- April 2020
- Serves 8-10
- Hands-on time 25 min, oven time 45-60 min
Our classic banana bread recipe is simple to make and it doesn’t require much hands-on time or special equipment – simply mix everything together in a bowl, then you’re ready to bake. It makes an ideal cake to make with little ones as you don’t need to hover over them while they use an electric mixer.
- 14g (8.3g saturated)
- 36.1g (21.8g sugars)
- 3 bananas (about 300g) very ripe and brown bananas
- 125g unsalted butter, melted
- 125g golden caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 medium free-range eggs
- 175g plain flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 75-100g milk or dark chocolate chips (optional, see Know How for other easy additions)
You’ll also need…
- 1 litre loaf tin (approx 21.5cm x 11 x 7cm), lined with compostable baking paper, lightly greased and overhanging the short ends of the tin (see Tips)
- Heat the oven to 180C/fan160C/gas 4. Mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl, then stir in the melted butter and caster sugar with a wooden spoon until well combined.
- Stir in the vanilla extract or cinnamon (or use both if you like), then beat in the eggs. Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, then gently fold in, along with the chocolate, if using.
- Pour the mixture into the loaf tin, then bake for 45-60 minutes. The cake should be well risen and feel springy to the touch. Check it’s done by poking a skewer into the centre – if it comes out clean it’s ready. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then lift out onto a wire rack to cool.
When you line a loaf tin with baking paper, leave some hanging over the short edges of the tin. The excess paper will help you lift out the baked cake.
If you have more brown bananas than you need, freeze them for future baking projects. Freeze them in their skins and defrost at room temperature before adding to cakes and bakes.
Replace the caster sugar with light or dark brown sugar. Brown the butter (keep cooking for a few minutes once melted, until deeply golden and it smells nutty) for a deeper nutty flavour. Add some roughly chopped nuts to the mix for a healthy twist.
The loaf will keep in an airtight container for several days, or slice and freeze for up to 3 months.
Short on ingredients? Check out Food Editor Jen’s easy swaps:
Swap 2 tbsp of the sugar for maple syrup, plus use extra to drizzle over the bake to serve.
Replace the caster sugar with light or dark soft brown sugar to add more of a caramel flavour.
Try browning the butter (keep cooking for a few minutes once melted, until deeply golden and it smells nutty) for a deeper nutty flavour.
Make it dairy free or vegan
Replace the butter with a plant-based alternative spread and leave out the eggs (add an extra banana – banana acts as a binding agent). If adding chocolate, make sure this is vegan too.
Make it gluten free
Replace the plain wheat flour with plain gluten-free flour. Check the baking powder is also gluten free if needs be.
Make it more healthy
Swap up to half the plain flour for wholemeal plain and replace the cane sugar with a less refined alternative like coconut sugar. You could also try adding flaxseed or even protein powder.
Swap half the weight of bananas for a ripe mashed avocado.
Swap the chocolate for some roughly chopped nuts for a healthy twist.
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