Banana, Cinnamon and Walnut Cake

This recipe started it’s life as a muffin. And like most muffins, it simply meant measuring all ingredients into a bowl and giving the mixture a rough mix. It was this haphazard minimal mixing that lead to the lightest cake crumb. And one day I decided to turn the mixture into a loaf pan. What came at the end of that was a soft and delicious loaf cake – quick and tasty banana loaf.
Then finally, since I love recipes that require minimal effort, I turned the batter into 3 X 18cm round cake tins, sandwiched the layers with cream cheese frosting, and had the most delicious banana cake posing as a celebration cake. Dress this recipe up or down, either way, you are going to be very happy.

I like adding a dried fruit mix or raisins/sultanas to the cake. Pecan nuts or walnuts make this cake even better. The addition of the fruit and nuts make this cake a close relative to a carrot cake. But if you don’t have a dried fruit mix or nuts lying around, this cake is perfect as it is.

Ingredients for Cake

  • 280g (500 ml) cake flour
  • 10ml (2 tsps) baking powder
  • 5ml (1 tsp) bicarb
  • 3ml salt
  • 5ml ground cinnamon
  • 160g (200ml) sugar (can use brown sugar as well)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 100ml milk or plain yogurt
  • 125ml cooking oil
  • 5ml vanilla
  • 3 large over-ripe bananas. When mashed the mixture should equal a cup.
  • 5ml grated orange rind (optional)
  • 125 ml fruit cake mix (optional)
  • 125 ml of pecans or walnuts (optional)


Method to make cake

  • Preheat oven – 180 degrees celsius.
  • Grease and line the bottoms of 2 x 20cm round pans or 3 x 18cm pans.
  • Add flour, baking powder, bicarb, salt and cinnamon into a bowl and lightly mix. Add sugar and rind.
  • In another bowl/measuring jug whisk eggs, milk/yoghurt, oil and essence together.
  • Mash the bananas into a loose mixture.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and lightly mix with a large fork
  • Add the mashed bananas. Mix only until just combined. You will have a lumpy mixture. The mixing process should be done in a minute. Do not over-beat this mixture as you will end up with a heavy cake.
  • Add any optional ingredients like the fruit and/or nuts.
  • Lightly mix and divide mixture equally between chosen pans.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for  20 – 25 minutes. 
  • When done, the layers will be well risen and a deep golden brown colour.
  • Cool for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to completely cool.
  • Sandwich cold cake layers and decorate with whipped cream or cream cheese frosting. (see frostings) 


Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 200g full fat cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 150 g softened butter
  • 3 c sifted icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • Beat cream cheese with an electric beater or stand mixer until light, smooth and creamy.
  • Add the butter and mix until light and fluffy.
  • Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of bowl during the beating process. 
  • Add the icing sugar in 2 batches and beat well in between each addition.
  • Add the vanilla and a pinch of salt.
  • Mix well and scrape sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure a smooth icing.
  • Use on cake.


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