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Banana cake

I’m still desperately trying to use up all the fruits and vegetables in my house before they spoil. On Saturday, we had some bananas in the fruit bowl that were ‘on the turn’, so I decided to make banana cake.

I’ve had some trouble with banana cake in the past – it always turns out too wet. I’m a bit of a failed baker, really. This one, however, I was pretty happy with. There is a little air bubble in the picture above, but apart from that, I would venture to say…this was perfect.

I used the recipe from the Cook’s Companion. I followed it to a tee for fear of a baking disaster.

125g butter, very soft.
1½ cups sugar (I used caster)
2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 large)
A few drops pure vanilla (I used vanilla bean paste)
250g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (not the same as baking powder)*
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon (use more)
½ tsp ground allspice (I substituted nutmeg)
½ cup buttermilk or milk mixed with a tsp lemon juice

3 tbs coarsely chopped walnuts
3 tbs self-raising flour
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbs brown sugar
100g melted butter, cooled

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter and flour a 22cm cake tin and line the base with baking paper (I use a round tin).
  • Mix the topping ingredients (walnuts, SR flour, cinnamon, brown sugar and melted butter) together and set aside.
  • Sift the flour, bicarb, salt, cinnamon and allspice together and mix.
  • In a separate large bowl, cream the butter and the sugar until pale and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, banana and vanilla. Beat in.
  • Add the flour mixture slowly, alternating with the buttermilk. Continue to beat.
  • Pour into the tin. Tap the cake tin on the bench to remove any major air bubbles (I should have done this…). Scatter the topping over the uncooked cake and put into the oven.
  • Cook for about 55 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Serve with natural yoghurt mixed with honey and/or cinnamon.
  • Dazzle your guests.

Banana cake all gone

* For the curious, this week I learned that baking powder and bicarbonate of soda/baking soda are not the same. Bicarb causes the bubbles in the batter to form and make an aerated cake. BUT, it needs an acid to work (à la high school volcano). Hence the lemon juice or buttermilk in this recipe. Baking powder is bicarb premixed with an acid, so that you don’t need to add an extra acid to the recipe. Interesting…

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One Response to “Banana cake: it’s bananas”

  1. Mary says:

    Oooo, I’m such a sucker for banana bread! This looks fantastic!

    Delightful Bitefuls

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