The other day I had a stack of bananas that needed to be used up, and a short window of time to do some baking. All I needed was a quick and reliable banana cake recipe. In search of an quick banana cake recipe, I turned to one of my favourite cookbooks an Australian Women’s Weekly Food We Love: Favourite Recipes From Our Test Kitchen. It is fair to say that I absolutely adore Women’s Weekly Test Kitchen recipes.

Women's Weekly Test Kitchen recipes

I love Womens Weekly Test Kitchen recipes

I love this cookbook and Women’s Weekly Test Kitchen recipes for a couple of reasons. One, is that the recipes are all really great recipes, they seem to be consistently reliable. Every time I make something new from this book it turns out to be another cracker recipe. I like to think that this is because they have been thoroughly ‘road-tested’. I also like the fact that these recipes are the favourites of people who actually worked in the Test Kitchen. Apart from being an editor of cookbooks, my next most favourite dream job would be working in a Test Kitchen.

This book didn’t have a banana cake recipe, but it did have a carrot and banana cake recipe. I am reproducing it here because almost everyone who tried this cake asked for the recipe. In the kitchen, baking isn’t my strong suit. The success of this cake was all to do with reliability of Women’s Weekly Test Kitchen recipes.

I made two of these cakes in quick succession. The first I served with a natural runny yoghurt. Those who tried that one said it didn’t need icing and it great just like that. Sometimes it is great not to have to ice a cake. The second cake I iced with the cream cheese icing, and it was sensational

Carrot and banana cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 1 and ¼ cups (185g) plain flour
  • ½ cup (75g) self raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarb/baking soda
  • 1 tsp mixed spice (I used half tsp five spice, pinch of ground fennel and extra cinnamon)
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup (220g) firmly packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cups chopped walnuts (I omitted because I was taking it to a nut free zone)
  • 3 eggs lightly beaten
  • 2 cups coarsely grated carrots (I was rushing so blitzed mine in food processor, so definitely not coarsely grated)
  • 1 cup mashed banana
  • 1 cup (250 ml) vegetable oil
  • Cream cheese icing (optional)
  • 90 g cream cheese
  • 90 g butter
  • 1 cup (160 g) icing sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 170c (150c if using fan forced). Grease and line the base of a springform tin, ideally a 24 cm round tin.
  2. Sift flours, soda, spices and sugar into a large bowl. Mix in walnuts, egg, carrot, banana and oil.
  3. Pour mixture into prepared tin and bake for approximately 1 hour 15 mins. Cool cake in the tin.
  4. If using cream cheese icing, make this while it is baking. Top cold cake with cream cheese icing.
  5. To make the icing: beat the cheese and butter in a small bowl with an egg beater or electric mixer until as white as possible. Then gradually beat in icing sugar.
Mummy to three small boys

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