Double Chocolate Banana Bread

3 medium to large very ripe bananas

1/2 cup melted butter (115g)

3/4 cup brown sugar (145g)

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup (125g) flour

1/2 cup cocoa

1 cup ( 170g) semi sweet , bittersweet chocolate chunks or chips.

Heat your oven to 350F. Butter a 9 x 5 inch loaf  pan or spray it with a non-stick baking spray.

Mash bananas in the bottom of a large bowl. Whisk in the melted butter, then brown sugar, egg, and vanilla.

Sift baking soda, salt, cinnamon, flour & cocoa powder, sift over the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir in chocolate  chunks or chips.

Pour into the Prepared pan and bake 55 to 65 minutes, until a tester or toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out batter free.  ( A melted chocolate chip smear is expected, however).

Cool in the pan for 10- 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and invert it out onto a cooling rach.

Serve Warm or at room temperature

Never-fail Chocolate Cake

400g dark chocolate , 360g unsalted butter, 360 caster sugar , 6 tbsp plain flour, 6 eggs  & icing sugar for serving.

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Melt the chocolate, butter, and sugar in a double boiler over a gentle heat , stirring often until the mixture is smooth then remove from the heat.

Add the flour and stir the mixture until smooth.

Add the eggs one at a time , beating the mixture  well with a whisk or an electric beater after each addition.

Pour  the mixture into a lined 20cm square cake tin.

Bake the cake  in the oven, centre shelf for 15 mins , then turn the oven down to to 150C  and bake for a further 40 minutes.

Turn off the oven , leave the door closed and allow the cake to slowly cool.

To serve , turn the cake out of the tin and dust with icing sugar.

Anna’s Tips

Sometimes I add a pinch of ground cinnamon  and cardamon to spice it up.

If you slightly under-cook the cake it will set like fudge in the fridge.


To decorate place three spoons across the top of your cake before sprinkling with icing sugar for a pretty decoration.

Ginger Ale Fruit Cake

Soak overnight in half a pint of ginger ale (300ml): 1/2 a lb each of sultanas, dates, currants & raisins,  2 oz Peel.

1/2 lb butter, 1/2 lb sugar, 4 eggs,  10 oz  flour, 1 tsp baking powder.


cream butter and sugar very well. Beat in eggs one at a time, then add sifted flour and baking powder.

Add soaked fruit and lastly 1/2 a tsp each of vanilla , lemon essence & almond essence.

Bake 3 hours in a prepared tin at 275 – 300 F.

A prepared tin is one that has two layers of newspaper on the base and then two layers of baking paper that go up the sides as well.

Carrot Cake

1/2 cup chopped walnuts , 1/2 cup sultanas,  2 large carrots grated (250g), 1& 1/4 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking soda, 2 tsp cinnamon,

1 tsp ground all-spice,  3 eggs,  3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup sugar,  3/4 cup  vege oil.

Have nuts, sultanas, & carrots mixed together.

Sift dry ingredients together.

Beat eggs , sugar & oil together well. Stir in carrot mixture and mix well. Fold in dry ingredients, mixing no more than you have to.

Pour into a cake tin or muffin tins that have been prepared well.

Bake for about 20 -30 minutes for a large cake or  12- 15 minutes for muffins.

Cake is cooked when center springs back, and a skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool for 5 -10 minutes before removing from tins. Ice when cold.

To make  cream  cheese icing mix  25 g softened ( not melted )  and 1/2 cup cream cheese . Beat in a tsp vanilla and 3 cups icing sugar, till smooth.

Can all be made in a food processor.

Pat Kerr’s Butter Sponge

3-4 eggs, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour, 1 tsp baking powder,   *4 tbsp milk & 2 oz butter.

Separate eggs and beat whites until stiff.

Add yolks and beat again.

Add sugar gradually.

Add dry ingredients.

*Have butter and milk brought almost to the boil and add to mixture while still hot.

Pour  mixture into two sponge tins.

Bake at 375F for 20 minutes approx.


Chocolate : Add 1 tbsp  cocoa to flour.

Coffee :  Add 1 tbsp coffee essence to milk and  -1 tbsp milk.

Orange, Lemon & Vanilla :  Exchange 1 tbsp of essence for 1 of milk.


4oz butter, 2 oz sugar, 2 eggs, 1 cup of golden syrup, 1 cup of milk, 14oz flour, 2 tsp Ground ginger,                                   2 tsp cinnamon,    1 & 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 cup luke warm water.

Soften the butter and cream in the sugar. Add eggs and beat until fluffy.

Heat syrup in a saucepan until it is thin enough to add  milk. add the milk and stir well. (whisk it) ( it can curdle).

Sift flour, ginger and cinnamon together, the add alternatively with the syrup and milk mixture to the butter mixture.

Beat thoroughly between each addition.

Beat in the baking soda dissolved in the lukewarm water.

Pour into a 9 inch square tin which has been lined with newspaper &  grease-proof paper.

Bake 1 & 1/2 hours at 250- 275F.

Can be sliced and buttered, or can be served as dessert with caramel sauce.

Auntie Cathy’s Special Sponge

180g sugar, 180g cornflour, 2 tbsp water, 4 – 5 eggs, 1 tbsp flour, 1 heaped tsp baking powder, vanilla essence.


Separate egg whites  from yolks. beat the whites until stiff.

Boil the sugar in the water and add a boiling point, gradually to the egg whites. Beat well.

Add yolks and vanilla.

Fold in the sifted dry ingredients.

Bake 20-30 minutes in oven 300-325F.

Use deep sponge tins as this sponge rises higher than normal.

When cold fill with raspberry jam and whipped cream. Dust top with icing sugar.

Sultana Cake

1 lb sultanas,   12 oz castor sugar,  8 oz butter, 12 oz  flour,  3 eggs , 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp almond essence.

Line a 10 inch cake tin with two thicknesses of newspaper and one layer of grease-proof paper.

Boil sultanas,  in sufficient water to cover,  for 8 minutes. Strain the water off and cut butter into hot sultanas.

Beat eggs with sugar until creamy, add the sultanas and butter. Sift in flour and baking powder. Add essence.

Fill prepared tin with mixture and bake in a slow oven ( 300 – 325F) for 1 & 3/4 hours.

Leave to cool in tin.

Belguim Square

7 oz butter, 6 oz sugar, 1 egg, 2 cups flour, 1 tsp cream of tartar, 1 tsp baking soda, 3 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp mixed spice.

Cream butter & sugar together, add egg and beat well. Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix well.

roll out one half and spread it with raspberry jam. Roll the other half out and cover the bottom half.

Bake in oven at 180c for 30 minutes.

While hot ice with lemon icing.

Banana Cake

4oz butter, 1 cup sugar, 2 mashed bananas,  1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda dissolved in 2 tbsp milk, 2 eggs,

pinch of salt, 1 & 1/2 cups flour, 1 tsp vanilla.

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs then add the bananas, vanilla and dry ingredients. Lastly add milk and soda.

Bake in a moderate oven for 3/4 hour.

Ice with chocolate icing.