I was given a bunch of soft bananas by a colleague who knows I love to bake, and thought I could possibly make something tasty from them (thanks Clayton!). Instead of a banana bread style recipe, I opted for more of a traditional cake. This wasn’t originally intended to be a dairy free cake, it just so happened that way based on the ingredients I had in the fridge. (I’ve made this twice in the last 2 weeks, but unfortunately was not able to get very good photos on either occasion – it disappeared too quickly!)
Sliced up and ready to share!
The cake itself is very easy – I made the whole thing in my KitchenAid mixer, but if you don’t have one it would still be a simple one-bowl process using electric beaters.
125g Nuttelex (soft butter or butter substitute)
1 ½ cups caster sugar
3 mashed overripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract
100ml almond milk (or regular milk)
1 ½ cups self-raising flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a 20cm round cake tin, and line the base with baking paper. Place butter, sugar, banana, eggs, and vanilla in a bowl and beat for a couple of minutes. Add the milk and beat again. Add the flour and bicarb soda and beat again until combined. Pour into cake tin, bake for 1 hour. Cool in tin for about 10 minutes, then turn onto wire rack to cool.
I then iced this with lemon cream cheese icing, slightly defeating the purpose of making the cake dairy free to start with! It was delicious though.
To make my cream cheese icing I beat 1 block of softened Philadelphia cream cheese with a couple of tablespoons of soft butter. Then I add icing sugar while beating, until it’s the right consistency and taste, and I add some fresh lemon juice at the same time until it tastes how I want it. This makes quite a lot of icing, but it’s super yummy!
Next up in the gluten-free, dairy-free experimentation: a cake made from scratch instead of a packet mix! I picked this recipe because it was dairy-free to start with (apart from the original cream cheese icing) so there wasn’t as much modification required. I found these two wheat and gluten-free flours the other day in my shopping expedition so I simply replaced the regular flours in the recipe with these. I was particularly impressed with the plain flour – the texture was pretty much identical to regular flour. The self-raising flour was very fine – it looked and felt more like cornflour.
It’s another AWW recipe that I’ve slightly altered to suit. I’ve never come across a carrot and banana cake recipe before, and I love both separately so I thought I’d probably love the combination too! Also I had a heap of soft bananas and a whole bag of carrots in the fridge… It turned out surprisingly well, not dry but not too dense, with a light and springy texture all the way through. It actually reminded me of the texture of the carrot cakes that my Nanna used to make when I was a child. It’s not a ‘pretty’ cake, not is it super sweet, but it is an easy, tasty and wholesome cake and I’ll definitely be making it again.
1 ¼ cups GF plain flour
½ cup GF self-raising flour
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups finely grated carrot
1 cup mashed banana
1 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 170C. Grease a 23cm springform tin and line the base with baking paper. Sift all the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Stir in the eggs, carrot, banana and oil. Pour into the tin and bake for about 1 ¼ hours, cool in tin.
When the cake was cool enough I turned it out onto a wire rack and then drizzled it with a icing glaze that I made from almond milk, icing sugar and cinnamon.
It was ugly but delicious! I think it would keep pretty well in an airtight container but there wasn’t any left over for me to find out!