Recipe: Chocolate Swirl & Pecan Banana Cake

Delicious. Chocolatey. Banana goodness!

First of all, this is banana cake! It’s not bread. Why? Well, I wouldn’t put ham & cheese on it, I wouldn’t put jam on it, and my Mam called it banana cake, and so do I! As lockdown continues, I’ve been cooking and baking a lot, tweaking certain recipes that have been passed down to me. My Mam was an expert at making banana cake, she used to add slices of semi-ripe bananas in the middle for an extra special bite.

So when I make her recipe, I do switch it up with my favourite nuts and use Lindt 70% dark chocolate. Because everything is better with chocolate! They say imitation is the best form of flattery, so I do hope my Mam would approve.

And this one is delicious! There’s a great texture throughout with the little bites of pecans that compliment the deep chocolate. It’s best to use well ripened bananas, as they’re sweeter and mean less extra sugar to be added! Ideal with a cuppa, or as dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Prep: 15 mins

Cook: 35-50 mins

Ready in 80 minutes

Serves 8-12


Coconut oil

2-4 ripe bananas (weighing max 250g after peeling)

2 tablespoon lemon juice (for bananas)

175g unsalted  butter

150g light brown sugar or light muscovado sugar

2 eggs

225g self-raising flour

85g pecan nuts

120g dark chocolate


Oils: Sunflower oil, unsalted butter

Nuts: Hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds

Chocolate: milk or white, or a combination


1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (fan oven). Grease a loaf tin with your choice of oil then line with greaseproof/baking paper.

2. Pop the bananas into a bowl and mash well with a fork to form a purée. Add lemon juice, mash again then set aside.

3. Beat the eggs in a pouring bowl/jug and set aside. Sift and weigh the flour in a bowl and set aside.

4. Cream the softened butter with the sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the beaten eggs, mixing in a bit of flour after each egg addition. When all the eggs have been added, gradually stir in the banana purée and continue mixing in the remaining flour.

5. When everything has been thoroughly mixed, chop the nuts then stir into mixture and set aside. You can roughly or finely chop, whatever tickles your fancy!

6. In a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water, melt the chocolate. Once completely melted, gently fold into the cake mixture. To achieve the swirled effect, gentle folding is key. However if you’re happy with a full-blown chocolatey look, fold until completely mixed through.

7. Pour into your prepared cake tin and bake for a 35-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave until cool before removing from the cake from the tin. (If you take it out too soon your gorgeous cake may break apart!)

8. Once removed from the tin, take off the lining and leave on wire rack to cool for at least 10-15 minutes before you place on a display plate. Dust with icing sugar or drizzle melted chocolate, slice and wow everybody with that stunning swirl!



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Image © Nirina Plunkett

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