We’re a household where mouldy bananas are a regular occurrence, usually after a health-kick inspired food shop, and one of the best uses for a blackened banana is in cake.
Banana cake is one of my favourites, left plain or mixed with anything from peanut butter or Nutella to cinnamon or walnuts.
Here I’ve used some leftover dates we bought at Christmas and added them to my normal banana cake mix.
The dates give a lovely chewy texture and when you get one in a mouth full it feels a bit like a lump of toffee.
I also sliced a banana and laid it on top of the mixture before baking which I think gives it a really rustic look and because you sprinkle it with sugar before it goes in the oven it slightly caramelises – and it’s obvious straight away what flavour the cake is!
This one is best eaten warm, but it can also be frozen (if you have the willpower) for up to three months.
- 140g softened butter (plus extra for greasing the tin)
- 70g caster sugar
- 70g light brown sugar (plus a little extra for the top of the cake)
- 2 large free range eggs
- 200g self-raising flour
- 2tsp cinnamon
- Three bananas (the blacker the better)
- 100g chopped dates
- 50ml whole milk
- A pinch of salt
How to bake..
Butter a 2lb loaf tin (this is a standard size loaf tin) and set aside. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
Mix together the butter and sugars until the mixture has doubled in size and looks light and fluffy (around three minutes with an electric mixer, five without).
Slowly add the eggs one at a time and then sieve in the flour, cinnamon and a pinch of salt.
Carry on mixing until everything is incorporated (a couple of minutes more) and slowly pour in the milk.
When the mixture has come together (and there are no obvious lumps of flour which haven’t mixed into the wet mixture) mash up two bananas with a fork and slice a third in half.
Add the mashed bananas and chopped dates to the cake mix and mix until everything comes together (a couple of minutes more).
Dollop the mixture into your loaf tin, it should be around three quarters full, and then lay the banana slices on top. Sprinkle the remaining brown sugar (around 1tbsp) on top of the bananas and then put the cake into bake for 40 minutes.
It’s done when a sharp knife comes out clean when you stick it into the middle of the cake.
Wait as long as you can, and then dive in!