Another Banana Cake - David Lebovitz inspired

Warm pieces of cake
I never tire of making banana cakes (or bread if you like to call it that). Banana cake was the first thing I ever baked and it has remained a hot favourite. Besides, now that we are trying to avoid eggs in baked products too, it is fun to look at innovative ways to bake our favourite goodies by using interesting substitutes like yoghurt, coconut milk, coconut water, flaxeed paste etc.
For a banana cake, since bananas are a great binding agent anyway, use of adequate baking powder and replacing the liquid part of the eggs with a liquid of our choice seems to work pretty well.
I came upon this beautiful piece of cake on one of my favourite blogs, and I had to tie my apron on immediately. This was over 2 months ago and the cake turned out so moist and delicious, we simply loved it. In that one, I had sprinkled poppy seeds and arranged a sliced firm banana on the top - in addition to mashed ripe bananas in the mix. The banana slices caramelized to a yummy brown colour and deep rich taste. Unforgettable. I do remember having taken pics, but will take me a while to fish them out.
Today's version looks plane Jane in comparison, but I can already smell the sweet heady aromas, as it is baking.
Here's my recipe adapted from David Lebotitz's blog.

Dressed up BANANA CAKE
Time taken - Around one hour
Makes one loaf
1/2 cup All Purpose flour (Maida)
1 cup whole wheat flour (Atta)
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ cup crushed jaggery
4 tablespoons coconut water or coconut milk
2 medium sized, very- ripe bananas
½ cup yoghurt (homemade dahi)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons ghee or butter or canola oil plus some more for greasing baking tin
1/3 cup walnuts or mixed nuts
few thin slices of banana, tbsp of sugar, pinch of cinnamon powder and poppy seeds (optional) to sprinkle over the top for decoration, before baking
Butter a 9-inch (23 cm) square pan or a loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 350F (180 C).
1. Sift together in a bowl the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
2. In a mixer, put in the bananas, jaggery, coconut water and yoghurt. Blend into a fine puree.
3. In a large bowl, place the melted ghee. Add the puree into this along with vanilla essence.
4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and stir in the wet ingredients with a spatula until almost mixed. Add in the nuts and stir until just combined, but don't overstir: stop when any traces of flour disappear.
5. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan - top with banana slices nicely arranged, sprinkle sugar and cinnamon with some poppy seeds over the top and bake for 40 minutes, or until the center feels lightly-springy and just done.
6. Cool on a wire rack.
This cake is very low in fat, from the two tbsp used. Sugar is replaced by jaggery which is a healthier source of sweetness, not to mention the lovely golden brown colour it imparts. Eggs are replaced by coconut water and 2/3rds of the the AP flour is replaced by whole wheat flour, adding to the fibre content.
I have also tried using 1/4th cup Semolina and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, for a cake with added texture. Diabetics can enjoy a slice of this cake too, right after lunch or dinner without worrying about shooting up their blood sugar too much.
A word about WBB for December - I was trying to contact the blogger who had confirmed to take up this month until this week, and since I haven't received a response yet, I am assuming it is quite late to start the proceeds for the month. However your hostess for Jan is in the loop and I shall request her to announce the event by end Dec / early Jan for the first edition of WBB in 2008. In the meanwhile, you can expect a recap from me about WBB 2007 soon!
Other banana delights on Saffron Trail:


Padmaja said...

Oh yes!! Two post already, Now thats like our amazing nandita!!
Cool!! and hey when I go around our blogging now a days, i see cookies n cakes n celebrations!!
Your cake looks lovely and it might have just creeped into my christmas menu as our additions to the list of guests hasn't stopped and so my menu!!!
Nice to have u back and look i already started chatting away!!
have a great weekend

Namratha said...

Wow Nandita, eggless Banana cake, now that's good eating! Looks yummylicious :)

Shankari said...

I like the idea of coconut water and jaggery, gives it that Indian touch...

Shantanu said...

Looks fantastic! Also makes me wonder why oh why we cannot get banana-nut muffins in Pune?

Mansi Desai said...

Nandita, looks like u r back in form girl:) good for you!

banana cake or bread is almost everyone's favourite...I'm busy baking for the holiday season too, so might just squeeze this one in:D

Mythreyee said...

OMG! such lovely recipes. Thanks for sharing the different versions of baking banana.

sunita said...

Now who can tire of a cake like that...not me :-D

Seema said...

Thats a nice one.. so many blogger friends into cake baking.. guess its the time of the year!! Its nice to have different versions.. nice one!

evolvingtastes said...

Nandita, that looks lovely. Good to know that yogurt works in place of sour cream too.

Nags said...

wow! that was quick!

Sagari said...

cake lookssss delecioussssss and i love the above grater lovely post

Kamini said...

Nice to see you back in the swing of things! I love banana cake and am always on the look out for new variations, so I'll certainly give this one a try.
Wishing you and all your readers a very happy new year

Anamika said...

Hi Nandita
Am visiting your blog for the first time and am much impressed by what you offer on the blog. Theres a lot to learn and make. Greeting come to you from Botswana from a fellow blogger, who now love making cakes. Do visit the blog whenever you can.
Happy holidays for now.

k said...

Hi Nandita,
your blog is really enchanting.
I haven't baked as yet ever but would love to do so.
would a normal OTG do for baking or do i need to look for something else?

Jyoti said...

Hey, just added your blog to my reading list.. I am always looking for eggless bakes.. and I am glad to have come across yours..
Do drop down to mine at



Scarlett O'Hara said...

Made this over the weekend. Huge hit, it was! :)

M@nju's said...

Hi Nandita,

The cake recipes look absolutely yummmmmmm.......... Is there any way that we can try these out in a microwave???

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