Cook’s hands, Baker’s arms /-/Spelt banoffee pudding cakes with pancake crumbles.


If you are a baker, a cook or even a mum, I think you can relate to the situation I faced the other day. After a few years of cooking and baking I have developed a fair amount of concealed muscle from hand kneading bread and my hands show the battle scars of sugar craft and knife work gone wrong. Anyone who cooks has some mark on their hands and arms that shows that they have been in kitchen. If you don’t, you have not been the kitchen long enough or you are some freak of perfect nature.


I am talking about the phenomenon I like to call developing baker’s muscles and cooks hands. I am sure there is more correct term for it but in short it is the physical traits you obtain from your hobby or job that signifies you are a part of social group. So for baker’s kneading gives you very good muscles and cooks have very scarred hand from their work with fire and knifes. I am a little of both, so I unfortunately have the worst of both worlds. So where ever I go people automaticity look at me weird.


Anyway this means I am hesitant when I have to show my arms and hands to people. I am not sure if they think I am just really clumsy but you never know; people tend to make a big deal out of scars and burns. Believe me, being called “emo” one too many times has caused me to rage on people. Right now spring has dawned upon Australia and we just had to lose an hour for day light savings; this tell me that I can no long cover up my arms anymore. Great….


On this particular day I was buying white rice, and in an Asian family white rice is staple of everything (as much as I hate it). My family buys rice from the local Asian store down the road, normally in 10-15 kilo bags. On this occasion I had to go, and let’s say I have learnt my lesson about being absent minded about my baker’s muscles and cooks hands. I am not a big person (5 foot 1’ to 5 foot 2’ ), so to the shop keepers surprise I picked up the big bag of rice with one hand and processed to walk around the store with it (I cannot help it, I like walking around food stalls) Cause my absentmindedness because a minute later I was told in Chinese (translated to best of my knowledge), “My gosh you have lots of strength and so many scars like a man”


Like really, I am already Self-conscious about my body, let alone a complete stranger telling me I have arms like man. The perils of being in an ABC (Australian born Chinese), your fellow older Asians have no filter when it comes to opinions.


A least these pudding cakes do not have anything to hide. I made these on the off day it was hot then cold in Australia. Now these are not the American Style pudding cakes but the English kind often served warm with sauce and double cream. So very comforting and it is hard to resist the toffee sauce from Nigella Lawson.

While I made mine with light syrup, I have made it before with molasses, treacle, maple etc. and it turn out fine too. I am sure I am not alone in preferring wholegrain whenever possible, so for denser cakes I do like to use grain flours. Not to mention it add to the flavour, nuttiness without the nuts.

Now, you WANT a big crack in your cakes for the sauce but if you do not have one you can poke a skewer a few times into the cake to help the toffee sauce get in. The crunchy topping is something I added after having a wild idea to turn my stale pancakes into croutons. It is like pancake flavour times 100X, who is going to complain about that?


Banoffee pie is such a loved classic, try your hand at turning it into a warm dessert for those times you need extreme comfort ( like me after being called a man…)


Spelt banoffee pudding cakes with pancake crumbles. 

Adapted from

Make 6 large Texas muffin sizes cakes

250g spelt flour

50g brown rice flour

160g brown sugar (light)

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

1tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nut meg

2 cups of mash banana ( about three bananas)

130ml vegetable oil plus 50g melted butter

2 egg yolks plus 2 eggs, whisked together

1 scraped vanilla pod

80ml golden syrup or (treacle- deeper, heavier, slightly bitter syrup)

Pre heat oven to 180C, Grease a texas muffin tin with butter and then flour the sides.

In a large bowl shift your flour, rice flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In a large jug combine the bananas, sugar, oil and butter mix, egg mix and vanilla bean.

Make a hole in the middle of flour mix and pour our wet mix in to the hole. Fold in the two mixtures with a wooden spoon until just mixed.

Pour into prepared muffin tin, with the batter coming up to ¾ of the tin. Smooth out the surface and place in oven,

Once in the oven turn it down to 160C and bake for 30-40 minutes or until skewer comes clean. Allow them to cool in trays for 10 minutes once baked then transfer to wire cooling rack.

Pancake crumble

4-6 medium stale wholemeal pancakes

Crumble up your stale pancakes into small pieces about 5mm to 1cm big.

Lay on a lined baking tray.

Bake at 120C for 30 minutes, stirring every ten minutes for even browning.

Turn off oven and leave to dry overnight. Store in air tight container until use.

Serve warm with Sticky Toffee sauce (I used this one here from Nigella Lawson) and Pancake crumble.

'Cook’s hands, Baker’s arms /-/Spelt banoffee pudding cakes with pancake crumbles.' have 18 comments

  1. October 7, 2013 @ 6:40 pm Averie @ Averie Cooks

    So pretty! I put a banofee pudding recipe of sorts in my cookbook and love the flavor of it. The way you worked it into these muffins is amazing!

    Pancake crumbles. Swoon!


    • October 8, 2013 @ 11:20 am Belinda Lo

      I am actually purchasing your book off the net right now! I getting it for my sisiter who is PB lover. I can wait to borrow it sometime to try one of your bar recipes.
      Really the pancake crumble is SOOO simple, I have no idea why people have not made it sooner as a quick way to sweet heaven.


  2. October 8, 2013 @ 2:41 am Christine Ma

    These cakes look wonderful but the thing that really made me curious was the pancake crumble. I never saw old pancakes used in such a way, very smart and inventive!


    • October 8, 2013 @ 11:21 am Belinda Lo

      Thank you Christine! The pancake crumble was something I came up with in the middle of night and it worked. It would also be wonderful anywhere you need a bit of crunch on top.


  3. October 8, 2013 @ 4:11 am Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    Lovely cakes, the pancake crumbles look irresistible!


    • October 8, 2013 @ 11:23 am Belinda Lo

      Thank you laura! I have just been to your website, OMG those sweet bars with the the chocolate chips look amazing. I have been thinking of dessert like that too


  4. October 8, 2013 @ 4:44 am Nami | Just One Cookbook

    I’m new to spelt flour (I might have eaten something that used it but cannot tell). Beautiful muffins and love the crumbles on top of muffins. Never put it on top of muffins when I make (mine is so basic…) but I love crumbles. You take such a gorgeous photography – I always wonder if a good photographer take a picture of my food, my food will look even more delicious… hehee. 😀


    • October 8, 2013 @ 11:25 am Belinda Lo

      Thank you Nami! I think you take beautiful pictures, do not doubt yourself, they are wonderfully clear and bright. I love photos like that.
      Really this is so easy and bet your your kids would love this.


  5. October 8, 2013 @ 7:38 am Irene

    Wow pancake crumble. Sounds so damn good!


    • October 8, 2013 @ 11:26 am Belinda Lo

      The crumble is a life saver in my house right now. Ice cream and pancake crumble mixed in heaven!
      I hope you purposely save some pancakes to use in this


  6. October 9, 2013 @ 4:12 pm Laura Dembowski

    These look absolutely delightful! Love the pics! I have several scars from burns on my arms, but I have been trying to be much more careful now.


    • October 10, 2013 @ 1:03 pm Belinda Lo

      Do not worry, I most likely have more scars than you. I am so clumsy in the kitchen.
      Thank you laura


  7. October 10, 2013 @ 4:32 pm Food to Fitness

    Looks delicious. Thanks for the recipe.


  8. October 12, 2013 @ 6:38 am Irina @ wandercrush

    This looks like something I’d get in a fancy coffee shop! Beautiful work as always, Belinda. I love the use of spelt and brown rice flour.


    • October 13, 2013 @ 10:59 am Belinda Lo

      Thank Irina, It is always nice to treat yourself to home made pudding., I bet you with your skill you can re create this too.


  9. October 12, 2013 @ 2:57 pm Cheryl Hurley

    These are gorgeous and look so delicious! You’ve inspired me to try my hand at a sort of banoffee tart. And don’t worry–I too feel like the creepy hunchback girl when I’m giggling with a bunch of other “ladies” at baby showers and brunches, drinking mimosas, and I go for the decanter.. my scars and burns and short, short nails (way too much dough gets under any sort of talon if I get them actually properly done) highlighted in the slanting 2 p.m. sun.. and I wish I could back away in the corner and drink the rest of the bottle alone. “I’M A MONSTER! YOU MADE ME! I’m a monster….”

    Uh… back to reality.. good post 🙂 Relatable and delicious. It doesn’t get better.



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