Nigel Slater’s Black Banana Cake

It’s cold. It’s raining. I have a fruit bowl with two very ripe bananas in it. Time to make Banana Cake! I chose Nigel Slater’s version simply because I was watching his “Simple Suppers” programme last night and it was featured in one of the episodes. It looked delicious and Nigel said it was one of the best cakes he had ever made.


My cake took a little longer to cook than the recipe stated (about 1hr 20 minutes) and it was browning within 30 minutes so I covered it with foil for the remainder of the cooking time. I found the cake quite sweet so think it could work with a little less sugar if preferred. I would probably try it with 125g next time instead, although I’m not sure how much this would alter the texture…any ideas?

Nigel uses ground hazelnuts in his recipe, but as I didn’t have any I substituted them with ground almonds. I can’t taste the almonds in it so don’t think this has really made any difference.

I think texture is really important in banana cake and I have to say this one is the perfect “squidginess” for me; sticky but not too heavy or stodgy. The banana flavour also comes through really well and I think the balance of banana and chocolate is just right (I only used 100g of chocolate though – Nigel recommends 175g but I think this would be a bit too much personally. I like the banana to be the dominant flavour).

It’s perfect comfort food and well worth making to enjoy with a cup of tea on a rainy Saturday!

Find Nigel’s recipe at: or follow my version, below:

Black Banana Cake
Serves approx 8-12 people

175g unsalted butter, softened
175g sugar (half light muscovado, half golden caster)
75g ground almonds or hazelnuts
2 free-range eggs, beaten
175g self-raising flour
2 very ripe bananas (about 250g)

  • A drop of vanilla extract

  • 100g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces

  • – Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3 and line the base and sides of a 20cm x 12cm/8in x 5in loaf tin with baking parchment.

– Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until light and coffee-coloured

– Slowly add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture, then fold in the ground almonds and self-raising flour

– Peel the bananas and chop them into small pieces. Gently fold the vanilla extract,  bananas and the chocolate into the cake mixture, turning gently and taking care not to overmix.

– Spoon the cake batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes, covering the cake with foil after about 30 minutes if the top starts to darken too quickly.

– Leave to cool in the tin. Remove the cake, cut into slices and serve with a cup of tea!


2 thoughts on “Nigel Slater’s Black Banana Cake

  1. totally agree with reducing the amount of chocolate, I use only 75g of REALLY good quality dark chocolate (85% cocoa solids), also added a dash of milk, as mixture felt quite heavy. I also use almonds instead of hazelnuts. Gorgeous cake highly recommend trying.

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