Banana Spice Cake

Scandilicious Banana Spice Cake (8977)

Another cake recipe is on the way. One of two this week, hopefully! If I say once again that Signe Johansen’s Baking is one of my must-haves I’d be annoying you. But it is a gem. I’m still reading it through because I am taking my time with it. And one day I know I’ll be trying most of the yeast recipes. I’m still scared though!

In the meantime I think I made pretty much all of Signe’s banana bread/cakes and this is the one I like best. I made it a while ago and had it lined up for a few months. It goes well with a cup of tea if that’s your thing, or hot chocolate, which is mine. If you’re in the mood for something a little adventurous then make a good cup of coffee with a cardamom seed or two. Which brings us nicely to this recipe.

This banana spice cake is a good balance between punchy and delicate, and cannot be simpler to make. Read the recipe first and give yourself a little bit of time for prep, as I should have done! I’m sorry for the lack of decent photos in this post. I had two other potentials but frankly they didn’t look so great today so I left them out.

Scandilicious Banana Spice Cake (8975)

One thing I must mention before we begin is that the cake batter is quite heavy. That might explain the amount of raising agent needed here. So when you take it out of the oven to test it, note that it will slightly sink in the middle. Now I’m definitely not taking away anything from Signe’s recipe. She is one of the most talented bakers I know. Just keep an eye on the cake as it bakes and use your gut instinct as to when you should remove it from the oven.

  •  3 eggs
  • 125g golden caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • 100g soft light brown sugar
  • 250g spelt flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 125g unsalted butter, melted
  • 100g crème fraîche
  • a handful of chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 175ºC. Grease and lightly dust with flour a 23cm round cake tin.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, caster sugar and vanilla extract until everything turns light and fluffy. **Please note that this larger bowl will be the one into which the final cake batter will be mixed.**

In a second bowl, mash the bananas together with the lemon juice.

In a third bowl tip in the brown sugar, flour, baking powder and baking soda, and spices. Slowly fold in the mashed bananas, melted butter, crème fraiche, pecans, together with the dry ingredients in with the beaten egg and caster sugar mixture. Do this gradually in stages and as always, do not overmix the cake batter.

Tip the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake this on the middle shelf of the oven. You will need around 40 to 45 minutes for it to be ready. Insert a skewer or knife in the centre of the cake to test. If that comes out clean, the cake’s done.

Place the cake on a wire rack to cool for around 10 minutes in its tin. Remove it from the tin, put it on the wire rack once more and let it cool completely before you store it.

This is seriously one of the most delicious cakes I have tried. The banana and cardamom combo is truly inspired.

Rob.

(Recipe adapted from Signe Johansen’s Scandilicious Baking, Saltyard Books, 2012.)

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