Happy Endings

This month, I thought I'd share a recipe that takes about 10 minutes to mix up and a little under an hour to cook. Why? Because the holidays are all about being able to entertain without losing your sanity. This dessert helps you work towards that goal.

This easy cake is based on a yellow cake mix that you can find at any grocery store. It's something many of us have sitting around in the pantry anyway. In fact, all of the ingredients for this cake are often found in your kitchen.

Like banana bread, this cake is best made with very ripe bananas. It's an especially nice recipe to whip up when the bananas that you were sure were going to be gone by now are still sitting patiently around to be eaten. If you don't have the time to attend to these ripe bananas when they've reached their ready point, simply peel them, pop them in a freezer bag and freeze them until you're ready to use them. I do this for this cake recipe, as well as banana bread and muffins. That way, I'm always ready to put together something sweet and fruity when the inspiration hits me!

One of the most wonderful things about this recipe is how easily it can be made and how elegant the final product looks. The topping is quickly mixed together and spread in the bottom of a bundt pan and comes out of the oven looking and tasting like a specialty caramel crunch coating over moist cake that reminds you and your guests of grandma's kitchen and the goodies that could be found there. And, there's something truly lovely about a perfectly formed bundt cake -- something special. So, treat your guests to a special treat that will leave them impressed and won't leave you exhausted! Enjoy.

Banana Nut Cake

  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. butter, melted
  • 1 pkg. yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 medium bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 1/4 c. olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

For the topping, combine the walnuts, brown sugar and butter. Mix well and pour the mixture into the prepared bundt pan, spreading evenly. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, walnuts and cinnamon. Add the eggs, banana, water and oil. Mix until well blended and pour over the walnut mixture in the prepared bundt pan.

Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. Carefully remove onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before serving. Store loosely covered.

  • Yields: 16 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes