Did you know the first bananas appeared in the US back in the 1870’s but it took till 1930 before the ingredient appeared in American cookbooks as a dessert called Banana Cake?

It is believed that banana bread/cake was a by-product of the Great Depression as resourceful housewives did not wish to throw away overripe bananas.

For me Banana Cake was one of the wonderful cakes my mother in law Pat would bake on the weekend, in readiness for the Sunday visit from her 6 children, significant others and many grandchildren.

I met my first husband when I had just turned 17, so to me Pat became my 2nd Mum. Her Sunday morning feast and love of baking brought back wonderful childhood memories of holidays with my grandmother, so our weekly visit was a step back into happy times.

Sadly, Pat passed away in 2018 but she will always live on in my baking and my memories, as many of my recipes originate from Mum and those wonderful Sunday mornings.

Pete’s mum Fay              My mum Maureen                  Pat

My three beautiful mum’s

Like all the big kids and grandkids we all had our favourites and banana cake just happened to be one of mine. Thankfully this cake was often on the menu. I would like to think it was because Pat cooked it for me, but I think closer to the truth would be she and her sister (Aunty Eileen) worked for a small local fruit shop, so overripe bananas were probably cheap and plentiful.

Nevertheless, I always felt special when she placed the plate of freshly cut cake in front of me and said “your favourite”

I’m pleased to say mum was always in my life and even while circumstances changed, she was still considered my Mum until the day she left us. I often say, this job allows her love and life to live on through my baking and will continue to be enjoyed by our worldwide guests on a daily basis.

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I hope you too enjoy this family favorite recipe.

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook: 60 min

Serves: 12



110g softened butter

1/2cup (110g) caster sugar

1 tbs Golden Syrup

2 eggs

3 mashed ripe bananas

½ cup milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 ½ cup (225g) self-raising flour

2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp mixed spice (optional)

Pinch of salt


  1. STEP 1

Preheat oven to 180°C (fan forced). Grease and line the base and sides of a loaf tin.

  1. STEP 2

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat soften butter until smooth and creamy. Add sugars and vanilla extract, beat for 3-5 minutes until lightened in colour. Add eggs one at a time, mixing to combine. Add mashed banana and mix to incorporate.

  1. STEP 3

Sift together flour, bicarb soda, salt & spice.

  1. STEP 4

Add half of the flour mixture, followed by a half of the milk, mixing to incorporate. Add remaining flour and milk and mix until combined. Pour into prepared tin and bake for approx. 60 minutes, checking with a skewer.




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