Gold Nugget Cake

I know. Another cake.

This one wasn’t even in my plans for this week, but I had some over-ripe bananas and a banana cake recipe I have been waiting to try. With a 3 year-old who devours bananas, I rarely have any that last long enough to make their way into baked goods. But there they were and I had a little time to spare. Why not bake a 1940s cake? I believe that if given the choice between baking a cake and not baking a cake, you should always choose to bake the cake.

But have you ever had one of those days when everything you touch seems to fall apart? Today was one of those in my kitchen. In fact, this cake almost didn’t make it on to the blog at all. Both layers stuck to the pan and I had to put the cake back together on the cake stand. I didn’t have enough powdered sugar to make the frosting thick enough to spread. I didn’t have fresh bananas to decorate the top. The cake looked rough.

Then I tasted it.

I knew I needed to share this recipe no matter how bad the cake looked.

Gold Nugget Cake

  • 2 c sifted flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c sour milk or buttermilk
  • 1 c mashed bananas (2-3)
  • 1/2 c shortening
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 bananas, sliced

Sift flour, baking powder, soda, and salt together. Add milk to mashed bananas. Cream shortening with sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. Add sifted dry ingredients and milk mixture alternately in small amounts. Beat well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Pour into greased pans and bake in a moderate oven (350°F) for 30 minutes. Cool. Put layers together with banana frosting and sliced bananas. Spread frosting over top and sides of cake and garnish with sliced bananas. Makes 2 (8inch) layers.

Banana Frosting

  • 1/2 c mashed banana (1 large banana)
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 c butter
  • 1 lb (3 1/2 c) confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Mix banana and lemon juice together. Cream butter with 1 c sugar, then add banana and enough remaining sugar to make mixture thick enough to spread. Will cover tops and sides of 2 (8 inch) layers.


I am so glad I decided to bake something with those bananas. This cake tasted like banana pudding with vanilla wafers. Sure, the frosting could have been thicker and the cake layers could have been nicer, but the way this cake tasted made up for any cosmetic flaws it might have. If you are a fan of banana pudding, you really need to try this one out. The mashed banana made the cake moist and flavorful. It’s wonderful served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. With all of the sugar required to make the cake and frosting, it’s not the healthiest dessert you can have, but I highly recommend it as a treat. It’s so, so good!

The cake recipe was from the Culinary Arts Institute’s 250 Classic Cake Recipes from 1940.

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