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Forgiving Banana Cake

A community recipe by

Not tested or verified by Nigella.com

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Introduction

The most forgiving recipe for banana cake ever. You can mess around with the proportions and the ingredients quite a lot without it affecting the results too much.

This is for an oblong cake tin about 30 cms long.

The most forgiving recipe for banana cake ever. You can mess around with the proportions and the ingredients quite a lot without it affecting the results too much.

This is for an oblong cake tin about 30 cms long.

Ingredients

Serves: 10-30

Metric Cups
  • 100 grams butter (or margarine)
  • 175 grams sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 100 grams raisins (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon rum (optional)
  • 400 grams bananas (overipe - mashed)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 150 grams nuts (roughly chopped - optional)
  • 300 grams flour
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons milk (optional)
  • 3½ ounces butter (or margarine)
  • 6⅙ ounces sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 3½ ounces raisins (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon rum (optional)
  • 14⅛ ounces bananas (overipe - mashed)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 5⅓ ounces nuts (roughly chopped - optional)
  • 10⅗ ounces flour
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons milk (optional)

Method

Forgiving Banana Cake is a community recipe submitted by Edda and has not been tested by Nigella.com so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe.

  • Cream butter and sugar together. Easiest is to use the stand-alone mixer, you don't need to bring the butter to room temp first then. Just let the machine churn and churn as you weigh off and prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Best use eggs at room temp though. Add the eggs, churn until the mixture changes in colour and becomes light and fluffy. Add the lemon zest, and if using raisins (or currants, or even cranberries), soak them in the rum. I usually add a healthy glug of rum and forget about the raisins altogether. =)
  • Add the bananas and the lemon juice. Again, I usually don't measure out the juice but squeeze in roughly a tablespoon's worth, sometimes more. Once the bananas are mixed in, you might notice the mix looks curdled. Don't worry. Add the nuts (if you want to use them).
  • Sift flour and baking powder together, or just loosely whisk them together in a bowl. Add to the egg-flour-banana mix and combine. If the dough/batter seems too heavy, add milk. I usually don't need to because (boozer that I am!) I have already added a healthy dose of rum!
  • Butter the tin, line it with parchment. Bake for 75 minutes in an oven preheated at 180°C.
  • Cream butter and sugar together. Easiest is to use the stand-alone mixer, you don't need to bring the butter to room temp first then. Just let the machine churn and churn as you weigh off and prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Best use eggs at room temp though. Add the eggs, churn until the mixture changes in colour and becomes light and fluffy. Add the lemon zest, and if using raisins (or currants, or even cranberries), soak them in the rum. I usually add a healthy glug of rum and forget about the raisins altogether. =)
  • Add the bananas and the lemon juice. Again, I usually don't measure out the juice but squeeze in roughly a tablespoon's worth, sometimes more. Once the bananas are mixed in, you might notice the mix looks curdled. Don't worry. Add the nuts (if you want to use them).
  • Sift flour and baking powder together, or just loosely whisk them together in a bowl. Add to the egg-flour-banana mix and combine. If the dough/batter seems too heavy, add milk. I usually don't need to because (boozer that I am!) I have already added a healthy dose of rum!
  • Butter the tin, line it with parchment. Bake for 75 minutes in an oven preheated at 180°C.
  • Additional Information

    If making cupcakes, add 2 tablespoons of batter in each cupcake paper. I used the Lakeland ones, the box says 44x25 mm. The batter is enough for 20 cupcakes, plus 9 larger muffin cases (the ones you need for a 12-muffin size muffin tin). Bake cupcakes for 20 minutes at 180°C, muffins for 25-30 minutes. I don't like the greyish tinge a lot of banana cakes get. So I always use the darkest type of brown sugar I can get. I also substitute part of the weight of the flour with custard powder for that reason. The bright yellow colour kind of masks the grey. You can substitute up to 30 % of the flour in any cake recipe with either corn flour or custard powder. This also helps make your cake lighter. Again, I go by the seat of my pants: Add corn flour/custard powder first, when your bowl is on the scales, and top up with flour. This cake will keep for up to a week in the fridge, wrapped in tin foil. If it lasts that long... It yields a very moist cake, and the riper the bananas you use, the more fragrant the cake will be. As you might have gathered, this is a very forgiving recipe. You can play around with the proportions quite a lot. Just make sure the sugar is well-dissolved before adding your other ingredients and use fresh baking powder. If you don't have any bananas, use other fruit or fruit pulp. I have successfully made this cake with mashed apricots too, I've even topped up the weight of the mashed bananas with applesauce and the result was fine. My sister successfully used rhubarb compote and Mum once used blueberry compote. The result of that one looked a bit Halloween-ish though. But it was delicious! Sometimes I use all the ingredients. Sometimes I don't. I never leave out the lemon juice, though. But leaving out the zest and using chocolate chips instead of nuts is a pretty yummy idea, even though I say so myself. Hot tip: If you want the tear in the cake to be nice and straight, wet your finger and draw a straight line across the top of the (raw) batter, lengthwise, before putting it in the oven. Or have a knife at the ready, and as soon as you see your cake starting to rise, cut the top with the knife (lengthwise). The tear will follow that line. If the top of the (large) cake browns too much, cover with tin foil to protect it and prevent more browning. Don't worry if you have several trays of cupcakes. This past week-end I put the cupcakes in first, filled the muffin cases, opened the oven and added the tray with muffins, and when the baking time for the cupcakes was over, took out that tray and left in the muffins. No harm done. They all rose beautifully. Enjoy! =)

    If making cupcakes, add 2 tablespoons of batter in each cupcake paper. I used the Lakeland ones, the box says 44x25 mm. The batter is enough for 20 cupcakes, plus 9 larger muffin cases (the ones you need for a 12-muffin size muffin tin). Bake cupcakes for 20 minutes at 180°C, muffins for 25-30 minutes. I don't like the greyish tinge a lot of banana cakes get. So I always use the darkest type of brown sugar I can get. I also substitute part of the weight of the flour with custard powder for that reason. The bright yellow colour kind of masks the grey. You can substitute up to 30 % of the flour in any cake recipe with either corn flour or custard powder. This also helps make your cake lighter. Again, I go by the seat of my pants: Add corn flour/custard powder first, when your bowl is on the scales, and top up with flour. This cake will keep for up to a week in the fridge, wrapped in tin foil. If it lasts that long... It yields a very moist cake, and the riper the bananas you use, the more fragrant the cake will be. As you might have gathered, this is a very forgiving recipe. You can play around with the proportions quite a lot. Just make sure the sugar is well-dissolved before adding your other ingredients and use fresh baking powder. If you don't have any bananas, use other fruit or fruit pulp. I have successfully made this cake with mashed apricots too, I've even topped up the weight of the mashed bananas with applesauce and the result was fine. My sister successfully used rhubarb compote and Mum once used blueberry compote. The result of that one looked a bit Halloween-ish though. But it was delicious! Sometimes I use all the ingredients. Sometimes I don't. I never leave out the lemon juice, though. But leaving out the zest and using chocolate chips instead of nuts is a pretty yummy idea, even though I say so myself. Hot tip: If you want the tear in the cake to be nice and straight, wet your finger and draw a straight line across the top of the (raw) batter, lengthwise, before putting it in the oven. Or have a knife at the ready, and as soon as you see your cake starting to rise, cut the top with the knife (lengthwise). The tear will follow that line. If the top of the (large) cake browns too much, cover with tin foil to protect it and prevent more browning. Don't worry if you have several trays of cupcakes. This past week-end I put the cupcakes in first, filled the muffin cases, opened the oven and added the tray with muffins, and when the baking time for the cupcakes was over, took out that tray and left in the muffins. No harm done. They all rose beautifully. Enjoy! =)

    Tell us what you think

    What 6 Others have said

    • I must've done something wrong. I tried using 25g less sugar and had only 300g of bananas, plus added some pecan nuts and the cake has a bitter taste, probably due to the lemon zest and not enough sugar. Plus the cake is very strong on the outside, it cooked very fast in less than an hour so I dont' know what went wrong. I used some milk because I dont really like rum but really disappointed as I am used to cooking desserts a lot and it rarely comes to this. Thanks anyways.

      Posted by Sito on 22nd January 2015
    • I am camping in Australia. I made this recipe with my camping equipment, no mixers or gadgets just a spoon, and cooked it in a camp oven. I had to adjust the heat as it was cooking too quickly. I made two small cakes in foil containers and they are delicious. I used self raising flour because that's what I had. A very forgiving cake even in a camp oven!

      Posted by Sandra123 on 9th May 2014
    • I added a bag of 8 mini Cadbury's Caramel Eggs to this, frozen beforehand so they didn't go too gooey during cooking :-) Gooey is great but I still wanted them to be in egg form when slicing the cake.

      Posted by Beckah on 13th March 2014
    • It's great! No raisins at home but a splash or rum and some dark chocolate did the trick. Mine was cooked in an hour. Thanks! It might just be my new banana cake recipe.

      Posted by Allaben on 4th August 2013
    • I tried this, but replaced the sugar with soft brown sugar, and replaced the rum with a few squidges of golden syrup (because of the kids). It's worked very well. HOWEVER, i do suggest you use REALLY over-ripe bananas, because mine were only just over-ripe, and i'll be honest, i can't taste the banana, just the raisins. I wasn't sure of which flour to use, so i used self raising - was light and fluffy, i expect plain would make it more stodgy and heavy?

      Posted by shoddy446 on 7th April 2013
    • Amazing cake!! I've been relying on this recipe for years. Tastes delicious and lasts for a few days if wrapped up and kept in the fridge :)

      Posted by Waterworth89 on 9th November 2011
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