One of my favourite Christmas presents this year was the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, given to me by my friend Laura of Cakecuccino fame, who was probably sick of me borrowing hers every time I wanted to bake. I borrowed it with good reason - while I've sadly never been to the Hummingbird Bakery itself, which is in London, everything me or Laura have made from their cookbook has turned out pretty good. This cake was no exception, it may look daunting and expensive because of its many ingredients, but most of them are things you'll already have in the house if you've ever baked recently. The only things I had to buy were cream cheese for the frosting and a tin of pinapple, which combined cost me just over a pound. Perfect for students!
One negative point about the Hummingbird Bakery is that basically all of its recipes call for an electric mixer. I caved to the pressure and actually bought one (for £4 from Argos...), but for the sake of experimentation I decided to mix the cake mix with the electric mixer, and the frosting by the almost non-existant strength of my own arm. Here's what you need for the cake:
- 300g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 300ml sunflower oil
- 270g peeled, mashed bananas (I only had 2 bananas which was about 180g but it was fine)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (which I forgot to use)
- 300g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 100g tinned pineapple, chopped into little pieces
- 100g walnuts or pecan nuts (again, I had a lot less than 100g but the cake still tasted good, so if you want to save money you can skip adding nuts)
For the frosting:
- 600g icing sugar
- 250g cream cheese
- 100g unsalted butter, at room temperature (I never remember to take the butter out of the fridge beforehand, you could try microwaving it for a few seconds)
1. Firstly chop up the nuts and pineapple and mash the banana. I chopped the pinapple really finely so my boyfriend Tetley didn't realise he was eating fruit, but larger chunks would work too. Switch on the oven to 170 degrees.
2. Next, put the sugar, eggs, oil, banana and cinnamon in a bowl and mix with your fancy £4 mixer or with a wooden spoon. Try not to think about how much oil you will be consuming when you eat the cake.