You could never have too many banana cake recipes, in my humble opinion. Whenever I use bananas in baking, I know that I’m going to get some of the most wonderful flavours out of my bakes.
So, I hardly ever pass up on a banana cake recipe. Whether its bananas baked with nuts, with dried or fresh fruit, or with the flavours of chocolate, coffee, caramel, peanut butter, etc., the wonderful tastes and texture combinations just seem endless to me, like this soft, deliciously moist, banana honey cake.
I was inspired to make this banana honey cake after chancing upon a recipe in the Williams-Sonoma cookbook by Kim Laidlaw. I had never tried a banana-honey combination before, so this really intrigued me to no end! I could not wait for my bunch at home to get ripe enough (patience isn’t always a virtue of mine), so out I went to the market today and got myself a bunch of over-ripe ones.
The golden rule for whenever you use bananas in your bakes – the riper, the sweeter, and the more intense the flavour you’ll get! So if you have to wait till your bananas look past their prime freshness and rather unsightly, do wait till they get really brown (to a home baker, these look absolutely gorgeous and ripe for their picking, agree?). Or do what I did. You’d be surprised at how little you need to pay for over-ripe bunches. I paid all of $1 for a bunch of 8 (albeit, medium sized ones)!
Have you more than enough bananas for one bake? Check out some of my other delicious banana treats, like this Asian-inspired banana butter cake, my really, really moist banana sponge cupcakes, or for a little extra oomph, this perfect-bake rum and raisin banana bread. For a really special dessert, try these honey-drizzled golden banana fritters, served hot, or cold with dollops of vanilla ice cream.
This cake is filled with the wonderful goodness of natural honey, but you can make it even more healthy by substituting light brown sugar with coco sugar, or coconut sugar (also known as coconut palm sugar). Asians use a lot of palm sugar in their cuisines. The common forms are the round shaped, compacted palm sugar or gula melaka. For baking, I use the loosely packed coco sugar (you can get it in Singapore at Phoon Huat outlets), which looks similar to light brown sugar.
From what I’ve read, coconut sugar is considered a much healthier alternative to refined sugar, as it is extracted from the sap of the coconut tree. It boasts a low glycemic index, and is considered suitable for diabetics.
Carbohydrates (sugars) and calories wise, it is the same as regular sugar, so this is not going to help any of us with our weight-loss plans! And do be prepared to pay considerably more for this healthier sugar (aarrgh, good stuff hardly ever comes cheap!). When using, simply substitute for your usual sugar in equal amounts.
Feel free to add your favourite chopped nuts, chocolate chips, or whatever else you want to throw in for good measure – banana cakes are so versatile! I usually always have my banana cakes with chopped nuts, but I omitted it here as I wanted to fully appreciate and savour the honey flavour. Hope you’ll have fun with this!
Banana Honey Cake
- 360 g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 150 g unsalted butter, cubed
- 105 g light brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
- 185 g honey
- 2 large eggs
- 250 g ripe bananas, mashed
- Some confectioner's sugar for dusting (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C (350 deg F). Grease a square 9-inch (23-cm) square baking tin or 20-cm bundt pan with butter, and sprinkle lightly with flour. Tap out the excess flour.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon and salt into a mixing bowl.
- In an electric mixer bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar (or coconut sugar) on medium speed (speed 3 on my Kitchen Aid mixer) until light and fluffy, about 8 minutes. Pour in the honey in a slow, continuous stream, and beat until blended. Add the eggs, increase speed to medium-high (speed 4), and beat until blended and smooth.
- Add the flour mixture in 2 additions, alternating with the mashed bananas and beating on medium speed (speed 3) after each addition until smooth. Spread the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the surface evenly. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a metal or bamboo skewer inserted into the centre of the cake emerges free of batter.
- When the cake is done, remove from the oven and place the pan on a cooling rack. Let the cake cool completely in the pan. Remove from the pan, dust lightly with some icing or confectioner's (optional), slice and serve.