The March 2021 Bake Off Box challenge was Banana and Walnut Mini Loaves – moist mini banana loaf cakes topped with buttercream, chopped walnuts and banana chips!
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I decided to try this subscription box out as a way of baking for fun rather than for Baker Jo blog work! Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love working on recipes for Baker Jo but it is nice to take a break from recipe testing and bake a recipe that I know will work the first time! 😅
However, I figured some of you might be interested in following along so I’ll be posting a quick blog post like this each month to chat about each box 😊 (This one is a bit late actually!)
(This is not a sponsored/affiliate post so I don’t get anything for sharing this blog post – it’s just me sharing my experience!).
I already have a Banana Loaf Cake recipe so I was looking forward to trying this mini loaf version!
THE MARCH 2021 BAKE OFF BOX CONTENTS
This month my box contained the following:
- Recipe card
- Pre-measured dry ingredients for the recipe (I needed to supply three ripe (really spotty!) bananas, unsalted butter, eggs and salt) and a piping bag for the buttercream
- A cute blue silicone mini-loaf mould!
March 2021 bake off box: Banana and walnut mini loaves
Like the Signature Chocolate Cake, these mini loaves were very easy to make by following the written instructions. You don’t need any baking paper to line the silicone mould, you simply grease the mini loaf mould with a little butter.
I’ve typed up the full recipe and instructions (recipe created by The Great British Bake Off, not myself) – you can find it at the bottom of this post!
Bake off box banana and walnut mini loaves: my verdict
I think the loaf cakes had a good texture which was light and fluffy, and just the right level of sweetness with a little crunch from the walnuts.
I also enjoyed decorating the tops with the buttercream swirl, chopped walnuts and banana chips – I think it finishes them off beautifully! Though of course you could just keep them plain and enjoy them as simple mini banana loaves 🙂
Would I make any changes? If I made them again I’d bake them at a lower temperature of around 170°C/180°C as I found baking them at 190°C caused them to brown a little too much. This would mean they would need a few more minutes of bake time than stated in the recipe card.
I’d probably add some flavour to the buttercream like vanilla or a little spice like cinnamon! I’d also add a little more icing sugar to the buttercream to thicken it slightly and to add a touch more sweetness to balance out the buttery flavour.
Otherwise, I think these cakes are really cute and would be a great bake for an afternoon tea or bake sale!
Baker jo loaf cake recipes to try
The Bake Off Box: Banana and Walnut Mini Loaves
- Silicone mini loaf mould
- Small bowl
- Mixing bowl
- Electric hand or stand mixer
- Baking sheet
- Cocktail stick or cake testing skewer
- Wire cooling rack
- Piping bag
Banana and Walnut Mini Loaves
- 3 ripe bananas about 300g peeled weight
- 115 g unsalted butter softened, plus extra for greasing the mould
- 120 g caster sugar
- 50 g light brown sugar
- 2 medium eggs room temperature
- 250 g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 60 g walnuts chopped
- 135 g unsalted butter softened
- 100 g icing sugar sifted
- 20 g walnuts chopped
- 30 g dried banana chips
Banana and Walnut Mini Loaves
- Heat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/Gas 5. Grease the silicone mini-loaf mould with a little butter.
- In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork and set aside.
- Place the butter, caster sugar and light brown sugar in a mixing bowl. Use an electric hand mixer to cream them together for about 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. (Or beat them together with a wooden spoon).
- Add one egg and mix well. To prevent the mixture from splitting, add two tablespoons of flour. Then, mix in the remaining egg, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
- Add one third of the flour, and all the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, ground cinnamon and salt, and mix well. Add another third of the flour and mix well again.
- Add the final third of the flour and all the mashed banana and fully combine, using a hand mixer or wooden spoon.
- Use a spatula to gently fold through the chopped walnut pieces.
- Divide the batter equally between the 8 hollows of the mould and smooth the tops. Place the mould on a baking sheet and bake the loaves on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 minutes, until well risen and a cocktail stick inserted into each loaf comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the mould for 10 minutes. Then, carefully pop out the loaves and transfer them the right way up to a wire rack. Leave to cool completely.
- Place the butter in a clean mixing bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer until very soft and smooth. Sift in the icing sugar in two batches, beating well between each addition. Whisk for 5-7 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl from time to time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Sit the piping bag in a tall glass and spoon in the buttercream.
- Snip the end of the reusable piping bag to give a 1cm hole, and pipe a back-and-forth S-shape down the length of each loaf.
- Sprinkle over the chopped walnuts and decorate with the banana chips.