A lovely cake to make for when friends drop in for a cuppa, this loaf isn’t too sweet but super moist and packed with fruit and nuts. It will keep well, wrapped in foil and stored in an airtight container for up to one week, or you can freeze away individual slices. Wrap the slices in cling film or foil ready to take out at just a moment’s notice – the individual slices will only take about an hour to defrost at room temperature. For a more wholesome loaf replace half the white flour with wholemeal self-raising flour.
- 175g butter, softened
- 100g caster sugar
- 75g light muscovado sugar
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 175g self-raising flour
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 small ripe banana, peeled and mashed
- 100g ready-to-eat dried apricots, chopped
- 75g pecan nuts, chopped
Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/150°C Fan/Gas Mark 3. Grease a 900g loaf tin and line the base and two short sides with a strip of greased baking paper.
Place the butter, caster sugar and muscovado sugar in a large bowl and beat together until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, about 1 tbsp at a time. Sift over the flour and cinnamon and gently fold into the mixture then fold in the apricots, mashed banana and half the pecan nuts.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, gently level the surface and scatter over the rest of the pecan nuts. Bake for 1hr 5mins-1hr 15mins until the cake is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Leave in the tin for 15-20mins then carefully turn out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.
Top tip for making Apricot and banana loaf
If the top of the cake starts to over-brown after about 45mins, cover loosely with a sheet of foil.