Three layers of flavourful banana cake, filled with a smooth, creamy icing flavoured with a hint of honey
Things have been a little quiet on this little corner of the internet for the past few weeks. The Easter holidays were a busy time for me, albeit in the best possible way. If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen that we (finally!) found time to sit down and get all our wedding invitations made and sent out. After 5 frustrating hours fighting with the printer, then an entire day of carefully cutting the invites to size and rounding off the corners, not to mention the hours of addressing the envelopes in my beginners calligraphy hand, and eventually the invites were done!
Following that my Mum came out to visit, and the week of her stay resulted in an awful lot of over indulgence, a few too many glasses of wine, and hardly a moment spent in the kitchen.
At the start of the week we promised ourselves we were going to be healthy. We went out and stocked up on bananas and decaf tea. We had all the very best intentions of protein rich breakfasts, home cooked dinners, and not too much to drink. Of course, by the end of the week of afternoon teas, brunches, and beers on the beach those bananas were still sitting in the kitchen. Untouched, soft and speckled. Perfect for banana cake.
Those brown, soft bananas found a second chance in this; a gorgeous three layered incredibly moist and flavourful banana cake, perfectly complimented with a smooth and creamy icing. Its homey and comforting, but a little bit special, too.
This is, without a doubt, the most bananaery of banana cakes that I’ve ever baked. The texture is perfect. Moist without being cloying or soggy, with a crumb speckled with chunks of banana. Top it off with a cream cheese icing flavoured with just a hint of honey, and the results are incredibly moreish and tempting.
– recipe adapted from Annabel Langbein.
– The depth of flavour of honey will vary from honey to honey. As such the amount of honey you need will vary. I used about 8 teaspoons of honey, but add it slowly, tasting between every few teaspoons, until you have a subtle honey taste.
– If you don’t fancy cutting the cake into three layers, you can just half the quantity of icing, and just spread it on top of the cake.
– Keep a close eye on the banana cake as it bakes. This cake has a tendancy to over colour (or burn!) on the top, before its cooked right through. You may need to cover it with tin foil mid way through cooking. On the same note, don’t be afraid to give the cake longer in the oven if it isn’t cooked right through at 60 minutes.
- ---for the cake
- 250g butter
- 300g caster sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 very ripe bananas, mashed into a rough puree
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 120ml milk
- 420g plain flour, sifted
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- --- for the icing
- 250g cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 50g butter, softened to room temperature
- 350g icing sugar
- approx. 8 teaspoons honey
- Preheat the oven to 190C / 170C fan/ 374F. Line a 23cm spring form round tin with greaseproof paper.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Add the vanilla, then beat in the eggs one at time. Then stir in the mashed bananas.
- In a small saucepan, heat the milk to just below boiling point, then dissolve in the baking soda. Add the frothy milk mixture to the butter and sugar mixture, and stir together.
- Add the sifted flour and baking powder, and fold in. Be careful not to over mix. The batter may still be a little lumpy, and that's ok.
- Pour into the prepared tin. Put into the pre-heated oven and bake for 55-60 minutes, until the cake is risen and golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean. You may need to cover the cake with tin foil mid way during the baking process, as the top has a tendency to brown before the cake is cooked right through. Remove from the oven and cool completely in the tin.
- Turn out of the tin. If the cake has doomed, carefully cut off the top of the cake. Cut the cake into three layers.
- Next, make the icing. Cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy and pale. You want to ensure that there are no lumps left in the mixture at this stage. Sift in the icing sugar and beat to combine. Add the honey, tasting as you go, until you can taste a subtle honey taste.
- Put one layer of the cake on a plate. Add a third of the icing, then top with the second layer. Repeat with another third of the icing, then add the final layer. Cover with the remaining icing.
- Store, covered, in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before serving.