Makes 16 (1 bun per serving and each bun with a small apple or mandarin contains approx 200 kcal)
110g butter (at room temperature)
80g golden caster sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (2.5g)
240g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder (10g)
4 ripe bananas (over-ripe is also fine to use)
90g porridge oats
Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / gas mark 4. Line bun tins with 16 paper cases.
Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat well. The easiest way to do this is with a hand-held electric beater but a wooden spoon and some elbow grease also works. The mixture should become a little lighter in colour.
Add two of the eggs along with the vanilla extract and half of the flour and beat well to combine. Add the remaining egg and the rest of the flour with the baking powder. Mix until everything is just combined – overbeating will make the buns less light, so easy does it.
Peel the bananas and mash the flesh in a bowl, then carefully fold into the bun mixture with the oats. Using two large spoons, divide among the paper cases. Place in the oven and bake for 22-25 minutes until cooked through. To test, insert a skewer or toothpick into the centre of a bun and it should come out clean. The buns will also smell cooked and be springy to the touch.
Remove the buns from the oven and after 5 minutes transfer them to a wire or grill rack and leave to cool completely before serving each one with a small apple or mandarin.
These buns will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days or can be frozen in freezer bags for up to 1 month and defrosted as needed
For a chocolate version, take out 25g of the flour and replace it with 25g of unsweetened cocoa powder.