a cake for the weekend :: banana primrose lemon cake


It’s been a while since I posted a cake for the weekend, but I have a particularly scrumptious cake to share with you today. Last year, I made a Simnel Cake, and decorated it with crystallised primroses. It was the first time that I’d used primroses on a cake, and I was delighted with the result. A week or so ago, I saw a picture on Instagram of a Banana Primrose Lemon cake, and became I slightly obsessed with the idea of recreating it.



After some experimenting, I came up with this. It’s rather rustic in appearance (reminiscent of my Elderflower and Gooseberry cake, in fact). My icing is generally slapdash at best, and on this particular occasion, I was being heckled by three small hungry boys, desperate for the first slice. Nevertheless, it’s a sumptuous affair, and what it lacks in beauty, it more than makes up for in taste- this is one delicious cake!bananaprimroselemoncake-3

The mellow sweetness of the banana sponge is beautifully complemented by the lemony buttercream and the citrus zing of the icing. The scattering of primroses makes for a cake that is pretty, spring-like and altogether lovely. It will keep well for for a few days in an airtight tin (assuming that it lasts that long!)

Banana Primrose Lemon Cake

2 cups of plain flour + 1 cup of white spelt flour (or use 3 cups of plain if you prefer)

1 tsp bicarb

1/2 tsp baking power

250g butter

2 cups sugar

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cups mashed, ripe banana (approx 4 bananas)

1 teaspoon cider vinegar + 250ml whole milk (or 8 tbsp buttermilk)

zest of 1 lemon


150g butter

300g icing sugar + another 300g (approx)

juice of 1 lemon

Freshly picked primroses to decorate


Grease and line two 9 inch x 2 inch cake pans. Preheat the oven to 160 c

First, make the buttermilk. You can use bought buttermilk if you have it, but I tend to cheat like this: pour 1tsp cider (or white wine) vinegar into a cup. Fill the cup with full-fat milk and leave to sour whilst you get on with the rest of the cake.

Sift together the flours, bicarb and baking powder in a small bowl.

Cream the butter and sugar (by hand, or in a food mixer). Add the eggs, one by one, beating after each addition. Add the banana and the lemon zest, and mix.

Gently stir in the flour mixture, and measure in 8 tbsps of buttermilk (either bought, or homemade). Stir to combine.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared tins and bake for 35-40 minutes (or until a cake tester comes out clean).

{This makes a rather large cake. If you don’t have big enough tins, you can always use smaller ones and fill a few muffin cases with the excess batter.}

Allow the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the lemon buttercream filling, beat 150g butter until soft. Slowly beat in 300g sifted icing sugar. Add a few splashes of lemon juice, and beat until it has a soft consistency.

Spread the buttercream over one of the cakes, then sandwich the other half on top. (If you are more of a perfectionist than I am, you may wish to trim the tops of the cakes using a serrated knife so that they are flat.)

To make the lemon icing, put 1 tsp recently-boiled water in a bowl and add 300g sieved icing sugar. Stir, and slowly add lemon juice until you have a thick, but still just about pourable consistency.

Spread the icing over the cake using a palette knife (warming the knife with boiled water makes it easier to spread).

Finally, prepare the primroses by removing the stalks, and trimming the flowers until they are almost flat. Place them gently on to the cake.

Admire its delicate beauty, then devour with gusto, ideally in the spring sunshine!

{Cake inspired by Amy. Recipe adapted from More from Magnolia by Allysa Torey)


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