Calendula Officinalis: Banana Cake with Calendula

Calendula—a Golden Herb for Garden and Kitchen

| February/March 2008

Makes one 9 x 13-inch cake

This delectable cake—inspired by one in The All-American Dessert Book by Nancy Baggett (Houghton Mifflin, 2005)—is moist and tender. Do not use nonfat sour cream or cream cheese in this recipe. The amount of mashed banana can vary from 1½ to 2 cups. Although you could just dust the cake with confectioner’s sugar, the Maple Cream Cheese Frosting is luscious and easy to make.

• ⅔ cup sour cream
• ¼ cup dried OR ½ cup fresh calendula petals
• 2 cups unbleached flour
• ½ cup whole-wheat flour
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ¾ teaspoon baking soda
• Scant ¼ teaspoon mace
• 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1½ sticks), softened
• 1 cup sugar
• ⅔ cup light brown sugar
• 3 extra-large eggs
• ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
• 5 mashed overripe bananas (about 1 ¾ cups)

In a small bowl, combine sour cream with calendula, stir well, and let stand for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 × 13-inch baking dish.

In another bowl, sift together unbleached flour, whole-wheat flour, salt, baking soda and mace.

Put butter in a mixing bowl and beat until fluffy. Add sugars and beat until blended, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.

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