Easy cake recipes to bake right now: From choc chip banana bread to pineapple upside down cake

·4-min read
Victoria Sponge used to be everyone’s go-to bake – until lockdown (posed by models, Getty)
Victoria Sponge used to be everyone’s go-to bake – until lockdown (posed by models, Getty)

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.

Read more: If you’ve forgotten to buy present these simple recipes are a lifesaver

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.

Banana bread with chocolate chips (Andrew Bowden-Smith)
Banana bread with chocolate chips (Andrew Bowden-Smith)

Makes: 1 loaf

Ingredients

150g flour

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda

¼ tsp salt

85g caster sugar

½ tsp vanilla essence

40 vegetable oil

1 egg

75ml Greek yoghurt

3 very ripe bananas

70g chocolate chips

Method

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.

Classic chocolate sandwich cake (Andrew Bowden-Smith)
Classic chocolate sandwich cake (Andrew Bowden-Smith)

Serves: 8

Ingredients

115g margarine or softened butter

115g sugar

2 eggs

150g flour

30g cocoa powder

½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla essence

1-2 tbsps milk

Icing

80g softened butter

180g icing sugar

1 tbsp cocoa powder blended with boiling water to a make thick paste, and cooled

Decoration

Chocolate buttons

50g chocolate, melted

Method

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.

Read more: Recipes for a good night's sleep: Salmon parcels, pesto pasta and cherry clafoutis

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.

Pineapple upside down cake (David Brewster/Star Tribune via Getty Images)
Pineapple upside down cake (David Brewster/Star Tribune via Getty Images)

Ingredients

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

2 eggs

120ml milk

85g golden caster sugar

Method

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.

Watch: Party-perfect sheet cake recipes

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