Eats, Recipes
Comments 19

Banana Hakanoa Mini Cakes


I’m one of those optimists who buy fruit with hopes of eating well, but the moment the fruit gets home, it loses it’s appeal. The longer I leave it, the less I want to eat it. It’s a problem and I’m working on it.

The four bananas on the banana stand were queuing up to enter the blacklist so I decided to quickly do something about them. I heard rumours that banana cakes and muffins were good for baking noobs like me. Baking isn’t my thing. I am slowly but surely getting there. I admit, I’m not a natural.

I’ve raved about Hakanoa Ginger Syrup before and gave away a big bottle to celebrate this blog’s second birthday. This organic sugar syrup is really versatile and delicious and makes a great gift for yourself or for a ginger loving foodie in your life. I have to be honest, I usually use this syrup to add dimension to savoury dishes. Equal quantities of Hakanoa Ginger Syrup, soy sauce and oil make for a quick and yummy marinade for steak or chicken. Hakanoa made the news last year with their “Swap a Ginger” promotion. I thought it was genius but like many genius ideas, some took offense to it.

“Made from filtered water, organic fairtrade raw sugar, fresh ginger, organic dried ginger, organic sultanas and fresh lemon juice.”

Anyway, inspired by my blackening bananas and Hakanoa Ginger Syrup, I adapted this recipe from the banana muffin recipe from Chelsea Sugar. With a thick layer of cream cheese frosting, these mini cakes are incredibly moist and decadent. They are not suitable for breakfast or a casual snack.


Banana Hakanoa Mini Cakes

Ingredients Mini cakes

4 ripe bananas, mashed

2 tablespoons Hakanoa Ginger Syrup

1 1/2 cups plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

A pinch of salt

1/2 cup white sugar 

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 egg, beaten

Cream cheese frosting

1 cup icing sugar (confectioner’s or powdered)

50 grams butter (half a stick)

Half packet cream cheese (about 125 grams / 4.5oz)


  1. Take the cream cheese and butter out of the fridge to warm to room temperature.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C / 355°F
  3. In a large bowl, sift flower, baking power, baking soda and salt. Stir until well combined
  4. In a smaller bowl, combine mashed bananas, ginger syrup, beaten egg and melted butter. Mix.
  5. Pour wet mixture into the dry mixture and fold until *just* combined. Do not over-mix.
  6. Oil, butter or non-stick baking spray a 12up muffin tray. Carefully spoon the batter into the tray and bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Remove cakes from tray and leave on a cooling rack. Once cool enough to touch, place in freezer for 10 minutes or fridge for half an hour.
  8. In the mean time, cut the cream cheese and butter into small cubes and put into a small bowl. Add the icing sugar and then mix, mix, mix until smooth. I used a butter knife but I’m sure a spatula will work too.
  9. Once the cakes have cooled to a temperature that doesn’t threaten to melt the frosting, smear the top of each cake with a thick layer of frosting. Smoosh around until it looks to your liking. I’m not a fancy piping bag kind of person. Maybe you are?
  10. Eat immediately or refrigerate until the time has come to enjoy. Serve to awesome people only.

sweet-nzThis post is a Sweet NZ entry. Sweet NZ is another monthly event started right here in Auckland by Alessandra Zecchini and celebrates sweet treats by New Zealand bloggers. This month’s host is Lesley from Eat Etc.


  1. OMG, that bunny looks totally like a chia pet!
    Good thing you gave the warning that the cakes are unsuitable as breakfast, you’ve likely saved many from that dangerous mistake!
    Love the cream cheese icing.

  2. Oh man that look so delicious! I have a half eaten banana and chocolate chip cake in my fridge. I suddenly feel like making some frosting and devouring a piece 🙂

  3. These look so amazing!!! Speaking of ginger, I am going to attempt to make my own ginger beer. I will do cheese this month and ginger beer for next. Good looking bunny 😉

  4. These are very cute. I wasn’t a big fan of the ad campaign, but I love the sound of this syrup…and this recipe. And more ideas for what to bake with aging bananas is never a bad thing!

  5. Ooh the syrup sounds awesome, will have to look out for it on my next road trip. (We only have a 4square here). The mini cakes sound yum too, I have so many over-ripe bananas in my freezer that I really should start using up.

    • Hi Linda! Hakanoa Ginger Syrup can be shipped anywhere in NZ so if you don’t make it on a road trip anywhere soon or can’t wait, that’s a good option.

    • Hakanoa is a great ingredient to play around with both sweet and savoury. Especially now that you have finished your 6 months of Madhur. Awesome concept by the way. I’ve never done a cooking club. Sounds intriguing.

I love your comments! Your comments are like extra melted cheese on top.

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