I went on this eggless quest after finding out that out my daughter was allergic to eggs. Luckily, this lasted only for the first three years of her life and she’s now outgrown the allergy. However, my affinity for eggless cakes remained as I found they dry out a lot less than those with eggs and have a more moist and dense flavour.
Whenever I look for a recipe for the first time I hunt quite a bit and scour many many recipes across multiple pages on Google until I come across one in which the ingredients sing to me. So about seven years ago I came across this Paula Deen recipe which I started making and it’s amazing but as usual after getting the hang of a recipe I start making adjustments to suit my preferences. My cakes usually cut down on the sugar (big time) and if walnuts or any of the good stuff is involved, I throw in more, more, more.
When I had to make the cake eggless, I experimented with just two ingredients. Yoghurt and water, and voila! It worked, and if I may say so, much better than the egg version. The only thing with eggless cakes, especially one this dense with the banana paste, you have to add more baking soda to get the lift. The general rule of thumb I read somewhere, was approximately one teaspoon of baking soda per cup of flour. You can even bake the whole lot in a square 8-inch cake tin for an hour at 180°C or divided into two 8-inch diameter round tins for about 40 minutes.
So that’s what I did and here’s the result. It seemed to work for my kids. The little 6-year-old monkey called it ‘stupendous’ (how does she even know the word!). Got an ‘awesome’ from the older one and apparently a ‘delightful’ from a friend whom he had taken one for. Maybe they’re just testing their vocabulary and they want to make their mother happy because well, if the mom’s happy, everyone’s happy eh! Here goes.
Ingredients (makes 20)
4 large ripe bananas
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar finely powdered (use the grinder in a mixie)
3 level tsp baking soda
1 heaped tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup thick yoghurt
1/2 cup water
150 gms walnuts roughly chopped
75 gms mini dark chocolate chips
(All cup measurements are of standard measuring cups)
Get Started (pictorial steps below)
- Preheat the oven to 180° centigrade. Only the bottom heating should be on.
- Line two 12-muffin tins with paper muffin cups.
- Mash the bananas till smooth and paste like. Set aside.
- Sift the flour, baking soda, salt into a mixing bowl. Add sugar and cinnamon powder.
- Mix the yoghurt, and water and add to the oil.
- Combine the oil mixture and the banana paste with the flour mix.
- Beat well till well mixed and moist. It may seem a bit dry at first but with proper mixing it will come together properly.
- Add the walnuts and chocolate chips and mix well.
- Using a regular sized ice-cream scoop take level portions and fill the muffin cups. You’ll get exactly 20 muffins.
- Bake in the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes. Insert a skewer or toothpick into the muffin. It should come out clean.
You can have them immediately if you want. Warm muffins are amazing. However, these taste as good cool, but if refrigerating them, microwave for 20 seconds before eating.
If you live in cold climate, keep them out in an airtight box for a couple of days and then refrigerate if they last that long. If you live in a hot and humid place, put the muffins in an airtight box and refrigerate within a couple of hours.
Important notes: The most important thing to note when baking is to Know Your Oven. Every oven behaves differently. Mine is a large oven so the heat gets dispersed over a larger area. Smaller ovens would probably heat up more as there is higher concentration of heat in that area, so pay attention to your baking for the first time so that you can judge for yourself how long it takes to bake, even though you have been given baking timings in recipes. This knowledge is critical for your baking success.
The sugar should be of fine quality so that it dissolves well in the cake batter. I don’t use castor sugar and mostly whack my sugar in the mixie grinder and then add the powdered form to the batter. However, please don’t replace icing sugar with ground sugar for frostings.