Ponderosa Cake

We made Ponderosa Cake at the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen for the community meal. Ponderosa Cake is a popular cake in University of British Columbia. Karen was involved with the catering at UBC long time ago and she made a lot of these Ponderosa Cake. You can still find this cake in the UBC cafeterias until today.


Karen had modified the Ponderosa Cake recipe to reduce the amount of fat and sugar for a healthier snack. She was able to maintain the sweetness by roasting the banana first.


  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups banana (5 to 6 banana)
  • 3 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup low fat yogurt or sour cream

For topping

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips


Click on the link below for the instructions.


Preheat the oven to 350F. Line pan with parchment paper.

IMG_4228To bring out the sweetness of the banana, roast the banana while you preheat the oven. Roast for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven to cool.
This way, you do not have to have ripen banana on hand to make a banana cake.
IMG_4224Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and one-fourth of the sugar (i.e. 1/2 cup). Set aside.
IMG_4230Cream the butter and the remaining sugar (1 1/2 cups) until fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time, beat to mix well before adding the next egg.

IMG_4237Stir in vanilla and mashed bananas. Mix thoroughly.
IMG_4239Stir in yogurt or sour cream.
IMG_4241Stir the wet mixture into the flour mixture, mixing well.
IMG_4235In a separate bowl, combine the cinnamon and brown sugar. We accidentally mix in the chocolate chips too. It will be easier to mix the sugar with cinnamon alone.
IMG_4248Pour half of the batter into the parchment line baking pan. Top with half of the cinnamon sugar, and half the chocolate chips.
IMG_4250Dollop the remaining batter on top of the chocolate chips.

Use an offset spatula to smooth out the batter. Top with the remaining cinnamon sugar and chocolate chips.

IMG_4285Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted to center comes out clean. Cool and slice. I’m sure Arkensen and Nanzaro will love this cake with all the chocolate chips.

This Post Has 0 Comments

  1. yumsinger

    When I read the title, I thought, that sounds familiar, where have I heard of Ponderosa cake? Then the memories came flooding back. After a hard day of boring lectures, going back to dorm on a rainy UBC day, and having a coffee and that totally delicious and fattening Ponderosa cake with roommates.
    Ahhh… the good old days.

  2. Eugenie Thomas-Hoy

    I also have fond memories as a mature student and/or visitor at UBC of relaxing with a piece of this delicious cake. Now I look forward to trying this more healthful recipe.

  3. Jessica

    I actually have the cookbook from UBC with the “original” ponderosa cake. . .I’ll have to make a batch of each and compare!

  4. foodiefrenzy

    I’ve made this cake before, and I’ve got to say it was AMAZING. It stayed moist till the day after, and I have to thank my Chemistry teacher for letting me know of this recipe’s existence. It was a little too sweet, so I would suggest using semi-sweet (not Hershey’s Chipits though, I found those too sweet) or dark chocolate chips to make it less-sweet, taking out some chocolate chips, or taking out a little sugar. But then again, it only became too sweet after a few slices… so technically its fine the way it is if you are able to limit yourself to ONE piece.

    Also, for a healthier approach, fat free Greek Yogurt (plain or vanilla flavoured, though vanilla would add more sugar) instead of the sour cream.

    My sister ate it for breakfast, snack, lunch, snack again, and then POOF it was gone.

    I suggest you all try and make it, because those couple hours will definitely not be wasted. You will also discover you have no will power ๐Ÿ˜›

    Have fun and Good luck!

Leave a Reply