Recipe: ‘Healthy’ banana and pear spice cake

Okay, okay. I use the term ‘healthy’ loosely here.

It doesn’t have any crazy, trendy superfoods but it does contain good ol’ reliable oats and fruit. This cake is filled with a bunch of fibre, vitamins and yumminess. It’s a lot denser than sponge cakes because of the fruit. It makes a very moist cake though.

Pear and banana go really well together. The diced pear makes this cake a bit more exciting than plain banana cake.

Cinnamon is known to speed up metabolism too. You could almost say this cake is good for you.

This means you’re allowed to take multiple serves. And enjoy it. I will not have anyone feeling guilty while eating my food.

This creation was for our weekly lab meeting. We have a rule that if you’re presenting that day, you have to supply afternoon tea. I presented a journal club paper in which I critically analyse a recent journal article. I picked “Phenotypic differences between IgG4+ and IgG1+ B cells point to distinct regulation of the IgG4 response” by Lighaam et al. It was a really interesting paper but I won’t bore you with details.

Let them eat cake.

Makes: 8-12 slices


  • 3 overripe bananas, mashed (the riper, the sweeter they are)
  • 2 pears, cored and finely diced
  • 1 1/2 tbs mixed spice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups self-raising flour, sifted
  • 75g butter, softened
  • 1 cup vanilla sugar (I store vanilla pods in my caster sugar to make vanilla sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence (if you don’t have vanilla sugar)
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup sultanas


  1. Preheat oven to 190°C.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together in a bowl.
  3. Add in eggs, mashed bananas and pears (and vanilla essence, if using). Mix well.
  4. Stir in flour and mixed spice until just combined. Gently fold in oats and sultanas.
  5. Pour into a cake tin (I used a 23cm square tin) and bake in the oven for ~30 minutes. Check with a cake tester by 25 minutes. You can turn down to 180 if it’s browning a little too fast. Stand for 15 minutes or until cool enough to turn out onto a rack.
  6. Revel in your results and let everyone in your meeting be distracted by cake while you give your presentation.


Banana cake is the best way to use up overripe bananas. If I don’t eat bananas fast enough, I throw them into the freeze and thaw them out when I’ve gathered enough bananas to make a cake. (The skin will go completely black, but this is okay!).

If you don’t like sultanas or oats then leave them out! If leaving out the oats, add an extra 1/3 cup of flour so that your cake mixture isn’t too wet.

You could always ice the cake with a simple butter icing and top with chopped walnuts if you feeling particularly decadent too.

This cake would freeze well too. Cut into slices before doing it then thaw whenever you have a craving for cake!

3 thoughts on “Recipe: ‘Healthy’ banana and pear spice cake

  1. Pingback: Happy 2nd blog birthday! | Eating my way through life.

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