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