Rhubarb is abundant at the moment, not just in our gardens, but in the supermarkets too so I couldn’t resist using it again to bake a sweet treat. The tart nature of rhubarb needs a very sweet counterweight ingredient that makes its natural tartness sing and I can’t think of a better fruit that is bursting with natural sugars than over-ripe bananas. At first I wasn’t quite sure whether the flavour combination would work, but it most certainly does, producing banana rhubarb cakes that are just the right level of sweet and sharp.
The banana rhubarb cakes are also enhanced by the inclusion of some chopped strawberries I had at hand that needed to be used up. The strawberry is a nice addition to the mixture because the fruit naturally breaks down during the cooking process to become soft, sweet and jammy fruity little nuggets that are peppered throughout the cake batter.
I thought I’d take these banana rhubarb cakes into work tomorrow and had originally planned to just bake one large cake in a standard cake tin, but I’ve noticed that when I take a whole cake into work my colleagues seem to be reluctant to cut a slice for themselves, whereas if I bring in individual cakes they get munched quickly. (Is it the politeness factor or do the cakes simply look more alluring as individual cupcakes?) Taking this into consideration, I baked my banana rhubarb cakes in my silicone bundt cases, but it’s not essential because they’d be fine baked in normal cupcakes cases too.
This is a fairly easy cake recipe to make. Aside from letting the chopped rhubarb and strawberries macerate in the sugar, cinnamon and ginger, it’s simply a case of mixing the wet and dry ingredients together and then spooning the mix into cupcake or bundt cases. Although it’s simple, it’s still a deliciously complex-flavoured cake though, seeing sharp rhubarb being tempered by the sugary-sweet over-ripe banana, moist little chunks of strawberry and a zingy lime icing drizzle. A perfect cake to celebrate early summer’s bounty.
150g of gluten-free flour (I use Dove’s Farm G/F Plain Flour)
1 tsp xanthan gum
140g white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 over-ripe bananas
125ml vegetable oil
50ml rice milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the rhubarb:
2 – 3 cups of rhubarb (chopped into pretty small chunks)
1 cup of chopped strawberries (chopped into pretty small chunks)
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
100g white sugar
For the icing:
1 tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp green food colouring
6 heaped tbsps of icing sugar
Cut your rhubarb and strawberries into small chunks and place in a large bowl. Scatter the white sugar, cinnamon and ginger over the fruit, stir well and leave to one side.
Preheat your oven to 200C/180C Fan/400F/Gas mark 6.
Measure your bananas and wet ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix well.
Add the dry ingredients and the fruit and mix well.
Spoon the cake mixture into the cake cases and bake for 30 -35 mins. (Ordinarily I’d say that when a skewer pushed into the centre of the cake comes out clean it’s done, but the fruit will be very moist and will possibly give a false result, so just trust your instincts on this one!)
Remove from the oven and leave to cool before drizzling with the lime icing.