Today, I’m going to share with you a delicious and easy recipe for banana cake, inspired by the famous British cook Delia Smith.
This recipe is perfect for using up those overripe bananas that you have in your kitchen, and it will make your house smell amazing. You will love the moist and tender texture of this cake, as well as the crunchy walnuts and the citrusy zests that add some freshness and contrast. This cake is great for breakfast, snack, or dessert, and you can enjoy it plain or with some butter or cream cheese frosting.
Let me show you how to make this banana cake step by step, and I’m sure you will be impressed by the results.
What is Delia Smith’s Banana Cake Recipe?
Delia Smith’s banana cake recipe is a simple and delicious recipe for making a moist and tender banana cake with walnuts and citrus zests. It is inspired by the famous British cook Delia Smith, who is known for her easy and reliable recipes. This banana cake is perfect for using up those overripe bananas that you have in your kitchen, and it will make your house smell amazing. You can enjoy it plain or with some butter or cream cheese frosting.
Why You Love this Recipe
There are many reasons why you will love this recipe, such as:
- It is easy and quick to make, with only a few basic ingredients and steps.
- It is a great way to use up those brown bananas that you don’t want to waste.
- It is moist and tender, with a crunchy and caramelized crust.
- It has a wonderful flavor, with the sweetness of the bananas, the crunchiness of the walnuts, and the freshness of the citrus zests.
- It is versatile and adaptable, and you can customize it with different nuts, fruits, spices, or toppings.
Ingredients Needed to Make Delia Smith Banana Cake
To make this banana cake, you will need the following ingredients:
- 225g plain flour
- 2 level teaspoons baking powder
- 40g butter, at room temperature
- 40g lard at room temperature
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 110g caster sugar
- 4 medium bananas, peeled
- 50g walnuts, roughly chopped
- zest of 1 orange
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 rounded tablespoon demerara sugar
You will also need a loaf tin, preferably a 1lb one, lined with baking parchment or a loaf tin liner. If you don’t have lard, you can use spreadable butter instead. You can also substitute the caster sugar with brown sugar, and the walnuts with other nuts of your choice, such as pecans or almonds.
Instructions to Make Delia Smith Banana Cake
Making this banana cake is very simple and straightforward.
Here are the steps you need to follow:
Step 1: Preheat the oven and sift the flour
Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4, and make sure the rack is in the middle position. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl, lifting the sieve quite high to give the flour a good airing as it goes down. This will help the cake rise better and have a lighter texture.
Step 2: Add the butter, lard, egg and sugar
Add the butter, lard, egg, and caster sugar to the same bowl with the flour and baking powder. Use an electric hand whisk, a stand mixer, or a wooden spoon to combine all the ingredients for about one minute until you have a sandy texture. Don’t overmix the batter, as this will make the cake tough and dense.
Step 3: Mash the bananas and fold them in
In a separate bowl, mash the bananas to a pulp with a large fork. You can also use a potato masher or a blender for this step, but make sure you don’t puree the bananas too much, as you want some chunks for texture. Briefly whisk the mashed bananas into the cake mixture, and then fold in the chopped walnuts and the orange and lemon zests. The batter will be thick and lumpy, but that’s okay.
Step 4: Pour the batter into the tin and sprinkle with sugar
Spoon the cake batter into the prepared tin, and level it off on top with the back of the spoon. Sprinkle the demerara sugar evenly over the surface of the batter, to create a crunchy and caramelized crust. You can also add some more chopped nuts on top, if you like.
Step 5: Bake the cake and let it cool
Bake the cake on a lower shelf in the oven for approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the cake well rises and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. If the cake starts to brown too much on top, you can cover it loosely with some foil halfway through the baking time. Once the cake is done, leave it in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire cooling rack. Store the cake in an airtight tin in its liner, or wrap it tightly with cling film.
What Do I Serve With Delia Smith Banana Cake?
You can serve this banana cake with various accompaniments, depending on your preference and occasion.
Some of the options are:
- Plain: You can enjoy this cake as it is, without any frosting or topping. It is delicious on its own, and you can taste the natural flavor of the bananas and the nuts.
- Butter or cream cheese frosting: You can spread some butter or cream cheese frosting over the top of the cake, or slice the cake horizontally and fill it with frosting. This will make the cake more rich and decadent, and add some creaminess and tanginess.
- Whipped cream: You can whip some cream with some sugar and vanilla, and serve it on the side or on top of the cake. This will make the cake more light and airy, and add some sweetness and smoothness.
- Ice cream: You can serve some vanilla, chocolate, or banana ice cream with the cake, for a cold and creamy contrast. This will make the cake more indulgent and satisfying, and add some extra flavor and texture.
- Fresh fruits: You can serve some fresh fruits, such as berries, bananas, oranges, or kiwis, with the cake, for a healthy and refreshing touch. This will make the cake more colorful and nutritious, and add some juiciness and acidity.
Pro Tips to Make Perfect Delia Smith Banana Cake
To make the perfect Delia Smith banana cake, you should follow these tips:
- Use ripe or overripe bananas, as they will have more flavor and sweetness, and will mash easily. Avoid using green or unripe bananas, as they will be hard and bland.
- Sift the flour and baking powder, as this will aerate the flour and help the cake rise better and have a lighter texture.
- Don’t overmix the batter, as this will develop gluten and make the cake tough and dense. Mix just until the ingredients are combined, and don’t worry about some lumps.
- Sprinkle some demerara sugar over the top of the batter, as this will create a crunchy and caramelized crust. You can also add some more chopped nuts on top if you like.
- Check the cake for doneness by inserting a skewer into the center. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. If it comes out with some wet batter, the cake needs more time. If the cake starts to brown too much on top, cover it loosely with some foil halfway through the baking time.
Variations of Delia Smith Banana Cake
You can make some variations of this banana cake, by changing some of the ingredients or adding some extras.
Here are some ideas:
- Chocolate banana cake: You can add some cocoa powder to the flour and baking powder, and some chocolate chips to the batter, to make a chocolate banana cake. You can also frost the cake with some chocolate ganache or buttercream, and sprinkle some chocolate shavings on top.
- Banana nut bread: You can bake the batter in a loaf pan, and slice it like bread. You can also add some more nuts, such as pecans, almonds, or pistachios, to the batter, and some cinnamon or nutmeg for some spice.
- Banana muffins: You can bake the batter in a muffin tin, and make individual portions of banana cake. You can also add some blueberries, raspberries, or cranberries to the batter, and some oatmeal or granola to the topping, for some extra flavor and texture.
- Banana upside-down cake: You can arrange some sliced bananas and some brown sugar and butter in the bottom of a cake pan, and pour the batter over them. You can also add some pineapple, cherries, or coconut to the bottom layer, for a tropical twist. After baking, invert the cake onto a plate, and enjoy the caramelized fruit topping.
How do I store Delia Smith Banana Cake Leftovers?
You can store the leftover banana cake in an airtight tin in its liner, or wrap it tightly with cling film. You can keep it at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week. If you frosted the cake, you should store it in the refrigerator, and let it come to room temperature before serving.
How do I reheat Delia Smith Banana Cake Leftovers?
You can reheat the leftover banana cake in the microwave, oven, or toaster oven. To reheat it in the microwave, place a slice of cake on a microwave-safe plate, and heat it for 10–15 seconds, or until warm. To reheat it in the oven or toaster oven, preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4, and wrap the cake in some foil. Bake it for 10–15 minutes, or until warm. You can also reheat the whole cake if you prefer.
Nutrition value per slice (based on 10 slices):
- Calories: 353 kcal
- Fat: 18.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 42.9 g
- Protein: 5.3 g
- Fiber: 2.1 g
- Salt: 0.4 g
How do I make this banana cake gluten-free?
You can make this banana cake gluten-free by substituting the plain flour with a gluten-free flour blend, such as the one from Doves Farm. You can also add a teaspoon of xanthan gum to the flour and baking powder, to help the cake hold together better. Alternatively, you can use almond flour or oat flour instead of plain flour, but you may need to adjust the amount of liquid and baking powder accordingly.
- Related: Mary Berry Bara Brith Recipe
Can I use a different type of sugar for this banana cake?
Yes, you can use a different type of sugar for this banana cake, depending on your preference and availability. You can use brown sugar, muscovado sugar, or coconut sugar instead of caster sugar, to give the cake a more caramelized and moist texture. You can also use honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar instead of caster sugar, but you may need to reduce the amount of oil and increase the amount of flour slightly, to balance the moisture and consistency of the batter.
How do I store and freeze this banana cake?
You can store this banana cake in an airtight tin in its liner, or wrap it tightly with cling film. You can keep it at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week. If you frosted the cake, you should store it in the refrigerator, and let it come to room temperature before serving. You can also freeze this banana cake for up to 3 months, either whole or in slices. To freeze it, wrap it well with cling film and foil, and place it in a freezer-safe container or bag. To thaw it, leave it in the refrigerator overnight, or at room temperature for a few hours. You can also reheat it in the microwave, oven, or toaster oven if you prefer.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe for banana cake, inspired by Delia Smith. This cake is one of my favorites, and I make it often when I have some ripe bananas to use up. It’s so easy and quick to make, and it tastes amazing. You can serve it warm or cold, plain or with some frosting, and it will always be a hit. Try it for yourself, and let me know what you think in the comments below. And don’t forget to share this recipe with your friends and family, who will love it too. Happy baking!