Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Banana Cake

When its raining outside, what is this woman supposed to do?

Bake a cake of course!
I can't believe I have never posted a banana bread or banana cake on my blog. Quite unusual in fact, as I must have made banana loaf and banana muffins at least half a dozen times since starting this blog. Like many people I have bananas in my fruit basket. I often take them into work for breakfast on the go, and there are days when I don't and they go all blotchy and black skinned, which I then transform into a banana loaf or banana muffins, which I can still take into work to eat.

I have been making this banana bread recipe for at least 10 years and it is always with bananas that are ripe as ripe can be. After muffins, its my favourite cake to eat for breakfast.

The orangutan peering at my banana cake belongs to my sister-in-law. She had 'adopted' a orangutan through the World Wildlife Foundation. Orang-utan means 'man of the forest'. But the forest they live in is steadily disappearing as it is cleared to make way for plantations of palm oil, paper and timber. When the forest goes, so does the orang-utan. According to the WWF there are now only about half the number of orang-utans left in the wild compared with 10 years ago. This little orangutan was given to me for safe-keeping a few years ago when I fell in love with her big sad eyes, I wonder if she will ever go home?!
Banana Cake
Makes one 8 inch round cake
125g butter
125g caster sugar
2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 medium bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
250g self raising flour
125ml milk
Brush a 8 inch round cake tin with baking paper. Using electronic beaters, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and creamy. Add the eggs gradually, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add the essence and mashed bananas and beat until combined.
Using a metal spoon, fold in the sifted flour and soda alternatively with the milk. Stir until all the ingredients are just combined and the mixture is smooth. Spoon into the prepared tin; smooth the surface. Bake in oven Gas mark 4 for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre in the cake. Leave in tin for 10 minutes before turning onto wire rack to cool.


  1. Your "Kek Pisang" [banana cake] recipe reminds me the time when I accompanied John Mackinnon on a field trip in Borneo when he was studying the orang-utan for his book "In Search of the Red Ape". Banana cake is a very common breakfast food in Malaysia - normally served with some incredibly strong coffee.

  2. Hi Mangocheeks, happy new year! Thanks for this post, I too have a growing collection of blackening bananas that need to be turned into cake!

  3. I, too, enjoy bananas, banana cake or banana muffins for a breakfast. I haven't made a banana loaf for some time.
    I like your new photo at the top - very evocative!

  4. Oh this is wonderful, I think I might be able to achieve this cake. I always have lots of bananas, the boys love them, and right now, there are some that I had to put in the fridge to save. I'll let you know how I go.

    ps what's the bicarb for? I made sticky date pudding the other day and the recipe called for bicarb too. Do you know what it does?

  5. I love banana cake and banana bread and all things banana. I'm going to try this recipe!

  6. Banana bread is so good, I could eat it every day for breakfast and be happy. Yours looks delicious! Is it flipped upside down, or were you able to bake it without the top doming?

  7. so strange...i splurged on bananas (i've got a serious non-local thing) the other day for truffle making and was contemplating what to do with the extras...this might be it...although now it makes me think of the banana upside down cake i made in days past...

  8. Banana cakes are great :-). I hope that you will get a break from the rain soon :-)


  9. I havent made banana cake in much too long! I love it with cream cheeze icing :)


  10. It looks so yummy. I love plain banana cake!

  11. Yum, my friend made me a banana and chocolate cake recently, so yummy!

  12. oh!! I love banana bread. and this one looks great.

  13. this is one of my favourites..bananas goes well with a lot of bakes. btw, are you serious abt the 'orangutan' or is it some other things that you 're referring to?

  14. So simple, yet I bet it is moist and delicious! I think I WOULD like to swap a couple orange rolls for a nice slice :)

  15. Love banana cake! Some cream cheese frosting also makes it more decadent. All the best for 2011 too!

  16. Thank you so much for sharing your memories Mark. I really enjoyed reading and learning more about you. You certainly are a well travelled man. I like the sound of the Malaysian breakfast - I'd be a happy lass with some 'kek pisang' and trong coffee.

    Happy New Year to you too KitchenMaid.
    I must post the banana muffin with lexia raisings recipe too.

    Thanks Lou of Please Do Not Feed The Animals.
    I'm quite pleased with my new header.

    Thank you Ali.
    I hope it turns out good for you and your boys enjoy them.

    Although there is S/R flour in the cake, I guess the bicarb is to enhance it further with lift/rise - more oomph. I think it may work withoug, but I never have and have stuck with the recipe given to me as its always turned out perfect for me.

    Thank you Ann.
    I hope it turns out good for you. Please let me know :)

  17. Thanks Roxan.
    Yes, it is flipped upside down :) Something I read about very recently (especially recommended if icing the cake), otherwise it would have been featured with the top doming.

    Thanks rosaria.

    Hi EcoGrrl.
    Banana flavoured truffles - oh I am excited.
    I've seen upside down banana cake, but have not made it yet. May do one-day. You must share the recipe.

    Thanks Alessandra.
    Guesss what the rain is due to stop, but it is due to be replaced with more snow :(

    Thank you Rose.
    This banana cake shoudl have been iced, but i thought it was sweet enough :)

  18. Thank you Vegetarian Girl.
    Thsi cake was supposed to be iced, but I have always preferred it plain.

    Thank you so much Scented Sweetpeas.
    I do like the sound of the Banana and chocolate cake!

    Thanks you veggietestkitchen.

    Thanks lena.
    I am serious about the 'orangutan'.

    Thank you Lizzy.
    Yes it is moist and delicious and there is lots of it! I'd be happy to swap too :)

    Thank you TheFastestIndian.
    This should have been pasted with lashings of cream cheese frosting, but I thought it was sweet enough. If I had guests over, I certainly would have made it more decadent. All the best to YOU for 2011.

    Thank you so much Kath.

  19. banana cake is great comfort food - I have a similar recipe that I got from my mum - but since starting blogging I find I make all sort of banana cakes - glad to see a good simple banana cake is still appearing in your kitchen

    Now are you sure that orangutan is not just sad because it want a piece of banana cake ?

  20. Thank you Johanna.
    I so agree. I think banana bread will always be made in my home, but whether is gets showcased on the blog is another question.

    Haha - Maybe the orangutan is, or maybe it is missing its real home :)

  21. the vegetarian chili post is up! and I loooove it! :))

    love, polly

  22. Thanks Polly.
    So delighted to read that you like.

  23. Hey MC, I made the banana cake yesterday, and it was great. I didn't follow your method exactly, I just threw everything in to my mixer and mixed, and it came out fine. It doesn't look quite as dense as yours though, but as I said, it was very nice.

    Thank you, I got lots of compliments. Lol, although I always do when I make cake, people get excited about it, doesn't matter how it turns out!

  24. Thank you Ali.
    So pleased your throw it all into the mixer banana bread turned out grande :) Was your version a lot more airy - may have been to do with all that machine whisking.

    Have an ace weekend. I am so pleased its the weekend.

  25. Wow, this looks so good! My kinda cake. Sometimes we just don't need the frosting! In regards to your comment on Beatty's Chocolate Cake - yes it was horrible... but we needed all the warmth we could get in NYC. Speaking of snow, it is snowing AGAIN! :-)
    Happy New Year!

  26. It did look a lot more airy, yes. I actually beat it for much longer than I wanted to, my boys wanted to help and so we took our time cracking the eggs etc. I also put an extra egg in, I have chickens so I do love to use them up.

    Anyway, I was a bit worried that the beating had gone on for way too long, but as I said, it was fine.

    Yours looked nicer though, I think my oven is on a tilt! :)

  27. Hi Mangocheeks
    Seeing your banana cake blog was a bittersweet moment as my Dad (RIP) made a wicked banana and walnut cake. I also miss his bread and cobs my girls devoured before they had even cooled down! Must try your veg chilli recipe.
    Hope the weather is being kind to you , Jane

  28. looks lovely, i adore banana cakes. and orangutans, on anotehr levels of course. it really really breaks my heart the way they have lost so much of their natural habitat due to deforestation and the palm oil industry (i always stay away from products containing that). for christmas i finally went ahead and adopted a couple of orangutans on borneo for myself and two for my family. it's really the least one can do for those wonderful beings.


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