Salted Caramel Banana Cake, 16p [VG/V/DF]

This cake is a cheap but luxurious twist on my original banana bread, slightly more moist and gooey than the first iteration, with a home made sticky syrup sauce to drizzle over the top, ideally warm from a jug. I have made this as a loaf cake and also as a round, Victoria sponge type cake, split in the middle with a buttercream style icing and extra syrup sandwiching it together. It can be as simple or as showstopper as you want it to be. If you keep frozen berries kicking about, scatter a few on top of the cake mixture as it goes into the oven; as it cooks, they will gently sink to suspend in the finished delicacy; if you stir them in, there is a risk they will all sink and give you a soggy bottom. If this happens, I generally allow the cake to cook completely before removing from the tin, level off the risen top so it is completely flat (a bread knife is best) and carefully turn it over so that the purple blueberries adorn the top instead. Which, might I add, looks absolutely stunning with the syrup drizzled over it.


Serves 8 at 16p each


100g soft baking spread, 11p (55p/500g, Sainsburys baking block)

200g sugar, 16p (80p/1kg, Sainsburys sugar)

4 tbsp applesauce or marmalade, 5p (30p/454g, Sainsburys Basics marmalade)

200g yoghurt, 40p (plain is good, but Alpro soya yoghurt in Sainsburys has a special offer on its cherry and blueberry ones at the moment, £1 for 500g)

3 small bananas (£1.10, 8 small Fairtrade bananas, Sainsburys)

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 3p (90p/180g, Sainsburys)

Scant ½ tsp ground cinnamon or mixed spice, <1p (80p/100g, KTC or Natco brand at any major supermarket)

A pinch of salt, <1p (45p/750g, Sainsburys Basics)

200g self raising flour, 7p (55p/1.5kg, Sainsburys Basics)


For the sauce:

100g sugar or golden syrup


First, preheat your oven to 140C/275F/Gas Mark 1.

Beat together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl, using a wooden spoon or a fork, until well combined.

Add the applesauce, beating in until well mixed through, and then the yoghurt. Slice the banana and mash it with the fork to break it up. Mix well until the wet ingredients are consistent and mostly smooth.

Tip in the bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and a pinch of salt, and mix well. Add half of the flour, stir, and then add the other half. Your mixture should be more like a thick batter than a dough.

Lightly grease a loaf or cake tin and tip the mixture in, scraping the sides of the bowl to make sure as much of it goes in as possible – the less batter wasted, the bigger the cake! Bake in the centre of the oven for 50 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Meanwhile, make your caramel syrup. Pour the sugar into a heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium heat and leave it for a few minutes. As it starts to soften and melt at the edges, stir it in and leave it for a few more minutes. The change happens quickly; one minute you have a pile of sugar that looks like it isn’t doing anything, and the next you have a soft, silky succulent caramel sauce. Remove it swiftly from the heat and add a splash of cold water; it will hiss and bubble at you, so don’t put your face in it. Stir it in quickly, then return it to a low heat to keep it soft and watrm while the cake cooks.

Serve the cake with the warm caramel sauce dribbled over the top, and enjoy. You’ll notice in my photograph there are some chopped nuts in there too; forgive me, I like to get a little fancy sometimes. They were Basics peanuts, if that is any consolation, rinsed of their excess salt and finely chopped and toasted. I can highly recommend it, but didn’t include it in the main body of the recipe text as I didn’t want to exclude people with nut allergies from enjoying this lovely jubbly cake.

 A version of this recipe first appeared in my second cookbook, A Year In 120 Recipes. Photography by Susan Bell.

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  1. Just a heads-up, Jack, the Sainsbury’s baking block is 250g, not 500g – I will be trying a gluten free version of this – wish me luck!

  2. Looks yummy, so I will try this. A quick question? I live in France, land of salted caramel and wondered if the “salted” in the title referred to the sauce, as it’s not in the ingredients? I see there’s a pinch of salt in the main cake ingredients, but it’s not unusual to see that, and wouldn’t have thought it would have the “salt” taste we are used to here? I can add some salt to the sauce, but thought I might pass it by you… Love the blog, and adore the recipes!

    • I live in France too. Here the local recipe for salted caramel sauce is made by boiling sugar in water until it browns, then stirring single cream in drop by drop as it boils, finishing off by stirring in a large knob of heavily salted butter after removing from the heat. -though I usually buy a jar from the market. 😀

  3. Would be really great if your web designer would add at “print” icon somewhere so we could catalog our recipes in PDF format. I do it the long way by copying, pasting into a Word document, reformatting for ease in reading and then doing a PDF myself. But many people don’t have those options. (Also convert measurements to American standards, since I am older and am too used to our way of measuring). NOT a criticism, as I am, the older I get, on a more and more limited income, and still want to eat healthy…and enjoy the flavors at the same time!

  4. I owe Ed Davies!!! I would have never found you otherwise (I’m usually neck deep in a romance book). As a stay at home mom of 3 boys trying to make it on just my husband’s income, I have become Queen of making it work. I look forward to translating your recipes to American English and measurements. 😂 Thank God for technology because I’m horrible at converting. Thank you for all this new inspiration, I have been in a rut with recipes lately and really needed to find you!

  5. Hey Jack, how freezable do you reckon the cake without the sauce is? Just thinking of my df toddler who doesn’t get many cakes that’s all 🙂

    • Most cakes freeze really well so you should not have a problem. Dairy free cake is easy – just use dairy free spread and leave out any milk (replace with water, juice appropriate to the flavour of the cake or nothing at all). The best thing is they taste of the flavour of the cake (e.g. banana as in this case) instead of tasting overwhelmingly of butter.

  6. I am a newcomer to your blog and recipes but I have made this cake and I am taking it work to convert my work colleagues to thrifty, nutritious cooking. I am the ‘never throw anything away, food wise’ sorta gal and I’m finding your recipes very inspiring….Keep doing what your doing…

  7. Perfect reciepes for a red alert day had to substitute a couple ingredients. Unfortunately I’m on a detox so can’t even lick the spoon but husband and son delighted with the result! Thank you Jack x

  8. Hi Jack

    Portuguese here. What is applesauce, where do I get it and how does it interchange with marmalade? Is it just because it’s fruity? So sorry about the barrage of questions.


  9. Anyone else finding it takes about 3hrs to cook?! Ive split it over 2 tins and it still takes ages…upped the temp too….but its sooooo yummy Im not gonna stop making it xx

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