By baker Mike Armstrong

I ALWAYS buy too many bananas with the good intention of being healthy and eating them all, but this lasts only a few days and then I can't be bothered with them.

So what do you do when you have a fruit bowl full of old bananas? In times of baking need there is only one recipe to make – a banana cake. But not any old banana cake...a Fairtrade banana cake.

While I'm on the subject of Fairtrade It was World Fairtrade Day on Saturday May 14 and something I didn't want to miss out on was having the perfect opportunity to use up my bananas and share this wonderful recipe with you, especially if you're not a regular baker.

Bananas are one of the fruits you never need to throw out – even when they are soft, overripe and deeply brown speckled looking, they are just great for cakes and muffins.

But do make sure the bananas are nearly ready to dance out of the fruit bowl and into the oven of their own accord before using them!

Over the years Fairtrade banana cake recipes have been downloaded millions of times, by people around the planet.

My own recipe is a simple one that can be whipped up in no time for a healthy teatime treat.

I'm proud to work for the world's largest retailer of Fairtrade products, Sainsbury's and one of the first supermarkets to switch to selling 100 per cent Fairtrade bananas.

This means when you buy ours or other Fairtrade bananas you're helping growers all around the world get a fair price for their crop.

Haworth, my home village where I was brought up in the heart of Bronte country, was the world's first Fairtrade village in 2002.

Its commitment to Fairtrade principles is inspiring to see and read about, and people who visit the village who wouldn't have known about Fairtrade before, do now.

Also, I must not forget Keighley, a town which joined the Fairtrade global roll of honour in 2014.

I always bake with Fairtrade products when I can, and this recipe produces a wonderfully soft and moist cake with a light texture.

However it is not too sweet, as most banana cake recipes can be over sweetened due to the ripe bananas having lots of natural sugar in them.

This recipe can also make for loads of fun in the kitchen with the little ones joining in and helping to make the cake.

It is a straightforward process and a doddle for the children to mash the bananas up in a little bowl first.

It is also a quick fix for dealing with a toddler's short attention span, and involves very little washing up.

Most children I know are desperately keen to get the apron on and to start baking in the kitchen, just as I was on days when it wasn't possible to get out to the shops.

Once complete, this cake is guaranteed to bring a smile to your lips and happiness to your heart, making this the ideal recipe for any top banana baker!

Banana Cake Recipe - 2lb cake 

100g / 3.5oz softened unsalted butter

175g / 6oz Fairtrade caster sugar

2 Large eggs, beaten

2 Ripe large Fairtrade bananas, mushed

225g / 8oz Self-raising flour

1 Teaspoon baking powder

2 Tablespoons milk


1. Preheat the oven to 180c / gas 4

2. Lightly grease a 2lb loaf tin or similar, then line the base and sides with baking parchment paper

3. Measure all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and beat for around 2 minutes with a wooden spoon, until well blended

4. Spoon the mixture into the tin and level out with the back of the spoon

5. Bake in the middle of the preheated oven for about 1 hour, until well risen and golden brown. A fine skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean if the cake is ready if you're uncertain

6. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out, peel off the parchment paper and finish cooling on a wire rack

Baker Mike top tips

* Try adding a handful of chopped walnuts, or some dark chocolate chips to the mixture

* Make a simple water icing glaze to drizzle over the top, or chocolate buttercream frosting  

* Serve banana cake warm as a pudding with a good dollop of custard

* Over ripened bananas can be frozen in their skins for a rainy day baking project   

* Follow our local Fairtraders on Twitter @haworthfairtrad  @FTKeighley