Victoria Sponge and Lemon Drizzle used to be the kings (or queens) of cake. Fool-proof and fabulous, they were everyone’s go-to bake – until lockdown.
Now, they’ve been brutally de-throned, as according to a new survey by Cath Kidston, the UK’s favourite cakes, post-lockdown, are banana bread and chocolate cake.
A further survey found that Pineapple Upside-Down cake has also overtaken boring old sponge in Google searches. So it’s time to upgrade your bakes, with these nostalgic classics. Just add a steaming mug of tea.
Banana bread with chocolate chips
Were you even in lockdown if you didn’t make banana bread? This recipe makes a deliciously dense, squidgy cake, but we’ll call it ‘bread’ because it sounds healthier that way.
Makes: 1 loaf
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp salt
85g caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla essence
40 vegetable oil
75ml Greek yoghurt
3 very ripe bananas
70g chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C Fan). Grease and line a 1L loaf tin.
2. In a large bowl, sieve and mix all the dry ingredients, except the chocolate chips.
3. In a separate bowl, gradually whisk together the wet ingredients, including the egg. Mash the bananas into the batter, leaving small chunks.
4. Fold the wet into the dry ingredients with a metal spoon, making sure all the flour is incorporated. Add the chocolate chips, and stir through.
5. Scoop batter into the tin and level the top. Bake for around 1 hour or until it has formed a crust, and a skewer emerges clean.
6. Leave on a wire rack to cool and scatter extra sugar over to serve.
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Classic chocolate sandwich cake
Sometimes, you just want something comforting, celebratory, and slightly fattening. This is the cake for those moments.
115g margarine or softened butter
30g cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
1-2 tbsps milk
80g softened butter
180g icing sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder blended with boiling water to a make thick paste, and cooled
50g chocolate, melted
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C Fan). Grease and line two 20cm cake tins.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and smooth.
3. Whisk the eggs together, and beat in gradually, a little at a time.
4. Sieve the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into the mixture, and fold in thoroughly. Add the vanilla essence and stir in enough milk to make the batter drop easily from a spoon.
5. Divide equally between tins (weigh them if you want a perfectly even cake) and put in the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
6. Leave on a wire rack to cool and make the icing. Squash together the butter and icing sugar in a bowl (otherwise clouds of sugar will coat everything) then whisk till blended. Add the cocoa paste, and whisk until fluffy.
7. Using a palette knife, sandwich the two halves together with buttercream. Coat the cooled cake, and decorate with buttons.
8. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a simmering pan, and use a teaspoon to drizzle all over the cake. Leave to set.
Pineapple upside down cake
This is so retro it should be starring in a 70s sit-com. If you’re feeling classy, leave out the glacé cherries, though there’s no denying they make it look very pretty.
115g melted butter
115g brown sugar
227g can of pineapple rings in juice or syrup
6-7 glace cherries
225g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp mixed spice
85g golden caster sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 20cm cake tin. Melt the brown sugar into half the butter over a low heat until dissolved, then pour into the cake tin.
2. Arrange the pineapple rings and cherries over the base of the tin. Set aside.
3. Sieve the flour, baking powder and spices into a large bowl.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk, caster sugar and the rest of the melted butter. Stir into the dry ingredients, folding to incorporate, (add a little more milk if the batter feels stiff).
5. Pour the mix over the fruit in the tin, and bake for around 50 minutes.
6 Leave to cool in the tin, and turn gently onto a plate. Scoop any remaining syrup over the cake.
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