pret a danger

It appears as though my battle against Pret a Manger is not yet over. Having received a voucher to enjoy a free cake and coffee combination on the company, I was most distressed to discover something amiss. And so I wrote back:

Much as I appreciate the voucher which arrived this morning, and baring in mind that I don’t want to appear ungrateful, I’ve still got to ask… when you say “we’ve taken on board what you say and changed the recipe”, what do you mean?

The main thrust of my original mail was that you’d changed the original (quite delicious) banana cake recipe to include nuts – something I wasn’t at all happy about – and yet the banana cakes lining the Pret shelves at lunchtime today still appear to feature a high proportion of nuts.

What have you changed?

Two days later, I received a reply:

One of the main issues about the change of the cake was that it was dryer than previous. This time around we’ve altered the recipe to make it moister and also added natural banana essence as well as more sun dried bananas.

I’m sorry you don’t like the addition of the nuts but the team decided that the change in texture they wanted could only be achieved with the addition of the nuts.

Hope this answers your query and I’m sorry that in the main you still don’t like the cake – I will pass your comments over to our food team.

Well, that’s all very well and good, but it doesn’t alter the fact that Pret are denying me what had developed into my favourite after lunch treat. I havn’t been this angry since Marks & Spencers removed their almost ambrosial flapjack from the shelves for a period in the early 1990s. I gave it one last shot:

Thanks for the response – the increased dryness was another thing I complained about, and I’m very pleased to see that this has been resolved.

Any chance of getting the recipe for the original?

This time the response was almost immediate:

That’s Ok!

I’m sorry we can’t send you the recipe but I can send you the ingredients

Wheat Flour
Banana Pulp
Free Range Eggs
Vegetable Oil
Cream Cheese
Bicarbonate of Soda

Happy re-creating!

Happy re-creating indeed! I think it’s now time for the guerilla warfare element of my campain to kick in. What I suggest is that all blogjam readers take the ingredients listed above, practice with the quantities until a fair copy of the original cake is attained, then picket their local Pret a Manger store, offering passers-by the opportunity to compare and contrast their scrumptious creations with the nut-stuffed charlatans sold within.

We shall prevail.


  1. before you begin experimenting a quick word of warning: never underestimate the power of the cream cheese. use of a slapdash approach when mixing it with the banana pulp could have an effect similar to the ghostbusters crossing streams. you have been warned.

  2. Have you tried Snickers Flapjacks? I have only ever seen them in shops twice – once in a Co-op somewhere down south and once in a Texaco somewhere in Glasgow. They are the best flapjacks in the world… ever. Though they do contain nuts. I don’t understand why they are so hard to find. Maybe I dreamt them.

  3. Okay, uhm, this fascination of yours is now unhealthy.

    The sad fact of life is, that things that are good come and go.

    The fun part is when you discover the good things.

    So, go out and live your life, instead of lamenting the good stuf you’ve lost.

    My 2c.


  4. Hey fraser!
    I used to love those banana cakes while I lived in London. I asked for some to Lawrence when sehe came, but she didn’t know which they were (probably she saw nuts on the right ones) instead she brought me some “real bakery ones” that were delicious. I have a great easy to make recipe of banana cake. I will translate it and send it to you by mail. I’m sure you’ll be amazed ;)