Mrs Mayall’s Banana Chocolate Cake

I was lucky to have some excellent teachers when I was at school. Among the most inspirational, I remember those who taught music to me for more than their ability to get me through A-level aural and harmony examinations. After all, who could possibly forget being served a slice of perfect banana chocolate cake at the end of a particularly demanding class by Mrs Mayall?

It was no small wonder that we begged her for the recipe. I still have my original handwritten copy, the final lines scrawled hurriedly onto the paper as the bell for the start of the next class was sounding.

Beat in vanilla essence and leave frosting in cool place 3-10 mins til thick nuf for sprding.

You have to remember that I wrote those lines in the days before text messaging!

The recipe for the cake itself is so good that I have never (and neither did Mrs Mayall, at least on the day she brought her cake to our music lesson) felt it necessary to follow the instructions I so eagerly scribbled for the frosting.

I never imagined when I copied Mrs Mayall’s recipe twenty years ago that it would become one of my children’s favourite ways of using up those inevitable left-over bananas. Unlike many banana cakes, these slices are moist without being claggy and heavy. They are also deliciously chocolaty.

Which is also why I particularly wanted to share this recipe with you on the third anniversary of A Merrier World.

Happy Birthday, dear blog!

Banana Chocolate Cake (adapted from a recipe by Mrs Mayall)

6 1/2 oz/190 g plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
5 oz/150 g caster sugar
2 tbsp Golden syrup
2 eggs, size 3, beaten
1/4 pint/150 ml vegetable oil
14 pint/150 ml milk
2 bananas, mashed (5 oz)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F/170 degrees C.

Grease and base-line a shallow 8″ x 13″/20 x 33 cm baking tray.

Sift together the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and beat for c. 2 minutes until well combined.

Pour into the prepared tray and bake in the centre of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes until springy to touch.

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  1. Janice

     /  August 9, 2010

    Happy 3rd Anniversary Kate’s blog!…well done Kate and this cake looks yummy. Going to just have to try it.

    What type of frosting did Mrs Mayall use – chocolate or cream cheese type as my lot are big on frostings!


    • Thanks, Janice 🙂 I’m away from my recipe folder this week, so I’ll post the recipe for the frosting as soon as I get back. I don’t think it’s of either the chocolate or cream cheese type, but I’m not sure …!

  2. I remember you mentioning this recipe quite a long time ago. Glad to see it on the blog so I can try it out. As you well know, I always have at least 3 bananas going funky… no matter what! A new banana recipe is always welcomed.
    And Happy Bloggaversary! I really look forward to a new post from you. You always have something unique to say and the photos are very handsome too. You are getting very arty farty, but I mean that in a good way. (lol)
    I am sorry to miss our get together in Bath on Friday. I hope to reschedule a get together perhaps in October time. Cheerio

    • I thought of you as I was writing this post, Melinda – I hope your leftover bananas enjoy this recipe. Aww, I’ll go all shy if you make nice comments like that, and then where would we be?! I blog infrequently enough as it is!
      October sounds a good idea – it would be lovely to meet up again 🙂

  3. Lucy

     /  August 11, 2010

    Aha, I’ve just got home from our holiday to see this blog entry…and I’ve tried the yummy cake now too whilst in the Cotswolds with you all. It’s fun to know its providence 🙂 xx

  4. Dad

     /  August 14, 2010

    I remember Mrs Mayall – but I didn’t realise she baked banana cakes as well as teaching music!
    The provenance of the recipe must be in the jotted notations you made many years ago.
    Happy Bloggaversary (is that a proper word?)

    • I’m afraid it is, Dad – as are blogiversary, blogaversary, bloggiversary, blogoversary, blogversary and bloggoversary. The idea is the same, but the spelling hasn’t been quite regularized just yet. (You never know, that little bit of information might come in handy in a pub quiz sometime …)

  5. What a delightful story and delicious sounding cake. Plus the Golden Syrup sitting in the cupboard from a turn with one of Rose’s Heavenly Cake will be put to good use. I really love that stuff and not to many U.S. recipe call for it.

  6. P.S. Very glad you decided to launch A Merrier World three years ago. Always so much fun to read. Congrat’s! Can’t tell you how many people I’ve passed the Unicorn Party post onto. It is always met with great enthusiasm.

    • Thanks, Vicki!

      You know, if you’re stuck for ways to use Golden Syrup, one of our favourite things to do with it is to slice a banana in half lengthways, dribble Golden Syrup down the centre, sprinkle a little cinnamon on top and then bung the whole thing in the oven (or microwave if you’re in a hurry) until it’s heated through. Delicious. Or Golden Syrup with lemon juice on pancakes … that one’s a firm Sunday favourite for breakfast. Or just Golden Syrup sandwiches! Or how about just eating it straight from the tin (or squeezy bottle – it’s slightly less messy that way!).

      I think I posted my recipe for gingersnaps somewhere on this blog – that one uses Golden Syrup too. Ah yes, here it is – Gingersnaps. Off the top of my head, 1/3 cup of Golden Syrup weighs about 3 1/2 oz – it’s easier to weigh it directly into your mixing bowl (or saucepan, in this case) than to try to faff around getting the stuff out of a measuring cup.

      Anyway, after all that, I hope you like Mrs Mayall’s banana chocolate cake!

  7. Kate, your photos are beautiful! This recipe sounds so good, love the cocoa powder addition.

  8. Lucy

     /  October 22, 2010

    Oh, ho. Yumm!! Made some this afternoon. So easy and so fluffy – a cake I can make which has spring 🙂 xx


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