My youngest son & me

My youngest son & me

About me

My name is Tanja (Sater) Miller and I'm excited about sharing my journey of converting my favorite recipes to gluten free! I am not a fancy cook - I prefer just a casual, fun meal. I am married with grown children (and have small grandchildren) & 3 dogs. I work full time as a registered nurse & I am a geek. Yes, I love Star Trek, Star Wars, Fringe, Firefly, Farscape and most of the other Scify shows. You will probably see a little of my geek side come out once in a while! Please join me on my journey of cooking, baking & converting every day recipes into yummy gluten free meals that everyone can enjoy (not just those with a gluten allergy!) Don't be shy about checking out my recipes....I have the gluten free version along with the regular recipe that I adapted from!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Banana Snack Cake

Grandma Goldie's Banana Snack Cake Recipe. This is a recipe that I have had for many years. My grandma Goldie took this snack cake to a family reunion and I fell in love with it. It is a thin banana cake with a silky, delicious melt in your mouth cream cheese frosting. I swear I could eat the entire cake myself! It is great for a potluck, large crowd, brunch, dessert or game day. (I have been known to eat this for breakfast!) This is one of my most requested recipes. I will say that I am a bit of a cream cheese frosting snob. This recipe ROCKS! Don't down play this cake with a store-bought version of cream cheese frosting. There is NO COMPARISON!

Okay, with all that being was difficult to convert it to gluten free. I wanted to maintain the moist, dense flavorful cake without it turning crumbly with gluten free flours. I really had to play with this recipe to get it to taste just like the original. Although, I changed a few of the ingredients to accommodate the gluten free turned out awesome! I will include the regular recipe below for those of you that don't have a gluten allergy and then I will give you the gluten free version which is slightly different but you would NEVER know it. It tastes the same! Yay!

This is one of my 2 1/2 year old grand-daughter's favorite cakes. She is a little chocolate lover but she makes an exception for this cake with the silky cream cheese frosting! (To tell you what a little chocolate lover she is...I gave her a granola bar the other day. She opens it, takes a bite...looks at me and said "Omi, this is broken. There is no chocolate in here." You just have to chuckle when they say the cutest things!)

I am making my Grandma Goldie's Banana Snack Cake recipe (gluten free version) for my husband's retired military group meeting this afternoon. I had some ripe bananas and some cream cheese I got on sale last week so I already had all the ingredients. It goes together pretty quick, it is very affordable and it feeds a large crowd. You can add extras like chopped nuts, cranberries, raisins or coconut. I prefer it plain...just the way my grandma used to make it. Simple. I like to taste the true banana flavor with the silky, rich frosting. I don't want my mouth to be distracted with other added ingredients but that is my personal opinion. Besides...I know a couple of the guys in the group don't like coconut or raisins and I am not sure if anyone has a nut allergy. I tend to keep it simple when I am making it for a large group. That way everyone can enjoy a piece! :)

Grandma Goldie's Banana Snack Cake Recipe (My gluten free version):

Cake Batter:
  • 1/2 cup real butter or margarine (make sure margarine has 65% or more fat or it contains too much water and will not bake correctly). You can substitute Crisco.
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (I used unbleached sugar but you can use whatever you have on hand)
  • 3 eggs (use 4 eggs if they are small or 1/2 cup egg whites)
  • 4 ripe bananas (peels should have black spots on them but not be mushy)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda (original recipe only calls for 1 tsp. but with gluten free flour I had to add a little extra)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups flour (I used Betty Crocker Gluten Free Flour Blend today. Be sure to add 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum or guar gum if your gluten free flour blend doesn't contain it. You can use regular flour if you don't have a gluten allergy. If you are using regular flour then you can omit the xanthan gum).
  • 3 oz. cream cheese, softened (the original recipe does not call for this in the cake batter but I found it added some of the texture that I needed that you can't get when using gluten free flour. You won't taste it in the batter but it gives it a moist texture with no crumbling!)
  • 1 tsp. vinegar (white or apple cider vinegar). This will help lock in the moisture of the cake and bring out the flavor of the bananas. I use it in place of vanilla. It is an old hillbilly secret and it works! 
This is what bananas should look like
  I mix the bananas with the mixer to get them pureed. Add sugar, butter, vinegar, 3 oz. cream cheese and eggs. Beat until smooth. Mix in the baking soda, salt and flour. Pour into a greased 12.5"x17" cookie sheet with edges or a 10"x15"roasting pan. If you use a 9x13 pan then the cake with be thicker and you will need to bake longer. Bake the 12.5"x17" cake for 15-20 minutes in a pre-heated 350 degree oven until the edges are slightly golden and toothpick inserted comes out clean. If you are baking in a 9x13 size pan or two round 9" pans then you will need to bake a little longer. I would start off with 22 minutes and check every 3-5 minutes until done. You can also make these into cupcakes and bake 17-22 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool & Frost.

Banana cake batter

Spread into a greased 10"x15" roasting pan before baking

Silky Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe:
  • 4-5 oz. cream cheese, soft (don't use the whipped cream cheese)
  • 1/4 cup of real butter or margarine that contains at least 65% fat
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (I used the GMO free, gluten free version)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract, optional

Beat the cream cheese and butter until soft and creamy. (No lumps!) Add the vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar. The texture should be creamy and easy to spread. You can add fancy vanilla bean seeds if you have them. They are generally expensive and I don't usually have them on hand but they do add a nice extra vanilla flavor to the frosting. I sometimes have the vanilla bean paste and will substitute that in place of regular vanilla. This frosting also tastes awesome on pumpkin bars or spice cake! Well, tastes great on just about anything! ;)

Ready to eat!

Check out the silky frosting! Yummy!

Frosted in pan. Waiting to be cut into squares. I like the deeper pan if traveling so the foil doesn't mess up frosting!

My sample piece! Quality assurance ;)

Up close view. The cake is moist and flavorful. You can see it in the photo!

I left the top plain but you can sprinkle chopped nuts or cinnamon on top if you prefer

I hope you enjoy this super delicious yet affordable banana snack cake recipe. It is one of my family's absolute favorite recipes and I get requests for this frequently. It also freezes well. I have also baked the batter into 9" round pans for layers on a birthday cake and it turns out great also. It is so moist and doesn't have a crumbly texture or a fake banana taste.  It is a great way to use up those left over ripe bananas if you aren't in the mood for banana bread! Go ahead and try this potluck pleaser! 

Gluten Free Casually

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