Banana breads are things that just happen.

You’ve got two or three browning bananas on your counter, too far gone for eating out of hand or on cereal, then, bam! There’s banana bread.

But you can have too much of a good thing. Having a toddler in the house means I always have three things: milk, apple juice and bananas. Once the bananas start browning, the resident toddler refuses them. Consequently, my freezer’s got several loaves of banana bread in it. When confronted with those two browning bananas recently, my husband drew the line.

“No more banana bread,” he shouted, pointing to the shelf full of foil-wrapped rectangles.

I can’t bring myself to throw them out, and it’s too hot to enjoy banana oatmeal. And I can’t be left near banana pudding without adult supervision or I’ll inhale the whole pan.

But their role in banana bread gave me an idea. Creamy and slightly sweet, bananas could work as a fat replacement in many baked goods. Like cake.

Surely there’d be no objections to banana in cake. It’s cake, for crying out loud. Cake!

And there wasn’t. There was absolutely no indication that anyone realized there were bananas in the cake, or that the cake started out in a box.

Mom Magic 1, banana naysayers 0.

Beth Colvin is The Advocate’s assistant Food editor. She can be reached at