The initial base of this recipe comes from BBC Good Food's Sticky Banoffee Loaf with Toffee Sauce but to make this little vegan number I subtracted the toffee sauce and added a bunch of other tasty ingredients instead.
As with most bakes, I used my colleagues as taste testers. I took the one lonesome slice left in the cake tin at approximately 10am on a Monday morning as a pretty good sign. The remaining slice was soon very politely split between two people and then promptly devoured over steaming cups of tea. Vegan-friendly, lent-friendly for those who have given up wonderful things like chocolate, and basically breakfast. Nom.
Utensils: 2lb / 900g loaf tin, loaf tin liner or non-stick baking paper and a little coconut oil for greasing, handheld whisk, wooden spoon.
Top Tip: Actually want a slice of this cake for your brekkie? (I promise I won't tell). Warm your slice up a little in the microwave or oven and then dress with sliced banana, a dollop of coconut yoghurt (or Greek yoghurt if are not eating vegan), a drizzle of maple syrup and a scattering of chopped pecans.
Vegan Banana, Coconut, Date & Ginger Loaf Cake
100ml dark rum (optional)
200ml water (or 300ml water if not using rum)
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
100g dates, stoned and chopped (I used Sayer dates)
100g coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons stem ginger syrup
2-3 balls of stem ginger in syrup, finely chopped
250g plain flour
100g soft light brown sugar plus one handful for sprinkling on the top of the cake
50g desiccated coconut
50g pecans, chopped
2 medium-large ripe bananas, mashed
Makes: One 2lb / 900g loaf cake which can be cut into 8-10 slices
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan), prepare your loaf tin using a loaf tin liner or non-stick baking paper and grease using a little coconut oil. Pour the rum and 200ml of water into a saucepan (or 300ml of water if you're not using rum). Bring to the boil before turning the heat off.
2. Add the bicarbonate of soda and chopped dates to the rum and water mixture, allowing the dates to soak up the liquid. Then, add the coconut oil to the saucepan to allow the heat to melt the solid oil into liquid. If the coconut oil does not melt fully, turn the heat back on low until all of the oil has melted and then turn the heat off again. Finally, add the vanilla extract, stem ginger syrup and finely chopped stem ginger to the saucepan and set to one side to cool.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, desiccated coconut and chopped pecans. Then, add the wet mix from the saucepan to the dry ingredients and beat with a hand whisk or wooden spoon until well combined. Make sure there are no flour pockets before folding in the mashed banana.
4. Spoon the cake mixture into your lined loaf tin and then sprinkle a handful of brown sugar over the top of the cake mix. Place the loaf tin in the centre of the oven and bake for 1 hour until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean but with a few crumbs sticking to it.
5. Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack in the loaf tin until the tin is cool enough to handle. Once cool enough, turn the loaf cake out of the tin and leave to cool on the wire rack until completely cold (if you have an unbelievable amount of self-restraint, you might be able to wait this long before scoffing a slice - I can confirm I do not have this self-restraint).
Storage: Store in an airtight container in a cool dark place for up to 5 days.