You know that feeling when you’re expecting a certain recipe to be super complicated, but then it actually turns out to be super simple and straightforward? We love when that happens, and this banana magic cake is the perfect example. At first glance, these cake bars seem pretty involved; there’s a thick crust on the bottom, a creamy custard in the middle, and a spongey cake layer to top everything off. Three separate batters feels like way too much work, but here’s where the magic happens – it’s only ONE batter.
That’s right. Thanks to eggs and their ability to be separated and whipped up into very different components (light and fluffy egg whites vs. thick and ribbony egg yolks), when combined into one batter, the egg whites rise to the top of the cake and form the fluffy cake layer, while the other ingredients settle into the middle and bottom of the baking dish, forming the custard and crust layers. It’s just like magic!
If you live for banana bread or banana cream pie or anything with banana in it at all, these banana magic bars are for you. They’re dense, yet still light and creamy, and they’re absolutely delicious – and addictive. Easy to make and even easier to eat, these are great for any get-together, be it a brunch or a potluck, or just as a thinking-of-you surprise for a friend. Try ‘em out and see for yourself!
Banana Magic Cake
Serves 9-12; 1 hour
- 2 cups lukewarm milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup banana, mashed
- 4 large eggs, separated, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- powdered sugar, garnish
- Preheat oven to 325º F and line an 8x8-inch baking dish with parchment paper, or grease with non-stick spray.
- In a medium bowl or mixer, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside until ready to use.
- In a separate large bowl or mixer, beat egg yolks, sugars (white and brown) and vanilla extract until ribbony and lightened in color.
- Mix in melted (and slightly cooled) butter and mashed banana until incorporated, then add in flour, cinnamon and nutmeg until just combined.
- Beat in milk until mixture is smooth, then, working in batches, fold in egg whites.
- Pour batter into prepared baking dish and place in oven.
- Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until top is golden brown and center jiggles just slightly. Tent with foil, if necessary.
- Once center is just set, remove from oven and let cool, then chill until set. Dust with powdered sugar, slice into squares and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Oh My Goodness Chocolate Desserts