Mrs. Brandenburg’s Banana Cake

Mrs. Brandenburg’s Banana Cake

This banana cake recipe creates a white cake with banana filling and a very fluffy icing.  It takes a little work, but it is worth the end result.  The recipe for the cake could be used as a stand alone or be filled with another filling since it is a simple white cake.  The frosting was an adventure since I’ve never made anything like it before.  This is a recipe from Mrs. Brandenburg.

Making The Cake

I started out with beating the egg whites in my mixer and setting them aside.

Egg Whited Whipped

I creamed the butter and sugar together, then added the milk, flour, baking powder and vanilla.  Then, I mixed it well and then stirred in the egg whites.  The result was a pretty stiff cake batter.

Banana Cake Batter

I divided the batter between two 9″ cake pans.  They baked in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes.  I let mine bake for 20 minutes and then tested them with a toothpick.  They were almost done, so I watched them closely for the next 5 minutes.  There is nothing worse than an over baked cake, it becomes dry.
Cake Batter Divided

Making The Icing

After winging it on my homemade syrup recipe, I decided I needed to add a candy thermometer to my arsenal of kitchen gadgets.  I’m glad I did, because when the recipe says to boil it “till it ropes when dropped from fork” I have really no idea how long to boil and what that looks like.  I looked up another boiled icing recipe and found that it needs to boil until it reaches 238 degrees.  I would have been lost without the thermometer.

To make the icing, it really is simple.  You will want to have the egg whites beaten stiff and waiting before you start boiling the sugar.  Then mix the sugar and water in the pan and then let it boil until it reaches 238 degrees.  Don’t stir the mixture after it is boiling.

Sugar Boiling

When the sugar has reached the 238 degrees, take it over to your egg whites and slowly pour the mixture in while stirring constantly.  A mixer is almost a must in this, I can’t imagine trying to slowly pour the sugar mixture and beat the egg whites constantly.  I will stress that if you use a mixer, put it on the lowest speed while you are pouring, or you will end up with what I did in the picture below.  I ended up with enough icing even though a lot of the sugar was flung to the side of my mixing bowl.  Once all the sugar is poured in, turn the speed up and mix for about 5 minutes to make the frosting light.

Sugar on Bowl

The icing is so light and fluffy and very delicious.  I could have made just the icing and eaten it for dessert.

Boiled Icing

Putting The Cake Together

Now comes the fun part, putting the cake together!  Two sliced bananas was the perfect amount for one layer in the middle of my cake.  I opted not to put banana slices on the top, because bananas go brown.  Dipping the banana slices in lemon juice still didn’t keep the filling from going brown.  While I was putting the cake together I was thinking that this would be really good with strawberries with the bananas.

Building the Cake

As you will note from the picture, I am not fabulous at frosting a cake.  I admire people who can frost a cake and not have a hot mess.  My target crowd at home are little people who get excited that Mom made a cake and don’t scrutinize my skills.

Cake Frosted

The result is a yummy cake!  It takes a little work, but the cost of the ingredients only comes to about $2.88.  I challenge you to find a store bought cake for that cheap that tastes as good as this does.

Banana Cake

Original Recipe

Third Prize Banana Cake.  One-half cup butter, one cup sugar, one-half cup milk, two scant cups flour, one and one-half teaspoons baking powder, whites four eggs, one-half teaspoon vanilla.

Way of preparing — Mix flour and baking powder, cream butter and sugar, add milk and flour alternately, then vanilla and beaten whites of eggs.

Icing – Boil one cup granulated sugar with one-half cup water till it ropes when dropped from fork.  Pour gradually over stiffly whipped whites of two eggs, beating hard, add flavoring and use on cake at once, as you cover the layers with the icing, slice bananas on top.  Continue this until all the layers are covered.  Dust all with powdered sugar.

In cake baking much of the success depends on the oven, which should be well and evenly heated before baking and not allowed to cool.

Do not remove the cake until thoroughly baked, or it will fall.  Try it by piercing with a broom splinter.  If nothing adheres, it is done.  Flour should never be used without sifting.

Mrs. L. Brandenburg 108 Woodland Ave., Dayton, O.

Printed in The Dayton Herald on February 26, 1920

Banana Cake Recipe

Banana Cake

Banana Cake recipe from 1920
Course Cake
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 people


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar for icing
  • 1/2 cup water for icing
  • 2 large egg whites for icing


  1. Beat the whites of 4 eggs and set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and 1 cup of sugar. Add the milk and dry ingredients alternately. then add the vanilla and stir in the beaten egg whites. Stir until combined.
  3. Divide the batter into two 9" cake pans. Bake 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Let the cake cool.
  4. To make the icing: Beat the whites of two eggs. Boil 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water without stirring until it reaches 238 degrees.
  5. Slowly pour the sugar mixture over the egg whites while stirring constantly. When all the sugar is added, beat well for about 5 minutes.
  6. To put the cake together: Slice 2 bananas. Frost the top of one cake and place the bananas on the frosting. Top with the second cake and spread the remaining frosting on top and sides.

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