Baking is something I have loved for a very long time, and I even won awards for my baking over on my old blog (but let’s not talk about how awful the rest of the blog was!). As the weather gets colder, I love playing around with seasonal flavours and ingredients in the kitchen; during the autumn and winter cinnamon and all spice are firm favourites of mine, along with maple syrup and peanut butter. I decided to add these flavours to a trusted favourite of mine: banana loaf cake.
Unless you are a keen baker and used to substitutions, I wouldn’t recommend playing around too much with ingredients and quantities as baking is an exact science, however, after finding myself a little too short on the mashed banana front, I decided to add some of my store cupboard faves and trust me, it works. The result was the familiar denseness of an old fashioned banana loaf cake, with the addition of an underlying nutty flavour.
Although it is quite obvious when looking at the ingredients, I will point out that this is not suitable for those with nut allergies, a diary intolerance or vegans, however, this cake could easily be transformed into a vegan-friendly cake by replacing the 2 tbsp milk with your choice of milk alternative. I feel hazelnut milk would complement the flavour beautifully, but it can be more difficult to come across. You would also need to substitute the egg for an additional 1/4 cup of banana.
2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1tsp vanilla (paste or extract, NEVER essence)
1 cup mashed banana
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp milk (or alternative milk for vegans)
1 large egg (or 1/4 cup mashed banana for vegans)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp raw peanut butter (think healthy peanut butter, not the sugary type – it gives a stronger peanut taste)
1 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat the over to 180C / 160C Fan / Gas Mark 4
- Grease a 2lb loaf tin and dust with plain flour
- Mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and set aside
- In another bowl, whisk the egg, sugar and vegetable oil until combined
- Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix until completely combined (at this point it may clump together and look like a dough, it has not gone wrong, I promise!)
- Add the milk, vanilla, bananas, maple syrup and peanut butter and mix
- Once combined, fold in 2/3 of the chopped pecans, saving some for the top of the loaf
- Pour the mixture into the previous greased and floured tin and sprinkle the remaining chopped nuts across the top of the batter
- Bake for 60-80 minutes, until a toothpick or skewer comes out of the centre completely clean
- Leave to cool completely before slicing and serving
Pro tip – line the loaf tin with a strip of baking parchment to create handles before pouring the batter in the tin. This will help you take the cake out of the tin once it has baked.
Let me know if you’ve tried the recipe – I’d love to see the finished result!