Friday 23 July 2010

Afternoon Tea

I don't usually have afternoon tea. My kids do.

That's because I live my life around my kids' schedule. We have late lunches and early dinners. They won't be home from school before 1.30pm and we have to have dinner before 7 in the evening as bedtime is just a couple of hours away. As a result, I don't have any desire for food in the late afternoon, but my kids would usually be stealing some time snacking away at the dinning table. My elder child is that sort of person 'who lives in his own world'...but when it comes to tea-break time, he will automatically get out of his world and go hunt for food. He will ask his brother along. Besides food, you need good company to enjoy your tea time. It is the time they would share stories on the latest happenings in school, comparing whose teacher is stricter, and talking nonsense such as making fun of teachers hairstyles or names. They can talk just about anything under the sun...from jabulani ball to debating whether they should play English or Chinese chess in the evening.

I don't usually have afternoon tea since I don't have good company. My two rascals don't count. However, there is always an exception.

For instant, I can't resist but to make myself a cup of tea to go with a slice of this wholesome homemade cake.

Will you be surprised if I were to confess that this Banana Walnut Cake happens to fall under the category of those 'haphazardly-made' cakes? I have craved for scones, and have intended to make some, but I changed my mind halfway through measuring up the ingredients. My cravings has suddenly switched from scones to a slice of fruit pastry cake. I thought I could use up the leftover peaches to make the cake, but only to realise that I didn't have any yoghurt or sour cream that's called for in the recipe. I turned around and spotted a bunch of over-ripe bananas...all covered with speckles. My problem was solved. I threw in some mashed bananas and chopped walnuts in the batter and transformed the fruit pastry cake into a banana walnut cake. This cake is so easy to make that I have nothing to share with you on the preparation process!

The finished cake has far exceeded my expectations. This banana version tastes as good even without the use of yoghurt or sour cream. I guess nothing could ever go wrong baking with bananas. The walnuts lends an interesting texture to the soft, tender crumbs and I super-love the banana fragrant. While the cake was baking in the oven, my whole kitchen smelt as though I was frying a wok full of goreng pisang (banana fritters...deep fried bananas coated with batter). The cake tastes a little sweet though, and that is mainly due to the sweet bananas. On hindsight, I should have replaced some of the plain flour with wholemeal ones, besides the additional fibre, I'm sure I will like the extra nutty texture.

So, that was how I ended up enjoying my slice of cake with a cup of lemon tea, on a cool late afternoon.

Banana Walnut Cake


100g butter, soften at room temperature
160g caster sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
210g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
50g walnuts, chopped

  1. Grease (with butter) and flour the sides of an 8" or 9" round pan and line the base with parchment paper.
  2. With an electric mixer or a manual whisk, cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
  3. Dribble in the eggs gradually and beat till incorporated in the batter. (The mixture may appear slightly curdled.)
  4. Add vanilla extract and mashed bananas. Mix till smooth.
  5. Sieve over flour and baking powder and mix till smooth.
  6. Add chopped walnuts (reserve some for sprinkling the top, optional). Mix with a spatula.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth out the top with the spatula. Sprinkle the top with the remaining walnuts or arrange some banana slices (dipped in some lemon juice to prevent it from turning black) on top.
  8. Bake in pre-heat oven at 180degC for 60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the cake.
  9. Leave the cake to cool in the pan for about 5~10 mins. Unmold and transfer to wire rack to let cool completely.


Allie said...

This looks really, really good! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Kitchen Corner said...

I agree with you, nothing could ever go wrong baking with bananas. I would love it! And love to have a piece of this cake with you for an afternoon tea. I might be a good company of yours :)

Anonymous said...

Hi HHb,
Wow, so easy to make? I'm a fan of banana cakes too;)

Just like to check with you what kind of bananas do you always use for banana cakes?
I ve always used my left over delmonte bananas, until once I switched to another kind of bananas,dunno what's the name, but should be the extra sweet kind,"phang jio". It yielded a sweeter, more fragrant cake as compared to the delmonte kind.

Tks, cupcake

busygran said...

Quick thinking on your part to concoct something out of anything! Would you invite me to tea, please? ;)

chun said...

Mmmm sounds good! I haven't baked in a long time as our oven is broken lol we moved last year and it's a 7 year old oven which was very well used by the previous owner. Have no budget at the moment to throw into a new oven so have to wait until have enough savings to do so ^^; Meanwhile I'll enjoy other people's photos XD

hanushi said...

haha... you are very innovative...

I will never be able to come up with my own baking recipe by looking what I have at home (I am those who usually follow recipe word for word)...

cake looks v delicious... :)

ReeseKitchen said...

Very nice banana walnut cake HHB, I would like to have some nice cakes for my tea break too, but eating alone really bores me. Longing to have tea with my old buddies, but everyone is so busy with their daily schedule.
Your recipe for this cake is simple, will try it for my tea time one day..Thanks..:)

experimentalcook said...

It really sounded like me in the kitchen. Always 'so spur of the moment' situation. Like your article - wish my girl is as interesting as your kids. She's too serious for company.

Baking Fiend said...

oh yums! subsituting ingredients last minute takes alot of guts! LOLz.

Edith said...

I love this combination! Wow your meal time is very close to mine!

fuat gencal said...

Çok leziz ve iştah açıcı olmuş ellerinize sağlık.


Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

you are a baking master, you can just grap whatever you have and bake a nice cake, look really tempting!
Ya, I saw your comment in Kitchen corner about the egg yolks, at the same time i also saw Angie made a strawberry mousse, but she use marshmallow, maybe you can create one without egg yolks, refer her post here-, hope this helps.

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Grace, you are certainly a good company, I am sure you will share your bakes with me ;)

Hi Cupcakes, I've tried using both too, but I can't remember whether there is any difference. Will certainly take note of it next time.

busygran, I will love to join you for tea, I am sure I can learn some cooking tips from you :)

hi chun, there are some cakes which doesn't require an steamed cakes! Some cakes (eg chiffon cake) can even be 'baked' with a wok.

hanushi, when you have gained enough experience, I am sure you will be able to come up with your own recipe :)

ReeseKitchen, I wish we can have a 'cyber' afternoon tea together ;) I am in the same boat, everyone seems to be busy, except SAHMs, lolz!

experimentalcook, my elder child is a very serious kid too! He is very shy. It is only when his younger brother is around, he is more open up and more cheerful and playful.

baking fiend, I had made the original recipes several times, maybe that was why I was so adventurous ;)

edith, I believe you also plan your day around your kids' schedule.

Thanks Sonia! I read Angie's post. I have seen so many mousse recipes, but each time when they call for egg yolks not fully cooked, I have to put it away, the same thing applies to ice-cream making. Maybe I should just make some and get my guinea pig to test it when he is back ;)
btw, I am planning to make your rice cooker chicken...I think I have finally come up with a meal plan. I only have one rice cooker, if I use it to make the chicken, I will not be able to cook rice as it takes 45mins for the rice to cook, the chicken will be cold by then. It was only yesterday that I came up with this idea...cook the rice first and use it for fried rice while the chicken is in the rice cooker, hope it works, wish me luck!

Unknown said...

hi happy homebaker,

Many thanks for yet another yummilicious recipe of yours. I have been a big fan of yours - been logging your blog and tried your recipes last year when i was based in germany. keep up the good work!

have you baked cinnamon rolls lately? I saw from the side bar that you have uploaded into flickr..can please share your experience and great photos with us?


Unknown said...

Oh scrum-diddily-uptious x

quizzine said...

I would love to be your tea companion, frankly becos of your ever-delicious looking cakes! Keke
Just went grocery shopping yesterday and bought bananas, lemon, yogurt, almond, mmmm still thinking of what cake to bake out of these?

megi said...

Hello HHB,

I LOVE that you came up with the banana version of the fruit pastry cake, I will make it as soon as I have over ripe bananas. The fruit pastry cake was such a hit that I know I have to make this too. Thank you,


Honey Bee Sweets said...

Classic banana walnut cake that doesn't run out of fashion. ;) But you always have walnut at home? Good thinking though.... Glad that you & your boys had a good tea time. ;)

Happy Homebaker said...

Tammy, thanks for following my blog :) I hope I can post the cinnamon roll soon.

Quizzine, I will for you to post up your cake, I am sure it will be something real nice!

megi, the fruit pastry cake is really a great recipe. I hope you will like this banana version too :)

Bee Bee, I always replendish my stock of walnuts, besides using it for baking, I also use it to make granola or toss them in salads, or just eat it on its own as snacks.

Unknown said...

Sounds like a great afternoon to me! Yum

Pei-Lin said...

HHB, lovely write-up! I enjoyed reading it! Short and nice, which is unlike mine, TOO long-winded. LOL!

Applause to your idea of replacing sour cream/yogurt with mashed bananas!! I should do that, too, as I don't have the habit of keeping sour cream in my fridge ... Yogurt occasionally, though, as I'm quite a yogurt lover. (I only take plain, unsweetened yogurt. Love to serve mine with home-made applesauce.)

Your whole kitchen smells like pisang goreng!? Serious!? OK, I can foresee another HHB fever in the SG-MY food blogosphere. LOL! VERY soon ... Your fruit pastry cake is everywhere!! LOL!

Btw, I love how you described the two siblings ... How they interact with each other as they grow up. I just wish I can fight less with my own siblings ... Maybe we're a bunch of aggressive nerds ... Haha!

Angel @ Cook.Bake.Love said...

Great bake. This is such a lovely cake, my kind of food. Love to have a slice for afternoon tea. :-)

Ur boys always have 口福。

Small Small Baker said...

How I wish I can stay near u, then I can have a good afternoon tea with you. :) Me too, I'm always looking for mousse and ice cream recipes without egg yolks. I'm probably worse than you, cos I need mousse recipes without gelatine too. That's why I have never made mousse cake.

Reira said...

Hi Happy Homebaker,

I totally agree with Cook.Bake.Love that your boys always have 口福!! I love banana & walnut.

Angie's Recipes said...

I love afternoon tea :-) Banana and walnut are definitely delicious together!

Bakericious said...

HHB, you are a baking master, you can just churn up any bakes with any ingredients on hand! The cake looks yummy, I wil serve myself for more :). Luckily you are not my neighbour, if not u wil see me always pressing your door bell :P

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Jess, if I am you neighbour, you will see me at your door very often! I need your arm power and I will love to share my bakes with you :)

erith said...

Hi HHB, I just baked a Banana Walnut Cake using the recipe you have provided. It was my maiden attempt at baking cakes and surprisingly, it turned out to be really good! :) I am encouraged. Thank you for being an inspiration to my baking endeavour. Cheers!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Erith, glad to know that this recipe turn out well :) I just read your blog, love your writing!


Amazing recipes and photos.No words to explain your interest and dedication.Mam, please post Lightening Mcqueen cake with cream decoration.

Anonymous said...

Hi, when u state mix till smooth, may i know what consistency should it be? For example, must it be mixed till ribbon like (stiff peaks)? Like when u beat egg the ribbon like kind of texture?


Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, you just need to mix till the flour incorporates into the batter, there is no need to beat till ribbon like. If you are using a spatula, just a few quick stir will do.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe. I tried baking this cake and it taste really nice especially with the crunchy walnuts! However, I thought my cake was bait moist. Any tips on how to make the cake abit lighter and fluffier? Is that suppose to be the texture?
Appreciate your help on this. :)

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, not sure whether the denseness was due to under baking? If not, the only way to make it lighter is to make sure you cream the butter and sugar till the mixture turns pale and allow air to be incorporated into the batter. The mixture should look light pale and has 'volume' shouldn't be greasy like mayonnaise. If the mixture looks greasy, you may have let the butter melted. Hope you know what I mean?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the receipe, it's my 1st attempt yday but found the following mistakes. Needs ur kind advice on how to overcome it. Hehe.
1) Top of cake is hardened, top walnuts slightly burnt, I followed your recommended temp of 180 deg C (using oven thermometer) ard 40mins.
2) The cake doesn't raise much except the center portion up by ard 1 to 2 cm only.
3) During the beating of butter and sugar, do I need to beat for very long? Also how for the butter at room temperature meaning is it still in solid form but easy to cut?

Sorry for posting so many questions. ;)

Happy Homebaker said...

1) maybe you can bake it at a lower rack? or cut down the baking time by 5 - 10 mins. As every oven works differently, you will need to get to know how your oven and adjust the temp/time according. If the walnuts appears to get overly browned but the cake is still not cooked, you can cover the top with a piece of alum foil to prevent it from getting burnt.
2) not sure what happened, could it be due to the beating of the butter and sugar?
3) the butter and sugar should be beaten until the mixture becomes pale and fluffy. the sugar should dissolve/disappear. however, the mixture should not appear greasy. If you are using a standing mixer, it will take about 2 - 3 mins. I use a handheld mixer, it will take slightly longer. The butter is still in solid form, not melted into liquid. Hope this help :)

Anonymous said...


Thanks for your valuable advices. Will try again next week. Can't wait to try out your other receipes but firstly got to know my oven more. :D

Anonymous said...

can i use self raising flour? if so, do I still need baking powder?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, if you wish to replace it with self raising flour, do refer to this site ( for the ingredient substitution. I am not sure by simply omitting the baking powder will work well...

Anonymous said...

I followed this recipe today - it is delicious! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Can I use top flour instead of plain flour?
Thank you.

New baker.

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi New baker, you can use top flour.

Hadeel Kh said...

I have just tried this... and it was so moist and aromatic ... definitely a keeper!

Unknown said...

Hi happy home baker.…I made this and it turned out delicious.…thanks for sharing…have shared this recipe on my blog :)

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Creativejuices, thanks for trying this recipe and glad to read that you and your husband like it :):)