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Banana cakes

USING UP OVER-RIPE BANANASBanana cake

OK, my bananas haven’t fruited yet, but this recipe has saved me so much money, it’s worth passing on.

No-one will eat a ripe banana in our house, but they will eat this cake.

It’s from the 1979 1,000 Freezer Recipes book by Carole Handslip and Jeni Wright.


Banana raisin loaf (original)

  • 75g/3oz butter
  • 100g/4oz caster sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 200g/7oz SR flour
  • quarter teaspoon salt
  • quarter teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g/4oz seedless raisins*
  • 2 large ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 50g/2oz walnuts, chopped (optional)*

Grease a 450g/1lb loaf tin and line with baking parchment.

Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in egg a little at a time.

Sieve together flour, salt, and bicarb and fold into the creamed mixture until evenly blended. Stir in raisins, bananas and walnuts (if using).

Spoon into prepared tin, bake for 50 mins-1 hour in preheated oven 180degrees C/350 degrees F/Gas Mark 4, until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean. **

Transfer to a wire rack, remove paper and leave to cool. To freeze, when cool, wrap in foil, put in freezer bag, seal, label and freeze. Thaw in wrappings at room temperature for 3-4 hours.

*I’ve never used the raisins or nuts, because my kids didn’t like them. It works fine without them. Don’t worry about the mixture being very stiff – the moisture comes from the ripe bananas.

**If you have a fan-heated oven, cover the top of the cake with a sheet of baking parchment at about 40 minutes to stop the top getting overdone. And don’t worry if it takes longer to cook through.


Variation 1: Double coconut & banana cake

banana-coconut-loaf

  • 75g/3oz butter or margarine (or a mixture)
  • 100g/4oz golden caster sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 200g/7oz SR flour
  • quarter teaspoon salt
  • quarter teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 75g/3oz shredded coconut
  • 2 large ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 50g/2oz dessicated coconut*

Grease a 20cm/8inch round loose-bottomed cake tin and line bottom with baking parchment.

With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in egg a little at a time (it make life easier and you can make more than one cake faster with a mixer).

Sieve together flour, salt, and bicarb and fold into the creamed mixture until evenly blended.

Stir in both types of coconut and bananas.

Spoon into prepared tin, bake for 50 mins-1 hour in preheated oven 180degrees C/350 degrees F/Gas Mark 4, until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean.

Transfer to a wire rack, remove paper and leave to cool.

To freeze, when cool, wrap in foil, put in freezer bag, seal, label and freeze. Thaw in wrappings at room temperature for 3-4 hours.

*I use dessicated coconut in all these variations – it gives a good, moist texture. The shredded coconut makes this cake more crumbly than the others.


banana-coconut-cakeVariation 2: APRICOT & banana cake

  • 75g/3oz butter or margarine (or a mixture)
  • 100g/4oz golden caster sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 200g/7oz SR flour
  • quarter teaspoon salt
  • quarter teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g/4oz dried apricots, chopped
  • 2 large ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 50g/2oz dessicated coconut

Grease a 20cm/8inch round loose-bottomed cake tin and line bottom with baking parchment.

With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in egg a little at a time (it make life easier and you can make more than one cake faster with a mixer).

Sieve together flour, salt, and bicarb and fold into the creamed mixture until evenly blended.

Stir in the chopped apricots and bananas.

Spoon into prepared tin, bake for 50 mins-1 hour in preheated oven 180degrees C/350 degrees F/Gas Mark 4, until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean.

Transfer to a wire rack, remove paper and leave to cool.

To freeze, when cool, wrap in foil, put in freezer bag, seal, label and freeze. Thaw in wrappings at room temperature for 3-4 hours.


VARIATION 3: BANANA AND GINGER CAKE

Bananas
One day I’ll have my own bananas…
  • 75g/3oz butter or margarine (or a mixture)
  • 100g/4oz golden caster sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 200g/7oz SR flour
  • quarter teaspoon salt
  • quarter teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g/4oz crystallised ginger, chopped*
  • 2 large ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 50g/2oz dessicated coconut

Grease a 20cm/8inch round loose-bottomed cake tin and line bottom with baking parchment.

With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in egg a little at a time (it make life easier and you can make more than one cake faster with a mixer).

Sieve together flour, salt, and bicarb and fold into the creamed mixture until evenly blended. Stir in the ginger and bananas.

Spoon into prepared tin, bake for 50 mins-1 hour in preheated oven 180degrees C/350 degrees F/Gas Mark 4, until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean.

Transfer to a wire rack, remove paper and leave to cool. To freeze, when cool, wrap in foil, put in freezer bag, seal, label and freeze. Thaw in wrappings at room temperature for 3-4 hours.

*Crystallised ginger is strong, so cut down the quantity if you don’t like such a pronounced flavour. It also makes a moister cake.


Other ideas – see what’s in your store cupboard

Apples
Red Falstaff apples in September

I’ve replaced an ounce of the coconut with a posh chocolate orange drink (the type that is in shavings, not powder).

Use 4oz/100g chopped cooking apple instead of the walnuts – this gives a very moist pudding, which goes well with custard.

Add a teaspoon of cinnamon/nutmeg mix to give a tropical-style spice cake.

Add a couple of drops of vanilla essence.