Banana, rhubarb and yoghurt cake with pistachios and halva

Banana, rhubarb and yoghurt cake with pistachios and halva.
Banana, rhubarb and yoghurt cake with pistachios and halva.  Photo: Bonnie Savage

This is my idea of a teacake – not that I seem to make a lot of time for tea and cake these days. I really love the sesame flavour of the halva with the banana, pistachios and subtle scent of rosewater, while the yoghurt gives the cake a lusciously dense but very moist texture that holds well over a couple of days. This recipe calls for cooked rhubarb – and a little of the syrup works well drizzled over when serving – but you can use frozen berries or just more banana instead


250g self-raising flour

50g almond meal

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

120g unsalted butter

120g castor sugar

3 extra-large eggs

60g natural yoghurt

60ml rosewater

160g cooked rhubarb, cut into 3cm lengths

120g *ripe banana, sliced (about 2)

2 tbsp honey

100g shaved halva (a nutty, sugary sweet sold at Middle Eastern grocers)

30g pistachios


1. Preheat the oven to 160C conventional. Grease and line a 20-centimetre loose-bottomed cake tin.

2. Add the flour, almond meal and baking powder to a large bowl and dry whisk to break up any clumps.

3. Using a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time until incorporated. Add the dry mix and beat until incorporated. Follow with the yoghurt and rosewater, and then fold in the rhubarb and banana by hand.

4. Tip the mix into the prepared tin and bake for about 70 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Set aside to cool a little before unmoulding.

5. Warm the honey in a small saucepan until softened and brush over the whole cake. Top with the halva and pistachios and serve.


1. Make sure the bananas are properly ripe but not mushy.

2. You could use pinenuts or almonds instead of pistachios.

3. Add some ground cardamom to the flour to add a spicy lift.