Posted by: Erica Retrochef | February 4, 2013

Banana Gingerbread Shortcake

One of the oddest vintage ads I’ve come across was from 1969, advertising football season is good food season and suggesting various foods that sort of tied into football. “I’ll bookmark that for football season!” I thought to myself, and moved on.

Now that we’re coming to the end of football season, I wanted to make one of these football treats and so I took a closer look. That look turned from “yay” to “uhh” fairly quickly. Stewed prunes? V-8? Margarine? OVALTINE? So these weren’t so much “recipes” per se, more like “ways to convince your guests to hold next year’s Super Bowl party at someone else’s house” — which is a valid goal, I suppose, but not typically the sort food advertisers push.

The only one that looked halfway like a recipe was the Banana Gingerbread Shortcake.

Chiquita Banana Gingerbread Shortcake. Bake a gingerbread mix. Cut into two layers. Put whipped cream and sliced Chiquita Bananas between the layers and on top. A team favorite.

Which team, it doesn’t say, so we’ll just assume it’s our team.

Boxed gingerbread cake mix is pretty bland. Not impressed.

Luckily, whipped cream is a very easy frosting to make and to spread. And maybe it can salvage the cake.

Banana slices are also very easy!

I was right when I said this looked “halfway decent,” that’s about what it tasted like. Bananas and whipped cream are pretty good; gingerbread and whipped cream are pretty good. Somehow, all three combined? Weird. The kids and Buzz enjoyed it more than me, so it wasn’t a complete loss…

Vintage “good food season” ad comes from bluwmongoose on Flickr.


  1. V8 juice for watching sports..? Hmm. Yeah those foods don’t shout party at me one bit! More convalescing invalid.

  2. I think it looks good. I think it would taste good (for the undiscriminating – when you have all those mouths to feed and want to tart up the gingerbread for a nice change)…I’d like to see those ‘football season good foods’. I’ve been seeing some over-the-top new football food recipes this year, and can’t help but think of all that time and trouble and fussing! Pizza, chips, beer – do you really have to make little football shaped foods?

  3. I can’t say that I’ve ever even SEEN boxed gingerbread cake mix! Huh.
    Well, I guess this would be good for loads of unexpected football fans showing up at your house; otherwise from scratch gingerbread might make it better.

    • I didn’t think I’d ever seen it either, but I went to the store, and there it was amidst the other cake mix varieties that I never give a second look.

      • It’s there – I think called a Betty Crocker Classic – right next to the pound cake mix, more toward the quick bread mixes. It’s OK. Not everyone has the time or know-how to bake from scratch, look at all the regular cake mixes on the shelves right next to the gingerbread, the pound cake, the bar cookie mixes..

  4. I see you’re still conjuring up those days of yore recipes. I’m going have to side with your family on this one Erica, it doesn’t sound half bad.

    Thanks for sharing…

    P.S. Don’t throw that Z letter away quite yet:)

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