Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf {gluten-free}

Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf is a glorious gluten-free cake, intense with chocolate, chewy with coconut and beautifully moist from the banana. Covered with glossy chocolate and snowy with coconut flakes.

Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf on a wooden board

I have been doing a lot of vegan baking recently. I am not and never will be vegan because all my food intolerances mean that I would be a very malnourished individual if I were. But that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the way that veganism has opened up so many opportunities in baking (how fascinating is aquafaba!)and alternative ways of eating and drinking (you know I am a fan of non-dairy milk!). I really appreciate vegan baking and I find when it works well the results can be incredible.

slices of Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf on a wooden board

Recently I made a big mistake with one of my cake orders and agreed to make a vegan cake for a client that was based on one of my non-vegan recipes. Since I wanted the cake to resemble my original recipe as closely as possible I made compromises in the ingredients. For example, when making the buttercream I just swapped out regular butter for vegan butter. Have you seen the ingredients on the back of vegan butter? Palm oil is such a problematic ingredient (not sure why then google it) and something I wouldn’t normally bring into my kitchen at all. I was totally unhappy with the choices I was making to produce this cake and when I sat back and analysed the situation I realised I was making the same mistakes a ton of people make when they first start free-from baking. I was thinking that with a just a few ingredients swaps I could turn a tried and true recipe into a successful free-from recipe. But it doesn’t always work like that. In making like-for-like swaps you will often be making compromises, in flavour, in texture and in this case, environmental. This is something I learnt the hard way when first baking gluten-free and now I’m learning it all over again with vegan baking.

Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf on a wooden board

I totally believe that for the most part vegan and gluten-free recipes should be built from the ground up (there are of course many exceptions). It does not always guarantee a successful recipe if you just substitute in vegan butter for regular butter or a gluten-free flour for regular flour. In hindsight I realised that instead of making a vegan buttercream for this vegan cake order what I should have been doing was to research another way of icing the cake, maybe using a cashew icing or coconut milk frosting. Both of which actually would have been delicious.

overhead shot of Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf on a wooden board

I have got a long way to go in vegan baking but luckily I already have a few corking recipes up my sleeve to offer to vegan customers and friends and the one that is currently my favourite I am sharing with you today. I sell an awful lot of this particular Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf and I’m not surprised, it’s an amazing chocolate cake and holds its own even with non-vegans and wheat eaters. It’s so bold in flavour and texture; intensely chocolatey, moist from the bananas and flecked with chewy desiccated coconut. The slices of this cake cut up huge so it is not a dainty loaf. This is a cake you need when the chocolate craving hits hard, it will fuel you and treat you.

Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf on a wooden board

The hardest thing to replicate in vegan cakes are eggs. They provide many roles within the bake of your cake but the most important are to bind your cake together so it doesn’t fall apart and also to lift your cake so you’re not producing a pancake. My favourite way to substitute eggs in a cake is by using chia or flax eggs for the bind. This is basically chia or flaxseeds which have been mixed with water to create a sticky gel which you then just mix into the batter. For the cake to rise here I have opted for using bicarbonate of soda and vinegar which react with the coconut milk to lift the cake up.

On the gluten-free side of things I have used a three flour blend of white rice flour, oat flour and tapioca flour. I use this blend a lot in my chocolate recipes and find it works an absolute treat. However, I have been very mindful of late that I use a lot of gluten-free oat flour in my baked goods. This is because I love it, quite frankly, and I can eat it happily. However, I know for a lot of coeliacs and gluten intolerant that oat flour can be hard to handle. If you struggle with it then I recommend swapping it out for sorghum or teff flour. I have tested the recipe with each one and they are both lovely substitutes, it’s just I slightly prefer the version with oat flour.

slices of Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf on a wooden board

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If you make Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own cake creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

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Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf on a wooden board

Print Recipe
Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf {gluten-free}
Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf is a glorious gluten-free cake, intense with chocolate, chewy with coconut and beautifully moist from the banana.
Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf on a wooden board
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake, vegan
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
10 people
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 150 g white rice flour
  • 75 g oat flour
  • 50 g tapioca flour
  • 100 g desiccated coconut
  • 60 g cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3-4 bananas peeled and mashed, 300g
  • 300 g soft light brown sugar
  • 140 ml coconut oil melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Chocolate Glaze
  • 125 g vegan chocolate
  • 50 g coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 70 g coconut flakes
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake, vegan
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
10 people
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 150 g white rice flour
  • 75 g oat flour
  • 50 g tapioca flour
  • 100 g desiccated coconut
  • 60 g cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3-4 bananas peeled and mashed, 300g
  • 300 g soft light brown sugar
  • 140 ml coconut oil melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Chocolate Glaze
  • 125 g vegan chocolate
  • 50 g coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 70 g coconut flakes
Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf on a wooden board
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. Grease and line a 9 inch loaf tin.
  2. Make the chia egg by mixing the ground chia seeds in a small bowl with the 3 tablespoons of water. Place in the fridge and it should be ready to use by the time you get to that step.
  3. Mix the flours in a large bowl with the desiccated coconut, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt and set aside.
  4. Pour the coconut milk and apple cider in a food mixer and beat until it's frothy, do not overbeat in case the coconut milk should separate.
  5. Add the bananas, sugar, coconut oil, vanilla and the chia egg and beat together until smooth.
  6. Spoon one third of the flour mixture in and mix until smooth, then the next third then mix, then the next*.
  7. Pour the cake batter into the loaf tin and smooth the surface.
  8. Bake for 1 hour or until an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean.
  9. Turn the cake out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool before adding the glaze.
Chocolate Glaze
  1. Combine all the ingredients (except the vanilla) in a bain marie or a glass bowl sitting over a saucepan of simmering water and melt together.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  3. Leave the glaze to thicken slightly until it is at a consistency where the glaze will cling to the cake rather than running straight off down the sides.
  4. Pour over the surface of the cake then sprinkle over the coconut flakes.
Recipe Notes

*You add the flour in thirds to ensure an even mix.

SHOP THE RECIPE

I have a few loaf tins but this Loaf Tin 2lb Alan Silverwood is my absolute favourite. It’s just a great size, slightly bigger than your average 2lb loaf tin so bear in mind for some recipes. It is made of anodised aluminium so conducts heat brilliantly, making the cake bake evenly all the way through. It’s really hard wearing and pretty much completely non-stick but has no coating. However because of the anodised aluminium you mustn’t put it in the dishwasher or it will ruin.

It’s quite difficult to find good quality vegan chocolate that’s also well priced. I buy Dairy Free Dark Belgian Cooking Chocolate 1kg Bittersweet 55% Cocoa and I really like it. The only small issue with it is that it does contain soy but if that isn’t one of the allergies you need to be concerned about then I highly recommend it.

It’s not easy to buy certified gluten-free sweet rice flour in the UK, for some reason Bob’s Red Mill is astronomically expensive. However I have finally found a brand which is 100% certified gluten-free and it’s fantastic. The brand is yourhealthstore Premium Gluten Free Sweet Rice Flour (glutinous) 1kg

Oat flour can be picked up at most health food shops and if I run out that’s where I head to. However, like all alternative flours it can be expensive so I find the most economical way is to buy it online. I go through bags of the stuff as it’s the flour I use most regularly so I like to buy in bulk. My favourite brand is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Whole Grain Oat Flour 400 g (Pack of 4) at a reasonable price. Even better if you go the subscribe and save option.

It’s not difficult to get hold of tapioca flour in the UK. You can often find 100g pots of Doves Farm Tapioca Flour in the supermarket but it’s quite costly and doesn’t give you very much. You can find more varied brands in health food shops in bags of about 500g. The cost depends entirely on the brand you purchase. My preferred brand is Bob’s Red Mill GF Tapioca Flour 500 g (Pack of 2) as it’s certifiably gluten-free and I order it through Amazon.

For the ground chia seeds I use Linwoods Milled Chia Seed, 200g which I love and you can get almost anywhere. I use ground chia seeds for my chia egg rather than whole chia seeds as I find it gels more effectively and quicker.

This post is not sponsored but the images above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use these link to make your purchases then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

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Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake {gluten-free}

Gluten-Free Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake is one of my favourite cakes, beautifully moist and zesty with a crunchy frosted adornment.

Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake {gluten-free}

It’s not that I had forgotten how hard it is with a newborn, just conveniently misplaced the memory as I concentrated on the trials of pregnancy and getting our new life here safely into our family. Pretty much just like Cole was when he was first born, Beau doesn’t want to be put down. When he’s not feeding in my arms he likes a nice comfy snooze in my arms or maybe snuggled in a ball as he rests against my chest with his little head nestled between his tiny arms. He can mix it up. That goes for daytime, nighttime, mealtimes, loo breaks, dog walks.

Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake {gluten-free}

The buggy is a no no and if he’s placed into it for five seconds or more then it’s as if his whole world is crashing down. This is completely different to Cole as he loved the gentle movement of the buggy and it was the only time I could get a reprieve if I took us for a walk. So I’m slinging it, which is great for giving me both hands to make toast, boil the kettle, do some household chores and get the bus into Crouch End whilst holding Cole’s hand but the sleep deprivation is making me wacky.

Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake {gluten-free}

As such my carb and sugar intake has risen sharply to keep my eyes open and my brain a little less blurry. A homemade cake is pure loving indulgence and thank goodness I put one of these Coconut Lime Drizzle Cakes into the freezer when I was pregnant as it’s an absolute godsend at 3am. Which is also when I’m writing this post by the way. Baby against my chest, cake in one hand, keyboard in the other. When I put it like that, it actually sounds quite appealing.

Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake {gluten-free}

Loaf Cakes do hold a special place in my heart. There a few things more comforting and homely than a thick slice of moist sponge, bursting with deep fresh flavour, washed down with a cup of strong tea. It’s pretty much why I bake. I have been making this Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake for a few years now, for the cake stall and for my family and every time I serve it up anew I surprise myself with how much I adore it. I have been asked countless times when it’s going to feature on the blog and to be quite honest I had completely forgotten that it hadn’t already made an appearance as this cake is so ingrained in my life. But it hadn’t, so here it is.

Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake {gluten-free}

Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake is actually a perfect spring cake, bridging the gap between wintry citrus flavours and the brightness of the coming months. The sponge is super coconutty with a slight chew from the desiccated coconut but also ultra citrusy from the lime zest and juice. The gluten-free element is also easy to navigate with no hard to purchase flours, just a simple gluten-free plain flour of your choice (I used Doves Farm) and homemade almond paste, which is no big deal as it takes a couple of minutes to whizz up in the food processor. Warm out of the oven the cake is frosted with a crunchy coconut and lime drizzle and an optional adornment of fresh lime slices. It’s the perfect excuse to be up at 3am, that and a two-week old baby.

Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake {gluten-free}

Print Recipe
Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake {gluten-free}
Gluten-Free Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake is one of my favourites, beautifully moist and zesty with a crunchy frosted adornment.
Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake {gluten-free}
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
10-12
Ingredients
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • Zest of 4 limes plus one extra lime for decoration
  • 225 g unsalted butter
  • 110 g almonds
  • 110 g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 egg white
  • 5 eggs
  • 115 g gluten-free flour
  • 75 g desiccated coconut
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Drizzle
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • 40 g desiccated coconut
  • 170 g granulated sugar
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
10-12
Ingredients
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • Zest of 4 limes plus one extra lime for decoration
  • 225 g unsalted butter
  • 110 g almonds
  • 110 g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 egg white
  • 5 eggs
  • 115 g gluten-free flour
  • 75 g desiccated coconut
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Drizzle
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • 40 g desiccated coconut
  • 170 g granulated sugar
Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake {gluten-free}
Instructions
  1. Line and grease a 9 inch loaf tin and pre-heat oven to 160°C on the fan setting*.
  2. Mix the caster sugar with the lime zest until fragrant.
  3. Beat the butter into the sugar until light and creamy.
  4. In a food processor make the almond paste by whizzing up the almonds with the caster sugar until they resemble fine breadcrumbs, then add the golden syrup, vanilla extract, lime juice and egg white and whizz again until well combined.
  5. Add the almond paste to the creamed butter and sugar and mix together.
  6. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  7. In a separate bowl whisk together the gluten-free flour, desiccated coconut, baking powder and salt then add to the rest of the batter. Beat well until fully combined.
  8. Pour into the prepared baking tin and bake for 60 minutes or until an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly in the tin whilst you prepare the drizzle.
  10. Mix the lime juice, coconut and granulated sugar together.
  11. Turn the cake out of the tin and turn the right way up. Poke holes all over the surface using a cocktail stick, then pour the drizzle over.
  12. Cool completely before serving, slicing a fresh lime to decorate the top of the cake.
Recipe Notes

*I find that due to the moistness of this cake that the fan setting helps set the cake a bit better. However, if you don’t have a fan setting on your oven then 180°C is fine for a conventional oven but do check after half an hour to make sure the top of the cake isn’t browning too much. If it is, then pop a piece of loose foil over the top of the cake.

SHOP THE RECIPE

I have a few loaf tins but this Loaf Tin 2lb Alan Silverwood is my absolute favourite. It’s just a great size, slightly bigger than your average 2lb loaf tin so bear in mind for some recipes. It is made of anodised aluminium so conducts heat brilliantly, making the cake bake evenly all the way through. It’s really hard wearing and pretty much completely non-stick but has no coating. However because of the anodised aluminium you mustn’t put it in the dishwasher or it will ruin.

This post is not sponsored but the images above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use these link to make your purchases then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf {gluten-free}

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf

Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf was the first gluten-free cake I developed for the cake stall three years ago. It is a firm favourite amongst my customers and ever since its creation I have never failed to include it as part of my weekly menu at the market. It is always the first to sell out and the one which provokes the most conversation with my customers.

Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf

I don’t know why I have waited so long to write about my Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle, I guess I wanted to do it justice as it’s my most requested recipe. I’m glad I waited this long though as the photographs were finally taken in collaboration with Tara from Fork & Dram as part of our food styling day last month. Tara is an amazing photographer and stylist and has been of invaluable help in focusing the look of my photography.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

I have limited time to work on the website these days as I am a full-time mum to Cole during the week and bake and work on the market stall at the weekends. Pockets of time where I can make and photograph my food specifically for the website are like gold dust. Tara has helped me understand how I can achieve photos I can be proud of efficiently and without any complicated set-ups or props.

Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf

I was thrilled then that Tara helped me capture the beauty of this cake. No to go all crazy-cake lady on you but this cake is kind of like my BFF. I can make this cake in my sleep, I never go to a market without it and it’s reliably delicious. That’s not to say that it was the easiest recipe in the world to develop, on the contrary getting the cake to rise evenly without falling in the middle was a bit of a stumbling block at first but there are tricks to ensure perfect results every time.

Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf

Do follow the recipe precisely, mix the butter and sugar on a low-medium speed until light and fluffy which ensures a good rise and then when the cake is finally in the oven don’t open the door for at least the first 40 minutes. I do like to check on my cakes to make sure they are all nestled comfortably in the oven after the first 20 minutes but this cake has a tendency to fall like a sozzled sailor on a two day shore leave. Resist the temptation.

Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf

All the faffing is worth it though and to be honest even when the cake did fall, or didn’t rise properly, it was still amazing in flavour. Boy, does the Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle pack a punch. It made sense to me when I initially developed the recipe to add blueberries into a lemon drizzle. Blueberries provide such a delightful gentle counterbalance to the tang of citrus. But the cake is then taken stratospheric with the inclusion of peppery aromatic Basil. Lemons, fresh blueberries and basil are all added into the cake batter and then dredged over the top of the just baked cake to form the signature drizzle.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

The recipe method was originally inspired by the lemon drizzle cake featured in Outsider Tart’s cookbook Baked in America which is one of my favourite baking books. The key to their Drizzle is to use an almond paste which imbues the cake with an unbeatably moist texture. The taste of the almonds is barely noticeable, especially with the over-the-top citrus notes, the fragrance of the basil and the gentle pop of blueberries.

The beauty of using an almond paste here also means you don’t have to use very much flour as the ground almonds in the paste do a lot of the work for you. So with only a scant amount of flour in the recipe, an easy shop bought gluten-free flour is more than fit for purpose.

I’m very happy to finally share my Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf and thank you to Tara from Fork & Dram for helping me bring the cake to life.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.
Print Recipe
Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf {gluten-free}
Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf {gluten-free} simply sings with citrusy aromatic flavour. This everyday teatime cake is an absolute showstopper.
Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
10 slices
Ingredients
For the almond paste:
  • 110 g almonds
  • 110 g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white
For the cake:
  • 28 g basil leaves removed and finely chopped
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 210 g caster sugar
  • 210 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 5 eggs
  • 150 g gluten-free plain flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 120 g blueberries
For the drizzle:
  • 80 g blueberries
  • 28 g basil leaves removed and finely chopped
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 175 g granulated sugar
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
10 slices
Ingredients
For the almond paste:
  • 110 g almonds
  • 110 g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white
For the cake:
  • 28 g basil leaves removed and finely chopped
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 210 g caster sugar
  • 210 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 5 eggs
  • 150 g gluten-free plain flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 120 g blueberries
For the drizzle:
  • 80 g blueberries
  • 28 g basil leaves removed and finely chopped
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 175 g granulated sugar
Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C on the fan setting* and line and grease a 9 inch x 5 inch loaf tin.
  2. First make the almond paste by placing the almonds in a food processor and blitzing until finely ground. Add the caster sugar, golden syrup, vanilla extract and egg white and blitz again until a paste has formed. Set aside for a moment.
  3. Place the basil leaves, lemon zest and orange zest in a food mixer along with the sugar. Whisk for a few minutes together until fragrant.
  4. Add the butter, one cube at a time and beat on high until light and fluffy.
  5. Scrape the almond paste into the creamed butter and sugar and beat until combined.
  6. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  7. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt then beat it into the rest of the batter.
  8. Roll the blueberries around in the empty flour bowl so that they are gently coated with the remaining dusting of flour then stir into the batter.
  9. Pour into the cake tin, smoothing the top then bake for 60 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  10. To make the drizzle place the blueberries in a small saucepan with a dash of water and heat for about a couple of minutes until the blueberries are just beginning to soften but not so that they have burst. Leave to cool.
  11. Pour the blueberries into a medium sized bowl along with the lemon juice, basil leaves and granulated sugar. Mix together.
  12. Remove the cake from the tin onto a wire rack, making sure there is a baking tray underneath to catch the excess drizzle.
  13. Prick the cake all over with a cocktail stick and then spoon the drizzle over the cake.
  14. Leave to cool completely before serving.
Recipe Notes

*I find that due to the moistness of this cake that the fan setting helps set the cake a bit better. However, if you don’t have a fan setting on your oven then 180°C is fine for a conventional oven but do check after half an hour to make sure the top of the cake isn’t browning too much. If it is, then pop a piece of loose foil over the top of the cake.

SHOP THE RECIPE

I have a few loaf tins but this Loaf Tin 2lb Alan Silverwood is my absolute favourite. It’s just a great size, slightly bigger than your average 2lb loaf tin so bear in mind for some recipes. It is made of anodised aluminium so conducts heat brilliantly, making the cake bake evenly all the way through. It’s really hard wearing and pretty much completely non-stick but has no coating. However because of the anodised aluminium you mustn’t put it in the dishwasher or it will ruin.

The link above is an affiliate link which means if you decide you want to click through to buy then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. It’s just a way for me to fund the blog so if you do click through then many thanks!!

If you like this recipe then you may like…

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This gluten-free Golden Beetroot Carrot Cake is the best carrot cake you will ever taste. Full of sweet earthy goodness thanks to using both golden beetroot and carrots; complex with pecans, sultanas and apples; perfectly complimented with a not too sweet cream cheese buttercream and adorned with the delightful crunch of a salted pecan praline and candied beetroot and carrots.

Gluten-Free Cherry Cake

Cherry Cake on a cooling rack with a cake knife sitting in front of a bowl of cherries

Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake {gluten-free}

Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake {gluten-free}

Sticky Date and Banana Malt Loaf

Sticky Date and Banana Malt Loaf

This recipe is not yet gluten-free

This was one of those spur of the moment bakes where I had all the ingredients in the house, took 10 minutes or so deciding how I wanted to bake it and then dove in.

Date and Banana Malt Loaf

Granted, I have been meaning to bake a loaf cake for a while. A dense fruity slice of Soreen slathered with double the amount of butter than loaf was one of my husband’s childhood teatime favourites. I bought the malt extract about six months ago in a bit to recreate his childhood memories, but without all those obnoxious preservatives.Date and Banana Malt Loaf

I think what had been putting me off for so long was that all the recipes I had read told me I should be using yeast, meaning you have all that pesky rising time which I have to be in the mood for, probably why I have never excelled at being a bread baker. Then after further research, whilst procrastinating a trip to Sainsburys, I discovered some internet bakers disregarded this stumbling block and made their loaves with baking powder. No sooner had I stuck two fingers up at tradition then I was in the kitchen chopping dates and warming my malt extract.

Date and Banana Malt Loaf

Since I never got round to making the yeasted version I can’t in all honesty tell you what the difference was. All I know is that this version rose gloriously in the oven to produce a familiar dark treacly loaf, intense with fruit and made all the better with the requisite lashings of salted butter. Most of the dates melted into the loaf mix and the banana was really added in lieu of butter which I didn’t think it needed. The fruit notes are therefore subtle, adding more to the texture of the finished result than the occasional burst of sweetness that adding sultanas or raisins might have done.

Date and Banana Malt Loaf

Whatever you do, you must restrain yourself from tearing into the bread as soon as it comes out of the oven as it only reaches its optimum consistency once it has been wrapped in greaseproof paper and matured for a couple of days after the bake. The longer your leave it the moister the loaf.

The jury is out on whether this is a fruity bread or cake, although I suppose the lack of yeast definitely lends it more of a cakey vibe. But the special thing about this bake is that it fits the bill whether you are craving a sweet or salty mid-afternoon treat. After carefully guarding the loaf for the past two days, once my husband had caught whiff of its presence, it is now waiting happily in its greaseproof paper, getting even more moist and delicious, ready for its ultimate taste test later this evening. I don’t think anybody is going to be disappointed.

Date and Banana Malt Loaf

Sticky Date and Banana Malt Loaf

150ml milk
125ml freshly brewed hot tea
180g medjool dates
1 banana, mashed
70g malt extract + extra for brushing
70g black treacle
375g plain flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soft dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 egg
1 tablespoon demerara sugar

  1. Mix together the milk and hot tea and add the chopped dates. Set aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and grease and line a 9 inch loaf tin.
  3. Pour the malt extract and the treacle into a small saucepan and heat until runny but no more.
  4. Turn off the heat then add the mashed banana and the soaked dates along with all of the liquid into the malt and treacle.
  5. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, salt, dark brown sugar and baking powder
  6. Make a well in the centre and add the egg and the liquid ingredients.
  7. Bring the flour into the liquid ingredients then stir everything together well with a wooden spoon.
  8. Pour the batter into the baking tin, sprinkling the demerara sugar over the top. Bake the loaf for an hour, covering the top with foil half way through if it’s starting to over-brown on the top.
  9. When it’s ready, remove from the oven, turn out of the tin and cool on a wire rack.
  10. When the loaf is cold, brush the surface liberally with malt extract then wrap in greaseproof paper and foil and leave to mature for 2 days before eating so the loaf gets lovely and sticky.