Cakes, Cookies, Pies

Banana drop cookies

One of our friends, who had helped us in everything for the last 9 months of our stay here, has been admitted to the hospital due to an emergency. It was heart breaking to see him lie down in the hospital. He is a very cheerful and happy-to-be-around kind of guy. We were with him and his family all the weekend and we visit him daily now. So I wanted to take something for him yesterday and I remembered he loved the cakes that I prepare. But instead of cakes, I thought these cookies would be best thing to take to the hospital. He and his family loved it very much. I hope he gets well soon.

Aruna mailed me this recipe many days back. Here is what she has to say about it “These are moist and flavorful like little cakes. This is from the sugar packet I purchased. The product name is Bayview and this recipe was posted on it. Since you received request to post such quick recipes, I thought I should send it to you. What I am writing to you is exactly what is written on the cover. I used half of the proportion they mentioned. It turned out to be excellent. Should stay good outside at least for 3-4 days. My son who is a cocoa fan, and generally does not like things without cocoa, liked it very much. Do give a try. Hope you try in half the quantity, in case they turn out to be more also you can freeze the same and microwave the same at the time of eating.”.

Thanks Aruna for the recipe.

Granulated sugar 1 1/2 cups
2/3 cup
Vanilla extract 1 tsp
Eggs 2
Mashed ripe banana 1 cup (3 to 4 medium)
All purpose flour 2 1/4 cups
Baking powder 2 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Baking soda 1/4 tsp
Chopped nuts (optional) 1 cup
Cinnamon powder 1/2 tsp

I prepared only half the quantity. Reduced the banana to 1 because I don’t like the heavy banana flavor. I did not use baking soda. I didn’t use nuts.

Preheat oven to 400 F.
Grease cookie sheets. In a large bowl, beat 1 1/4 cups sugar, shortening and vanilla untill fluffy. Beat in eggs, then bananas.
Combine flour, baking powder, salt and soda. Beat into sugar mixture. Stir in nuts.

Chill 30 minutes. Drop by teaspoon 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.

Combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon, sprinkle over cookies.

Bake 10-12 min or untill lightly browned.

Makes 5 dozen.
Preparation time : 10mins (excluding the baking and ‘standing’ time)

Since I like slightly hard cookies, after the first batch, I added 1/2 cup flour and 2 tea spns of sugar to make a thick dough. The cookies became hard(the way I like them).

In the above picture, the left cookies are the one with the above recipe and the right ones are hard(with my twist).

Moist chocolate cake(Eggless)

Usually whenever I try new recipes from other food blogs, I update “from other blogs” link which I created recently. But since many of my readers had asked for this recipe, I thought of posting it here.

Few days back I had tried preparing chocolate cake without eggs. It came out well, but had completely forgotten the measurements I used. So when I saw Priya’s chocolate cake, I gave it a try and I loved it very much. Thanks Priya.

One thing I have to learn is decorating the cakes. As soon as I baked it, I tried decorating it and the icing melted due to hot cake :(. May be next time when I prepare it again, I will change the pictures.

All purpose flour 1 and 1/2 cups
Cocoa powder 3 tea spns
Baking soda 1 tea spn
Salt 1/4 tea spn
Water 1 cup
Sugar 1 cup
Vanilla extract 1/2 tea spn
Vinegar 1 tea spn
Oil 1/4 cup

Mix water, sugar, oil, vanilla and vinegar till the sugar completely dissolves.
Sift together flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda.
Add the flour mix to the liquid mixture one table spoon at a time. Mix well to form a uniform dough.

Preheat the oven for 10mins at 350F.
Grease the oven proof dish or line with a parchment paper. Pour the dough.

Bake in oven at 350F for around 40mins or till a knife inserted comes out clean.

Serve it cold.

Preparation time : 50mins

Banana cake with rava (Eggless)

This recipe is from Deepa. Just 4 months back, I didn’t know about her. Since then, I interacted a few times and absolutely loved to get emails from her. When I came to know she is from my neighboring state Goa, I requested her to send some authentic Goan recipes. She sent two recipes, one was the prawn balchuan and the second was ‘banana cake’. She even mentioned that “It’s a different way of making a cake, with rava instead of flour”, but somehow, I just missed that line. But last week I was going through some of my old emails and I read more cautiously this time and was amazed to see a cake recipe without flour.

I have been going through different food blogs and saw dishes from different parts of India. But couldn’t find any Goan recipes. So this is my entry from beautiful Goa for the Independence day parade.

I baked this one today, just to be sent to the parade. I wanted to decorate it like Indian flag, but didn’t manage to get it right. When I bought different colored icings from Walmart, the lady on the counter asked me – “planning to decorate cake?”. I said “Yes, I am trying to learn”. She said “Don’t worry, however it looks, it will taste great”. That time I was 100% sure that I can decorate it well. Today I realized whatever she said was correct. I think I still have to try a lot before learning to decorate :(.

Before this, I tried two varieties of banana cakes, this and with Pushpa’s recipe. Both were amazing. What makes this cake different is the amazing aroma of cardamom and no egg in it.

Ripe bananas 3
Rava (wheat sooji) 1 cup
Sodium-bi-carb(baking soda) 1/2 tsp
Cardomom powder 1/2 tsp
Coconut milk 2 cups
Sugar 1/2 cup
Cashewnuts 1 tsp

I did not add salt and used 1 tea spn baking powder instead of baking soda.

Roast rava over low heat in a kadai until aroma wafts from pan. Soak the rava in coconut milk for 2 hours.
Mash the bananas and add to rava along with sugar. Add soda, salt and cardamom powder. Mix the cashews. Apply little ghee to cake mould (I used parchment paper in the baking tray), pour in the mixture.

Preheat the oven at 350F for 10mins. Bake for around 35mins at 350 F or until a knife put in center comes out clean.

Decorate in whatever way required (optional).

Makes 8 pieces
Preparation time : 10min (excluding the baking time).



‘Nankatayi’ or Nankatai can be called as Indian biscuits(cookies). I had thought this is a Konkani name, but recently I came across this name in many of the food blogs. So I guess this dish does not need any introduction.

When I was a kid, I was a big fan of Nankatayi. We had the round oven aluminum base and glass top, I haven’t seen any such ovens anywhere these days. It used to take ages to bake anything and with the power fluctuations and power cuts at our hometown, things became worst over time. After getting the oven repaired for many times, finally mom stopped using it.

Her Nankatayis were the best I have ever had. I guess it is mostly because of the prolonged procedure she used to follow. She used to make the dough in the morning and start baking in the evening, allowing the dough to stand for 4-5 hrs. When I prepared them here, I cut down the standing time to 30mins (because I was in a hurry). Still they turned out great.

Mix all ingredients and keep it aside. (Usually the dough comes out very loose. This time somehow I got it quite wet).
Make nankatayi. Bake till they get cracks on top.
nankatayi2 nankatayi3


Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 2 dozen (approx)


  • 2 cups maida/all purpose flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup vanaspati vegetable shortening or ghee
  • 1 tea spn baking soda
  • 1/4 tea spn cardamom powder optional


  • Heat vanaspati/ghee till it melts and add it to flour.
  • Mix all other ingredients. (Do not add water).
  • Take all the mixture to one side of the bowl (press it using hand, there should not be any gaps in the dough).
  • Leave the mixture for 4-5 hrs.
  • Make small rounds with the mixture. Sometimes the dough breaks easily while making balls. So apply a bit of ghee to the hands and apply pressure with hands while making the balls.
  • Keep the balls on a greased oven proof dish (or on a parchment paper).
  • Bake in preheated oven at 300F for around 30-40 mins (till the nankatayis get a few cracks on the top).


Banana-carrot cake

I had a large stock of bananas and carrots with me and that was the time I was learning to bake the cakes. Before that I never knew about carrot cakes. Thanks to google, I found a recipe for banana-carrot cake. It looked very easy. So I baked it.

Grated carrots make this cake very very soft and tasty. One piece of this cake leaves you with full stomach. These days I bake a lot of carrot cakes since I keep a big stock of carrots always :). I will share some of them in coming days.

In the above picture, I have applied a bit of pink cream on the cake, it was just for fun :D.

Madhura baked this cake recently and sent me the gorgeous looking cake picture which I have pasted below. I didn’t know this cake can look so good :D. Thanks Madhura.

All purpose flour or maida 1 and 1/2 cup
Sugar 1 cup
Mashed ripe banana (about 2 bananas) 1 cup
Oil 1/2 cup
Eggs 3
Baking powder 2 tea spns
Salt 1/2 tea spn
Cinnamon 1 tea spn
Grated carrot (about 3 med. carrots) 1 cup
Chopped nuts(optional) 1/3 cup

Beat together sugar, banana and oil. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon mix well. Stir in carrots.
Pour into greased baking dish. Sprinkle nuts.
Bake 40 to 45 minutes at 350ºF (or until a knife or skewer inserted in the center comes out clean).

Makes 10 to 12 pieces
Preparation time : 1 hr

Fruit Gateau (A fruity cake)

fruit gateau

I thought of this recipe while searching for a suitable entry for JFI for Strawberries. I had baked this cake a few days back also, with different kinds of fruit. But this time, I used only Strawberries. The original version does not include any dry fruits, but I used cashews to give the crunchy taste to the cake.

I am a big fan of moist cakes. Since this is soaked with juice, it gets the amazing taste and the fruits make the crunchy. I should say this is the most delicious ‘moist cake’ I have ever baked :). Try it once and you will fall in love with it.

All purpose flour or Maida 1 and 1/2 cup
Eggs 4
Baking powder 1 and 1/2 tea spn
Sugar 3/4 cup
Oil 3/4 cup
Vanilla essence(or extract) 2 tea spns
Orange juice 3/4 cup
Fresh cream(chilled) 1 cup
Sugar 4 tbl spns
Fresh fruits(Strawberries, grapes, kiwi, oranges etc) 1 cup
Dry fruits (Walnuts, cashew nuts) 2 tbl spns

Seive flour and baking powder and keep aside.
Beat sugar and eggs till the volume is nearly 4 times. Add 1 tea spn essence/extract and mix. Add oil gradually, beating the mixture all the time.
Add the flour, one table spoon at a time, beating very slowly.
Pour the mixture in an oven proof baking dish.
Bake it in preheated oven at 350F for 35-40min (or till a knife/skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean).
Cut the fruits into very small pieces.
Cool the cake for 5-10mins. Remove it from the baking dish. Cut the cake into two halves and soak both the pieces with orange juice.
Beat the cream with sugar and 1 tea spn of vanilla essence till soft peaks are formed. Chill.

fruit gateau1 fruit gateau2
Keep the bottom piece on a serving plate, spread the cream over it. Spread the fruits over the cream.
Spread the cream on the second piece and invert it carefully on the fruits on the first piece. Press well.
Now, decorate the cake with remaining cream and fruits.
Chill the cake and serve.

Makes 8 slices
Preparation time : 1 Hr

Updated on Aug 20-2007:
Another way of decorating this cake can be seen here.


Date Cake (Eggless)

This is a cake recipe I got from my pachi(mom’s sister). She has an amazing collection of very easy and very tasty food. One among them is this cake. The cake mix requires hardly 2-3 steps and you will have a cake with amazing taste :).

This is one of the dishes she always prepared for any parties at her home. It became so popular that everybody started asking her for this recipe. It spread in her circle of friends and relatives like a wild fever. After a few days everybody was baking this cake at their home. There is a tradition in their family to send food items, mostly sweets or some other special dishes, to friends and relatives occasionally -once in a month or so. After this ‘cake fever’, everybody was finding this cake in the box sent to them. Finally Pachi was so bored of eating it, she had to stop baking this.

When I started baking, I prepared this once and took it to office. Again, the ‘cake fever’ was spread in the office. Everybody who tasted the cake thought I bought it from the store and was bluffing about having baked it myself!!!. So be careful when you are baking this, you might start a ‘cake fever’ again :D.

This cake tastes great when served with vanilla icecream.

18 dates(Khajoor)
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour or maida
1/2 cup oil
1 tea spn baking soda
1 tbl spn cashews, walnuts(optional)

PS: If you use ‘baking powder’ instead of ‘baking soda’, cake becomes a bit harder.

Soak the dates in warm milk overnight (I usually don’t soak the dates since I use the seedless dates, I just heat milk and dates for few minutes or microwave them so that dates becomes soft and help in grinding). Remove the seeds. Add sugar and grind them to a smooth paste along with the milk in which it is soaked in. Add oil and mix.
Sieve together flour and baking soda. Add the flour one table spoon at a time and mix slowly. Add the nuts and mix.

Preheat the oven at 350F. Bake the cake in a greased oven proof dish for 35-40min (or till a knife inserted in the cake comes out clean).

Makes 8 large pieces
Preparation time : 45min

Updated pictures on Feb 17th 2008 :
PS: The color of the cake largely depends on the dates used. I have made it with different varieties of dates and sometimes it turns out black and sometimes it is very light in color. So do not panic if your cake does not look exactly like mine.

In above picture, I have used buttercream icing for decoration.

One change I made this time is, I didn’t add oil. It was a bit less dense, but the taste was still great. So I think I will be baking the low calorie version, ie without oil hereafter. All other ingredients quantity remain same.

Simple egg cake

Simple Egg Cake
Simple Egg Cake

Sharing the cake recipes, that I have tried recently, was on my to-do list for a long time. I thought may be I can start with this cake. I have posted banana cake recipe a few days back, but this will be the first recipe anybody will give you, if you want to learn baking cakes).

I am successfully pursuing the baking art and its whole and sole credit should go to my Pachi(Aayi’s sister). When I was a kid, many times I observed her baking some delicious cakes. I always wondered, ‘How she manages to do that? Only professional bakers are supposed to do that!!! Its such a big procedure’. I never thought one day I would bake cakes!!. I never even tried to ask her about the recipe.

Then when we got our first oven, Pachi gave me this recipe. I prepared it and it was so good and it was so easy :D. Still this cake is on my favorite list.

1 cup butter
1 and 1/4 cups sugar
1 and 1/2 cups maida or All purpose flour
1 tea spn baking powder
4 eggs
1 tea spn vanilla essence/extract

Preheat the oven at 350F for 10min.
Sieve together flour and powder. Keep it aside.
Beat sugar in butter till it becomes a smooth paste. Then add one egg at a time beating it all the time. Add essence and mix.
Add flour 1 tbl spoon at a time mixing slowly.
Grease an oven safe dish with butter. Then sprinkle some flour on it and spread the flour. Now pour the cake mixture into this dish and bake the cake for around 40min at 350F (or till a knife inserted in the cake comes out clean).

Serves : 4
Preparation time : 1hr

Banana Cake

After trying many things with my limited resources here, I have been trying my luck with cakes these days. Before coming here, I knew only two types of cakes, one is the simple egg cake and the delicious date cake. I will post the recipes of these two soon.I had thought that preparing cake is very difficult and long procedure. But now I think it is as simple as any other dish. But still I can not make the fabulous looking cakes that we get in bakery. I hope one or the other day I will succeed in making them too.

Recently I had lot of ripe bananas at home. So I cooked all possible dishes with them. This cake was one of them.

Banana 1
Egg 1
All purpose flour 1 cup
Baking soda 1 tea spn
Sugar 3/4th cup
Butter 1/2 cup
Cashew nuts 1 tbl spn
Salt 1/4th tea spn

PS: If you use ‘baking powder’ instead of ‘baking soda’, cake becomes a bit harder.

Sieve together flour and soda. Keep it aside.
Beat sugar in butter till it becomes a smooth paste. Then add egg and beat again.
Now add mashed banana and mix well. Add this mixture to flour and mix slowly.
Add some cashew nuts if desired.
Bake in a greased vessel for 40min at 350F.

Makes : 8 pieces
Preparation time : 1 hr(Including baking time)

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