banana cake with rum caramel

As soon as I knew Ottolenghi's new cookbook Sweet had been published, I ordered it. Life has been busy and until now I haven't had time to bake many items from the book. When I returned home from my Easter break I had 2 over ripe bananas in my fruit bowl, so I turned to Sweet to see if there was anything banana flavoured hiding in the book.

I found a recipe for banana cakes with rum caramel but having battled with my little bundt tins just last week I wasn't in the right frame of mind to do battle again so I opted to make one larger cake. I didn't have any malted milk powder (the original recipe includes two 15ml tablespoons) so I left it out. I also played around a little with the technique and reduced the quantity of rum caramel as I knew I wouldn't need as much with only 1 cake to ice. I took a punt that the cake would need about 45 minutes to cook and I was right on the money.

The kitchen smelt wonderful as the cake baked, redolent of bananas and rum, a match made in heaven. The caramel quantity was still generous so after the cake was iced I ate spoonfuls of the leftovers. Thankfully I'd skipped breakfast so I didn't feel too guilty.

If you'd like to make the cake here's the recipe for you, which makes one small cake or 6 individual bundt cakes. The smaller cakes require less baking time ~ 25 minutes in total but you'll need to double the quantity of rum caramel topping. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs and the UK measurements in the book have been adapted accordingly. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Banana cake with rum caramel, adapted from Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh

100g unsalted butter, at room temperature cut into small cubes
70g caster sugar
70g brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
110g self raising flour
Pinch salt
¾ tsp bicarbonate soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
30mls malted milk powder (optional)
100g ground almonds
225g mashed ripe banana
100g sour cream
30ml dark rum

Rum caramel
100g caster sugar
65mls water
65g double cream
10mls dark rum

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and flour a small bundt tin and set to one side. In the bowl of a stand mixer cream together the butter, sugars and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.

Sift the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon (and malted milk powder if using it) into a large bowl and stir through the almond meal until all the lumps are removed. In a separate bowl combine the mashed banana, sour cream and rum. Mix well. Starting with the dry ingredients add a quarter to the butter mixture beating on low speed to incorporate. Add a quarter of the banana mix continuing to beat until combined then  add the remaining wet and dry ingredients in batches until everything is combined.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 45 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the batter comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside until completely cold. When cool invert the cake onto a wire rack with a tray or piece of baking paper underneath.

While the cake is in the oven combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and cook over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until the caramel is amber brown. Try not to stir the mixture while it’s cooking but just gently swirl the pan from time to time to distribute the heat. Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the cream and rum. If the mixture seizes return the pan to a low heat and stir the mix until smooth. Set aside for about 15 minutes in the pan then drizzle liberally over the cake, allowing the icing to drip unevenly down the sides.

The uniced cake will keep for 5 days in an airtight container. Once iced the cake should be eaten within 24 hours, though I can't see that being any kind of problem.

Not long until my overseas trip, so come May there will be a lot less baking and a lot more travel photos coming to the blog. As I'm going to London, I may just pop into the nearest Ottolenghi to pick up a sweet treat for myself.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,



  1. Hi again,
    I have been an avid follower of all your "Sweet" recipes. I recently borrowed the book from my local library and was surprised by the limited number of recipes I earmarked to bake. Many of the flavour combinations did not appeal to me.
    This however sounded like it might be a glam-upgrade on a banana cake. How did you actually like the recipe? Would it be one that you would happily make again and again? I am really trying to streamline my recipe folder and compile only keeper recipes.
    Your honest appraisal would be appreciated again.
    And by the way, has your "Flour & Stone" cookbook arrived? So looking forward to your panna cotta remake.

    1. Hi Angela,

      I found many of the flavour combinations in Sweet a little odd as well but then again they're appealling to British tastebuds not ours. The banana cake is quite a standard one, just swapping out some almond meal for flour. It's the rum caramel topping that's special.

      The Flour and Stone book arrived a few weeks ago. It's lovely but a lot of the bakes are a bit complicated. I've already made 3 of the recipes before when they appeared Gourmet Traveller. They all worked out well so I'm sure I'll be making more when time permits.

    2. Thanks for being so quick to reply. I will make the banana cake as i do like the idea of a rum caramel topping. Will check out Gourmet Traveller... I think I saved the Flour & Stone eclair recipe.
      Thanks again.
      Kind regards,


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