Banana ice cream with vanilla cakes

Photographer: Emma
Serves 4

Lately meeting new people has gone a little something like this “Hi nice to meet you, did you know that you can make banana ice cream with bananas only?” Since discovering this frozen dessert, I’ve eaten it nearly every evening and it still doesn’t fail to impress me that it contains only one ingredient. Who can say they have eaten ice cream every night for two months without gaining weight? I can!

We had friends round with their kids on Saturday night and as I fed them this banana ice cream I nervously waited for it to be thrown back at me with screams of “this isn’t made with full cream and artificial flavouring” but they ate it… all of it (I admit I did add a little vanilla yoghurt when blending so that’s two ingredients – but I was bringing out the big guns trying to impress).

I’ve teamed this amazing frozen dessert with a simple vanilla cake. It’s a go-to recipe when you need a basic cake batter for any layered cake or upside-down cake.

One of the ingredients in this cake is Jamie Oliver’s ‘vanilla sugar’. Once you’ve made vanilla sugar you will wonder why all sugar isn’t speckled with vanilla bean.

To make the vanilla sugar process 1 vanilla pod (hole) with 2 cups of sugar (white or brown), then put the sugar through a sieve.


For the banana ice cream:
3 bananas, younger bananas = creamier, riper bananas = sweeter
Optional extras: a dash of vanilla extract, a dollop of Greek yoghurt, mascarpone or crème fraiche

For the vanilla cakes:
200g butter
200g vanilla sugar (I used brown sugar)
2 eggs
200g self-raising flour


For the banana ice cream:
1. Put the bananas (in their peel) in the freezer for approximately 5 hours.
2. Peel the bananas (you may need a little paring knife to assist) and pulse in a food processor with the vanilla and yoghurt.
3. Scrape into a container and re-freeze.

For the vanilla cakes:
4. Preheat your oven to 170ºC on bake.
5. Cream the butter and sugar.
6. Add the egg and mix.
7. Add the flour and only just combine.
8. Line 4 little pie tins or large muffin tins with baking paper.
9. Divide the mixture evenly between the tins.
10. Bake for 10-15mins depending on the size of your tin. The top should be just starting to turn golden and a skewer will come out clean.
11. Turn out the cakes onto a bowl or plate and serve warm with the banana ice cream.