How to make Frances Quinn’s banoffee tumbler trifle

Former Great British Bake Off winner Frances Quinn has shared this recipe from her new book.

UK disaster relief charity ShelterBox is urging people throughout November to get together with friends and enjoy home-made candlelit feasts. They’re calling it ‘Shine for ShelterBox’, a lovely idea which will hopefully let you count your blessings and raise some money for charity at the same time. They’ve been offered support from several big names in the world of food who have shared recipes – among them is former Great British Bake Off winner Frances Quinn, who has shared this recipe from her new book.

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Banoffee pie and trifle are two classic, crowd-pleasing English creations, and these little puds raise a glass to both of them – quite literally. Presented in tumblers, you can see all the layers, from the banana cake through to the caramel. To give the dish an extra banana kick, add a blitzed-up banana to the caramel after stirring in the cream.

If you want to see little black specks of vanilla seed in your homemade custard, use vanilla bean paste instead of extract.

Should you be short of time, you can use 175g shop-bought dulce de leche and 200ml ready-made custard to layer your trifles.

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Banoffee Tumbler Trifles

Makes 4 trifles

You will need

  • 6 or 12-hole muffin tin
  • 4 paper muffin cases
  • 4 x 35ml glass ‘barrel’ tumbler

For the custard

  • 200ml double cream
  • 2 egg yolks (at room temperature)
  • 20g caster sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

For the cakes

  • 50g butter, softened
  • 50g light muscovado sugar
  • 50g very ripe banana flesh (from about ½ medium banana)
  • 1 egg (at room temperature)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g self-raising flour
  • 50g pecans, toasted and chopped

For the caramel

  • 50g golden syrup
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 100ml double cream
  • Pinch of salt, optional

To decorate

  • 50g hard banana chips
  • 50ml dark rum
  • 300ml double cream
  • 4 small, medium-ripe bananas
  • 50g butterscotch chips
  • Cocoa powder, to dust


The custard

If you’re making your own custard, pour the cream into a medium saucepan and set over a gentle heat. Bring to just below simmering.

Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla in a medium heatproof bowl. Add the hot cream to the bowl, whisking all the time to combine the ingredients. Immediately pour the mixture back into the pan, using a heatproof plastic or silicone spatula to get it all out of the bowl.

With the spatula, or a wooden spoon, stir over a gentle heat until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of the spatula/spoon. Pour the custard back into the bowl and cover the surface directly with clingfilm to stop a skin from forming. Leave to cool.

The cakes

Next it’s time to make the cakes. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Put the four muffin cases into the muffin tin.

Using a hand-held electric whisk (it’s tricky to beat this small quantity in a free-standing mixer), beat the butter and sugar together for 5–10 minutes or until the mix is very light and creamy and takes on a pale café-au-lait shade. Put the banana flesh in a bowl and smush it into a purée using a fork or spatula. Break the egg into a mug or jug, add the vanilla and beat together with a fork.

Gradually add the egg to the creamed butter and sugar mixture, beating well after each addition and scraping down the side of the bowl as you go. Should the mixture look like it’s starting to curdle, add a spoonful of the flour. Sift the flour into the mixture and fold it in until just combined. Finally, stir through the puréed banana and chopped pecans.

Spoon the cake mixture into your four cases, dividing it equally, and bake for 15–20 minutes or until the cakes have risen and a skewer pushed into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes, then transfer, still in the paper cases, to a wire rack to cool completely.

The caramel sauce

While the cakes cool, get going with the caramel sauce. Weigh the golden syrup into a small saucepan. Sprinkle the caster sugar over the surface of the golden syrup.

Cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, until the sugar has dissolved.

Continue to cook gently for about 3 minutes or until the syrup has turned a rich amber colour. Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the double cream, stirring as it bubbles up to thoroughly combine everything.

Add the salt if you are creating a salted caramel. Transfer to a medium bowl to cool.

Putting it together

Once the cakes and caramel have cooled, you can assemble your trifles. Set aside four of the best-looking banana chips and break the remainder into small pieces – do this with a sharp knife or your fingers.

Remove the banana cakes from their paper cases and cut or crumble them into bite-sized pieces. You will use one cake per tumbler: put the cake pieces in the base of the tumbler and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon rum. Press the cake down with a spoon and set aside to soak.

Meanwhile, use a hand-held electric whisk to whip the double cream to soft-to-medium peaks; set aside. Cover the cake in the tumblers with the caramel, dividing it evenly. Scatter the broken banana chips over the caramel.

Cut the fresh bananas into 5mm slices – you will be using one banana per trifle so you might find it easier to work on one trifle at a time. Arrange some of the banana slices around the inside of each tumbler, pressing the slices up against the side so the whole of the slice is visible. Put the remaining slices within this ring of upright banana.

Next cover the bananas with the custard, dividing it equally among the four tumblers. Use a spoon or small palette knife to smooth the surface of the custard. Keep back a few butterscotch chips to decorate the trifles; scatter the remainder over the custard. Top with the softly whipped cream, using a palette knife to smooth it out a bit but still keeping a slightly rustic finish. Sift a little cocoa powder over the centre of each cream-topped trifle and decorate with a dried banana chip and the reserved butterscotch pieces.

To find out more about getting involved in the ‘Shine For Shelterbox’ campaign, to request a supporters pack or see details of events taking place across the UK visit