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Banana Bread

by . Featured in HOW TO BE A DOMESTIC GODDESS
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Introduction

I haven't done a tremendous amount of fiddling with this, but I did once make it, for friends who are more chocolate-crazed than I am, by replacing 25g / 3 tablespoons of the flour with good cocoa powder (not drinking chocolate) and adding 100g / 4oz of dark chocolate, cut up into smallish chunks. And you could just as easily use the chocolate chips sold in the baking aisle of supermarkets.

If you're thinking about giving this cake to children, don't worry, the alcohol doesn't pervade: you just end up with stickily, aromatically swollen fruit.

I haven't done a tremendous amount of fiddling with this, but I did once make it, for friends who are more chocolate-crazed than I am, by replacing 25g / 3 tablespoons of the flour with good cocoa powder (not drinking chocolate) and adding 100g / 4oz of dark chocolate, cut up into smallish chunks. And you could just as easily use the chocolate chips sold in the baking aisle of supermarkets.

If you're thinking about giving this cake to children, don't worry, the alcohol doesn't pervade: you just end up with stickily, aromatically swollen fruit.

Banana Bread
Photo by Petrina Tinslay

Ingredients

Makes: 8-10 slices

Metric Cups
  • 100 grams sultanas
  • 75 millilitres dark rum (or Bourbon)
  • 175 grams plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 125 grams unsalted butter (melted)
  • 150 grams caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 small very ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 60 grams chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup golden raisins
  • 5 tablespoons dark rum (or Bourbon)
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
  • ¾ cup superfine sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 small very ripe bananas (mashed)
  • ⅓ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

  1. Put the sultanas and rum or bourbon in a smallish saucepan and bring to the boil.
  2. Remove from the heat, cover and leave for an hour if you can, or until the sultanas have absorbed most of the liquid, then drain.
  3. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/gas mark 3/325ºF and get started on the rest. Put the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt in a medium-sized bowl and, using your hands or a wooden spoon, combine well.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the melted butter and sugar and beat until blended. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the mashed bananas. Then, with your wooden spoon, stir in the walnuts, drained sultanas and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture, a third at a time, stirring well after each bit. Scrape into a loaf tin (23 x 13 x 7cm / 9 x 5 x 3 inches) and bake in the middle of the oven for 1-1¼ hours. When it's ready, an inserted toothpick or fine skewer should come out cleanish. Leave in the tin on a rack to cool, and eat thickly or thinly sliced, as you prefer.
  1. Put the golden raisins and rum or bourbon in a smallish saucepan and bring to the boil.
  2. Remove from the heat, cover and leave for an hour if you can, or until the golden raisins have absorbed most of the liquid, then drain.
  3. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/gas mark 3/325ºF and get started on the rest. Put the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt in a medium-sized bowl and, using your hands or a wooden spoon, combine well.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the melted butter and sugar and beat until blended. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the mashed bananas. Then, with your wooden spoon, stir in the walnuts, drained golden raisins and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture, a third at a time, stirring well after each bit. Scrape into a loaf tin (23 x 13 x 7cm / 9 x 5 x 3 inches) and bake in the middle of the oven for 1-1¼ hours. When it's ready, an inserted toothpick or fine skewer should come out cleanish. Leave in the tin on a rack to cool, and eat thickly or thinly sliced, as you prefer.

Tell us what you think

What 46 Others have said

  • Perfect way to use up otherwise wasted bananas, I soaked the Sultanas in tea and the result was delicious and moist...certainly didn't last long!!

    Posted by Katthekook on 29th July 2016
  • Love it.... It's so nice and moist, full of flavour just scrumptious!!!

    Posted by Twixali86 on 14th June 2016
  • absolutely delicious. I omitted the nuts as I dont like walnuts. I put cocoa powder in and also added half a block of salted caramel chocolate. The end result was just divine. The caramel melted and created an extremely moist cake. I used bananas that were black - the insides were so scrummy. It is well worth soaking the raisins or sultanas for several hours - I also added the soaking rum as well.

    Posted by APortia on 10th June 2016
  • I don' know how many times I've made this. Whenever bananas are close to banana bread ripe my kids stop anyone from taking the last four. I usually add chocolate coated pecans. yum yum

    Posted by Cindercilla on 23rd September 2015
  • Love this cake/loaf and so do those who have sampled it. I have tried it with chocolate and without; swapping the rum with sherry (as I didn't have rum at the time) - I think the sherry works as well but then its alcohol :) I haven't got a loaf tin so baked it in an 8" loose bottom round tin. My mouth is now watering......

    Posted by ArcherPam on 26th August 2015
  • Excellent recipe, resulted in moist delicious cake. I didnt want to use bourbon as was for kiddies too, so I soaked the dried fruit in black tea instead. It is quite sweet so i will try less sugar next time. Yum!

    Posted by Lisalikescooking on 17th July 2015
  • Just baked this for a friend's birthday with the addition of some chopped up Reese's Peanut Butter cups, it was delicious! Will definitely be making this again.

    Posted by rum&raisin on 25th February 2015
  • Half ten on a weeknight and was staring at quite a few tragic looking overripe bananas. I think I can't possibly be asked to bake a cake but here I am, close to midnight with the heavenly scent of Banana Bread wafting from the kitchen. Added two extra bananas as couldn't bear to throw any away- nothing like a baking success to cheer one up on an otherwise uneventful Wednesday night. Thanks Nigella!

    Posted by Mrs. Smits on 25th February 2015
  • What a wonderful recipe! So easy to make. I only used walnut and bananas and its really good (especially this time I waited until the bananas are all black!), crispy outside and moist inside! Absolutely delicious. I cut 20g of sugar and its sweet enough for me. Highly recommend this recipe. Happy cooking :)

    Posted by Bella Cucina on 17th January 2015
  • This was delicious. Came out perfectly moist. Only problem I had was it was a little crispy around the edge.

    Posted by lissybug on 6th November 2014
  • This is one of my favourite recipes to use up overripe bananas! So easy and so so so good! Everyone loves this.

    Posted by on 4th September 2014
  • Delicious Recipe. I tried my own variation substituting the raisins for dried dates (in the same quantity) soaked in cognac. I used 110g of dark brown sugar rather than the caster. The result is rich and soft and lovely with a fab banoffee flavour.

    Posted by NinaDevine on 14th July 2014
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