Banana bread is such a classic and comforting recipe and something that definitely became a lockdown staple recently. My version is a Chai Banana Bread, filled with chai tea to enhance the subtle warmth of the spices in the cake and also adds in lots of nuts and seeds for a tasty crunch. The maple syrup and orange icing is a gorgeous addition and really brings out all the rich banana flavours in the cake. One to try.
I am a huge fan of bananas in baking, they are brilliant versatile and add so much moisture to cakes. That means this cake will last in a tin much longer than other sponges, making them a great weekend bake to eat whenever you get a craving during the long work week.
Looking for other comforting classics to try? Why not have a go of my Lemon and ginger carrot cake cupcakes, they are scrumptious! Or maybe, Jam doughnut muffins – beautifully indulgent but minus the fuss and healthier than regular doughnuts.
Chai Banana Bread
175g softened butter
175g self rising flour
100g caster sugar
75g light brown sugar
½ tsp salt
3 medium sized bananas (mashed)
2 chai tea sachets
1 tsp ground cinnamon
50g chopped pecan nuts
50g chopped walnuts
50g pumpkin seeds
50g sunflower seeds
1 tsp vanilla extract
Maple and orange icing:
200g icing sugar (sifted)
Zest of 1 orange and 2 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp maple syrup
Mixture of banana chips, chopped nuts and seeds for decoration
Makes 1 1lb loaf cake
Method – Chai Banana Bread
Preheat the oven to 170°C, GM3.
Grease and line a 1lb loaf tin and line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper.
In a bowl add in the flour, salt and cinnamon. Sift together. Then open the chai tea sachets and add to the sifted ingredients.
In a separate bowl mash the bananas with a fork and leave to one side.
Using a food mixer or a free standing mixer, combine the butter, caster sugar and light brown sugar until light and fluffy. This will take a few minutes.
Then add the eggs one by one, leaving enough time for the eggs to be fully combined, this helps avoid curdling. (It isn’t the end of the world if the mixture curdles a bit at this stage but it might just stop the batter rising as much in the oven).
Add the flour and mix until just combined. (Do not over mix at this stage, otherwise it could make the cake tough).
With a rubber spatula, fold in the mashed banana, vanilla extract and the chopped nuts and seeds.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin.
Cook for about 50 minutes in the middle of the oven, covering with greaseproof parchment half way through if needed to stop the cake browning too quickly on the top.
To test if the cake is ready, add in a skewer to the middle of the cake and if it is clean when it comes out without any sticky batter on it, then it is ready. The cake will also spring back when touched.
Remove from the tin and leave to cool completely on the wire rack before icing.
To make the icing, sift the icing sugar. Zest the orange and then leave to one side for decoration.
Add the maple syrup and juice of the orange to the icing sugar. The icing should be a thick, pourable consistency, so that it can drizzle down the cake but thick enough so that it won’t all run off so you might have to add a little more icing sugar or orange juice or maple syrup to get to your preferred consistency.
Add the icing to the middle of the cake, encouraging the icing to fall down the cake as much as you like. Add the banana chips, nuts and seeds along the middle of the cake to decorate.
Enjoy with friends and a lovely cup of tea. The cake will last well in an airtight container for about 3 days.
On the look out for other banana recipes? Why not try BBC good food for more ideas. I also have a Strawberry and banana sunrise porridge which is lovely if you’re looking for more ways to use up those brown bananas.