This cake is based on a classic Danish recipe (pronounced ‘drummer-kay’), which literally translates as ‘dream cake’. It normally features a plain sponge topped with ludicrous quantities of butter, brown sugar, and coconut (dreamy indeed). But I’ve paired this decadent topping with a light banana sponge, livened up with a spritz of fresh lime. The combination of lime, banana, coconut, and brown sugar. Conjures up a tropical beach and also gives you something excellent to do with those bananas starting to turn brown in the fruit bowl.
For the cake
400g (about 4 medium) very ripe bananas (peeled weight)
finely grated zest of 1 lime and 1 tablespoon juice
140g golden caster sugar
60g coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
220g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon milk
For the topping
80g dark brown soft sugar
60g coconut sugar (or use all brown sugar)
80g desiccated coconut
seeds from 6 cardamom pods (optional), finely ground
Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas mark 5. Grease and line a 20x20cm square cake tin with baking parchment, leaving an overhang on at least two opposite sides that you can later pull up to help get the cake out of the tin.
Lightly mash the bananas with the lime zest and juice – don’t mash too much, there should still be some chunks of banana.
Beat the sugar and eggs in an electric mixer until thick and creamy. Pour in the melted coconut oil and whisk briefly. Fold in the flour, baking powder, and salt, then the mashed banana and the milk and mix until just combined – do not over-mix. Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for 35 minutes, until the cake has risen and started to turn golden and firm up.
While the cake is in the oven, make the topping. Place the butter, brown sugar, coconut sugar (if using), and milk in a saucepan over low heat and heat gently until the butter melts. Increase the heat and bring the butter mixture to the boil, then add the coconut and the cardamom (if using), lower the heat slightly, and simmer for 1 minute, to infuse, then remove the pan from the heat.
Once the cake has been baking for 35 minutes, remove it from the oven and turn the oven up to 220°C/200°C fan/gas mark 7.
Little by little, add the butter topping to the surface of the cake, spreading it out with the back of a spoon with each addition, to cover the cake evenly. When the oven is up to its new temperature, return the cake and bake for a further 5–10 minutes, until the topping is bubbling and caramelized. Remove the cake from the oven, pull it out of the tin by lifting the baking parchment, and leave to cool on a wire rack before serving.