Here’s my version of a terrific classic cake from the Southern states of America. (Thank you America.) It’s sweet, moist and very fruity. The recipe below is for a three layer cake, which is ideal for a party. You could reduce it to two, which is also ideal – just to share with a hungry friend, maybe.
Serves: 12+ people
Time: 75 – 90 min + cooling and chilling (you and the cake)
Level: A step up from easy, but worth the effort
Need: 3 x 20cm/8” round tins, loose bottomed if possible
- 300g/10oz caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 300ml/10fl oz sunflower oil
- 2 large ripe bananas (About 275g/9½oz)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 300g/10oz plain flour
- 1 tsp bi-carbonate soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 75g/2½oz pineapple chunks – fresh or tinned
- 50g/1¾oz fresh mango, cut into small pieces
- 75g/2½oz pecans, roughly chopped
- 300g/10oz full fat cream cheese
- 100g/3½oz unsalted butter
- An orange – zest + 1 tsp juice
- A few drops of orange extract (optional)
- 500g/18oz – 600g/20oz icing sugar, depending how sweet you want it
- Some dried mango chips
- About 20 dried banana chips
- About 20 Pecan halves
- Around 75g/2½oz mixed chopped nuts
- Butter the tins and line the base then dust lightly with flour
- Roughly chop the pecans
- Peel and dice the fresh mango.
- Take the butter and cream cheese out of the fridge to soften for later
- Heat the oven to 180°C / Fan 160°C / 350°F / Gas 4.
1. Put the sugar, eggs, sunflower oil, bananas and cinnamon in a mixer and mix well.
(I just squeeze the bananas in my hands to create the correct consistency.)
2. Slowly sift in the flour, bi-carb and salt. Add in the vanilla and beat just to mix.
3. Stir in the chopped pineapple, mango pieces and nuts.
4. Measure equally into the three tins. Level the top, tap and then bake for 25 – 30 minutes.
5. Leave in the tins for about 10 min. then turn out onto a wire rack to cool fully.
6. To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Add in the orange zest then sift in the icing sugar; stir first then beat more vigorously. Add the orange extract (if using) plus a very small amount of orange juice if it seems very thick.
7. Use about a ¼ of the mixture between each cake to assemble, then crumb coat the whole cake and place in the fridge for at least 30 min.
8. Cover the cake with the rest of the frosting and decorate the top with the dried fruit and nuts.
(Here’s an admission – I hadn’t planned to cover the sides with chopped nuts, but I must have made the frosting a little too thin as the cake’s sides were showing through. It was a last minute decision, but I think it worked well. If you choose to do this, it’s probably best done before you decorate the top.)
Below are a few more of my cakes that I’d love you to try: