Banana Walnut & Date Cake

Is this a banana cake or banana bread? I’ve done some reading and I don’t think there really is a clear divide or definition. Whatever it is, this is a wonderful recipe, taken from Anita Bean’s The Runner’s Cookbook, which is healthier (on account of the wholemeal flour, lower amount of brown sugar and vegetable oil) moist, tasty, and it keeps for a long long long time. I freeze mine and take it out over a few weeks  to refuel after my runs, or to enjoy with my cup of tea.

  • 125g wholemeal plain flour
  • 125g plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 4 Tbsp light olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 100g dates, chopped
  • 100g walnut pieces
  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C.
  2. Line a 900g loaf tin with baking paper.
  3. Place the flour, baking powder, oil, Greek yogurt, sugar, vanilla & eggs into a large mixing bowl. Mix until well combined.
  4. Add bananas, dates and walnuts.
  5. Spoon mixture into prepared tin and level the top.
  6. Bake for 60 min or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. If not clean, bake for a further 10 min. Leave in the tin for 15 min, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

7 Replies to “Banana Walnut & Date Cake”

    1. Dates are not my natural go-to as I generally find them too sweet. But added into the recipe, I am able to use quite a small amount of sugar.

      Since you work with sourdough, allow me to get some info: I have been toying with whether I want to venture into the sourdough world. How do you find working with it? is it difficult to work it into your weekly baking?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Medjool dates have pretty much taken over as my go-to sweet treat, so much so that I haven’t done much baking, apart from bread, for ages.

        Sourdough requires a lot of time, and, to do it well, quite a steep learning curve. Having said that, making good bread is incredibly satisfying, and — certainly in our family — the results are much kinder on our bodies than bread with commercial yeasts.

        I had been baking the same two or three kinds of bread every couple of weeks for the last three years, and it was all going well. Recently though, my basic whole-wheat loaves have been failing and now I am painstakingly trying to find out why by observation and experiment. I have found so many recipes online and in books that range from helpful to “are you serious.”

        I’m not sure if this helps at all, so I would suggest that if you are interested, and have some time, make a starter — that part is easy. Then I can point you to a few simple recipes that do seem to work, and you could try them out. Sadly, whole-wheat won’t be one of them at the moment ☹️


        1. I have come to the Date scene relatively late, due to some bad date experiences early in my adulthood. I have had such fun experimenting with different date varieties – i currently have a bunch of Deglet Nour which I’ve been baking with; not as flavourful, but very soft and easy to eat.

          Thank you so much for sharing your SourDough experience. I think I would enjoy the rigour of experimentation; my greatest concern is time.

          I have just gotten the hang of juggling the different breads we enjoy eating (bagels, walnut wholewheat, boule) with room for trying out some new breads. Maybe I will press on with our current rota and when I feel I am ready for a challenge, I will make my way over.

          Or maybe I will just take a risk, buy the Sourdough book I’ve been eyeing and jump in! (the book caught my eye because of the cover – he used sourdough slices to make prints)

          I bake mostly from James Morton’s (I loved him on Great British Bake Off) first book – Brilliant Bread. He seems to speak my lingo and I get what he’s saying. His recipes seem to work very well for me as well. So, maybe his Sourdough process and lifestyle will work for me too!

          Crossing my fingers as you work towards fixing your Wholewheat Bread!


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