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Flour for Banana Cake

Asked by katies286. Answered on 11th March 2015

Full question

Dear Nigella, I would like a to make a banana & toffee sandwich cake for my partner's birthday. I was hoping to use the same cake recipe I use for a banana loaf, but I noticed it says to use plain flour whereas other sandwich cakes (such as a victoria sponge) say to use self-raising flour or have added baking powder. Which flour would it be best to use, and should baking powder be added? Thank you in advance for your wisdom! Katie x

Our answer

Banana loaf cakes are generally more dense than a standard sponge cake and if you add bananas to a sandwich cake mixture you will still get a more dense texture than for a regular sponge cake. Bananas have mild leavening properties but most banana bread recipes will still have some added baking powder or bicarbonate of soda (baking soda).

We would suggest that you try Nigella's Chocolate-Topped Banana Cake (on the Nigella website) as this has more of a sponge cake-like shape and texture. It is baked in a springform pan and once it is fully cold you may be able to slice it in half horizontally with a serrated knife and use a toffee or caramel buttercream. Alternatively you could smother it with Nigella's Salted Caramel Sauce (on the Nigella website).

Speedy Steamed Syrup Sponge

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