Moist, nutty and lightly spiced this delicious cake will make the perfect teatime time. Use a really ripe banana – even one that has a black skin as it will be extra sweet and aromatic. The cake can be frozen without the topping just wrap in foil or greaseproof paper and cling film and freeze for up to one month. This cake also makes a lovely warming winter pud. Serve sliced whilst still warm from the oven with vanilla custard, cream or a dollop of creme fraiche. Drizzle over a little warmed maple syrup and top with some chopped pecans.
175g self-raising flour
½tsp baking powder
1tsp ground mixed spice
175g golden caster sugar
175g butter, softened
3 eggs, beaten
50g pecan nuts, very finely chopped
1 large ripe banana, peeled and mashed
For the topping:
175g icing sugar, sifted
4tbsp maple syrup
18 pecan nuts
For a creamy topping beat 1tbsp maple syrup and 100g icing sugar into 125g full fat soft cheese and spread over the top of the cold cake.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/160°C Fan/Gas Mark 4. Grease a 23cm round sponge cake tin and line the base with greased baking parchment.
Sift the flour, baking powder and mixed spice into a large bowl and add the sugar, butter and eggs. Using a hand-held electric whisk, beat the mixture for 2-3mins until smooth and creamy.
Fold in the chopped nuts and mashed banana and spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, gently levelling the surface. Bake for 35-40mins until risen, golden and just firm to the touch. Leave the sponge to cool in the tin for 10mins then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
For the topping, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and stir in the maple syrup to make a smooth icing, adding a few drops of warm water if needed to give a runny consistency.
Place the cake on a stand and spoon over the icing, allowing it to drizzle down the side of the cake. Decorate with the pecans. Leave to set before slicing.