old fashioned banana cake

I normally don’t post recipes on my blog, but someone on Instagram asked me to post the recipe I used for my banana cake. The recipe, is from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. I used less sugar for the cake, because I don’t like my cake very sweet,especially since there is frosting. A cream cheese frosting ( my fave) that calls for 1/2 pound of confectioners sugar. That’s a lot of sweetness. I also added semi-sweet Guittard chocolate chips, which is not in the original recipe, but works well with this batter.

 The cake is fairly easy to make, as is the frosting.  I think next time, I will make cupcakes with this recipe instead of a round cake. We tend to not eat much cake at our house, so this size was a little overwhelming for us. Cupcake size is perfect, especially if I only want to make half a dozen at a time and then save the rest of the batter for another day. 

san francisco lifestyle photography


Old-Fashioned Banana Cake 


3 very ripe bananas, mashed
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
½ cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1 orange
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
Walnut halves, for decorating (optional)

For the Cream Cheese Frosting
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2½ cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (½ pound)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 × 2-inch round cake pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the bananas, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on low speed until combined. With the mixer still on low, add the oil, eggs, sour cream, vanilla, and orange zest. Mix until smooth.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Stir in the chopped walnuts, if using. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, turn out onto a cooling rack, and cool completely.

Spread the frosting thickly on the top of the cake and decorate with walnut halves, if using.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting
Mix the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on low speed until just combined. Don’t whip! Add the sugar and mix until smooth.


Contax 645 | Kodak Portra 400




shortbread cookies with chocolate chips – recipe & photos

Shortbread Rounds

“Little cookies with big milk chocolate chips that melt in your mouth”.


These are my new go to cookies for this holiday season. The recipe cannot be simpler. Buttery goodness with chocolate.


1 cup of butter, softened

1/4 cup sugar

2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour

1 cup Guittard Real Milk Chocolate Chips (you can used any brand and they don’t have to be milk chocolate)

powdered sugar for dusting – optional (I optioned out)

preheat oven to 350 F

Cream butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer (or stand mixer) at low to medium speed until light. Gradually add flour until combined. Stir in chips by hand. If dough seem dry or crumbly (mine were not), it will stick together when shaped with your hands. Using the palms of your hands, roll well rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into 1-inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheets (I used parchment paper for easy clean up) and bake 13-15 minutes. Cookies will still be pale. Let stand 2 minutes before removing from cookie sheet, and dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

This recipe was on the back package of the Guittard Milk Chocolate Chips.


Hands down, the best cookie recipe I’ve seen and tried this year.  Now, I need to go stock up on all the ingredients and start the holiday baking.  Enjoy!



More cooking adventures

For one of our cooking Thursdays, we made homemade spinach lasagna in a bechamel sauce. You can read more on Nathiya’s blog.


Our cooking Thursdays are catching on, friends are starting to join us, helping in the cooking and of course to dine. Very much a group effort. It’s a lovely way to ease into the end of the work week. On hindsight, I’m thinking I should have gone with the larger marble table. :)


If you’re looking for a great brunch, head over to Plow in Potrero Hill.  We love that they open at 8am on the weekends, most brunch places open at 9am or later. I’m an early bird.

Great down home food.

We haven’t tried everything on the menu, but everything we’ve tried is excellent. Plus, they have awesome natural light. Win!


Marinated olives with fennel & citrus

Broccoli rabe and crescenza  brushchetta

Chicken sausage, red grapes and mustard

@ Delarosa on Chestnut, San Francisco

Theme by Blogmilk + Coded by Brandi Bernoskie