Banana Date Cake with Walnut and Honey Glaze

DSC_0012Photos Alex Harris

This classic, old fashioned Banana Date Cake with Walnut and Honey Glaze would be perfect to serve anytime, but it would be a lovely way to round out afternoon tea in the sunshine on a summer afternoon. It has lots of body and flavour, and it’s one of those cakes that gets better after sitting for a day or two at room temperature. I have the perfect covered cake dish for this purpose, although I must confess that there is usually not much of the cake left after a day or two as it is so delicious! We eat it for breakfast as well as tea and dessert, and I’ve made it twice already since discovering the recipe in BBC Good Food magazine this month. Developed by Mary Cadogan, it is a really straight forward recipe that turns into something very special indeed.

As regular readers will know, I can never leave a recipe alone, and I’ve played the method of mixing Mary suggests to make the cake lighter as well as adding more dates (we love them) and some extra spice. Next time I’m going to try using pecans instead of walnuts as I think they would be absolutely scrumptious. I also made double the amount of glaze as I didn’t feel the original amount was enough.

Do choose a really good liquid honey to make this cake. The honey is a really predominant flavour, so the one you choose is very important. There are all sorts of speciality honeys available these days, from mild Canadian clover to stronger thyme infused Greek honey and sweet Orange Blossom. I like a milder honey for this cake. Orange Blossom is perfect and I’ve also used a mild variety of local honey as well.


Banana Date Cake with Walnut & Honey Glaze

Adapted from BBC Good Food magazine

For the cake
6 ounces (175 grams) butter, softened
4 ounces (100 grams) light brown sugar
7 ounces (200 grams) self-raising flour
1 generous teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
2 large eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons liquid honey
3 small very ripe bananas, mashed
(roughly 12 ounces or 350 grams weighed with skins on)
5 ounces dates, stoned
2 ounces chopped walnuts or pecans

For the glaze
4 tablespoons clear honey
2 ounces (50 grams) butter
3 ounces walnut or pecan halves

Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C or 140°C for fan ovens).

Grease a bundt cake pan.

Cream the butter and sugar together. I used an electric mixer for this. Add the eggs and beat together. Mix in the honey. Add the flour, cinnamon and ginger and beat until light and fluffy.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in the bananas, dates and nuts. Spoon into the prepared tin and smooth the top

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. The top should be firm to the touch. Cool in the pan for about ten minutes before turning out on to a wire rack.

Once the cake is cool, make the glaze.

Put the butter and honey in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Once the butter is well melted, boil for about one minute until it begins to thicken slightly. Remove from the heat. Stir in the nuts and then leave to cool until it begins to thicken up slightly.

Spoon over the top of the cake (I found I needed to use my fingers to arrange the nuts on top) and leave to set. Store covered at room temperature.

Shared with Cake Friday, Food on Fridays, Foodie Friday 

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Article by April Harris

April has written 1282 great articles for us.

April is a writer, recipe developer, frequent traveller and blogger sharing travel, food, and style. Based in the south of England, April is a British Canadian who is passionate about family, hearth and home, healthy living (with treats!) and the transformative power of travel.

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  1. I love sweet orange blossom honey… really wonderful cake. With my kids now in their early teens I won’t get a chance to see how the flavor of this cake gets better… baked goods never last more than a day now, even a large cake like this… it’s frightening the amount of food they are both consuming. Thanks for sharing this with us on foodie friday.

  2. What a beautiful cake to celebrate the arrival of the autumn season!

  3. Jan Oliver says:

    Just a quick question,did you peel the bananas? I can’t wait to try this recipe it looks delicious.

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