Margo Oliver, Canada's first "Betty Crocker" when General Mills expanded into Canada, if I believe everything I read on Wiki. Provenance aside, this recipe has been made hundreds of times since then, and remains one of my tried and true favorites. And I have no clue what makes this cake "Viennese", but that's the title, and I'm running with it.
I've come across a multitude of banana cake recipes on the web in recent weeks, each claiming to be the best. Oh, I've tried others to compare, but return to this one again and again. It's perfection epitomized as far as I'm concerned.
Your search ends here:
Viennese Banana Cake
1/2 cup unsalted butter, or 114 g, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup mashed bananas (usually 3 bananas)
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chopped walnuts
Cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, beating well after each addition.
Add vanilla and bananas, mixing thoroughly.
Combine all dry ingredients, and add alternating with milk.
Stir in nuts.
Grease and line a standard loaf pan.
Bake in a 350°F preheated oven for 1 to 1-1/4 hours, checking often towards the end. Cake is done when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
I've never been bothered to measure my bananas, I always use 3 and leave things at that.
It's safe to tent the loaf with a piece of aluminum foil if the top starts to brown and the cake isn't completely baked. Or crank the heat down a bit. Or do both. This cake is hard to ruin - the milk keeps things nice and moist.
I use a Pyrex loaf pan, and find I need to tent my cake with foil at about the 50 minute mark, generally baking for the entire recommended time of 1-1/4 hours, sometimes cranking down the heat of the oven if the thermometer registers too high.
This cake keeps infinitely well in the fridge, and is best served cooled, in my opinion.
The smell of this cake baking can make grown men weep for their mommies, and bring strangers in from off the street.