Banana Cake for My Grandmother’s Funeral

Banana Sour Cream Cake

I’m turning off comments for this post. In fact, I wasn’t sure if I would post at all, but I’ve mentioned my grandmother quite often so it seems fitting that I should let you all know that she died. She’d been sick for a while and her death did not come unexpectedly, but it’s still hard to believe we won’t see her again. She and my grandfather were a huge influence in my life and supported me in everything I did including my education. They were especially enthusiastic towards my love of cooking, and until she died, my grandmother kept track of all my cooking contest adventures and recipes. She was having trouble eating, but she still liked hearing about the recipes in detail.

Banana Sour Cream Cake

My mother and aunt have been planning the funeral. This morning, my mother called and asked if I’d provide cookies for the reception. I told her I was making oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with tahini today and would be glad to bring them. “It would be nice if you brought an old favorite, something classic.” She said. So I thought about it and decided to make something I know my grandmother would have loved.

This Sour Cream Banana Cake is from a 1980 Southern Living and I’ve been baking it since I was 10 years old. I’d bake the cake at home in San Antonio, then take it to my grandparents’ weekend house in La Grange, where our families would meet. Todd finds it funny that a 10 year old girl would bake cakes and take them to her grandparents, but to me it was normal and I’m pretty sure all the positive reinforcement they gave me for my hobby played a big part in my current love of cooking.

Banana Cake Sour Cream Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Banana Sour Cream Coffee Cake is a cake disguised as banana bread. Shortening is key to the texture, but you can substitute butter if you need to.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 10
  • 1/2 cup pecans; chopped and toasted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup shortening (I use butter flavored Crisco)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed bananas, about 2 large
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 12 cup (10 inch) Bundt pan with flour-added cooking spray or grease well.
  2. Combine pecans, 1/4 c sugar, and cinnamon; stir well, and set aside.
  3. Combine shortening and 1 cup sugar; cream until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, bananas, and vanilla; stir in sour cream. Combine remaining dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture, and stir just enough to blend.
  4. Sprinkle half of reserved cinnamon mixture into bottom of prepared pan; spoon half of batter into pan. Sprinkle remaining cinnamon mixture over batter; spoon remaining batter into pan. Bakeat 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool cake 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Loosen edges of cake, if necessary. Invert cake on serving plate; serve warm or cold.
  5. Makes 1 10 inch cake


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