The journey to creating a banana cake recipe that was perfect for me, lasted a
painful year and a half (ikr). I never used to bake, and if i’m honest, it’s because I never thought that I was very good at it. The science of it all had always frustrated me, because unlike cooking, you can’t just follow your intuition and pull out approximations for ingredients from your armpit. Experimenting with, ‘a little bit of this, and a more of that’ wasn’t enough. Baking requires an element of precision that the food creative in me was immediately intimidated by.
I also had this major problem, where I didn’t really know the difference between banana cake/loaf/bread (potato, potata). I knew what kind of taste and texture i was after, but I didn’t know how to achieve it, or which recipe was right. After taste testing a variety of supermarket, and cake shop creations, I figured that I wanted to go for a banana cake. A banana cake that was moist, fluffy and borderline addictive. With this realisation, came high levels of bafflement, and a plethora of decisions to make. Should I use buttermilk? WHY ARE THERE 359 TYPES OF FLOUR, AND WHICH ONE DO I USE? How many eggs do i need? How many bananas do i use? Is this banana off, or ideal for my cake?
Omg, and don’t even get me started on my oven. Instruction manuals for fan ovens can all suck my elbow, because I guarantee that none of them tell you that you can’t set the same temperature that you would for a gas oven. In the beginning, I was very patient with myself, but then I found myself falling into self doubt. I mean, when you make your 509th Frankenstein cake, you’re bound to feel a little disheartened. Maybe baking just wasn’t for me.
But that was the devil talking.
And, what do we say to the devil?
Yes, the nerd within sings loud. BUT ANYWAY BACK TO WHAT I WAS SAYING…
Afterpoisoningmyfamilyonetoomanytimes, I ENDED UP MASTERING THIS CAKE. YEAS!
It was the most perfectly balanced banana cake I’d had. I was in so much disbelief, that when I got the recipe right, I made it three extra times, just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. A lot of screaming went into it, I kid you not.
I will say, that this process has inspired me to create a new series of posts which test out other recipes to the letter, and see if they work, because so many drove me to madness.
Please give it a go yourself, and enjoy!
Recipe for Banana Cake (1 loaf)
2 Bananas (the blacker, the better)
120g Sugar (3 tbsp. caster sugar, and the remaining brown sugar)
170g Self-raising flour
55g Melted Butter (replace with sunflower/coconut oil for a dairy-free version)
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Pinch Ground Nutmeg
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tbsp. Ground Cinnamon
- Pre-heat your oven (to 160°c if it’s a fan oven, or 180°c if it’s gas) before greasing, and flouring (new word, alert) a loaf tin.
- In a large bowl, smash your bananas with a potato masher (major key), or fork. Make sure that you don’t blend it, or make it too smooth. Bits are your friend.
- Add the sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla extract, and then mix until they are combined.
- Then, in a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Using a wooden spoon, gradually fold the flour mix into the wet ingredients. Don’t use a cake mixer, or your cake will be brick hard, with a tantalising molten/raw centre.
- When air bubbles start appearing in your mix, it’s telling you that it’s ready to slide into the tin and glow up in the oven. Give it what it wants, and bake it for 1 hour.
- Stab the cake with a wooden cocktail stick to make sure it’s ready, then cool, n’ serve.