Banana Fruit Cake

A simple and quick to cook gluten-free banana cake with added spices and dried fruit. You can add whatever dried fruits you like to this recipe and using bananas means you need less butter or margarine.


I don't like to waste food and so when I have overbought bananas or they have ripened too quickly I will often freeze them for milkshakes or use them to make a gluten-free banana fruit cake. This recipe is a twist on a traditional fruit cake and is a lot quicker to make and cook. It has a slightly banana flavour but it isn't as strong as pure banana cake.

I often cut this into large squares and freeze un-iced for packed lunches. It is a great pick-me-up for when I am flagging in the afternoon! I like the versatility of this cake as you can add any dried fruit you like to it and it tastes great warm as a pudding or cold as a cake, with or without your favourite icing. I've included the recipe for cream cheese icing below which is delicious and seriously squidgy. I usually store the cake in the fridge when I've topped it with cream cheese icing and make sure I only keep it for a few days - not usually a problem.

Gluten-Free Banana Fruit Cake

A square of gluten-free banana fruit cake topped with cream cheese icing

Ingredients

Makes 16 large pieces.

You will need a 24cm square tin.

  • 2 large or 3 small bananas (c.375g)
  • 100g margarine or butter
  • 75g golden syrup
  • 100g light or dark brown soft/muscovado sugar
  • 250g gluten-free self-raising flour
  • 100g mixed fruit
  • 50g glace cherries, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp milk

Cream cheese buttercream:

  • 75g butter
  • 75g cream cheese
  • 175g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/375°F/gas mark 5.
  • Line a 24cm square tin with baking parchment.
  • In a food processor blend the bananas and margarine/butter until soft and creamy.
  • Then add the sugar, egg, flour, golden syrup, spices and milk and blend well.
  • Remove the food processor blade and mix in the dried fruit with a spoon.
  • Spoon into the tin.
  • Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until spongy on top and a cocktail stick comes out clean when inserted into the cake.
  • Allow to cool in the tin.
  • If you are freezing you can freeze as a whole cake at this stage or freeze in individual slices wrapped in clingfilm.
  • To make the cream cheese buttercream, simply blend the cream cheese, butter, icing sugar and vanilla together in the food processor.
  • Spread evenly over the surface of the cake and refrigerate until needed.

You can use any dried fruit or nuts you like in this cake - just add 150g in total. Sometimes I keep it simple and just add sultanas and at other times I add the dried mixed fruit and cherries for the full 'fruit cake' experience.

Some people say you need full fat cream cheese to make cream cheese butter icing, but I always use the lowest fat I can find and it is always very tasty although it is definitely sloppier.