I have been meaning to some festive baking for Blogmas, but I honestly haven’t had a lot of time at the moment! 😦
However I thought I would share something I made last Christmas. My office did a festive bake-off and I entered in this banana and gingerbread loaf cake. Everyone loved it. In fact, I actually won that round with this cake and got through to our bake-off final!
I used the cake recipe featured on the Allrecipes website. The original recipe was a loaf cake with a vanilla glaze, but I decided to switch it up and go for a cinnamon icing and gingernut biscuit topping! So, so good. ❤
This is such an indulgent cake; so moist and packed full of the strong flavours of each element! It’s not super Christmassy but the ginger definitely adds that little festive twist for the winter season 🙂
Note: I was planning on making this cake again for 2016 and having progress photos, but as I haven’t had time I only have 1 photo from the time I made it in 2015- sorry!
For the cake>>
- 2 large ripe bananas
- 150g dark brown soft sugar
- 175g black treacle
- 125ml vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 60ml milk
- 250g plain flour
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger (or more to your own preference)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice***
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves***
- 1 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
***I actually don’t own these spices, so what I did was add 1 1/4 teaspoon of mixed spice, along with the cinnamon (I’m a bit cray when adding spices and always add more than the recipe states)
For the Cinnamon Buttercream>>
- 50-100g icing sugar
- 50-100g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- splash of vanilla essence
- cinnamon to taste (I usually add 1-2 teaspoons)
For the extra topping additions>>
- crushed ginger nut biscuits (I think I used about 4, but it depends on how much crunch you want on top)
- chocolate icing pen
- cookie cutter of your choice
Prep:15-20min ♥ Cook: 60-70min
**Steps 1-5 are borrowed for the Allrecipes online recipe, although I have added my own notes at the end of each step. The other steps are my own additions to this recipe!**
- Preheat the oven to 170 C / Gas 3. Grease a 900g (2 lb) loaf tin.
- For the cake, mash bananas in a large bowl with a fork. Add brown sugar, treacle, vegetable oil, eggs and milk and stir until combined.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, bicarb and salt. ((Note: I added an extra half a teaspoon or so of ginger for an extra kick, but it depends on what you fancy))
- Add flour mixture to banana mixture and stir just until flour is incorporated. Tip into prepared tin. ((Note: My loaf mix filled the tin right up to the very top, which was a bit scary. But the cake doesn’t rise that much, so don’t worry!))
- Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until it tests done with a skewer ((Note: A skewer should come out of the cake clean when done, so no cake mix sticks to the sides)). Cool completely, and then turn out of tin.
- To make the cinnamon icing, sieve the icing sugar to get out all the lumps and whisk it with the unsalted butter. I usually start with 50g of each, and add more later if it doesn’t cover the cake (or if you want a thicker icing layer). I aim to have equal parts sugar with butter.
- Add cinnamon and vanilla essence to the buttercream, and you can always add a little bit more depending on your tastebuds! You want it to complement the banana loaf and not be too grainy/overpowering.
- You can leave the cake as it is at this stage but I like to add ginger nut biscuits for an extra texture and a more gingery taste. Crush your biscuits using a rolling pin, saucepan or whatever you can find. I like to place my biscuits between two sheets of clingfilm and bashing them with a pan until they are in small crumbs.
- While the buttercream is still setting, place your cookie cutter wherever you want the pattern to be, and sprinkle a layer of the crushed biscuits all around the outside. When you remove the cookie cutter this will leave a nice design of buttercream in your designated shape!
- You can use a chocolate icing pen to create an outline around this festive, like I did on my cake with the Christmas tree.
Aaaand, voila! This is a really rich cake (I mean look at all the treacle in it), but it is SO moreish 🙂 Definitely worth it for a different indulgent treat.
I hope you like my first baking post! I do apologise for the lack of images, but in the future I will be taking progress photos of my baking while I make them!
If you have any baking ideas you want to see, let me know! ♥