There is something about a swirl in a cake that just makes each slice look especially tempting. This banana bundt cake has a swirl of jam running through it that gives it a splash of color and adds an extra layer of flavor that goes very well with the banana. I used Smucker’s Fruit & Honey Tropical Fruit Spread, which has peaches, mango and passion fruit in it and is naturally sweetened with honey.
The cake has a dense, moist crumb, thanks to a generous amount of mashed banana mixed into the batter. Like a pound cake, this cake has a relatively high sugar content that contributes to its soft texture. Jam is moist and dense and will often sink to the bottom of the pan when mixed into a cake. In this recipe, the jam is combined with a small quantity of the cake batter, allowing it to remain suspended in the cake more easily as the cake bakes. If you can’t find the Smucker’s preserves that I used in this recipe, you can use another jam or fruit preserve for similar results. I highly recommend picking one with tropical flavors for best results. Since different fruit spreads have different consistencies, your cake may sink (only very slightly) in the center during baking, but don’t worry about it because the finished cake will still look and taste wonderful.
I didn’t opt to add any frosting to this cake, as the cake is flavorful enough on its own. That being said, a cream cheese glaze would make a nice finished touch for this bundt if you want to dress it up before serving. You could also warm up a little bit of leftover jam, mix it with confectioners’ sugar and drizzle it over each slice as you plate it. The jam-based glaze is a little too sticky to make a good frosting for most cakes, but it will highlight the flavor in the swirl and work quite well here.
Tropical Swirl Banana Cake
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup mashed banana (2 large bananas)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup tropical jam (approx 8 oz)
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, beat butter until soft and creamy. Add sugar and oil and beat mixture until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the mashed banana and vanilla extract. Stir in remaining flour mixture, mixing until no streaks of dry ingredients remain and batter is uniform.
Transfer 1/2 cup batter into a small bowl, add jam and stir to combine.
Pour 3/4 of the plain batter into the prepared bundt pan and smooth into an even layer. Using the back of a spoon, make a ring-shaped trough in the batter. Spoon jam mixture into the trough, then carefully cover with remaining plain batter.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly pressed.
Allow cake to cool completely in the pan, then invert onto a cake stand to serve.
Makes 1 cake; Serves 10.