Grandma’s Great Depression Cake Recipe

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Roll back the years with this delightful 1930s Banana Cake Recipe. In the era of speakeasies and jazz, comfort food took a delicious twist, bringing joy during a time of economic hardship. Who knew a simple banana could bring such pleasure? 🍌

The beauty of this recipe lies in its simplicity, reminiscent of a time when kitchen pantry staples were transformed into extraordinary delights. Nothing says home like the smell of a freshly baked banana cake wafting through the house.

Banana: The Star of the Show

What’s yellow, sweet, and loved by all? Yes, you guessed it – bananas! From banana splits to banana bread, this versatile fruit has made its way into our hearts and tummies. And in the star-studded world of baking, the banana cake holds its own, especially when it has a touch of 1930s glamour.

Tip: Use overripe bananas for a sweeter, more intense banana flavor.

A Recipe Born Out of Necessity

During the Great Depression, home cooks had to make do with what they had. Hence, the Banana Cake was born – a delicious solution to using up overripe bananas. It’s proof that the most challenging times can lead to the most delightful creations. ✨

Tip: Add a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg for an extra layer of flavor.

It’s time to grab that apron, put on some jazz music 🎷, and take a delicious trip down memory lane. Let’s dive into this 1930s Banana Cake recipe that is sure to become a household favorite!

Warning: This banana cake is so good it might cause a minor household stampede. Proceed with caution and save a slice for yourself before it disappears! 🍰

Tip: Make sure to grease and flour your cake pan well so the cake comes out easily.

1930s Banana Cake

Course: DessertCuisine: American


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time



Travel back in time with this delicious and simple 1930s Banana Cake recipe, a nostalgic dessert that never goes out of style.


  • 2 ripe bananas

  • 2 cups flour

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/4 cup buttermilk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the mashed bananas and vanilla extract.
  • In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture, alternating with buttermilk. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely before serving.


  • For extra banana flavor, you can add one more ripe banana.
  • Make sure to use ripe bananas for this recipe. They should have brown spots on the skin.
  • This cake is delicious on its own but you can also frost it with cream cheese frosting for an extra treat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use banana flavoring instead of real bananas?
A: Real bananas are preferred for this recipe as they provide natural sweetness and moisture.

Q: Can I add nuts to the recipe?
A: Yes, you can add 1/2 a cup of chopped walnuts or pecans for some added crunch.

Q: Can I make this recipe into cupcakes?
A: Absolutely! Just adjust the baking time to around 20 minutes.

Q: What can I use if I don’t have buttermilk?
A: You can make a simple buttermilk substitute by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a cup of milk and let it sit for 5 minutes.

Jamie Anderson
Jamie Anderson
Hey there! I'm Jamie Anderson. Born and raised in the heart of New York City, I've always had this crazy love for food and the stories behind it. I like to share everything from those "Aha!" cooking moments to deeper dives into what's really happening in the food world. Whether you're here for a trip down culinary memory lane, some kitchen hacks, or just curious about your favorite eateries, I hope you find something delightful!

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