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A Taste of Sara Lee’s Banana Cake

  • 13 min read

If you love banana desserts, then this is one that you should try.

What Is The Recipe For Sara Lee’s Banana Cake?

The ingredients are simple enough to make at home.

You will need three large bananas (about 1 pound), two eggs, flour, baking powder, vanilla extract, sugar, butter or oil, milk and salt.

That’s all!

No special equipment needed.

Sara Lee makes its own version of their famous treat, which is available in grocery stores nationwide.

This sweet creation has been around since 1964, when the company was founded by Sara Lee Corporation in St Louis, Missouri.

It took off after an employee named Pat Williams created a new way to bake the cakes using only whole fat yogurt instead of sour cream.

In fact, the first batch of banana cakes were sold from the back of her car parked outside the plant in 1965.

Today, Sara Lee sells over 2 billion slices of banana cake every year, making it one of the best-selling baked goods in America.

And if you’re looking for something more than just another slice of cake, don’t worry — there are plenty of other options on the menu too.

A Taste of Sara Lee’s Banana Cake

How Does Sara Lee’s Banana Cake Taste?

Sara Lee has been around since 1867 as a food company, selling breads and cakes.

But their best-known product was likely the banana cake.

It came out way back in the 1920s, when bananas were still considered exotic fruit.

The original version included only flour, baking powder, eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla extract, milk, chopped bananas, raisins, nuts, and chocolate chips.

You could also add cinnamon to the batter.

Then there was an updated version from 1963 called “Banana Chocolate Chip” which added white chocolate to make it more interesting.

And another change appeared in 1972, where they replaced the raisins with walnuts.

However, by the 1980s, Sara Lee had dropped all references to bananas from its recipes.

They didn’t want people thinking that the cake contained actual bananas!

But now we have Sara Lee’s Banana Cake, which is based on the original recipe but includes some tweaks to modernize things.

Let’s take a look at how it tastes!

What Are The Ingredients In Sara Lee’s Banana Cake?

Sara Lee’s Banana Cake contains all natural ingredients, including eggs, milk, flour, sugar, vanilla extract, baking powder, and bananas.

It also includes some artificial flavors such as “natural banana flavoring” and “natural apple juice concentrate”.

The main ingredient in Sara Lee’s Banana Cake is real bananas.

If you want to make your own version at home, don’t forget about using ripe bananas for best results!

You can use frozen bananas if you prefer.

Frozen bananas have been flash-frozen so they are still soft when thawed out but will not melt down into mushy messes like fresh ones would do.

How Does Sara Lee’s Banana Cake Compare To Other Banana Cakes?

Sara Lee’s Banana Cake has been around for decades as part of their bakery line-up, but its popularity hasn’t waned over time.

It still remains popular among people who enjoy the sweetness of bananas combined with creamy cream cheese frosting.

If you want your banana cake to be extra decadent, then add some chocolate chips or chopped nuts on top, which will only elevate the taste further.

But if you prefer something simpler, don’t worry because there are plenty of ways to serve Sara Lee’s Banana Cake without adding anything else.

The key ingredient in Sara Lee’s Banana Cake is actually frozen bread dough (no surprise).

After baking, the cake gets topped off with a generous layer of creamy vanilla icing.

Then comes the final step – whipping up the whipped topping into soft peaks.

When all these steps come together, you end up with an indulgent treat that tastes like a lot more than what it really is.

But before we go on about how Sara Lee’s Banana Cake compares to other banana cakes, let us first talk about what makes Sara Lee’s so special.

A Taste of Sara Lee’s Banana Cake

How Long Does It Take To Make Sara Lee’s Banana Cake?

Sara Lee’s Banana Cake takes approximately 45 minutes from start to finish.

That includes mixing up the batter, baking in the oven for 30 minutes, and finally cooling off before frosting it and serving it up.

It isn’t too difficult to do if you have all your ingredients ready beforehand, but there are several steps to getting the cake done and looking its best.

  • Step 1 – Mix up the batter – This step is simple enough because all you need is bananas, eggs, oil, sugar, flour, vanilla extract, salt, and baking powder.
  • Step 2 – Bake it up! – After adding the dry ingredients into the bowl, mix them together until they become incorporated. Then add the wet ingredients (bananas) into the mixture and stir well so everything gets mixed evenly. Pour the batter into an 8-inch square pan and bake at 350 F degrees for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake.
  • Step 3 – Cool it down – Once the cake has baked for 30 minutes, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cooled, spread a layer of cream cheese icing over the top using a knife or spatula.
  • Step 4 – Top it off! – Top the cake with whipped topping, which will cover the entire surface of the cake. Sprinkle some powdered sugar over the top as well. Serve immediately while it’s still warm.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter (soft)
  • 1/4 cup shortening (soft)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon milk (nonfat)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon oil (light olive)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 5 medium ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese (room temperature)
  • Whipped Cream Icing
  • Powdered Sugar

Directions

  • In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and shortening with a paddle attachment on low speed until creamy. Add sugar, milk, egg yolk, oil, baking soda, salt, and vanilla and beat again until blended. Add mashed bananas and flour alternately until smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup of the sifted flour until combined.
  • Spread half of the batter in prepared pan. Spread remaining batter on top and trowel gently onto sides of pan.
  • Bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean.
  • Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pan by lifting edge around edges with a metal spatula. Place upside down on a plate and let stand overnight.
  • Run a sharp knife along side of cake. Invert onto a serving platter. Using a spoon, drizzle melted cream cheese icing over the top. Dust lightly with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

What Is The History Of Sara Lee’s Banana Cake?

Sara Lee Corporation was founded in 1873 as a bakery in New York City by German immigrant Frederick Franz Schott.

It first produced breads, cakes, and other baked goods for local bakeries.

In 1929, Sara Lee began selling its products nationally at retail stores.

In 1936, Sara Lee introduced its first line of frozen foods, which included ice cream bars and puddings.

By 1940, it had expanded into several other food categories.

Today, Sara Lee sells more than 100 different types of food products, including breakfast cereals, pet care items, snacks, and prepared meals.

The company has been owned by Kraft Foods since 1999. As of 2018, there are over 2,000 employees working in over 50 locations across North America.

Today we will focus on Sara Lee’s Banana Cake, which originated from the same New York bakery as the company itself.

This classic recipe uses two eggs instead of three, which makes it extra rich and moist.

Plus, it has a light brown sugar glaze instead of a dark molasses syrup.

Banana Cake is also known as “banana pudding cake,” but that name could refer to many different recipes.

So if you want to be certain about what kind of banana cake you are eating, check out our guide to identifying different kinds of banana cakes!

How Did Sara Lee’s Banana Cake Become So Popular?

Sara Lee was founded in 1866 by William A. Baker after he opened a small bakery on New York City’s Lower East Side.

He later renamed his business “Baker & Taylor Company,” which eventually became known as Sara Lee Bakery.

The company grew into an international empire, producing everything from chocolate bars to breadsticks.

In addition to its famous cakes, such as Chocolate Fudge Brownies and Lemon Meringue Pie, the company also developed other items like frozen pizza.

However, the most popular product from the brand has got to be their banana cream pies.

But how did they get there?

And what makes them so special?

Let’s take a look at the history behind Sara Lee’s Banana Cake!

A Taste of Sara Lee’s Banana Cake

What Are Some Interesting Facts About Sara Lee’s Banana Cake?

Sara Lee was founded in 1884 by William H. Sara when he opened his first bakery business on Wabash Avenue in Chicago.

At its inception, the company focused primarily on bread products, but eventually expanded into other baked goods as well.

In 1909, the company introduced its famous chocolate layer cake called “The Original Chocolate Fudge Cake”.

By 1920, Sara Lee had moved from being a small family-owned bakery to becoming an international corporation. It now has more than 4,000 employees around the world.

Today, Sara Lee is known for many different types of cakes, including their classic white and yellow sponge cakes, lemon bars, cookies, brownies and even pizza!

They also offer several flavors of ice cream and frozen yogurt.

In fact, Sara Lee invented the concept of frozen yogurt in 1948 through experimentation at their laboratory in New York City.

So if you enjoy bananas, or have ever eaten banana pudding before, you can thank Sara Lee for introducing you to this delightful treat.

And while Sara Lee doesn’t actually make banana cake (they do sell it), they certainly deserve credit for expanding our knowledge of what we consider to be a traditional banana dessert.

This article will focus specifically on Sara Lee’s famous banana cake recipe. So let’s take a closer look…

Which Celebrity Enjoys Sara Lee’

Sara Lee is an American bakery that was founded in New York City by James E. Loeb Jr. in 1912.

It became part of Kraft Foods Group Inc. in 2015 after being acquired for $4 billion.

The company produces over 600 million cakes per year, while its products can be found across 60 countries around the world.

Notable Brands Produced By Sara Lee

  • Cadbury Dairy Milk – A chocolate bar produced since 1922
  • Jell-O – An instant pudding made from gelatin
  • Famous Amos – An ice cream brand sold at retail stores nationwide
  • Pillsbury Grands! Cheesecake Factory Bites – A snack food line introduced in 2004
  • Del Monte Fresh Fruit Cups – A fruit juice product
  • Kraft Singles – A boxed frozen dessert sold at grocery stores nationwide
  • Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Ice Cream – A premium product sold within select locations

How to Make Sara Lee’s Banana Cake

This recipe makes enough banana cake batter for two 9-inch round pans (or four 6-inch square pans). To make sure your cakes will rise high enough, use 2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening or butter
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 egg white
  • 1 cup milk

(Optional) For a more decadent taste, add up to 3 tablespoons of dark cocoa powder.

Preparation:

  • Mix together the sugar and shortening using electric beaters until light and creamy.
  • Add the mashed bananas followed by the baking soda, vanilla, eggs, and milk mixture. Beat well until everything is incorporated into the dry ingredients.
  • Prepare your pan(s) by greasing them with either shortening or nonstick cooking spray. Pour half of the batter evenly into each pan, ensuring there are no gaps between layers.
  • Bake the cakes for 35 minutes at 350° F., or until golden brown on top.
  • Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool completely before removing the sides of the pans. Once cooled, place the cakes onto cooling racks and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  • To prepare the frosting, mix the powdered sugar and melted butter using a hand mixer or whisk. Add vanilla and salt if desired. Mix well.
  • Once the cakes have fully cooled, spread the frosting equally over both halves of the cakes. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
A Taste of Sara Lee’s Banana Cake

Banana Cake

If you love banana desserts, then this is one that you should try.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Banana Cake
Servings: 3
Calories: 322kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Pan
  • 1 Toaster Oven

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup shortening or butter
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large egg
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and shortening with a paddle attachment on low speed until creamy. Add sugar, milk, egg yolk, oil, baking soda, salt, and vanilla and beat again until blended. Add mashed bananas and flour alternately until smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup of the sifted flour until combined.
  • Spread half of the batter in prepared pan. Spread remaining batter on top and trowel gently onto sides of pan.
  • Bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean.
  • Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pan by lifting edge around edges with a metal spatula. Place upside down on a plate and let stand overnight.
  • Run a sharp knife along side of cake. Invert onto a serving platter. Using a spoon, drizzle melted cream cheese icing over the top. Dust lightly with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 322kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2.5g | Trans Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 45mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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