Recently, my flat mates and I have been taking part in this tradition in the afternoons as a way of giving ourselves a break away from the dreaded dissertation and exam revision that will have to be completed by the end of the Spring/Summer term. It’s a nice way to catch up, relax, and just take our minds away from our work for a few moments to enjoy the finer things in life.

We have also used this time to try out baking our own cakes and savouries, instead of buying them. This has, in the long run, saved us a lot of money, and although it can be a bit more time consuming, we have found it to be quite therapeutic.

This blog post is therefore dedicated to my family home-made recipe for banana cake, it is truly scrumptious (queue Chitty Chitty Bang Bang lyrics here) and serves a lot of people, so you may even have some to pop round to your neighbours, which will DEFINITELY put a smile on their face!

You will need:

  • 2 ripe bananas (over-ripe is best) Please make sure you crush these to mush before adding in!

  • 170g caster sugar

  • 170g self raising flour

  • 170g soft margarine

  • 3 eggs

  • A few drops of vanilla essence

  • And, if you like, a table spoon of cinnamon


1. Pre-heat the oven to 160c or gas mark 3

2. Add all the ingredients to a bowl but sieve the flour and add in gently, folding in with a wooden spoon. If you have a food processor then great! But I prefer to use the old fashioned ‘elbow grease’.

3. Pour the mixture into a well greased cake tin or lined loaf tin (depending on how you want your cake to look).

4. Bake for one hour, checking every 15-20 minutes to make sure you don’t over-cook it! Our student cooker is often temperamental so sometimes the cake has taken just over an hour to look golden brown on top, other times it has been done in 40 minutes! Set those phone timer alarms just in case.

5. Pull out of the oven; please be careful not to burn your fingers! Put a knife through the cake and check the knife comes out clear, if it does, the middle is cooked, if it looks gooey, place back into the oven but perhaps lower the heat slightly.

6. Let the cake cool for 20 minutes, cut, serve and enjoy!

Tip: If you fancy a more nutty texture, add some crushed walnuts to the recipe before pouring into your chosen tin of choice…about 60g should do the trick!

And there we have it, a hearty student recipe for traditional British afternoon tea! Let me know what you think, and please do share your home-made recipes below if you think others would enjoy them too!