Friday, December 10, 2010

Easy Banana Cake

Not sure what to do with those overripe bananas? Try this! My banana cake is very simple and easy to make - the top will split while the inside will be lovely and moist.

This recipe came from my grandmother, though her original used vegetable marrows instead of bananas. I have adapted it over the years, and found it works brilliantly with bananas and all sorts of other things too.

A word of caution: the recipe does produce rather a sweet cake, so if you prefer yours not quite so sweet, simply use the smaller quantity of sugar (4oz / 100g / ½ cup) and add a handful of the optional ingredients and it will work perfectly well! The recipe really is very forgiving - depending on what optional ingredients you add to it the cake may not rise quite as much, but will still look great and be very, very tasty!

My basic recipe produces a cake like the one above, which was made in an electric fan oven using self raising flour, light olive oil, half-and-half brown sugar and granulated sugar, 2 large eggs, 2 large bananas and a handful of chocolate chips thrown in. I've also made it successfully using windfall apples and pears, mashed pumpkin or grated carrot instead of the bananas, and it is really delicious if you add a handful of blueberries and a few sultanas soaked in rum.


4oz / 100g / ½ cup fat (butter OR margarine OR light olive oil
4-6oz / 100-150g / ½-¾ cup sugar (granulated, caster OR demerara)
8oz / 200g / 2 cups flour (self raising flour, OR plain flour with a teaspoon of baking powder)
2 eggs

2 very ripe bananas

Optional ingredients: 

A handful of chopped dark chocolate, fruit and/or nuts (such as walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pecans, grated carrot, blueberries, cherries, raisins, sultanas or currants), OR a spoonful of mincemeat or honey
A sprinkling of cinnamon, nutmeg, rum OR vanilla extract


1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mk 4 / 180 C (fan oven 160 C)
2. Grease and flour a 2lb loaf tin
3. Roughly mash the bananas in one bowl with a sturdy fork or potato masher
4. Cream the fat and sugar together with an electric mixer in another bowl until light an fluffy
   (if using oil just whisk well for a few minutes)
5. Beat the eggs
 lightly and add to the fat and sugar mixture
6. Stir in the mashed bananas
7. Fold in the flour with a spoon (don't use an electric mixer for this or the cake will be very heavy)
8. Stir in any optional ingredients
9. Spoon into the prepared loaf tin
10. Bake for 40 minutes in the pre-heated oven at gas mk 4 /180 C (fan oven 160 C)
11. Lower the temperature to gas mk 2 / 160 C (fan oven 140 C) & cook for 30 more minutes
    (at this point loosely cover the top of the cake with foil if you don't want it to go too brown)
12. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack


Note: the measurements used here are imperial, metric and American equivalent. Don't mix them up!
© Erika Price . All rights reserved.