Bananas can be divisive: like marmite a lot of people either love them or hate them. I am one of those strange people who sits somewhere in the middle; in other words I’m fussy. I’ll eat a banana if it’s firm, but if I come across even one patch of bruising I instantly feel nauseous; cue Mary Berry’s foolproof banana loaf recipe. The perfect solution for all those squidgy bananas sitting in your fruit bowl (or you could try my spiced pancakes)!
I used to be skeptical of banana cake, put off by fake banana taste put into yoghurts etc. but a few years ago I made my first loaf and was instantly converted. Since then I’ve tried countless recipes; some have been too dry, banana-y, bland, dense…the list goes on. But, this recipe from Mary Berry’s Simple Cakes (p74) is unbelievably easy and comes out perfect every time.
I personally like a bit of spice in my banana loaf so I add cinnamon and mixed spice to my batter. It is also delicious served with some caramelised / roasted bananas and cream cheese frosting (but that’s a real treat). I also think it would work very well with dark rum, dark chocolate chips in the cake or ganache on the top. Ingredients and method below, happy baking!
4oz (100g) softened butter
6oz (175g) golden caster sugar – you could use light muscovado which I think would work really well!
2 ripe mashed bananas
8oz (225g) self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp mixed spice
1) Preheat the oven to 180 or gas mark 4
2) Grease and line a 9lb loaf tin (standard size) – I used butter and flour, you could use greaseproof or baking paper
3) Put all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl
4) Using an electric hand whisk, beat for approximately two minutes until all the ingredients are combined in a smooth batter
You should end up with a mix that looks like this…
5) Pour the mixture into your loaf tin and smooth out as evenly as possible
6) Put in the oven and bake for 50 – 60 minutes
7) Check cake with a skewer, cocktail stick or a bundt cake thermometer – if it comes out clean your cake is done.
8) Turn out onto a cooling rack and eat when it is cooled.
Tip: You can check halfway through and cover loosely with a piece of foil if the cake is colouring too quickly – don’t worry it won’t collapse!