This weekend I baked a cake. I like trying new recipes but I also like coming back to old favourites. A firm family favourite is banana cake.
My gran, Nancy, loved baking and my mum remembers her delicious banana cake being a regular treat. We’ve been making banana cake since I was a child and our recipe is quite simple. It makes a light but moist cake that is even tastier the day after baking, if it lasts that long! I’ve called it Nancy’s Banana Cake because although we don’t have her exact recipe, I like to think that she would have approved of our attempt to recreate her much-loved treat.
Nancy’s Banana Cake
You will need…
– Eggs: 2 medium
– Butter: ½ cup/4oz/100g
– Caster sugar: ½ cup/4-5oz/100-125g
– Plain flour: 2½ cups/12oz/300g
– Baking powder: 3 tsp
– Bananas (ripe): 5 medium
What to do with the ingredients…
– Line a 20cm/8 inch cake tin with greaseproof paper or baking parchment.
– Soften the butter by resting the mixing bowl in hot water, add the caster sugar and beat well until light and creamy, add the 2 eggs and beat further until all ingredients are well mixed.
– Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture and beat well – it will take a little while to mix it all together so if you have an electric mixer it will make it easier.
– Mash the bananas in a separate bowl and add to the mixture. Mix all ingredients really well.
– Pour the mixture into the cake tin and cook at 180 deg C (350 deg F) gas mark 4 for 55 minutes. Test to see if it is cooked by inserting a skewer or thin knife into the cake – it should come out clean.
– Cool the cake on a wire rack. Find some cake-loving friends and serve the cake with fine loose-leaf tea!
Sometimes we vary the recipe a little by adding chopped up nuts to the mix or making a topping once it’s cooled. A simple topping is icing sugar mixed with some fruit juice like orange juice or for a something a bit more exotic mix the contents of half of a passion fruit with the icing sugar – yum.
I could smell the cake baking in the oven while I was busily photographing some china purchases from that morning. By the time it was cooked, I was ready for a slice but diverted my attention for a little longer (to let it cool) by looking for a plate to serve it on. We bought some Royal Albert plates recently, which have a very delicate flower pattern design. Initially I thought it was a Paragon pattern but it’s Royal Albert Tranquillity. The largest of the plates was the perfect size for the banana cake, as you could still see some of the pattern around the rim. I had bought this cake server in a market earlier that day. I love the pearlescent handle. The small side plate was also a purchase from the same morning, another variant on the popular rosebuds pattern. The roses in this pattern are of a more crimson colour unlike many of the patterns that have light pink roses.
I made some tea in a big rosebuds teapot that we’d bought a few weeks ago. Unfortunately we discovered a crack in the top which means it’s not suitable to sell but is still perfectly usable. It served a fine brew to accompany a slice of cake after a busy day.