Packed with great complimentary flavours, here’s a lovely tasty cake that’s firm and wholesome without being heavy.
Makes: 12 or more slices
Time: 2 hours 20 minutes + cooling time
Level: Reasonably easy
Equipment: A 23cm/10” round, deep sided, loose-bottomed tin
Credits: Inspired by a recipe in “Everyday Easy Cakes and Cupcakes” but changed significantly
For the cake
- 175g (6oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 350g (12oz) self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- 175g (6oz) light soft brown sugar
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 125g (4½oz) chopped nuts (your choice: hazelnuts or brazils work well, or use mixed nuts for economy)
- 50g (2oz) dark chocolate chips
- 3 large bananas, peeled and mashed
- 350ml (10fl oz) plain Greek yoghurt
- 25ml (1fl oz) runny honey
For the filling
- 150g (5oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 125g (4½oz) icing sugar
- 1 tsp chosen flavouring (e.g. vanilla or toffee)
- 200g (7oz) full fat cheese or mascarpone
For the topping
- 75g (2½oz) unsalted butter
- 175g (6oz) soft light brown sugar
- 3 tbsp double cream
- 75g (2½oz) nuts of your choice (chopped or halved or a random mixture)
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Fan 160C/350F/Gas 4. Butter the cake tin and line with baking parchment. (NB If, like me, you use the “Bake even” bands then you only need to line the base.) Lightly dust the inside with a little flour and tip out the excess.
2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a medium bowl. Stir in the mixed spice and set the bowl aside.
3. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, adding 1 or 2 teaspoons of the pre-weighed flour to avoid curdling.
4. Stir in the nuts, chocolate chips and mashed bananas, then the yoghurt and honey. Gently fold in the flour mixture, using a large metal spoon.
5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface. Bake for about 70 – 75 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
6. Once baked, leave in the tin for 5 – 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool fully. Once cooled, slice the cake horizontally into two equal halves.
7. Organize the halves so that the flattest surface will be uppermost. Set one cake on a 25cm board or similar surface then make the filling.
8. Beat the butter until soft then sift over the icing sugar. Mix it in gently to avoid a sugar cloud then beat more vigorously. Mix in any flavours now, then beat in the cream cheese.
9. Spread or pipe the filling evenly over one of the cut halves then place the other on top, flat side uppermost. Place in the fridge. After 30 minutes take the cake out and, if possible, place it on a turntable.
10. To make the topping, put the butter, sugar and cream in a medium saucepan and heat on a low heat until melted and the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat and bring to simmering point, stirring all the time. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the nuts.
11. The topping needs to be cooled to the point where it’s thick enough not to run down the sides of the cake (unless you want it to) but runny enough to spread evenly. It’s a fairly brief “window” so be prepared to work quickly.
And here are some of my especially popular cakes that you might also want to try; just click for the recipes: