Tag Archives: belinda jeffery

Belinda Jeffery’s Most Fabulous Banana Cake

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When I was growing up, my mum’s favourite sweet was Banana Cake, so for as long as I can remember, it’s been my favourite too. To this day, I still prefer a carrot, apple or banana cake over the richness of their various chocolate counterparts (but hey – they’re all good, cause they’re all cake). So when I first started working my way through Belinda Jeffery’s Mix & Bake, this amazing recipe was the first cab off the rank, and I found it well-deserving of its name. Apart from the actual baking, every part of this recipe is made in the food processor which makes everything easy. And if you don’t already know this, I’ll share with you a tip my sister-in-law Jo taught me years ago: when bananas go off, you can throw them in the freezer whole – skins and all. When you want to use them, defrost them in the sink and stick the insides straight into whatever you’re baking. The freezing and thawing process causes the still edible insides to go to mush which means you don’t need to do any mashing. And over-ripe bananas make the best choice for banana cake anyway. This lovely big cake serves between 10 and 12 people and costs around $7.  

Cake Mixture

  • 1 1/2 (225g) cups plain flour 
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
  • 2-3 large very ripe bananas 
  • 1 2/3 (370g) cups caster sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 125g butter, at room temperature, cut into smallish chunks 
  • 100ml butter milk (or a 100ml mixture of half yoghurt and half milk – I do this all the time) 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 125g cream cheese, at room temperature, cut into smallish chunks (homebrand is fine)
  • 75g butter, at room temperature, cut into smallish chunks 
  • 250g icing mixture 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees (170 for fan forced) and line or grease and flour a deep 26 cm ring tin. Because this is a quite a large cake, if your round or ring tin isn’t very deep, you might like to cook the leftover mixture in a loaf tin – if so you’ll need to line/grease that too. 

2. Put the flour, baking powder, salt and bicarb soda in the food processor and blitz briefly. Tip the mixture into a spare bowl and set aside.

3. Stick the bananas in the food processor and blitz until smooth. Add in sugar and eggs and process again for one minute. Add the butter and process again until mixture is thick and creamy. Add buttermilk or yoghurt and milk mixture and vanilla extract and blitz in quick spurts until combined. Add the flour mixture and continue this process until just combined – don’t overdo it.

4. Pour mixture into the ring tin and smooth out the mixture. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a fine skewer comes out clean. The cake won’t have risen much as its quite a dense and moist cake. Cool the cake in the tine for 7 or so minutes and then loosen the inside and outside circles of the cake from the tin using a sharp knife. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

5. For the cream cheese icing blitz the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add all the other ingredients and process again until you have a smooth, thick but spreadable icing. Ice the cake according to your preference once it’s completely cooled.

Belinda Jeffery’s Coconut and Caramel Slice

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Belinda Jeffery’s Mix & Bake is one of my all-time favourite cookbooks and it is the delightful original source from which I’ve adapted this Coconut and Caramel Slice. Pretty much every recipe in this book is a taste winner and it makes a wonderful gift for those who love to bake. This easy slice is excellent for hospitality because it makes a large quantity in one baking effort (so you can cater for more than one event in one baking session) and the coconutty caramel flavour atop the crumbly vanilla base it so very hard to go past. The quantities below make a very large slice and costs $8 to make (up to 40 pieces), though if you don’t need such a large amount, simply halve all the quantities and you will have a slice that neatly fits into a standard 28x18cm sized lamington tin for around $4. Easily freezable and with a refrigerated shelf-life of over a week, this is a great option to keep ahead of a busy week of hospitality opportunities or for even just a moments quiet rest with a cuppa and a good book.

Base

  • 2 1/4 cups/335g plain flour
  • 1/2 cup/80g icing sugar
  • 250g cold butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons coconut cream
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 45g butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup/220g firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 1 1/2 cups/105g shredded coconut
  • 50g flaked almonds for topping
  • icing sugar for dusting (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees, (170 if fan forced) and line a large 32x24cm slice tin with baking paper.
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the base in a food processor and press evenly into the bottom of the tin. Set food processor aside and don’t wash it up yet. Bake the base for 20-25 mins until slightly golden. Set aside to cool. Reduce oven to 150 degrees, (140 if fan forced).
  3. While the slice is cooling slightly, put sugars and flour in the already used food processor and process together. Pull out the blade and gently stir in the shredded coconut. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine eggs, coconut cream, vanilla extract and melted butter using a whisk. Gently fold dry ingredients from the food processor into this wet mixture. Gently tip the whole topping mixture over the base and spread evenly. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds and bake for around 45 minutes, though start checking earlier. Slice is cooked when the topping feels set and the whole thing is evenly golden.
  5. Cool to room temperature and cut into squares or fingers as desired. This slice cuts especially well when cut with a large, sharp straight-edged knife and after spending some time in the fridge. Enjoy!