Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Banana bread, Nigerian style

My backyard banana tree.  Mmmmmm.

Here in Nigeria, I don't cook.  I don't clean.  I don't wash my own clothes.  Basically, I get to be a lazy bum.  But to make up for my laziness, there is one thing I can do: bake cakes.  Honey cake, vanilla cake, lemon cake, banana cake . . . my cake evangelization may even have led to some conversions: I've been asked to bake birthday cakes, which always get a warm reception.  And believe me, if Nigerians didn't like the cake, they would tell me - no worrying about delicate feelings around here!

My campaign for cake awareness in Nigeria got off to a slow start, what with my liberal use of sugar (which is called 'iwo oyinbo,' or 'white person salt' in Yoruba) and my refusal to do frosting.  However, it has really picked up speed recently.  I'm trying to use more fruit and local spices -- and when I have enough self-control to get out my camera and snap a photo of the cake before cutting it up and wolfing down a piece, I'll be sure to blog about my experiments . . .

But for now, I'll just share my super simple banana cake recipe.  I picked this recipe off the internet because it called for melted butter - no need for a mixer.  What can I say?  My needs are simple here.  [And I can't remember where I found the recipe: but Thanks, random website!]

1/3 C melted butter
3/4 C sugar

4 ripe mashed bananas
1 beaten egg
1 t vanilla (I like to add an extra 1/2 teaspoon.)

Fold in:
1.5 C flour
1 t baking soda
pinch of salt

Pour in loaf pan or square dish and bake at 350 F for 45 - 60 minutes.

This is the only picture I took of the baking/eating process. Oops!  

Diana, here is a warm, sunny picture of banana leaves to give you a taste of the tropics.  
And although my bananas are probably a lot better than yours,  you get to drink lattes.
Lucky duck.


  1. How dense is this cake? Only 1 1/2 cups of flour to four bananas and 1/3 butter makes me think it would be blissfully moist. I am so jealous you have a banana tree in your back yard. All I have is a tiny mint plant in a pot.

  2. Ha! White person salt. I love it! I have to remember that one.