This lovely paleo friendly tea cake is inspired by a humble banana bread. It’s full of subtle flavours of ginger, orange and winter spices, and to me it’s something my European grandma would have served on a cold and rainy afternoon .
This is a grain and dairy free banana cake, with no added white sugar. Instead, it’s sweetened with dried fruit and bananas. It’s also essentially tree nut free (minus the pecans used to decorate, which you can omit) so it’s safe for kids lunch boxes and those of your avoiding nuts. I used coconut flour and tapioca flour as the main starches in the batter.
Handy tip: Instead of making it as a cake, you can try using the batter to make single banana bread muffins instead. Adjust the cooking time as they will take less time to bake.
- 3 medium whole eggs
- 2 large, ripe bananas, peeled and broken into pieces
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil (I measured it in its solid form)
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (ginger powder can also be used)
- 10 Medjool dates, pitted
- Zest of 1 orange
- Zest of ½ lemon
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Generous pinch of nutmeg
- ⅓ teaspoon allspice or Chinese five-spice
- 1 tablespoon vanilla essence (optional)
- ½ cup tapioca flour
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened desiccated coconut
- ½ teaspoon bicarb soda + 1 tablespoon orange juice
- ⅓ cup pecans (optional)
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- Medium spring form or cake tin, baking paper
- Maple syrup, for shine (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 170 °C/ 335 °F (conventional oven).
- Add eggs, banana, coconut oil, ginger, dates, orange and lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, five-spice and vanilla, if using, to a blender or a food processor. Process for 10 seconds, until thick and smooth.
- Then add the tapioca, coconut flour and desiccated coconut. Add bicarb soda and drizzle it with orange juice so it foams slightly. Whiz a few times until well blended.
- Cut out a round piece of baking paper, brush it with coconut oil and line a round spring form or a cake tin. Grease the sides of the tin with coconut oil as well. Pour in the mixture and flatten.
- Reserve some whole pecans and cranberries to decorate the top and use the rest to add inside. Break pecans into smaller pieces and leave cranberries whole. Sprinkle over the top and then use a spatula to sink them below the surface. Place the tin on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Then remove the tin and arrange the rest of the whole pecans and cranberries on top but don't sink them. Place back in the oven for 45-50 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let it sit on an open oven door, where it's still a little warm. This less drastic change of temperatures helps to reduce the collapsing of the cake. Cool for 5 minutes, then brush the top with a little maple syrup for shine. Let it cool completely and then slice as needed.