Banana Cake with Ganache

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This is my banana bread recipe reinvented – it has a much lighter and more moist flavour, with a dark water ganache to offset the sweetness.

The onslaught of banana bread recipes continue, and I had overripe bananas. But was determined to not bake another banana bread! I actually do not have many banana recipes, so wanted to use my banana bread recipe as a base and adapt it to make a cake.

If you have not tried my banana bread recipe already, it’s has a wonderfully moist, dense texture. I like the fact that it feels more bread-like, rather than a light and soft texture.

For this cake however, I swapped out the butter for oil, valuing the lighter, softer texture in lieu of a more buttery taste. I also wanted a softer, fluffier crumb, so decided to use buttermilk instead of the sour cream in my banana cake recipe.

I wanted to take it a step further, and use up some left over chocolate, so decided to make a dark chocolate ganache. I make most of my recipes in the evening, and at around 10pm realised I had no cream for the ganache! After a bit of googling, I found a great water gananche recipe. The main point to note about the ganache is that it has to be made with a chocolate containing at least 70% cocoa solids, or it won’t set.

This cake is super easy to make, and requires fairly basic ingredients (you can create your own buttermilk at home by combining normal milk with a teaspoon of vinegar, letting it sit for 30 minutes before using it).

If you make this recipe, please share it with me by tagging me on Instagram @adventureswithsugar or on Facebook at Adventures with Sugar.


  • 180ml vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 100g castor sugar
  • 120ml buttermilk
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 180g cake flour
  • 200g bananas mashed, around 2 large
  • 100g pecan nuts, walnuts, chocolate chips (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm round tin with baking paper.
  2. Add the eggs, sugar and vanilla into a bowl and beat for around two minutes until nice and frothy.
  3. Slowly pour in the oil with the mixer running until it incorporates into the sugar.
  4. Then add in the buttermilk.
  5. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon and mixed spice together.
  6. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, in two parts.
  7. Add in the mashed bananas followed by the nuts/chocolate chips, if using.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Oven temperatures vary, so start checking for doneness around 35 minutes.


  • 60g chocolate, 70% cocoa solids (this won’t work with milk chocolate)
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 25g golden syrup
  • 3 Tbs water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 25g butter, at room temperature, cut into cubes


  1. Put the sugar and golden syrup in saucepan and place on medium low heat. Stir to combine and once the sugar has melted, increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil for about 5 minutes until the colour is that of pale amber (do not make it too dark or the ganache will have a bitter aftertaste).
  2. Remove from the heat and pour in the water and vanilla essence. The mixture will seize, but return to the heat and continue to stir. This will bring it to a boil and the sugar will melt again.
  3. Remove it from the heat and wait for a minute.
  4. In that time, add the chocolate, broken into pieces, into another bowl.
  5. Pour the water caramel over the chocolate and let stand for three minutes, before whisking to combine.
  6. Add the butter, piece by piece. After each addition, whisk to combine.
  7. Continue until all the butter has been added and the consistency is that of golden syrup.
  8. Pour the ganache over the cake.

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