Banana bread

Banana bread (Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times)

Dear SOS: Is it possible to find the recipe for Clementine's banana cake with frosting?

It is moist but not too dense. It almost tastes like banana bread with frosting, but every time I try it that way it comes out like a brick with mortar. Thanks.

~ Anne Carlock, Santa Monica

Dear Anne: The secret to this recipe is pastry flour (not cake flour) for a noticeably light crumb and the combination of very ripe bananas and a little buttermilk for rich flavor and super-moist texture. It's delicious topped with a little freshly whipped cream cheese frosting.

Clementine Bakery's banana cake

Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Servings: 12

Note: From Clementine Bakery in Century City. Pastry flour is available at baking and cooking supply stores.

Banana cake

2 2/3 cups pastry flour

2 2/3 cups sugar

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3 large or 4 small very ripe bananas

3 eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

3/4 cup canola oil

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Into a large bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, mash the bananas. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, until each is completely incorporated, then mix in the buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Finally, mix the dry ingredients into the batter just until thoroughly combined.

3. Pour into a 9-by-13-inch greased pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden-brown on top, a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool on a rack.

Cream cheese frosting and assembly



1 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature

5 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons sour cream

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a medium bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth and there are no lumps. Add the butter and whip until incorporated, then add the powdered sugar and the sour cream. Frost the top of the cooled cake, then slice and serve.

Each serving: 580 calories; 7 grams protein; 79 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fiber; 29 grams fat; 9 grams saturated fat; 90 mg. cholesterol; 375 mg. sodium.