This is the cake Alfred asks for every year ... it's a really simple, quick banana loaf, absolutely his favourite. I've tried other, richer, recipes, but none of them is as popular as this. It was given to me by my friend Clare Pelling, after she brought one for a tea party here (probably before Alfred was born). I call it Clare's banana cake; Clare calls it Jane's banana bread.
This recipe is so ancient that it's in imperial, the last unconverted recipe I use (just as well I've got scales which do both). I think that the original idea was to use a pound unpeeled weight of bananas, but I've always taken it to mean the peeled weight, with the result that this tastes very banana-ry. And I use homemade vanilla essence.
Alfred's banana cake
1 1/2 oz Flora
6 oz light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 lb bananas
6 oz self-raising flour
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Turn the oven on to 180C. Line a large loaf tin. Mix the Flora with the sugar, add the eggs and vanilla essence. Add the flour and bicarb, then the bananas - I put them in whole and let my Kenwood do the work (which saves washing up, too). Sometimes I mix them very smooth, although my children like it best if I leave a few lumps of banana to discover, oozing, in the finished cake.
Pour into the tin, and bake for up to an hour. I start checking after 45 minutes.
Leave to cool in the tin. Keeps well; freezes well. Popular at cricket tea.
Links to related posts
Nigella's banana cake
Healthy banoffee pie
Links to banana cakes on other blogs
Nupur's peanut butter banana bread for Heart of the Matter
David Lebovitz's banana cake and banana loaf
Marbled banana cake from Baking Bites
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