Another instalment in the “baked goods containing fruit” series features a special request from four year old Ciarán. He often makes requests, fully believing that they are possible. Happily, “banana buns but with icing and bananas on top” was both doable and delicious.
I had promised to make them for about a fortnight until they were finally produced, as soon as the small brother went for a nap we seized the opportunity. I pretty much followed the recipe on the BBC website but in a Nigella-esque move I cheated and put everything into the food processor rather than using the mixer. After I had done this I panicked a little about how much air would get in to the mixture so I added an extra teaspoon of baking powder. It’s easy to let kids help with this recipe as it can’t really go wrong. Obviously they will need supervision with the equipment but they can break the eggs and add everything into the mixer/food processor bowl. I let Ciarán do all the decorating for the first time ever, he was a dab hand with the dollops of icing and really enjoyed it.
Everyone loves a bun with a cup of tea, they were definitely the sweet treat of choice when I was growing up and the boys love them. Kids adore them at birthday parties and you can decorate however you like. The bonus with this recipe is that adding fruit makes them seem healthier, and the banana adds a definite moistness. To keep them more lunchbox friendly don’t ice them.
I just love different buncases, it’s the good offshoot of all these pretty cupcakes that are in fashion that there are so many buncases available now. When I was younger the only ones I remember were the plain white Deeko brand ones, and occasionally at Christmas the ones with holly on them. Now you can get every colour under the sun, stripy ones, dotty ones, ones with balloons and pumpkins, there’s so much choice. I like to mix and match but usually the boys fill the cases into the bun tray and methodically rearrange my choices. They’ve been rearranging my life and my house for four years so I shouldn’t be surprised. Today’s choice were the metallic silver ones that we bought to use for Ciaran’s Knight birthday party (from Barkers’ in Wexford town) and the bright yellow ones that I think came in a Dr Oetker multipack.
140g self raising flour
100g caster sugar
100g butter (this should be soft, room temperature so take it out of the fridge long beforehand)
1 tsp vanilla
1 ripe or dotty banana
(If you are using food processor 1 tsp baking powder.)
150g icing sugar
12 dried banana slices (you’ll get these in the health food aisle in the supermarket)
I used a food processor, but you can use a mixer either. Preheat oven to 180. Put your choice of fabulous buncases into a 12 hole bun tray.
Put everything into food processor/mixer bowl. Whizz/whisk til smooth. Divide equally between the buncases and bake in the oven for about 18–20 minutes until golden brown and springy in the middle.
When they are cooked cool on a wire tray and when cool make the icing by sieving the icing sugar into a small bowl and adding a tiny drop of boiling water and mixing with a fork. Put a dollop of icing on each bun and then top with a dried banana slice. Allow to set before eating.