Thursday 11 February 2010

Cornish Banana Cake

One of the things that Todd and I like to do in our spare time is to visit some of the National Trust Houses that are abundant in our beautiful country. There's quite a few and in the warmer months, it's really a lot of fun walking around the gardens and of course nosing through the houses . . . We just find it so very fascinating and a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

Most of the National Trust houses also have tearooms and small restaurants on the grounds. That, of course is also one of the real treats of the day . . . spending an hour in the tea rooms partaking of a delicious cake or bun (all homemade) and a drink.

And then, there is Todd's nemesis . . . the gift shop. He tries to steer me away from them, but . . . I'm on to him now . . . the gift shop is one of the highlights of my afternoon! They are filled with all sorts of treasures . . . jams and jellies, biscuits, candy rock, toys, gardening goods, tea time trinkets and . . . delicious cookery books!

On one of our visits I picked up this lovely cookerybook filled with traditional teatime recipes.

"Food is at the heart of everything the National Trust does. Our commitment to food stretches from using high quality sustainable produce in our restaurants to supporting our tenant farmers in selling direct to the public. With hundreds of tenant farms, more than 25 working kitchen gardens and farms managed by us, the Trust has an important stake in every part of the food journey." (Excerpt from inside flap of the above book)

I just adore the traditional recipes of any country I am in, but most especially the traditional ones from this beautiful country that we live in. Teatime recipes are some of my favourites of all. They hearken me back to my childhood days of reading Enid Blyton novels and dreaming about the delicous sounding teatime treats that the children in them got to gobble down, and I could only dream of . . .

This is a great baking book, chock full of delectable sounding teatime treats! Every recipe I have baked from it thus far has been just wonderful, not the least of which was this tasty banana cake that I baked this afternoon. We sat down to a piece each with a cup of herbal tea, whilst the snow blew against the glass of our kitchen windows, and dreamt of adventures and tuck boxes and . . . warm summer afternoon walks along country garden pathways . . .

Note - the filling is not really thick, but I found that by pooling most of it in the centre, it worked out just perfectly and did not squish out the sides. Also the icing is more like a glaze than a traditional frosting. It is most delicious!

*Cornish Banana Cake*
Makes one 7-inch layer cake
Printable Recipe

Just perfect for afternoon tea! A deliciously moist banana cake layered with a buttery banana filling and iced with a cocoa banana icing.

For the cake:
8 ounces very ripe banana (weight after peeling)
3 1/2 ounces caster sugar
3 1/2 ounces butter, softened
200g self raising flour, sifted
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 TBS milk

For the filling:
1 ripe banana
2 ounces butter, softened
2 ounces caster sugar

For the icing:
1 soft, very ripe banana
1 ounce cocoa powder, sifted
8 ounces icing sugar, sifted

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Butter two 7-inch round sandwich tins and lightly flour, tapping any excess out. Mash the bananas and sugar together for the cake in a bowl with an electric mixer. Beat in the softened butter. Add the flour alternately with the egg. Dissolve the soda in the milk and add to the mixture. Beat to a fairly sticky batter. Divide evenly between the two tins, smooth the tops and then bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the sponge springs back when lightly touched.

Remove from the oven and turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the filling, beat all the ingredients together until well mixed and use to sandwich the two layers together.

For the icing, beat all the ingredients together until dark and really smooth. Spread onto the top of the cake.

Note - If you like you can decorate the top with some blanched almonds, walnut halves or dried banana chips.


  1. Hello-
    greetings from the island of Bali-
    this is my first visit..
    i really love this blog...
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    dont forget to visit me back
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  2. What a great buy, and that cake looks fantastic and delicious

  3. What a perfect way to spend a day--going to all those lovely spots! The gift shop would be my favorite, too--and my husband's nemesis as well!

    Oh, my! I cannot wait to try that cake! It looks too good to be true! I just love the name, too--"Cornish Banana Cake" just SOUNDS delicious!

    I hope you're all better now & back to feeling like your old self. Have a glorious day, my dear friend! I'm off to bed!

  4. This sounds so interesting and I just happen to have some very ripe bananas on the counter! Thank you
    xoxo Pattie

  5. I love the National Trust, I just became a member. I wish we had more time to explore. Instead at the moment I too am living through their cookbooks, which are wonderful. This looks sooo good, I wish I liked bananas!

  6. What I love about your posts is that often I have never tasted the treats that you bake. This looks like a slice of heaven! I love National Trusts too - and I am just as bad in the gift shop, lots of eye rolling and 'I'll wait outside' from the other half :) xx

  7. Oh, this is delightful, Marie... that bit of chocolate glaze is I could eat some now with a cuppa! Oh, I'm with you on National Trust place...and the gifts shops and and tea rooms...*SWOON*... How blessed we were to have that day with you & dear Todd at Sissinghurst--will never forget! :o) LOVE YOU HEAPS, my friend and miss you! ((BIG HUGS))

  8. I think I may be gaining weight just reading your blog!
    How delicious.

  9. Hmm, never had such a delicious thing in MY tuckbox, lol! Glad you are enjoying my country, I wish I was there too!

  10. Que pedazo de bizcocho y con plátano. Delicioso.

  11. Look and sounds so banana whatevers and this recipe has it both in the cake and filling. Delicious!

  12. Consider this recipe book marked. Hubby will love this ;0)

  13. My sister volunteers in a National Trust Shop - how tempting is that! Cake looks amazing.

  14. Marie this look absolutely lovely and yummy, delcious, huggs and kisses dear, gloria

  15. i have such a weakness for banana cake! that looks divine.

  16. What a great way to sepnd an afternoon! Your Cornish banana cake looks delicious too! A great cup of coffee would be wonderful with a slice of this cake. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Wow, that food, especially the cakes are really Blytonian and Famous Five in their appetizing appeal. Talking of Enid Blyton, I am glad to inform you that I have published a book on Enid Blyton, titled, The Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage (
    Stephen Isabirye

  18. Have just arrived home from a week away & found 4 very over-ripe bananas sitting in the fruit bowl. Your timing for this recipe couldn't have been better Marie!
    Millie ^_^

  19. Not sure how traditional banana cake is to Cornwall, but who cares, this cake looks fantastic. I really like the three different layers of banana mixture - cake, filling and icing - yum. I wonder which Cornish National Trust tea shop this is made in - might just have to visit!


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