Banana Cake

Banana Cake | she cooks, she gardens

I’ve been laying low for the last few weeks. Life has thrown me some complicated curve balls and going off the radar seemed like the right thing to do. I’ve missed blogging and the sense of community that comes with it but finding the enthusiasm to get into the kitchen and prepare food has been difficult at best, writing about it seemed that much harder again. I’m not one to do things by halves so instead I made a call to withdraw into my own mind for a little while, rebuild and find my centre. I’m still a long way from finding this centre but I am getting there. Healing is a confronting process, it forces you into a corner that is uncomfortable and inescapable. I lurch from feeling ‘ok’ to wanting nothing more than to sleep another day away. Even though the physical ailments are behind me, the emotional wounds are still very much open. It will take time and there is no easy fix. Perhaps at a point in the future I will be able to talk more about ‘what happened’ but at this stage know that I’m being well looked after and doing my best to be kind to myself and heal. I’d like to thank you all for your wonderful words of support and wisdom, for caring enough to send me messages and let me know you were thinking of me. In those moment of despair I took comfort in your words and they helped lift the fog of grief that enveloped me, especially in the early stages.

banana cake

I suppose one piece of news I can give you at this point is that I have started eating meat again. Some of you will be shocked about this, others won’t bat an eyelid – many of you will be somewhere in between. In my lowest moments I needed to relinquish control and allow others to take care of me. When a plate of food was placed in front of me I ate it and allowed it to nourish me, it was a relief not to have to worry about cooking or feeding myself. I didn’t have the energy or space to argue, to resist things and find an alternative, I simply didn’t have the capacity. So when a piece of chicken was offered to me, something I haven’t eaten in almost two years, I gratefully accepted. I have laboured over this decision for many days now, trying to find the words to explain myself and then I realised how silly all of that was. This is my decision and I’m owning it. I’ve had time to think about my approach to all of this now that life is starting to make sense again and I know that I would like to keep eating as much vegetarian food as possible. These last 18 months (or so) of my meat free experiment have been deliciously inspiring, I have mastered a great many vegetarian dishes and know that it is possible to eat well without eating meat and I’d like to continue to do so as often as possible, but if you start seeing the occasional piece of meat featured on these pages then you will know why.

banana cake

Now onto the cake. This is my go to banana cake recipe, it seemed fitting to post something like this to mark my return to food blogging after a month of silence. It’s a versatile recipe and I make it whenever there are banana’s getting a little too ripe on the counter. The bare bones are simple; eggs, buttermilk, oil, flour and banana – additional layers of flavour and texture can be added depending on your mood and what you have available. I like to use dark muscovado sugar to the batter because it gives a rich golden colour and a deeper sweetness than regular sugar, but if you’ve only get ‘regular’ sugar then that will be ok too. I don’t tend to bother with icing the cake and instead add a little sugar and coconut to the top of the cake before baking but if you’d rather ice it then a little cream cheese, lemon and icing sugar whipped together will do the trick. A handful of chocolate chips makes it extra special, as does a hint of lemon zest. It will last a solid week in an airtight container in the fridge, it also freezes well wrapped in greaseproof paper.

It’s good to be back.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Banana Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A moist, fluffy oil-based banana cake.
Recipe type: Cake
Serves: 8-10
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ⅓ cup Rice Bran Oil
  • 2 bananas (very ripe)
  • 1 tspn vanilla essence
  • ⅓ cup dark muscovado sugar
  • ⅓ cup raw sugar + 1 tspn
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • ½ cup wholemeal self-raising flour
  • ¼ tspn nutmeg
  • ½ tspn cinnamon
  • 1 tspn desiccated coconut
  1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
  2. Line and grease a loaf tin.
  3. Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, bananas and vanilla.
  4. Add the sugars (leaving aside 1 tspn of raw sugar) and beat well until the sugars have dissolved.
  5. Add the flours and spices until combined.
  6. Pour batter into prepared tin and sprinkle raw sugar and coconut on the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes until cooked.
  7. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before removing from the tin.
Optional additions: - a handful of chocolate chips - 2 tbspns desiccated coconut - zest of one lemon - ¼ cup currants - ¼ cup roughly chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts) - 2 tbspns pumpkin seeds


  • Damien says:

    I’ve always appreciated the humanness you bring to your posts. To admit that sometimes life has a hold on us that we cannot fully control is humbling, and something I grapple with myself. You are not alone.

    • Erin B says:

      Thanks so much, Damien – it is nice to be able to share such things with readers like yourself and know that I am not battling through this on my own.

  • Good to hear that you are ‘on the mend’ Erin. Sending hugs from afar…. keep healing… this storm will pass. xox

  • Grant Nowell says:

    Hi Erin
    Lovely to have you back blogging and cooking you are a mega star at these two things!
    I have been thinking about you and your family and friends hoping that you all are going along in positive way…each day at a time.
    We have been doing lots of prep work in our garden and soon we will be doing some raised beds inspired by your writings and brilliant ideas, better get cracking got a banana cake to make

    • Erin B says:

      Hey Grant, always lovely to hear from you, thank you for your well wishes – I love that you think I am a ‘mega star’, I certainly haven’t felt like one these past couple of weeks but reading comments like yours instantly lift my mood. And you are right, one day at a time is absolutely how I need to approach this.

      I’m excited to see what you are doing in your garden, too. I spent some time out in mine this weekend, it is always so healing.

  • Hi Erin, Glad you have found the strength to get back to blogging (and into the kitchen). The Banana Cake recipe is lovely. Hope you continue to heal and that you will soon be feeling on top of the world.

    • Erin B says:

      Thanks so much, Christine, I really appreciate it. I am slowly climbing that mountain to recovery and the top is certainly within reach.xx

  • Good to see you back on board Erin, I was vegetarian for about 10 years but then made the decision to return to eating meat also. As a result we have a really mixed diet with lots of vegetarian dishes, and those mealts that do feature meat tend to be bulked up with lots of vegetables. I feel like it was a right decision for me and improved my health, I have no regrets and I hope you will feel the same. All the best moving forward.

    • Erin B says:

      Thanks Chantelle, that is good advice about bulking up meals with lots of vegies, and I admire your tenacity sticking with vegetarianism for as long as you did. I agree that you have to do what feels right for your body at the time, even if it doesn’t feel quite right in my mind at the moment.

  • Miss Piggy says:

    I’m sorry you’re not well Erin – your presence has been missed! Hope you make a full recovery soon.

  • hello again, and as a fairly new reader of your blog, it is good to have you back. and with such a delicious cake! a banana cake is on my easter to-do list (it’s getting longer by the day).

  • Welcome back Erin. I’m glad that you’re coming out the other end and hope you’re ok. Sending you lots of love and best wishes. Your banana cake looks scrumptious!

  • Jennifer says:

    Glad to hear that you’re healing, and I’m very happy you’ve seen your friends’ food as the gifts they are. I loved being vegetarian/vegan, but when I found that most of the foods that allow you to be vegan don’t work with my system, it was hard for me to switch back. Sometimes what the heart/head wants, the body doesn’t agree with! Good luck on your journey, and you’ll always have my support. Rest well!

    • Erin B says:

      Thanks so much, Jennifer – I really appreciate your kind words, I was so worried that I would lose people because of my decisions, but decided that that is not a reason to keep doing something. It means a lot to have you say that you support me and can relate.

  • Swah says:

    Sorry to hear you’ve been going through a tough time and glad to hear you’re on the mend. This banana cake recipe looks delicious (and not too naughty) and now I have cravings!

    I was vegetarian for over 10 years before I returned to meat. I still had a lot of vego friends at the time and this did not sit well with some of them. But I knew I had to put myself and my health first and I feel so much better physically as a result. Mentally I occasionally struggle with being a meat eater so I try and make sure I always make ethical and sustainable choices.

    • Erin B says:

      Thanks Swah, I know what you mean about your vego friends and I’m still not sure how I feel about it all to be honest. I figure time is the only true litmus test here, I’ll work it out eventually and if I don’t well that’s probably ok too.xx

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