Transformation of the humble banana!

Banana Cake

This cake always takes me back to my days at The Natural History Museum when I used to share the student’s room with Jovita and Neil. With rich pickings to be had in the common room with all kinds of food brought back by colleagues from far flung field trips, we also experimented with putting different ingredients together to create new dishes.

First concocted by Jovita, I have modified her original recipe to suit busier lifestyles without compromising on nutrition or taste. It takes about 10 minutes to put together and around 35 to 40 minutes to bake.


  • 5 Bananas
  • 3 carrots – grated
  • Half a cup of oil
  • 1 cup dark or light brown Muscovado sugar.
  • 1 and a half to 2 cups of Jumbo oats 
  • 3 eggs beaten well
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of clove powder
  • 1/2 a nutmeg grated
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence


A grated apple or chopped up pear adds a twist and makes it less sweet. A handful of roughly chopped walnuts, pecans, brazils, almonds or dried fruit like raisins, sultanas, currants, apricots or even bits of stem ginger, can be added.


Lightly mash the bananas with a fork. Add the grated carrots sugar, oats, oil, beaten eggs, spice powders, vanilla and just stir to combine all the ingredients. Add the baking powder last and mix well. Do not beat or stir vigorously. If the consistency is very runny just add more oats so it still flows and transfer into a 8 by 8 inches cake tin or dish.

Bake at 180 °C or 160 °C for fan ovens for 35 to 40 minutes.  Baked when knife or skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean of any batter or cake particles.

Transformation of the humble banana!
Transformation of the humble banana!


  • Oil – Use the best oil you can afford
  • Sugars – other sugars can be used but I prefer muscovado sugars as it is unrefined and not only makes the cake moist but also gives it a rich toffee like caramel taste.
  • Oats – Best to use the old fashioned jumbo oats as the oval flakes give the cake a lighter texture. This is because the flakes are larger and keeps its shape and so traps some air pockets between them. You can mix some semolina or bread crumbs instead of just using oats. Here again the taste of oats between brands vary so try what suits your palette.
  • If using a fan oven bake at 160 °C.