I love bananas and I love pineapples, so this for me is cake nirvana! It is a delicious light sponge cake with swirls of sweet bananas running through, little bursts of juicy pineapples and the pecan pieces gives a nice nutty bite. And to top it off, it’s covered with a velvety smooth cream cheese frosting that’s sharpened with lime, giving it a nice zingy refreshing finish.
Now if you’ve never baked in your life and the thought of baking scares you a little then this recipe is a great one to start with! Many people have the misconception about baking being overly complicated and having to be very precise but that isn’t always the case. Not with this cake at least! Just follow the recipe, have fun with it and I assure you that you will end up with a beautiful and delicious cake you’ll be really proud of!
350g self raising flour, sifted
300g raw caster sugar
1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon
a large pinch of salt
4 medium very ripe bananas
1 x 425g tin of pineapple chunks
2 large eggs
250ml red palm oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Grease and line two 23cm springform cake tins.
Whisk the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl to blend. In another large bowl, peel the bananas and mash them up with a potato masher or fork. Drain and give the pineapples a good scrunch with your hands to get rid of any excess juices and finely chop them. Add the pineapples to the bananas with the eggs, oil and vanilla extract. Mix until combined, then fold in the dry mixture until well combined. Finely chop the pecans and gently fold in. You should now have a vibrant orange batter that’s quite thick and sticky. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake tins and bake for 35-40 mins. You can test if the cake is cooked by inserting a skewer and if it comes out clean, you’re done! Allow them to cool for 10 minutes in the tins before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
80g butter, softened
300g cream cheese
200g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Sift the icing sugar into a free-standing electric mixer, add the butter and beat until pale and creamy. Add the cream cheese, vanilla extract, zest the lime and squeeze in the juice of half the lime. Beat until smooth and resist the urge to eat all the frosting before it gets on the cake. Keep in the fridge until needed.
100g caster sugar
a pinch of salt
Place sugar with a splash of water in a saucepan on a medium pan. Swirl the pan (do not stir as that will cause the sugar to crystallise!) occasionally until dissolved and lightly golden. Add the pecans and a pinch of salt and give it a stir with a wooden to evenly coat the nuts. Pour onto a sheet of oiled greaseproof paper to set. Leave alone and out of reach of small or large fingers. Molten sugar is dangerous!
Once cooled, it will have set as hard as rock. Place it in a clean tea towel and give it a good bash with a rolling pin – you can smash some of the bits into dust, leaving other bits chunky.
ASSEMBLING THE CAKE!
Place one of the cake on a cake stand and spread half of the frosting. Sit the other cake on top and spread the rest of the frosting, then sprinkle over as much of the pecan brittle dust as you like. Grate over the zest of a lime and top of with some edible flowers and call your friends over to tuck into the cake!