Elvis was born on January 8, 1935. In tribute to The King, I made this banana cake which is adapted from a recipe in a 1970 Southern Living, “Our Best Recipes,” cookbook. Everybody knows how much Elvis loved grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches but I just couldn’t bring myself to recreate that decadent artery clogging delicacy. Banana pudding was another of his favorites but the bananas on my counter were too ripe for that. So, I opted for a banana birthday cake, with gingerbread spices and bourbon soaked raisins which took it over the top. I think Elvis would approve. For the record, I have eaten a grilled peanut butter and banana sandwich… and it was good. And I grew up on peanut butter and banana sandwiches (not grilled) and they remain a staple of my comfort food repertoire. But, I wanted to honor Elvis on a Saturday night while I leisurely baked and watched Viva Las Vegas (was Ann Margaret hot or what?) I think this cake hits on all cylinders. It has a familiar taste profile but it’s very sophisticated. It paired perfectly with the champagne a friend gave me for Christmas. Happy Birthday, Elvis!
VIVA LAS VEGAS (1964) WAS AS SATIFYING AS A KRISPY KREME DOUGHNUT. I LOVED WATCHING IT.
Prepare your bundt pan by greasing it lightly with softened Crisco and lightly flouring it. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
In your Kitchenaid stand mixer, cream the softened Crisco shortening and sugar.
In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and stir with a fork.
Add dry ingredients to Crisco/ sugar in stand mixing bowl - add alternatingly with egg YOLKS (beaten lightly) and buttermilk. Start and end with dry ingredients. Don't overmix.
Add vanilla, mashed bananas, pecans and raisins. Mix only until combined.
Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks and fold into the batter.
Pour the batter in the bundt pan. Fill the pan about 2/3 and no more than 3/4 full. You might have more batter than you need depending on the size of your bundt pan.
Bake at 325 degrees for one hour. Check the cake with a toothpick or cake tester and if necessary bake 5 more minutes.
Let cool in pan 5 to 10 minutes. Invert onto cake plate.
Make Glaze by mixing sugar, milk and bourbon. When the cake is cool, and only when it is cool, pour the glaze over it.