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More Nigella recipes

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.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

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.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

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 (approx. 400g total weight with skins on)
  • 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 (approx. 400g total weight with skins on)
  • 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/150°C Fan/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 peeled and 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/150°C Fan/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 peeled and 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 69 Others have said

  • Best banana bread ever. Great texture & rise.

    Posted by Lakes29 on 11th August 2020
  • This is superb. I add some mixed spice, and I don't stint on the decent sized chunks of chocolate - more is more! And the rum that the sultanas don't manage to absorb in the pan ("No more, please!") is a sublime glug.

    Posted by Wes_Sexwater on 18th June 2020
  • Made the chocolate version mentioned in the Intro and used Cadbury's Old Jamaica chocolate rather than plain as a treat for my Dad for Father's Day, as he loves it. OMG, it was delicious! Followed the recipe in all other respects and it was absolutely perfect (and possibly rather addicitive!). Think it would also be perfect slightly warm with a dollop of clotted cream for ultimate indulgence. Yum.

    Posted by JOMW1 on 17th June 2020
  • I've been making this cake for a while but meanwhile, have tried to quit sugar. Well, cake and no sugar doesn't work. So I'm making this one with half the amount of sugar, which works just fine. Today I soaked the raisins in amaretto instead of rum and replaced one banana with an apple to make the taste more fresh. I read somebody here said they threw the liquor into the batter as well in order not to waste any of it, which I liked so I followed up on that.

    I just love this recipe, it's so versatile!

    Posted by Byzantiah on 3rd May 2020
  • Delicious! I made the chocolate version of this, as you can never have too much chocolate. It made enough for the loaf and four muffins as well. Really light and moist, not too sweet. I won't use another recipe now. Thanks Nigella!

    Posted by Lainey123 on 15th April 2020
  • This is by far the best banana bread recipe I have made. I had to make this for my pregnant friends and instead substituted the rum soaked raisins with black tea soaked ones and poured the liquid on the loaf as soon as it is out of the oven. It tastes delicious and the depth of flavour is amazing!

    Posted by Komalak11 on 15th April 2020
  • This is the basic recipe anyone would ever need! Thank you Nigella! My substitutions: I’ve quit using butter for baking years ago and today I substituted the oil I had on hand, soy cooking oil which is very thin. I also substituted Demerara sugar coz that’s what I have. I love the raisins in booze! I have jars of vanilla beans steeped in vodka and I poured half a cup over the raisins and steeped that for a while.

    Posted by mystique88 on 2nd April 2020
  • Everyone thinks they have the ultimate banana bread recipe. Unless they are already making this one, they are wrong. This is, without doubt, as good as banana bread gets!

    Posted by joshv41680 on 28th March 2020
  • Made this a few times both the plain and the chocolate version, it is delicious! Fluffy and yummy and especially when you put the broken chocolate pieces inside it melts in your mouth! I added sugar to the remaining rum liquid to make a syrup and brushed on top just after it’s put the oven for an extra boozy sweet layer! Chocolate version is best without the walnuts and sultanas for me !

    Posted by RebeccaH902 on 26th March 2020
  • I mash the bananas into the rum and sultanas making a sludgy mix and then tip it all in (not wasting my rum!). Works an alcoholic treat! (Coming from someone who used to omit the rum and raisins!)

    Posted by FlyingMonkey8 on 30th July 2019
  • This is my go-to jolly recipe when I need to keep my toddler busy - she loves messing around in the kitchen (...I mean baking - oops!), and it makes for a reasonably healthy snack! The chocolate chips were a huge hit, she's asking when do we bake again :-)

    Posted by chocaholic82 on 19th February 2019
  • Absolutely glorious recipe. I omitted the walnuts (nut allergy) and replaced 1/3 sugar with brown sugar which made it a little darker. Leave the raisins to soak for as long as possible so you get as much rum in there as you can. I know already I'll make this again and again and again.

    Posted by elliep311 on 28th September 2018
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