Saturday, 24 September 2016

Carrot banana cake - #GameOnCooks

When it comes to baking, The Women's Institute which was founded in 1915, is a great authority. Last year I picked up a copy of The Women's Institute Big Book Of Baking reduced from £25 to £2.99. And though most recipes looked familiar, there were quite a few recipes with a twist on the much loved British classics.
I bake a carrot cake at least a couple of times a month, sometimes every week, as this is one of our family favourites. I have tried many carrot cake recipes, some were delicious, some less so.
The Women's Institute has created a carrot cake recipe with a twist - adding a banana to the cake batter and swapping the cream cheese frosting for buttercream frosting.
I have fancied trying the recipe, but have adapted it and changed the frosting back to cream cheese, simply because my guys are not overly keen on buttercream frosting. I have also skipped the dessicated coconut and did some other minor changes, but the overall idea of adding a banana to a carrot cake was a novelty to me. The WI named it a Passion Cake, not quite sure why, but I'll go for a more descriptive Carrot banana cake.

Carrot banana cake
zest of 1 orange
1 banana, mashed
1tsp baking powder
1tsp ground cinnamon
1/3tsp ground cloves
1/2tsp ground allspice
200g crunchy demerara sugar
a pinch of salt
170g carrot (peeled weight), grated
3 medium eggs
45g walnuts, chopped finely + more for decoration
125ml vegetable oil
2tsp ground hazelnuts (optional)
225g wholemeal flour
For the cream cheese frosting:
200g cream cheese (I used Philadelphia original)
150g icing sugar
100g softened butter

Grate the zest of 1 orange in a big mixing bowl, add a peeled banana and mash it with a fork. Add the baking powder, spices, demerara sugar, a pinch of salt, grated carrot, beat in the eggs, mix well. Add the chopped walnuts, oil, flour and ground hazelnuts. The original recipe asks for dessicated coconut, but I couldn't find any in my kitchen, so I have reduced the amount of vegetable oil to 125ml and added a couple of heaped teaspoons of ground hazelnuts. Mix all the ingredients together, and pour the cake batter into a well buttered round cake tin. Place the tin in an oven preheated to 200C and bake for about 45 minutes until golden brown (check if it's ready with a wooden toothpick).
Remove from the oven and leave it in the tin for 10 minutes before removing out of the tin to cool completely.
Slice the cake in half horizontally.
Make the frosting with the cream cheese, softened butter and icing sugar. Spread 1/3 on the lower layer of the cake, sandwich it and top up with the remaining frosting. Sprinkle some finely chopped walnuts on the top.

In this recipe I used a Lurpak unsalted butter to make a delicious cream cheese frosting. For the tasty frosting you need the best ingredients - a quality butter and a decent cream cheese. I used Philadelphia original. In the past I have tried Light and Lightest Philly, but they didn't quite work. They might be less in calories but make a runnier frosting, so the choice is yours.

And that's my second bake for #GameOnCooks.
To encourage us to do more cooking, Lurpak has started a new Game On, Cooks campaign. It's challenging Brits to turn their screens off and ovens on. Their motto is "You're not a cook until you cook".

If you're curious about the vintage style magazine used in the photos, this is a replica magazine from 1950s Household pack from Historic Newspapers. This replica memorabilia pack is a splendid educational resource, great for a school project or for bloggers who might use them in vintage themed posts - be it a fashion or recipe post.
This pack contains a Ration Book, Timothy Whites Xmas brochure, household bills, TV and 1950s Radio brochure, housework ephemera, mini postcards, leaflets on Belling fires and kitchen cookers as well as advertising images. These colourful prints were carefully scanned and printed as close to the original as possible.
I love the random choice of items in this pack.
For someone who loves rummaging at the flea markets and vintage shops, looking for memorabilia, this is an inspiring little gift.


  1. I LOVE carrot cake and this one looks mouthwatering!

  2. This carrot cake looks gorgeous and moist. My boyfriend loves carrot cake so i'll have to give this a go for his 21st at the beginning of next year. I bet it wont look as good as yours though XX

  3. Carrot and banana in one cake?! Sounds interesting x

  4. This looks yummy. I bet it was. Would love to try it.

  5. Looks delicious. I wouldn't have thought to put carrot and banana together but sounds very intriguing!

  6. I absolutely love carrot cake, this looks and sounds so delicious.

  7. I've never added banana to my carrot cake before, but I can see how it would really work as I love both cakes! :)

  8. Wow! Love the above layer as it covers somehow the carrot ingredients which normally disliked by children.

  9. Wow you've got me drooling the cake looks amazing and incredibly moist.

  10. Oh my gosh, I can I have a slice now please?! Looks delicious x

  11. Carrot cake has to be one of my all time favourite cakes! Great recipe must make this one day

  12. I love carrot cake and bananas so I'm really interested to see how they work together! Might just have to give it a go myself.
    Amelia | ameliamaryx

  13. That carrot cake looks and sounds delicious. I will be bookmarking this recipe.

  14. Ooh I would love this. That book was a real bargain x

  15. What a great find! We'd love a book like this. The carrot cake looks amazing too!

  16. This looks absolutely delicious, I am feeling really hungry right now just looking at this delicious looking cake.