Guilt-Free Rainy Day Cake

The weather’s been pretty changeable this month. It may be a gorgeous sunny day or it may be piddling from the heavens. Some days you’ll feel like using all the fruit you’ve bought and some days not so. And on the days it’s cold you’d probably like something more substantial than a fruit salad. I know I do.

I’ve have been eating lots of sweet things lately but this at least is reasonably healthy and it’s a great way of using up fruit that’s just a little over-ripe. There are other recipes here that are good for using up bananas (I love the vegan soft fruit cookies but I was out of lemons and oranges) but this recipe is also useful for using up lots of fruit together. For example, I had a bunch of grapes that definitely were just 1 day away from needing to be binned and I had a few strawberries that weren’t quite sweet enough to be enjoyed by themselves and it was too cold to just have them with a sprinkle of sugar.

I must admit I’ve added a little too much cake topping to the fruit base in this pudding but the bananas also had to be used up that day or never so… It would be better to have added a whole punnet of strawberries and all the grapes but I only had the amount of strawberries I had. But as is it’s still a nice treat and the point of this recipe is really about making something sweet and comforting that uses up (over)ripe fruit.

You can make this using just 2 bananas obviously you will need to reduce the amount of egg and almonds. The cake topping is sweet but it is also necessary as a cover for the fruit base. You cook the cake at a moderate temperature (140 – 160C) so the fruit stews slowly, developing all its lovely sweetness. The cake topping acts like a lid for the stew.

I discovered this way of cooking cakes back in 2008 when I was doing a strict detox this is one of the few “detox” recipes that I regularly make ever since. Especially in the autumn with just apples or pears (and lots and lots of cinnamon and sometimes mixed spice) it’s so sweet. Did I mention it’s refined-sugar-free, dairy-free and gluten-free? It is.

It works with lots of different fruit but the fruit does need to have some sourness. If you were to add blueberries for instance, you would need to add lemon juice (and I’d add the zest too) because otherwise it would taste way too bland.

ingredients for strawberry grape cake
Bananas, eggs, ground almonds, salt, red grapes, strawberries, vanilla and a little sunflower oil for greasing the baking dish.

Guilt-Free Rainy Day Cake

Guilt-Free Rainy Day Cake


  • 1 punnet strawberries
  • sweet red grapes
  • 6 ripe medium-sized bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 175g ground almonds
  • small pinch finely-ground salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • cinnamon (to taste)


  1. Slice the strawberries and grapes and add to a greased baking dish.
  2. Mash the bananas to a smooth gooey consistency. In a bowl mix together well with eggs, almonds, salt, vanilla and cinnamon.
  3. Layer the cake topping over the fruit and bake in a moderate oven for 1 hour.
  4. When done, take out from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes. Lovely with a cuppa :)

The banana cake layer turns quite grey during cooking so I add a lot of cinnamon to counteract this. Also, I love cinnamon. If you're not a fan of it I'd still suggest adding a little - for some reason its taste never stands out in this.
The banana cake layer turns quite grey during cooking so I add a lot of cinnamon (1/2 – 1 teaspoon) to counteract this. Also, I love cinnamon. If you’re not a fan of it I’d still suggest adding a little – for some reason its taste never stands out in this.
cake ready for baking
Ready for baking.
cake baked
The fruit juices always bubble up around the edges of the cake while baking adding a gorgeous fruity toffee texture to the edges. Love it.
chunk of cake
By the time my rainy day cake was done, it had stopped raining. Typical.

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butternut Written by:

I was a vegetarian for 4 - 5 years in my late teens. A very unhealthy vegetarian. Never cooked any proper meals. I set up this blog with the intention of adding more vegetables to my diet but it occurred to me recently I'm also kind of talking to the unhealthy vegetarian teenager I once was.