Can’t Sleep Banana Almond Cake

It’s late, and I’m exhausted—got some disappointing news at work, was distracted at yoga and am just a little sad that the person I want most by my side is not. Seems like a day to sleep off and forget about.

I wish.

Tonight is not that night. I can’t sleep. And the only thing I can think to do instead is bake.

So that’s just what I’ve done.

Three ugly, black bananas have been sitting in the fridge for God knows how long. They’re not mine, but somehow I don’t think either L. or M. will mind. Rescued from near death and brought back to life in the form of a banana almond cake. I could’ve made banana bread—predictable. boring. I thought about banana upside down cake—But slicing? Right now? No. So this slightly more creative than quickbread and slightly less fussy than upside down cake recipe fit the bill for my sleepless night.

The original recipe (from Zomtbakes) called for topping the cake with a honey-mascarpone-pistachio frosting. This sounds great, but who ever “just happens to have” a tub of mascarpone in their fridge? Not me. Also, if I were to put on my food purist hat, I would say that the frosting—as is often the case—is unnecessary as it would corrupt the natural aroma of the bananas. Then again, who doesn’t love frosting (not gross Safeway frosting but smooth, creamy, ever so mildly tart mascarpone frosting)?

In the end, I just needed something to fill the hours of this sleepless night. This was good. Try it.

(Posting pics tomorrow morning. I’m sleepy! Yay!)

Banana Almond Cake (adapted from Zomtbakes)


2 tbsp butter, at room temp., plus a little extra for greasing

160 g (3/4 cup) soft brown sugar

1 egg, at room temp.

1 tsp almond extract

3 very ripe bananas, mashed

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup almond meal

3 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup flaked almonds, plus a little extra for topping.


  1. Beat together the butter and brown sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the egg and almond extract and continue to beat until smooth. Then beat through the mashed up banana; don’t worry if there are some banana chunks in there.
  2. Combine the whole wheat flour, ground almonds & baking powder. With a spatula, fold the flour mixture into the banana mixture until smooth. Then fold through the milk until all smooth.
  3. Spoon the batter into a greased springform, tapping the side with a wooden spoon, in order to get a smooth surface. Sprinkle a small handful of flaked almonds over the top.
  4. Bake at 170 C (ca. 340) for around 40-45 minutes. Check it at the 30 minute mark as you don’t want to over cook this. The top should be nice and golden. (I had to bake mine for an additional 10 minutes before the cake was finally cooked all the way through.)

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  • halfmoonprod  On February 2, 2010 at 1:05 am

    haha! I just did the same thing today. coincidentally, i had 2 ugly black bananas and I decided to try out a new recipe for a cake called “hummingbird cake.” it turned out quite nice! it has pineapples, banana, and since i substituted apple sauce for the oil ingredient, it has apples!
    happy baking!

    • Theresa  On February 2, 2010 at 9:36 am

      Have always wanted to try Hummingbird Cake–never eaten it actually. Sounds great, though! Could you tell flavor/texture-wise that there was no fat?

  • halfmoonprod  On February 6, 2010 at 1:46 am

    i thought it was delicious. i don’t have a super duper sweet tooth, so it was perfect for me. the people who’ve tried it thus far have liked it…the texture was almost like carrot cake.the flavor was fruity and just sweet enough to be a perfect breakfast cake!

    • Theresa  On February 6, 2010 at 1:15 pm

      Well, I’m sold. Am definitely up for testing it out for myself! Can I ask what recipe you used?

  • halfmoonprod  On February 16, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    sorry for the delay!I got caught up in all sorts of things! Here’s the link:

    I have a healthy alternative on my blog side (see National Nutrition Month recipe #5. instead of muffins, bake as a cake).


    happy baking!

    • Theresa  On February 19, 2010 at 11:08 am

      Thanks! Can’t wait to try your version. I actually have fresh pineapple in the fridge that I’ve been wondering how to use up! Will let you know how it goes!

  • halfmoonprod  On February 20, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    how did it turn out??? i’m really curious!!! 🙂 let me know!

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