Another Sunday, another recipe! Lately, I’ve really been enjoying plant-based eating more so than my usual vegetarian diet, and so I’ve filtered this into this week’s bake. I absolutely adore banana bread, so I figured a vegan-friendly version would be a quick and easy go-to for anyone wanting to experiment with baking with substitues.
A note on the ingredients – I’ve left out the eggs and butter, instead opting for the classic ‘flaxseed egg’ and dairy-free butter which both work a treat. The cake itself is quite close textured and dense because of the wholemeal flour, and the addition of soft, chewy dates gives a subtle caramel sweetness. The finishing touch is the fluffy cashew cream frosting which is super simple to make and the perfect substitue for mascarpone, traditional butter icing or cream cheese.
Serves 8-10 | Prep: 15 mins | Cooking: 1 hour
For the cake batter:
- 100g (organic) self-raising flour
- 100g (organic) wholemeal flour
- 100g soft brown sugar
- 200g dairy-free butter (Pure, Flora or Vital are good brands)
- 2 over ripe bananas, mashed
- 10 soft pitted dates, chopped
- 2 grated carrots
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 tbsp vegetable or rapeseed oil
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseeds
- 1/4 cup water
For the frosting:
- 50g dairy-free butter
- 100g icing sugar
- 100g soaked cashew nuts
- 1/4 cup non-dairy milk (soy, almond or oat)
- Zest of 1 lemon
Step one: Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease and line a 20cm loaf tin. Set aside.
Step two: In a large mixing bowl, add the flours, baking powder, salt and spices and mix well. In a smaller bowl, add flaxseeds and water and leave for 5 minutes to thicken.
Step three: In a seperate bowl, cream the butter and sugar until creamy or use an electric mixer. Add the ‘flaxseed egg’, oil, grated carrot and chopped dates, then mix well.
Step four: Blend the bananas for 1 minute or mash well by hand. Add to the wet ingredient mixture.
Step five: Add the dry ingredients to the wet bit by bit, ensuring you continue to mix well for an even finish. You should have a thick consistency that coats the back of a spoon. Pour into your lined tine and bake for approx 1 hour. You can adjust the temperature if the cake browns too much on top. The knife test will check the centre is cooked through.
Step six: Blend the softened cashews and milk until a thick yet smooth texture is achieved. Set aside.
Step seven: In a bowl, cream the butter and icing sugar until whipped and smooth. Add the cashew mixture and set aside in the fridge to keep cool.
Step eight: Once the cake has cooled, finish with the frosting and grated lemon zest to serve. Et voila!