The original recipe is from Lee Bailey's Country Desserts, a gift from my niece and one of my favourite cookbooks. Lee Bailey's recipe is a layer cake, sandwiched with cream and more sliced bananas and topped with a boiled frosting. Delicious! I have made the original and served it as a dessert, but this variation has evolved over the years and we like it because it keeps for a week, if stored in a tin, and it is portable. I used to take it to work as a treat for my colleagues and I was very popular on cake making days.
Banana Walnut Cake
4 oz softened butter or soft margarine (I use soft margarine)
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups sifted Self Rising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 - 2 teaspoons cinnamon (If you don't like cinnamon, you can leave this out.)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 3 bananas)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Cream butter and sugar.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one.
Sieve flour and the rest of the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
Gently mix flour and bananas into the creamed mixture.
Lighten the mixture with a little warm water from the kettle, if necessary. ( I always do this with cakes as it makes a lighter cake. The mixture should flow smoothly into the pan.)
Fold in the walnuts.
Bake at 350 F/ 180C in a greased and lined 8" by 11" pan for 25-30 minutes.
Do not overbake as the cake will be dry.
Check the top. It if is a bit springy in the middle, it is done.
Let the cake cool on a rack before icing.
Maple Walnut Icing
2 oz butter (You need to use real butter for the icing.)
3 Tablespoons milk
8 oz icing sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon maple flavouring (If you don't have this, use a little maple syrup.)\
16 - 20 walnut halves
In a milk pan, melt the butter. Watch it carefully!
Add the milk and the maple flavouring.
Using a whisk, add the icing sugar.
If it is too thin, add a little more sugar.
If it is too thick, add a little more milk.
Stir until it bubbles.
Immediately smooth it over the cake.
Place the walnuts in neat rows on top of the icing so each serving will have a walnut on it.
Lee Bailey's Country Desserts. This is a beautiful book, well worth the space on your shelf. It was published in 1988 by Clarkson N Potter, Inc/ Distributed by Crown Publishers, Inc., New York. ISBN No. 0-517-56515-3.
A generous slice of cake on my pretty Portmerion dish.