Baking With a Bulldog
004-Banana Cake From New Zealand
Updated: May 16, 2021
This is definitely not banana "bread." Although the ingredients are similar, the result is a lighter cake that's perfect for breakfast or tea. Three bananas really make that flavor the star of this recipe. The cake tastes (and smells) delicious and is great on its own, or it can be topped with a glaze or frosting. Plus, there's a bit of magic that happens when the hot milk is combined with the baking soda that helps to keep the cake light.
Ready to bake something great? We try to include options to make our recipes adaptable to your personal tastes/needs. A usable substitution is listed for ingredients where we've tried using one.
BANANA CAKE FROM NEW ZEALAND
3/4 cups sugar
9 tbsp butter cut into pieces and at room temperature (if weighing, 125 g)
2 cups flour (measure by spooning into the cup)
1 tsp baking powder
3 mashed bananas
3 tbsp milk in a microwave safe measuring cup
1 tsp baking soda (do not add to dry ingredients, you'll see why in a minute)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter your pan and line with parchment paper on the bottom.
Cream together the butter and sugar. This is easiest with a stand mixer, but you can also use a hand mixer or wooden spoon.
Add eggs one at a time.
Add the mashed bananas and mix until smooth.
Heat the milk for 1/2 minute in the microwave until it starts to boil. Remove (with hand protection!) and immediately add the baking soda and mix. It will bubble up!
Add the milk/baking soda mixture to the sugar/butter/flour mixture.
Combine the flour with the baking powder and gradually add to the other combined ingredients.
Pour into your prepared pan.
Bake for approximately 40 minutes, depending on your pan. The top should start to turn golden and a toothpick put into the center of the cake should come out clean.
Take the pan out of the oven and put it on a wire rack to cool completely.
Gently remove from the pan and put it on your serving dish.
Frost, glaze or dust with your preferred topping--or just leave it plain.
PROVENANCE: This recipe was given to me by my brother-in-law, a New Zealand native who has enjoyed making it for years. And I'm so glad he shared it! New Zealand has a lot of great foods that have British origins but also reflect years of adoption by inhabitants of an island which is rich with its own culture and heritage (and flavors!)
EQUIPMENT: You may want to use a baking scale. My conversion of the butter from the original 125 g to 9 tbsp is close--but you can weigh your butter for a more accurate result.
This recipe turns out very nicely in a springform pan. I used an 8 inch pan that is 3 inches high. I have made this in a 9 inch springform pan before, and it comes out very nicely--just shorter. You could also use one or two layer cake pans and frost in between. Maybe a cupcake pan? I haven't tried it yet--but I think it would make some really great cupcakes too.
VARIATIONS: I like this unfrosted but it tastes great with a caramel frosting or glaze too. If you'd like to add a caramel frosting to the top, there's a great recipe for one here from Taste of Home. My brother-in-law makes this with a chocolate frosting. You can top this with a nice chocolate ganache like I did in the video and the two bottom pictures. To make the ganache, simply melt 1/2 cup of chocolate chips over a double boiler and add 1/2 cup of melted chocolate and 1/2 cup of heavy cream (room temperature). I've seen other New Zealand variations with lemon icing, too. Choose whatever makes you happy!
"I WANT THAT" LIST: Did you see something you liked in the video? You can find many of the products in our kitchen at Boulevard Baking. Use the code BULLDOG during checkout for a 10% discount (does not apply to coffee or gift cards)!