A cake that is good for you? Yes it is possible!
While I enjoy sweet treats , I do not like the excessive amounts of sugar, refined flour in many store bought cakes - that and the fact that sometimes what sounds like a humble and natural cake turns out to have some really odd unnatural ingredients with unpronounceable ingredients!
If you're after something fast and as healthy as cake can be, well you're going to find this your new go-to recipe and this simplified one-bowl method means there's less clean up too. This is also a very popular cake with the kids which is always nice and a great way to use up bananas that you thought were past their prime.
This recipe is a play on a traditional banana cake recipe but with a few changes. Firstly I used spelt flour, an ancient grain which is much easier for your digestive system to digest and also has more essential vitamins and minerals than the refined plain wheat flours we are so used to today which are devoid of any real nutrition. Secondly I have used coconut milk because I wanted to try a milk-free banana cake version and while I wanted the flavor of butter I wanted the moisture that oil brings to a cake so I went for a 50/50 split.
You'll be pleased to know that the end result is a beautiful, light, moist flavorsome banana cake and while you can enjoy this cake once cooled, I find the flavor improves with time so it makes the perfect make ahead cake recipe!
Just for fun I added a little chocolate/hazelnut spread on top of the cake to create a pretty swirled effect but it is completely optional.
If chocolate/hazelnut spread is too hard, just soften first in the microwave
The riper the bananas, the better the flavor
If you're vegetarian or don't eat eggs you can substitute the egg with 2 tablespoons water, 1 teaspoon oil and 2 teaspoons baking powder all whisked together at the egg step and proceed as stated in the recipe
1/2 cup of nuts can be added to this recipe, walnuts & hazelnuts work well - add and mix in before adding the flour
You can use regular plain flour and keep the ratios the same or use self-raising and omit the baking powder
YOU WILL NEED
2 large or 3 smaller very ripe bananas mashed/pureed
1/4 cup oil (I used rice bran oil, you could use another)
1/4 cup butter melted (or use unsalted and add 1/2 teaspoon salt)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 + 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 + 1/2 cups spelt flour
2-3 heaped teaspoons of chocolate/hazelnut spread OR some chopped nuts (optional)
Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease and line a 21cm/8" spring form pan and set aside.
In a large bowl add the mashed banana, oil, melted butter and sugar and using a hand held or machine mixer beat until well combined.
Add the vanilla extract, egg, coconut milk, baking powder and salt and beat again until well combined.
Add the flour and mix until until well combined.
Pour into your cake tin.
If using the chocolate/hazelnut spread, add two - three heaped teaspoons in random but evenly spaced spot on the top of the batter and using a skewer or small pointy knife, gently and randomly swirl the chocolate/hazelnut spread into the batter to create a lovely pattern. If using the nuts, sprinkle them over your cake (about 1/4 cup should be enough).
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean or the cake springs back when gently touched on the surface.
Allow to cool before serving.
MAKES 8 LARGE PORTIONS/10 SMALLER PORTIONS