Sunday, 31 January 2010

Banana & Walnut Cake

I don't know about you, but I for one can't stand eating bananas once they have even the slightest of brown speckles. The texture and flavour begin to change and, if I'm honest, they're then usually destined for the bin. But I hate wasting food, so this recipe comes in handy because the riper the banana the better the flavour of the cake.

It's based on a recipe which I hastily scribbled down from a magazine in a waiting room somewhere a few years ago. Well, I scribbled down the main ingredients and then, over time have decided on the quantities which suit me best. I like adding walnuts for the texture and because they work well with bananas, but you could add any nuts you like, or even sultanas.

It's a very moist cake so testing for when it's done can be a tad tricky, but it will continue to set in the tin once you take it out of the oven.


4 ripe bananas
4 tbsp light olive oil
4 tbsp natural yogurt
2 eggs (beaten)
1 tsp vanilla extract
8oz self raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground mixed spice (plus a little cinnamon if you like it)
3oz soft brown sugar
2oz walnut pieces (or more if you prefer)


Mix the dry ingredients (flour, bicarbonate of soda, spice and sugar) together in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl mash the peeled bananas (I find a potato masher makes l ight work of this job) and then stir in the oil, yogurt, eggs and vanilla. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients along with the walnuts and mix well.

Pour the mixture into a lined, greased 1 litre loaf tin and bake in the oven at 180 C for 50 minutes to an hour until golden and well risen (I baked mine at 165 C in my fan oven). Depending on your oven, it may take a little longer as it is quite a moist mixture so test with a cake tester or scewer and also press gently in the centre to see whether it feels set. Leave in the tin to cool.

You can serve it warm with greek yogurt and honey as a dessert (or even afternoon tea!) or enjoy it just as it is with a cup of tea.


  1. Funny, I can't stand eating bananas unless their baked in a cake-like dessert. Looks lovely. :)

  2. Looks fabulous and baking with bananas is def the best use for the brown ones!I quite like Nigella's recipe with the boozy raisins. Although the soaking booze always makes it into my cake. Waste not want not!

  3. I love banana cake, especially really squishy mushy moist banana cake and over ripe bananas are just perfect for that! I haven't made it in AGES though and your recipe looks pretty good - might just have to give it a shot soon :)

  4. Your blog is lovely...and I LOVE banana cake! I plan to try a couple of your recipes this week. If you don't mind, I plan to link to your site!


  5. What a fab recipe, I do love a bit of banana cake, (which is weird because I hate bananas)

  6. Melanie - I love bananas but they really have to be at the right point of ripeness otherwise I can't stand them either! This is a great way to use them up.

    Helen T - Thanks! I am liking the idea of boozy fruit...I have made this cake with sultanas instead of the walnuts and that works really well too.

    Catty - I'm glad you like the look of it! Please do let me know if you give it a go. And if you like walnuts the recipe can stand a fair few more than I have used here (it also works well with pecans).

    Sommer - It would be lovely if you try some of my recipes - let me know how you get on!

    Gastrogeek - Another banana hater! My littlest sister hates them too, but I'm not sure she'd eat this cake either. Do you like bananas in smoothies? Could be a texture thing?

  7. Love banana bread. I would put either butter on it or butter and cream cheese. Don't forget you can freeze ripe bananas and then defrost when you want to use them in baking. A frozen one can also be thrown into a blender to make a smoothie. I make a banana bread with chocolate and no added oil or fat.

  8. Thanks Cate - banana bread sort of feels like 'healthy cake' doesn't it?! I've used frozen bananas for smoothies before but not to defrost for baking - great idea so as not to waste them!