This bake came about when we wanted to make a birthday cake for a friend who’s given up sweet treats for Lent… I was a bit dubious about finding anything, but came across this recipe which doesn’t add any sugar. In fact, as it doesn’t add any fat either, I’m choosing to count it as health food! Traditionally it should be made in a loaf tin, but we didn’t have one so just used a round one. And I can’t take any credit for the icing, that was my far-more-artistic friend! The original recipe is here.
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup raisins
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3) – if you only have underripe bananas see the tip below
3/4 cup orange juice
2 eggs, beaten
– Preheat oven to 175c and grease and line a loaf tin or 9 inch round tin.
– Mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon, raisins and lemon zest.
– In another bowl, beat the eggs, orange juice and bananas together.
– Add the dry ingredients to this and mix until just combined.
– Transfer to tin and bake for approx. 40 mins.
If you only have underripe bananas (as we did), place them in an oven on the lowest setting – approx. 50c – until you see the first brown spots appear, probably after half an hour or more. We accidentally left them in until the skins had turned entirely black but the insides were fine, if this happens you can just put them straight in the fridge to stop them ripening any further!
In my house, only my dad and I like banana loaf, so I had never made it before. But we had two brown-looking bananas and I’d wanted to make it ever since I tasted my friend’s amazing version at uni, so I dug out the trusty Delia’s ‘Complete Cookery Course’ and got to work! Although the original recipe called for four bananas, it worked OK with two, and her addition of citrus zest was a nice touch, and made it different to any I’ve had before. It was a really easy recipe, too – practically an all-in-one! Because this is a fairly old recipe, the weights are in ounces first, with grams after, so I used the imperial weights but I’ve given both below.
3 oz (75g) butter or margarine
4 oz (110g) caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
8 oz (225g) plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 ripe bananas (but I only used 2 and it was fine)
Zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
Optionally, 2 oz (50g) walnuts (but I left these out)
– Preheat the oven to 180c; grease a 1lb loaf tin (3.5 x 7.5 inch base / 9 x 19 cm) and line the base.
– Place the margarine, sugar and eggs in a mixing bowl, then sift over the flour and baking powder. Mix with an electric whisk until well-combined – the mixture was quite dry but it didn’t matter.
– In a separate bowl, mash the bananas with a fork.
– Add the mashed banana, orange and lemon zest and walnuts (if using) to the mixing bowl and whisk again thoroughly.
– Transfer the mixture to the loaf tin and bake for 50-55 minutes until it is golden and well risen.
– Slice and eat. My dad has it with butter but I just eat it plain!