Banana cakes come from the St Michael and All Angels Church Xmas Tree Recipe Book, Aberystwyth 1913, a compilation of recipes suggested by members of the congregation and their friends. Miss Hughes of Dinas Terrace, Trefechan suggests they are ‘very nutritious’, so perhaps we can see them as a proto-energy bar. ‘Paisley Flour’ was a proprietary brand of baking powder produced by the firm Brown and Polson which was based in Paisley.
The banana cakes turned out like small, sweet and banana-flavoured rock cakes. It may be that our modern ‘fair sized banana’ is larger than its 1916 counterpart, because the mixture was too runny to be ‘cut into small cakes’ as the recipe suggests. I cooked them at 180° and after twenty minutes they still looked pale and sad, so maybe a hotter oven was used.