Banana Loaf

This banana loaf is moist and full of flavour.  It can be frozen very successfully so I usually make two at a time and freeze one for later.

500 ml flour

125 g butter

2 eggs, beaten

4 bananas, mashed

250 ml sugar

7.5 ml baking powder

5 ml bicarbonate of soda

1 ml salt

60 ml water

Cream butter and sugar together.  Add mashed bananas and beat well.  Add beaten eggs.

Sift the flour and salt and add to the mixture with bicarb dissolved in the water.  Lastly add the baking powder.  Spoon batter into a greased and lined loaf pan.

Bake in a moderate oven (180 C) for about an hour.


Beat and Bake Lemon Loaf

This cake is so quick and easy to make and is deliciousy light.  Everything gets thrown in a bowl and mixed together.  What could be more simple?  Even the icing on top takes the minimum of effort.  It freezes well too.  Double the recipe and make two if you wish and keep one in the freezer for when you need a cake in a hurry.

125 grams very soft butter

180 grams flour

180 grams sugar

10 ml baking powder

2 eggs

125 ml milk

5 ml vanilla essence

Put all ingredients in a bowl and beat well for 3 minutes.  Pour into a greased and lined loaf pan and bake at 180 C for approximately 55 minutes.

For the icing mix icing sugar and lemon juice together and spread over the cake once it has cooled.

Spicy Pineapple-Zucchini Bread

This is a delicious loaf cake which I found in a book called “Sunset Cookbook of Breads”.  It is nice and moist and full of flavour and keeps well.  This recipe makes 2 loaves so you can keep one in the freezer for another time.  The recipe can be halved but I always like to make two and have one on standby in the freezer.

3 eggs

250 ml oil

500 ml sugar

10 ml vanilla essence

500 ml zucchini (baby marrow/courgettes) unpeeled and coarsely grated

1 can crushed pineapple, well drained

750 ml flour

10 ml bicarbonate of soda

5 ml salt

3 ml baking powder

7 ml ground cinnamon

4 ml ground nutmeg

250 ml currants

250 ml pecans or walnuts, chopped

In a large bowl beat the eggs until frothy, add oil, sugar and vanilla and continue beating until mixture is thick and foamy.  Stir in zucchini and pineapple.

In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, nuts and currants until thoroughly blended.  Stir gently into zucchini mixture just until blended.  Spoon batter equally into two greased and flour-dusted 9 x 5 inch (23 x 12,7 cm) loaf pans.

Bake at 180 C for 1 hour or until breads begin to pull away from sides of pans and a skewer comes out clean.

Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto racks to cool completely.

Makes 2 loaves

Spicy Buttermilk Fruit Loaf

I love spices in cake and this one is full of spices and fruit.  I found this recipe in the “You” Magazine of 8th August 2002 (one of the two magazines I used to buy on a regular basis – but now only occasionally – and always tore out and kept all the recipes from them).  The recipes in both these magazines (You” and “Your Family”) are sent in by readers and they are tested by the magazines.  I have made this one many times over.  It reminds me of a boston loaf which is also made in a jam jar, giving perfectly round slices.  It is delicious served with butter.

500 ml flour

125 ml butter

250 ml sugar

5 ml bicarbonate of soda

10 ml mixed spice

5 ml cinnamon

3 ml nutmeg

125 ml currants

125 ml candied peel, finely chopped (or 125 g chopped dates)

15 ml syrup or honey

300 ml buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 180 C and grease two large jam or fruit tins (10 cm diameter and 11.5 cm high) with butter or nonstick spray.  Line the base of each with baking parchment or greaseproof paper and grease as well.

Sift the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter.

Add the sugar, bicarbonate of soda, spices, currants and candied peel (or dates) and mix well.  I never seem to have peel so I always use dates which are perfect in this cake.  Mix the syrup or honey with the buttermilk and add to the flour mixture, stirring until blended.

Turn the batter into the prepared tins and bake.  The recipe says to bake for an hour and a half but I find an hour is more than sufficient.  As all ovens are different just test it with a skewer and when it comes out clean it is done.

Cool in the tin for 15 minutes before turning out.  Leave to cool completely and serve the slices with butter.

Carrot Cake

This carrot cake is one of many I have tried and I have always had very good results with it.  The recipe was published in “You” Magazine 10 years ago.  I have reduced the amount of sugar in it and it tastes just fine with less, especially with icing on it.

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake 1

3 extra-large eggs

300 ml sugar

250 ml oil

750 ml grated carrots

400 g cake flour

7 ml baking powder

5 ml bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

7 ml ground cinnamon

3 ml salt

100 g raisins, soaked in enough boiling water to cover themCarrot Cake 2

100 g pecan nuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180 C and spray a 23-cm ring cake tin with nonstick spray.

Beat the eggs and add small quantities of the sugar at a time, beating continuously until all the sugar has been added.

Add the oil and carrots, mixing well.  Drain the raisins and add.  Sift in the cake flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and salt, and mix.  Add the chopped nuts, if using, mix and turn the batter into the prepared ring cake tin.  Bake for about 1 hour or until done.

Cool, turn out and decorate with the following cottage cheese icing.


50 ml smooth cottage cheese

25 ml soft butter

3 ml vanilla essence

7 ml grated orange rind

375 ml icing sugar, sifted

Beat the cottage cheese and butter together until well blended and add the vanilla essence and orange rind.  Blend in the icing sugar and decorate the cake.

Tangy Lemon Slices

This is a three layered slice, with a lemon curd centre.  It is not difficult to make but because there are three layers it takes slightly longer to make than an average cake, but well worth the effort.  This recipe appeared in South Africa’s “Your Family” magazine in 1987.  The only change I have made is to use slightly less lemon juice but that is really a matter of taste.

Tangy Lemon Dreams 5


150 g butter

100 g castor sugar

grated rind of 1 lemon

1 extra-large egg, beaten

250 g flour

4 extra-large eggs

180 ml sugar

125 ml fresh lemon juice (I now use 100 ml plus 25 ml water because I found it a bit too tart)

12,5 ml cornflour

25 ml water


100 g butter

200 g flour

50 g castor sugar

50 g ground almonds (Once when I had no ground almonds I used 50 g maizemeal and 1 ml almond essence and it worked perfectly.)


sifted icing sugar

Tangy Lemon Dreams 1

Step 1: Base

Step 1:  BASE

Cream butter, castor sugar and lemon rind until light and creamy.  Beat in egg.  Gradually work in flour until mixure forms a firm dough.

Tangy Lemon Dreams 2

Step 2: Filling

Step 2: FILLING:

Whisk eggs and sugar until pale and thick. Gradually beat in lemon juice. Pour into saucepan. Mix cornflour with water and add to mixture. Stir over heat until mixture boils and thickens.

Tangy Lemon Dreams 3

Step 3: Spoon onto baked crust

Step 3:

Spoon filling onto baked crust and spread evenly.

Tangy Lemon Dreams 4

Step 4: Topping

Step 4:  TOPPING

Rub butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.  Stir in sugar and almonds.  Sprinkle over filling, pat down slightly and bake at 180 C for a further 15 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.  Remove from the oven and leave in tin to cool.   Once cool sift icing sugar over the top and cut into squares.

Strawberry Cheesecake

We had a few friends round for sundowners and snacks last night so I decided to make this cheesecake for dessert.  I have passed this recipe over in my recipe book many times and promised myself that I would make it one day.  That day finally arrived.  It was well received by the guests so I will mark this one as being successful.

Strawberry Cheesecake 4

Strawberry Cheesecake glaze

Strawberry Cheesecake glaze

Strawberry Cheesecake 1Strawberry Cheesecake 2



1 packet (200 g) Tennis biscuits (or equivalent sweet biscuit)

soft butter (I used about 100 g for three-quarters of a packet of biscuits)

250 ml fresh cream

1 can condensed milk, sweetened

250 g creamed cottage cheese

125 ml lemon juice

10 ml gelatine powder

25 ml cold water

50 ml boiling water

10- 20 ml cornflour

1 can strawberries or gooseberries

Crush approximately three-quarters of a packet of Tennis biscuits and add the soft or melted butter.  Press into the bottom of a deep pie dish and put in the fridge.  (I think next time I will use the whole packet for a slightly thicker crust.)

Dissolve the gelatine in 25 ml cold water and add 50 ml boiling water.  Allow to cool.

While this is cooling beat the cream until it is no longer runny but not too stiff.  Add the condensed milk and cottage cheese and beat until light and fluffy.  Add the lemon juice and mix.

Now add the cooled gelatine mixture to the creamy mixture.  Pour onto the biscuit base and allow to set in the fridge.

Drain the berries, retain the juice and place the fruit on top of the cake which has been allowed to set.

Bring the juice to the boil, adding cornflour which has been dissolved in a little cold water.  (The amount of cornflour you use depends on how much juice is in the can.)

Stir over the heat for about a minute until it thickens.  Allow it to cool and pour over the berries.

Return it to the fridge and serve when set.