Celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has designed a banana bread recipe for anyone holding a “Pet Party” to raise money for the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) in October.

This year WSPA wants to make World Animal Week (October 4-10) bigger and better than last year. Every donation counts, so get baking, and helping animals around the world, really will be a piece of cake.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall 
Hugh, star of C4’s River Cottage series, Hugh’s Chicken Run and The Big Food Fight, said: “Holding a pet party for the World Society for Protection of Animals is a great way to bring people who care about animals together to raise funds for animals around the world.

“I’m delighted to offer my recipe [see below] for the parties and wish everyone who hosts an event the best of luck.”

WSPA is asking everyone from local vets’ surgeries to schools to join hundreds of other people round the world and help raise money through holding a Pet Party in their local area.

Out of the estimated 500 million dogs in the world, approximately 75 per cent are strays. Stray animals fight over food, causing injuries that are rarely treated. A lack of funds leaves the strays suffering from hunger and disease, as a result these animals are often seen as a nuisance or health hazard by the people who live alongside them.

Baking cakes here in the UK can save people’s pets around the world from pain and suffering.

What can your money do?

  • £10 can pay for one dog in India to be neutered and vaccinated against rabies.
  • £50 can fund educational workshops and encourage responsible pet ownership.
  • £100 can help improve dog pounds so that dogs are treated humanely.
  • £500 can help WSPA meet with four governments in Asia to persuade them to end cruel methods of stray dog control.
Stray puppy rescued by WSPA

Jane Rockliffe, community and fundraising events manager for WSPA UK said: “Donations at all levels are warmly welcomed by the WSPA and with the public’s support, we hope we can make a big difference to animals’ lives all over the world.

“If you are interested in holding a Pet Party during World Animal Week, we can offer you advice and ideas or send you posters, collection boxes and fridge magnets. Anyone can get involved, so, get baking to help the animals.”

For more information on setting up your Pet Party please visit www.wspa.org.uk/waw, call 0800 316 9772 0800 316 9772 or email fundraising@wspa.org.uk



Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s Banana Bread

Most cakes smell pretty good while they’re cooking but banana bread smells so good that it’s almost impossible not to break off a little bit as it comes out of the oven.

It’s important that the bananas you use for this cake are really ripe – not just yellow but generously freckled with brown spots.

Dried apricots (the squidgy ones that come ready to eat), 75g
Sultanas, 75g
Lemon, 1
Unsalted butter, 100g, soft but not melted
Caster sugar, 125g
Free-range eggs, 2 large
Bananas, 3 large ripe ones
Self-raising flour, 200g

Loaf tin measuring about 13 x 23 x 7cm, baking parchment or loaf tin liner, chopping board, sharp knife, grater, mixing bowl, wooden spoon, fork, plate, sieve, large metal spoon, wire cooling rack


  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC/Gas Mark 3. Line the loaf tin with baking parchment or, even better, use a loaf tin liner.
  2. Chop up the apricots so the pieces are roughly the same size as the sultanas. Grate the zest of the lemon.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar in the mixing bowl with the wooden spoon until they’re well blended. Break in an egg and beat it into the mixture completely, then beat in the other egg. Add the dried fruit and lemon zest.
  4. Mash the bananas well with the fork on a plate and add them to the bowl. Stir well.
  5. Sift the flour into the bowl and carefully fold this into the mixture with the large metal spoon, making sure you don’t leave any ‘pockets’ of flour.
  6. Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and gently level the top with the back of the spoon. Oven gloves on. Put the tin in the oven and bake for about an hour – but check the cake after 50 minutes. It is ready when you can insert a knife into the middle and it comes out completely clean. Leave the cake in its tin on a wire rack to cool for about 15 minutes, then turn it out of the tin and peel off the paper.

How to eat your banana bread
It’s good to eat when it’s still just a little bit warm. Store the cake in a tin and it will make good moist eating for a couple of days.


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