Banana cake

I have, without lying, made this cake 70 bazillion times. In fact I’m pretty sure this would be the first thing that I ever learned to make. When as a I was probably around ten, I first got an interest in cooking while watching mum make banana cakes. Staring up at her, head just over the counter and watching the, I guess at the time, wonderous process of lots of not-so-tasty things come together to make something delicious.

Until now I’ve never made a banana cake post-diagnosis. I don’t know why. It’s a shame as I think this works really well as a glutenfree cake. One common problem with glutenfree cakes is that they’re generally very crumbly – no gluten to glue them together. Well this isn’t crumbly at all. I hypothesise that that might have something to do with the strands of banana keeping it together. And on top of this, it’s moist, but not overly so, soft, banana-y and yum. Definitely recommended.

This uses my current standard cake flour mix, which is basically: half almond meal and half some other form of glutenfree flour. I’m still very much learning about glutenfree baking but I find this works quite well. The almond meal has a good crumb and tastes good and the regular flour balances the dense, richness of the almond. This particular cake had as the “other flour”, half chestnut flour (as I, by accident found it and wanted to experiment) and half white rice flour. I haven’t decided if what you use as the “other flour” makes much difference but for future reference this was pretty close to perfect in terms of texture – and the taste was pretty damn good too.

As to the icing, the cream cheese icing used here is simple and lovely and what I’d usually put on a banana cake but chocolate ganache also suits very well. Or put whatever you like.

Note: this makes a pretty large cake. Enough to fill a 30cm diameter cake tin about 4-5cm high: so easily 10-12 people, with some to spare.

Cake
  • 250g butter
  • 250g sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 very ripe bananas
  • 2t baking soda
  • 50ml of milk
  • 150g almond meal
  • 150g glutenfree flour (on this occasion this was ½ rice flour and ½ chestnut flour)
  • 1t glutenfree baking powder
  • 2t psyllium husk powder
Icing
  • 250g tub of full-fat cream cheese
  • icing sugar to taste – I use about ¾C
A note about bananas
This won’t work with the kind of bananas you’d like to eat. They really need to be at least a little bit black and if they look kind of like you’d rather bin them than eat them all the better (as long as they’re not actually rotting). It probably seems odd but trust me, that’s the way it works.
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until they’re fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  4. Add the bananas and beat until they’re sufficiently mashed up and incorporated.
  5. Warm the milk (I usually do this in the microwave) and mix in the baking soda. It’s ready when there are no lumps and the heat has activated the soda and caused the mix to “puff” up to 3x the size.
  6. Add the milk mixture to the batter and incorporate.
  7. Add the almond meal and stir in.
  8. Sift the remaining ingredients in and mix well.
  9. Pour the batter into a large cake tin (mine was 30cm in diameter) and place into the oven.
  10. Check the cake after 30mins and remove it when a skewer from the thickest part of the cake comes out clean.
  11. Allow the cake to cool and get on with the icing.
  12. Tip the cream cheese into a bowl and beat with a spatula until creamy and lumpfree.
  13. Sift in the icing sugar and mix until combined.
  14. Ice the cake when it’s cold.

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