Banana Ginger Cake
I’ve been pondering the feeling of stillness this past week.
If you’re anything like me, you might be noticing the rest of the world racing at a screeching pace towards the unobtainable goal of “I must finish everything under the sun and meet every person I know prior to 25th of the Dec”.
So in the blur of that bustle, I’ve been endeavouring to cultivate stillness. Less movement, less travel, less rushing, less doing. Instead, more quality in the moments we do have.
To that note, we’ve decided to stay in NZ this year, just popping across to my mum’s place in Waiheke for the holidays instead of gallivanting off overseas. I’m really looking forward to it actually, the idea of being still, for a whole month, with not much to do other than read the stack of books I’ve optimistically loaned from the library. (I was inspired by the Bill Gates documentary to get back into reading a book a week, to expand my mind – #2020goals).
Because it’s the festive season, I’ve been baking – and this Banana Ginger Cake has become a real favourite.
I first made it back in winter this year, with the ginger warming the cockles even then. But now that it’s Christmas, with all the lovely spiced notes around, it seemed opportune to bring it out again.
Only this time I went wild, sliced it in half, and put icing on the INSIDE too!
Trust me, this is going to be life-changing.
More musings on the benefits of ginger, AND my Top 5 Plant-Based Baking Tips below.
Come bake with me!
Ginger is a delicious spice to add to your kitchen, and can help stimulate the digestive system, boost metabolism, reduce gas and bloating, and even ease nausea. I’ve added pure ginger essential oil to the icing, which is next level yum balls (if you want to learn more about how you can use essential oils in your cooking, watch my online workshop here).
Top 5 Tips for Plant-Based Baking
- Get that rise! Eggs and white wheat flour
combined give most of the rise that comes with regular baking. Without them,
you want to make sure you use a bit more baking powder or baking soda to
recreate that (if the latter, there’s needs to be something acidic in the
recipe for it to react with, eg lemon juice or apple cider vinegar).
- I tend to go for 2 teaspoons of baking powder per 1 cup of whole grain flour, or 1/2 teaspoon baking soda + 1 tablespoon of lemon juice/apple cider vinegar.
- Use a binder. Eggs and gluten in wheat flour
again act as the lazy man’s way to bind conventional baking. They’re easy to
replace though! Make sure your recipe has some sort of binder in it – guar gum,
cornflour, arrowroot, ground flaxseed, and chia seeds all work well to varying
degrees. Especially if you’re using gluten free flours as well, this is a must.
- I’ll normally add ¼ teaspoon of guar gum, or 1 tablespoon of cornflour/ground flaxseed to each 1 cup of flour. The guar gum and cornflour definitely produce the most traditional tasting and textured end result.
- Sift your dry ingredients. I know, but you can’t be
bothered right. Well at least blitz them in your food processor/blender first.
Whisking/sifting your dry ingreds ensure the bubbles from your baking
powder/soda will be spread more evenly throughout your baked good. Again – we
all ‘bout that rise…
- If I can’t be bothered sifting, I’ll blitz my dry ingredients in the blender, then pour them into a bowl before adding the wet.
- Don’t overmix. Your mum already told you this
one, but it holds even more true for your vegan baking. We’re trying to
tenderly recreate that bind and rise that eggs and white wheat flour give, so
any helping hand is welcome!
- After blitzing/sifting your dry ingredients, pour into a bowl, then blitz/blend the wet and pour into a well in the middle of the dry. Fold lightly, mixing until only just combined. I know it’s tempting to get that last bit of dry flour totally immersed, but leave a couple of specks and trust me – your cake will thank you.
- Hands off that cake! It smells so good, you want a
slice, I know, I know. But wait 10 minutes before you get your filthy mitts in
there hauling that cake out the tin. This allows the cake to set (important
when we’re sans eggs/white wheat flour), as well as pull away from the sides of
the tin. So that when you do extract it, it comes away in one piece!
- Leave your cake in the tin for 10 minutes. Don’t touch, prod, pick, nibble. Do a happy dance. Meditate. Then enjoy.
That’s it for today my friend! Banana Ginger Cake, in your home, just in time for Christmas. Would love to hear how you get on – post me your baking tips below!
Til next week, as always, stay happy (still) and well.
Pease note – if you are wanting to meet any of the specific dietary requirements below, please read my recipe notes.
Banana and Ginger Cake
- chopped hazelnuts and shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 180°C (356 °F) fan bake, and grease the sides and base of a small 19 cm (8 inch) cake tin with coconut oil.
- Sift dry ingredients and set aside.
- Next put wet ingredients into a blender/ food processor/ stand mixer and blend until smooth. Slowly pour the dry mix into the wet ingredients and gently fold until just combined.
- Bake for 40 minutes until the top springs back when touched and a skewer in the centre is dry. If it needs it, pop back for an extra 5-10 minutes. Remove, leave to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from tin and transfer to a rack to cool completely.
- Put all ingredients into a blender/food processor and blend until super smooth and creamy (stopping to scrape down in between blends as needed). Once the cake has cooled spread icing on top. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts and coconut, and serve!
- 19cm (8 inch) cake tin
- Stand mixer / food processor (optional)
- Make it gluten-free: Instead of the 2c reguar wholegrain flour, use 3/4c buckwheat flour, 3/4c brown rice flour, 1/2c ground almonds + ½ tsp guar gum.
- I used a blend of flours in this recipe – wheat, rye, barley, and oat. I find you get the whole-grain texture this way, without it being overly dense or tasting of a particular flour on its own.
- I’ve made this recipe so it’s not overly too sweet. If you prefer you can add more coconut sugar to make the cake sweeter.
- This cake lasts well in the fridge for up to a week.
- All ovens are different, so test your cake after 40 minutes with a dry skewer to see if it is relatively dry to touch. You don’t want it bone dry, as the cake will continue cooking after removed, and plus you want to keep some of the moisture in there. Test as you go is best!