8 g; Sugars 16.5 g) | Protein 3.0 g
Frosting adds the following per piece (assuming 12 pieces of cake):
Calories 45.8 | Total Fat 1.1 g | Cholesterol 4.5 mg | Sodium 43.2 mg | Total Carbohydrate 8.0 g (Sugars 7.7 g) | Protein 0.5 g