NZ Forest Native Birds

Laraine’s Banana Cake

There isn’t anything particularly new about this recipe; it’s based on the old one that appears in the ubiquitous and venerable Edmonds Cook Book. But there are few cakes (outside those heavy fruit ones used for birthdays, weddings and Christmas) that can still be enjoyed the day after they are made so it’s a popular treat in my household. I prefer the “bobby” bananas because they seem to have more flavour. While this recipe is great for using up overripe bananas, it works just as well with bananas that are perfect for eating.

125g butter
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs

2 large bananas, or 3 medium, or 4 “bobby” size

2 cups flour
½ tsp (rounded) cream of tartar
¼ tsp (rounded) sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)

2 TB boiling milk and
1 tsp baking soda

Line the bottom of an 8-inch round cake tin with greasproof paper, grease the sides with butter (using your fingers works best for this) and sprinkle flour over the butter. Tap the tin upside-down over the sink to get off excess flour.

Cream the butter and sugar, gradually add the lightly beaten eggs, beating well after each addition (to stop the mixture curdling). Mash the bananas by breaking them into pieces in a fairly large bowl and beating them to a pulp with a hand-held mixer. Add boiling milk, with the 1 tsp of baking soda mixed in it, to the creamed mixture, then add the bananas and finally the sifted flour and raising agents. Mix well, using a folding motion with a metal spoon. The milk, bananas and flour can also be added alternately in about three lots if you prefer. Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake at 180°C (350°F) for about 40 minutes. This temperature is probably for an oven without a fan, so if you have a convection or fan-forced oven follow the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Cool the cake on a wire rack, covered with a teatowel (which helps the cake not to dry out as it cools). When completely cold ice with lemon icing made with icing sugar and lemon juice (much nicer than chocolate icing). Serve either plain with tea or coffee, or as an after-dinner dessert with whipped, unsweetened cream.

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