Sticky banoffee cake with salted caramel



150g pitted dates, chopped
125ml boiling water
80ml vegetable oil
150g light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp yoghurt
2 overripe bananas, peeled
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
260g wholemeal flour

For the sauce
3½ tbsp granulated sugar
4 tbsp water
1 tbsp salted butter
4 tbsp whipping cream
Sea salt, for sprinkling




  1. Soak the dates in the boiling water for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 and liberally grease a deep 20cm-diameter cake tin with butter or sunflower oil.
  2.  Put the dates and their soaking water in a food processor and blitz until as smooth as possible. Add the oil, sugar, eggs, yoghurt and bananas, blending until well combined. Whizz in the bicarbonate of soda, salt and flour until just mixed together.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 40–50 minutes until well risen and a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning the cake out on to a wire rack, with a piece of baking parchment underneath the rack.
  4. To make the caramel, heat the sugar with the water in a deep saucepan, stirring until the sugar just dissolves. Continue to heat the mixture, swirling the pan often, but not stirring. Let it caramelise so that the mixture is mostly golden with a few darker areas around the edges of the pan. Add the butter and cream (be careful: it may spit and bubble), reduce the heat and stir until smooth.
  5.  Cook the caramel for a further 5 minutes to help it thicken, then immediately pour it all over the cake. Sprinkle with the salt and leave to cool and set.