Mennonite Girls Can Cook is a collection of recipes which were posted daily for a period of ten years from 2008 to 2018. We have over 3,000 delicious recipes that we invite you to try. The recipes can be accessed in our recipe file by category or you can use the search engine.

Recipe Search

UBC Ponderosa Cake (Banana/Chocolate)

I realize there are several great banana cakes posted, but I figure what’s a Mennonite Cookbook without 8 versions of the same recipe? I like to made my own versions by comparing several recipes side by side, which is always a nice challenge. I am not sure where this title came from, but that’s the name it came with when I got it from my friend, Laura M.

  • 3/4 cup butter, room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 - 4 mashed bananas 
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 -1 ½ cups semi sweet chocolate chips
  1. Cream butter, adding in the sugar, eggs, vanilla and bananas.
  2. Combine dry ingredients and add to wet mixture alternating with sour cream.
  3. Spread one third of batter into prepared Bundt or tube pan.
  4. Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon/sugar/choc chips. Cover with another third of the batter, the rest of the sugar/choc chip mixture, then the final batter.
  5. Bake at 350° F for about 55 -60 min. Test for doneness.
  6. Cool 10 min before inverting onto plate. Cool before slicing.


  1. Your cake looks wonderful. I aways love a challenge. I researched and UBC Ponderosa Cake may mean University of British Columbia, Ponderosa Center. Perhaps that is where the cake was served and gained it's reputation.

    1. It does mean University of British Columbia - I have two degrees from there and often enjoyed the cake. I usually make it in a 9"x13" pan and put the chocolate chips and cinnamon and sugar in the middle and on top, as they served it at UBC, but the bundt pan looks very pretty too.

  2. Looks and sounds great..I have some over ripe bananas sitting on the counter so this might be on my "to do" list today.

  3. This looks like a good moist cake!!

  4. My mom and sisters and I have all been making this cake for the last couple years - it gets rave reviews from everyone you tries it!

  5. That looks so good!I'll have to try that recipe.Chocolate and bananas? you can't go wrong with that!

  6. I studied forestry at UBC in the 90's and Ponderosa Cake is a standard item on the food services department menu. It was pretty much standard to my diet as well (hee hee). I think the Food Services office was in the Ponderosa Annex at the time, which may be where the name came from.

    I managed to find the original recipe before I graduated and have made it pretty regularly over the past 10 years. Sooooo goooood!! I'm glad you are sharing it with the world, because I haven't yet. ;)

  7. we LOVE this cake! and it makes lots so you can freeze it and take out a slice for lunch for many days :)

  8. Yet another way to use up all those brown bananas PLUS get my chocolate fix!

    It looks really, really good. I love the combo of bananas and chocolate. I just may have to try this cake.



  9. I happen to have some bananas that would be perfect for this. . and by the looks of it. . everyone loves it . . so we will too.

  10. OK so will you come live with me and cook for us?
    Last night I made a Frito pie (can of chili, chopped onions, grated cheese and of course Fritos)
    I goofed it up
    We ate it anyway.

  11. Ok, I need to make this cake again!

  12. This cake sounds wonderful- you can't go wrong with bananas and chocolate!I'll have to try this.

    You have so amny great looking recipes!

  13. I usually make banana muffins with choc chips and it's a fave here so I'm sure this cake will be too.

  14. Oh my gosh, I just realized I forgot dessert. Could you whip another up and bring it over. I'll have a margarita waiting for you.


  15. You are can never have too many banana cake recipes...and this one looks most special!

  16. OH what a wonderful blog. Such great recipes...thanks so much!

  17. I baked this cake yesterday,and it came out very heavy. I found the identical recipe in a cookbook and it also had b soda in it. Just checking if you had missed it...I will try this recipe again..

  18. did I miss this one?! Too busy at the office to check in I think....this looks scrumptious. Love it in a bundt pan!

  19. 4streegirl; you are right....I told some colleagues about this at work...some UBC grads...and uhhuh...yep...that is the cake!

  20. I agree with a similar post. I found it extremely heavy. Because of the sour cream, it should also have baking soda in it. I found the same recipe in another source with 2 tsp baking soda and 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (4 medium)

  21. Susan and Anonymous,
    I'm not sure how to respond about the "heaviness" because I've never had a problem with the recipe. To be honest, I'm not one who measures things too exactly and I have never measured the "cups" of bananas - I just use 3 large 0r 4 med. bananas. (3 cups sounds like a lot, now that I look at it - maybe I should change that) I also round my tsp., using a normal tespoon. I really dont' think the baking soda would lighten it up. It is, after all, supposed to be more like a coffee cake in texture. I hope it works out well for someone out there, because it IS very yummy!

  22. I am going to make this cake tomorrow...I was also looking for the comment that was made about using splenda..I wanted to copy the article...whoever wrote can you send it to me? looks like it was


  23. I was looking for Jam recipes, and I will use your freezer jam one THANKS! but was also intrigued by the title of this cake because I currently am studying at UBC and have classes in the Ponderosa building...very funny! Anyways, small world sometimes. Cheers. And thanks for the recipes!

  24. I found out about this recipe when I worked in the kitchen at Pioneer Pacific 6 years ago. Not only was it a favorite of mine, but it was also a favorite of the campers and the staff.

  25. I go to school at UBC and they do in fact serve Ponderosa cake at all the establishments here. I came across your blog googling for the ingredients.

    It's quite delicious and your version looks tasty too.

  26. thanks for such a wonderful site ,there are a lots of great recipies that I can't wait to try .My mom used to make ponderosa cake when i was a kid ,but i had forgoten the name for it ,thankyou for giving me back an old favorite : ) , didn't have a bunt cake pan so is used a 9-13 pand and it turned out great .

  27. All right - there were some of you who commented about the need for baking soda in here. The recipe I've used did not have it, and somehow - because I probably use more baking powder than is called for, it worked for me. However, I just finally found the original recipe written out by a friend, and saw that I had indeed missed the baking soda. It calls for 2 tsp of each( powder and soda) but I still rather use more powder than soda. So sorry for the inconvenience I caused some of you.

  28. A friend made this cake when I lived in British Columbia (she went to UBC and it was served there) and I was elated to find the recipe online. This is my "go to" recipe and I always, always get compliments on it (and people also always ask for the recipe!)

  29. I took my doctorate at UBC, my husband is a prof there, and I've been connected to UBC in one way or another for the last 15 years, and although I've seen Ponderosa cake on offer, I've never ever tasted it. I've always gone for the cinnamon buns instead :-)

  30. I got this recipe from a college roommate in Ontario and always wondered where the name came from. I never thought of baking in a bundt pan but am going to give it a try next time.

  31. I make this with my Grade 10 Foods class. The recipe we use has both b. powder and b. soda in it. It bakes in an 8 x 8 pan and takes 30 minutes. Slightly smaller scaled version of the recipe using only one banana. The kids love it.

  32. Made this today using a 9x13 stoneware pan - moist & delicious!!

  33. In the 70's and 80's, the Ponderosa Building UBC had a lovely cafeteria with big wood tables and big windows looking out at the trees. I think that area of the building has been turned into offices now.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.