Ever wondered how to make the most perfect, melt-in-the-mouth banana cake? Then look no further – April Carter from Rhubarb & Rose is here to show you how.
Banana bread, the healthier and breakfast-appropriate cousin of the banana cake, holds lots of memories for me. I baked countless loaves during early morning shifts when I worked as a baker at Violet in East London, have eaten it for breakfast in Brazil alongside exotic fruits, and made many versions at home, sometimes with walnuts, sometimes seeds, and usually thickly sliced, toasted and buttered.
Unlike the classic loaf-shaped banana bread, this round cake version, topped with cinnamon cream cheese icing, makes a great teatime treat and is special enough to top with candles for a birthday.
Since bananas get sweeter and easier to mash as they ripen, this is the perfect recipe for using up forgotten fruit at the bottom of the bowl. Melted butter along with the ripe bananas makes for a moist crumb which keeps well, and the soft light brown sugar adds a caramel flavour.
TOP TIPS FOR PERFECT BANANA CAKE
- Avoid drying out your cake by checking it five minutes before the baking time is up, and take it out of the oven to cool as soon as a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- For perfect icing that keeps its shape for spreading, use chilled cream cheese and a light touch when mixing.
- Warm spices like cinnamon complement the banana flavour but the icing would also work with a swirl of caramel sauce or some vanilla extract.
- Finish off your decoration with slices of a firmer yellow banana just before serving.
HOW TO MAKE BANANA CAKE
Serves 8 to 10
150g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
225g plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 ripe bananas (around 250g peeled weight)
150g soft light brown sugar
2 large free-range eggs
60ml natural yoghurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
ICING & DECORATION
100g unsalted butter, softened
175g icing sugar
60g cream cheese, chilled
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Optional: 1 banana
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas 3. Grease and line a 20cm round, deep cake tin. Melt the butter over a low heat.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and ¼ teaspoon of sea salt. Peel and mash the bananas in a separate bowl with the back of a fork, then whisk in the melted butter, sugar, eggs, yoghurt and vanilla extract.
- Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and whisk until just combined.
- Spoon into the cake tin and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in its tin for 10 minutes, before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cake is cooling, make the icing. Using an electric mixer beat the butter, sugar and cinnamon until pale and fluffy.
- Add the cream cheese and beat until just combined.
- Spread onto the top of the cooled cake and top with slices of banana before serving, if you like.