It is that time again when the Cake Slice Bakers reveal what they have baked this month. October is the last month we will be baking from Maida Heatter's Cakes and I have to say I've been pleasantly surprised with the bakes I've made from this book over the year and many I've ended up making more than once. The Zucchini loaf has been a firm favourite all the time courgettes have been plentiful, the blackberry cheesecake has already become a family classic and I'm looking forward to seeing fresh cranberries back in the shops so I can make this cranberry upside down cake again. This month we got to choose anything we liked from the book.
There are so many wonderful sounding cakes it was almost an impossible task, so I made the decision on what I already had in the cupboard, and given time was tight this month it had to be quick and simple... no elaborate frosting or decoration. A little while ago the Farm Shop gave me a big bag of black bananas which I froze for making cakes. Every time I take a few out I expect it to be the last few but there seem to be as many bananas as ever so I'm always looking for banana cake recipes. So Raisin Banana cupcakes sounded ideal.
The first step was to steam the raisins! Yes, I'm not kidding. Now I know I'm all for new experiences but steaming raisins is not exactly high up there on my list. Instead, I measured them into a bowl, poured boiling water over them and left them to soak while I measured out all the other ingredients. I figured it would have the same effect.
The recipe also states it makes 20 cupcakes and then Maida goes on to say line 12 holes in a muffin pan. I actually made 15 cakes... So make of that what you will. Maybe arithmetic isn't Maida's strong point!
But despite these little oddities and discrepancies they made lovely light and delicious little cakes... Moist, full of flavour and not too sweet. I would describe them more as a muffin than a cupcake. I chose to make mine gluten free because I was taking them in to my embroidery class where one lady cannot eat wheat. All I did was substitute the flour for a good gluten free brand. You would never know the difference. I also added baking powder despite using self raising flour as bananas can make a cake a bit dense.
Not too big, not too sticky... and a perfect (almost) guilt free snack. After all they are full of fruit and relatively low on sugar for a cake! The sort of thing I would have whipped up for my boys for after school many years ago. And they really were whipped up... exactly one hour after taking the bananas out of the freezer I had fifteen cupcakes cooling on the rack... and all the washing up done!
But not having lots of boys at home anymore and to save the one big boy's expanding waistline I took them into class instead, where they were well received. They might have all just been being polite but they all ate one!
So should you wish to try these yourself here is my version of the recipe:
Raisin Banana Cupcakes (adapted from Maida Heatter's Cakes)
You will need one or two 12 hole muffin pans lined with paper muffin cases. Preheat the oven to 190 deg C (170 fan), 375 deg F
- 100g raisins
- 280g sifted self raising flour
- half a teaspoon baking powder
- half a teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- pinch of salt
- half a teaspoon nutmeg
- half a teaspoon cinnamon
- three large very ripe bananas, mashed (approx 350g)
- 1 large egg
- 85g soft dark brown sugar
- 60 ml vegetable oil
- Put the raisins in a bowl and cover with boiling water while you prepare all the other ingredients.
- Sift the flour and all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl and using a hand mixer, beat the egg and sugar and oil together until pale and creamy. Add the mashed bananas and beat well to mix.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined.
- Drain the raisins and stir into the mixture
- Divide the mixture between 12-15 muffin cases filling each one about three quarters full.
- Bake for about 25 minutes or until the tops feel springy.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a rack
Next month we'll be baking from a brand new book and I can't wait to try some of the bakes. Meanwhile you can see what the other bakers made this month: