Sunday Magazine Recipe: Banana, Date and Olive Oil Minicakes

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For this recipe I thought I'd experiment with using whole chunks of banana rather than mashing it up – the result is a good one. The flavour of banana still resonates the whole cake, but finding a gooey chunk of it is a highlight. Add chocolate chips to take these minicakes to a new level of decadence.  

Banana, Date and Olive Oil Minicakes

Makes 8 minicakes

150g spelt or regular flour
60g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
120ml extra virgin olive oil
100ml pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 organic eggs
16 dried dates, or 10 Medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
2 large bananas, peeled and cut into 1cm wide slices 

Vanilla cream cheese icing
150g butter, softened
2 cups icing sugar
100g cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract

To decorate
2 tsp cinnamon for dusting
Handful of banana chips

Preheat the oven to 180C fan bake. Grease 9 holes of a large muffin tray very well. 

Combine the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon in a large bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer using a whisk attachment, or using an electric whisk, beat together the oil and maple, and gradually add the vanilla and eggs. Stop once pale and thick (about 3 minutes).

In two parts, using a spatula, fold in the dry ingredients until fully incorporated, being careful not to over mix. 

Evenly divide the batter between the muffin holes and dot in the date and banana pieces. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. The cakes are ready when golden in colour, springy to the touch, and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Allow the cakes to cool for around 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Meanwhile, make the icing. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter by itself until smooth. Add the icing sugar and beat on high until seriously light and fluffy. Gradually add the cream cheese, followed by the vanilla. The icing should be smooth, creamy and thick. 

Once the cakes are completely cool, swirl some icing onto each one using a spoon or a piping bag and finish off with a dusting of cinnamon and a couple of banana chips.

Serve at room temperature.

Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Photos: James K Lowe

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RecipesJordan Rondel