Pansies and a Topsy-Turvy Banana Crunch Cake

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IMG_3147Spring is a sort of delirium, and the last few days have brought roaring winds, including a tornado that flattened a town just fifty miles away, in DeKalb County. Birds have been in a state of twittering excitement and moments of knife-like cold alternate with balmy warmth. I can almost see the single-minded daffodils emerging from the wet earth. I never see Spring as being a sweet and pretty thing, and find it quite unsettling. I am thinking of the people, so nearby, who have lost their homes. The winds, the rains, the tropical warmth, the biting cold–it’s when I become aware of the power of the earth.

Flower-wise, though, Spring makes me think of pansies, and I bought a potful yesterday, just to enjoy their luscious colors. On an even more prosaic note, I had several bananas rapidly turning brown and unusable, and I had a Jiffy Mix for yellow cake, and decided to make the following Topsy-Turvy Banana Crunch Cake. I’ve made this twice, once to see what it was like–as it turned out, moist, fine-grained, utterly luscious–and then the second time to tweak and to photograph. This is the sort of thing that people devour–I found that everyone likes it, even nut haters.

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Topsy-Turvy Banana Crunch Cake

One and a half medium bananas yielded 1/2 cup of mashed bananas.
One and a half medium bananas yielded 1/2 cup of mashed bananas.

1/3 cup uncooked old-fashioned oatmeal
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons chopped pecans
1 package (9 ounces) yellow cake mix (Jiffy Mix)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mashed banana
1 slightly beaten egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan.

Make topping: Combine oats, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl. Mix in butter with fingertips. Stir in pecans.

Combine cake mix, sour cream, banana and egg in medium bowl. With a big spoon, stir until combined, and then beat vigorously with about 100 strokes of the spoon. Spoon half of batter into prepared pan; sprinkle with half of oat topping. Top with remaining batter and topping.

Bake 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into center comes out clean. Cool completely before slicing.

Baking notes: The second time I made this, I threw in a handful of semi-sweet mini chips, and I upped the cinnamon from 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon. Otherwise, the recipe as it is, is a keeper, and is so convenient with the Jiffy Mix.

Here are the pansies, front and back.

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Noticed this robin standing on the fence, looking noble as a king.

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Here is puschkinia coming up through the leaves.

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And here is a squirrel, also topsy-turvy. Take care. Fran

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4 thoughts on “Pansies and a Topsy-Turvy Banana Crunch Cake

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