k  Nisperos (Loquat), banana and coconut loaf  k


Don’t worry about finding nisperos (loquats) for this recipe as they can be easily substituted with mango, apricots or peaches – whatever you fancy. I love to use nisperos in this recipe and in late Spring they grow wild all over the island, the trees are laden with them…I just pull over in the car, grab and go – I’ve got scrumping in my blood.

tree-2 tree-3

Photos by Hayley Samuelson

There’s nothing quite like sharing generous slices of homemade cake with family or friends. As we already know we are being advised to steer away from refined sugar and wheat, but what if you really just want to eat cake? With a bit of kitchen alchemy I think I have created cake that is delicious but nutritious and you will love and be loved for making it!


There is actual food science to making cakes, the ratio of fat to flour with generally equal weights of the four major ingredients: structure-building flour and eggs and structure-weakening fat and sugar. When you start playing around with healthy alternatives to sugar and flour it all becomes a bit tricky, cakes can slump in the middle or be dense and heavy. After a few efforts of trial and error I think my recipe provides the right balance of ingredients to make a fabulous cake that you would never believe is actually rather good for you. This is gorgeous on the day and even better the next day – if you have any left.

You will notice I have given alternatives to some of the ingredients – both will work equally well. I try to stick with coconut sugar, it is expensive but the best deals for buying this are on Amazon. It gives a toffee like richness that’s so good.



150 spelt flour (or coconut flour if you are gluten free)
80g ground almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarb soda
40g desiccated coconut

140g coconut sugar (or 2 tbsp maple syrup or agave)
100ml coconut oil (or olive oil)
3 free range eggs
2 very ripe bananas – mashed up
8 loquats (¾ of a mango or 4 apricots or 1 peach)

(Optional shredded coconut and coconut sugar to decorate)


1. Heat the oven to 160 degrees / Gas 2 – this needs to be baked a lower temperature for a longer time so the sugars in the fruit don’t char and burn. Weigh the dry ingredients: flour, ground almonds, baking powder, bicarb and desiccated coconut in a separate bowl.
2. Peel the loquats (peach, mango or apricots) remove stone(s) and roughly chop.
3. Using an electric whisk or a free standing mixer whisk the oil with the sugar for several minutes.
4. Add one egg at a time with 1 tablespoon of the dry ingredients and continue to whisk until smooth.
5. Tip in the remaining dry ingredients and beat well for a minute. Finally fold in the mashed banana and chopped fruit.
6. Pour the mixture into a paper lined loaf tin and bake for 50-60 minutes, check with skewer inserted into the middle and see if it comes out greasy but clean. Allow to cool in the tin and turn out onto a cooling rack. You can decorate with shredded coconut and sugar if you wish.