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Brilliant banana loaf

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(133 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 40 mins

Skill level



Cuts into 8-10 slices

A cross between banana bread and a drizzle-topped sponge, this cake is great for using up overripe fruit

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze un-iced
Nutrition info

Nutrition per slice (10)

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  • 140g butter, softened, plus extra for the tin
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 50g icing sugar
  • handful dried banana chips, for decoration

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  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter a 2lb loaf tin and line the base and sides with baking parchment.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then slowly add the eggs with a little flour. Fold in the remaining flour, baking powder and bananas. Pour into the tin and bake for about 30 mins until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then remove to a wire rack.
  3. Mix the icing sugar with 2-3 tsp water to make a runny icing. Drizzle the icing across the top of the cake and decorate with banana chips.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, July 2012

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imfeelingmad's picture
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I made this yesterday, minus the icing (instead I just sprinkled some brown sugar on top) and I adjusted the amounts of sugar and flour as per suggestions below (100g sugar, 170g flour). I also added a tablespoon of honey for some natural sweetness along with the bananas. It turned out really well, was very moist and dark brown around the edge, on the verge of burnt but it was just about okay. delicious warm with nutella spread on top!

jodilea82's picture

Really wish I'd have read the comments first! Needed a lot longer cooking, around 50 minutes but consequently the outside was a little burned. Wouldn't bother again!

Marinasister's picture

I also wish I'd read the reviews - total waste of time and ingredients - doubled up the ingredients to make two loaves, so really annoyed that they didn't turn out at all well. For such a basic type of loaf to use up ripe bananas there's loads of other good recipes available, but if you want a fast result, which this recipe seemed to promise, try muffins Nigella's banana ones are foolproof. Hope the birds like the cakes.

Telly123's picture
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I made this loaf after reading the 5 star rating. I should have read the comments first. It seems that some people have given this a high rating after having amended the amount of flour and sugar. As I poured the mixture into the tin I knew it would never be ready in 30 mins, I checked at 30, 50 and took it out after an hour. In fact it makes a sort of sweet banana pudding, edible but there are better combinations out there.

tuppencetwo's picture

This is a far from brilliant recipe, wish I had read the comments before attempting twice and wasted ingredients. I am a competent baker but this has really dented my confidence, The baking times are way off and it seems the quantities are not right either and I did check my oven temperature with a thermometer. just don't bother

beaupippin's picture

Needs about 50g more flour and a lot longer cooking, about 50 mins total. Delicious. Tried adding a touch of Rum & a few Raisins for a special twist.

beaupippin's picture

Needs about 50 g more flour & a lot longer cooking, about 50 mins. Delicious!
Also tried adding a touch of Rum flavouring & a few raisins for a special twist

strettona's picture

I'm so glad I read the comments! Thank you all.
I used Pure sunflower spread as my husband is dairy intolerant. 175g flour and 90g of sugar, added a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the mashed banana and a table spoon of cocoa powder with the flour. Forgot to add baking powder but still rose well. Cooked at 160 for 60 minutes. Absolutely delicious but still very sweet so may use less sugar another time.
PS: a lot of people commenting that it is more like cake than bread - that's because it is a cake. The recipe just calls it a loaf because it is cooked in a loaf tin!

Rocky1212's picture

Just wondered if you used eggs in your recipe as my friends little one is dairy intolerant but also intolerant to eggs, I was hoping to adapt a banana recipe as I have loads to use up. Thanks

ellendenise91's picture

Thank goodness for all your comments!
I also lowered the sugar to 100g, upped the flour to 175g and baked for 40 mins at 160 then lowered to 150 for 20 mins (fan oven). Turned out lovely, dread to think what would have happened if I just followed the recipe!

katies286's picture
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My cake also took approx. 15 mins more to cook. It then sunk once it was fully baked, presumedly because I had to open the oven door several times to check if it was baked. I would recommend baking for 45 - 50 mins. Otherwise the cake received good reviews; I added chopped walnuts and fudge pieces to mine which seemed to work. I will definitely make this recipe again but with longer in the oven!

lindy0070's picture

I make this cake all the time when the bananas start to go brown!!!! I add a touch of cinnamon and chocolate chips to the mixture. Also, as stated a number of times the cake takes about an hour to cook in the oven or the middle doesn't cook through. I sometimes cut the cake in half and freeze it in two parts which is better for us instead of having to defrost a whole cake.

GillyandMilly's picture

My 7 year old helped me make this scrummy banana loaf and said it was "totes delish!" I think that is a thumbs up.
Like others we also reduced the sugar to 100g, increasing the flour to 175. (Next time I think we could reduce the sugar even further as it was very sweet.) For a final twist we added a handful of chocolate drops and some pecan nuts and skipped the topping. Also as others have commented the cake really needs 50-60 mins (reducing the heat after 30 mins). The result? An easy to make and bake, moreish sweet treat where banana makes for a lovely squidgy texture.

Lu27's picture

The first time I made this recipe, I didn't read the reviews and although I ended up with quite a nice cake, it was a bit too sweet and slightly undercooked, even though the skewer had come out clean after 38 minutes cooking. I made it again today and this time reduced the sugar to 100g and upped the flour to 175g. I cooked it in a fan oven at 160 degrees for 40 minutes and it came out just right. Depends on your oven though, mine tends to cook quickly. I put golden granulated sugar on before baking and this gave a nice crunch. The drizzle icing, which I used the first time, also works well. I think next time I may try adding chocolate chips or fudge bits. This is now one of my go to recipes for a quick, easy and tasty cake.

meleon's picture
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Amazing banana loaf. Stuck with others dropped the sugar and added more flour. 3 bananas. Just added Demerara sugar to the topping before baking. Turned out fab!!!!.

rs1404's picture
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As others have said this took around 20 minutes longer in the oven but it was so worth the wait! We used 3 bananas and added some cheeky chocolate chips - so moist, light, and delicious! Didn't bother with the topping, sweet enough without.

bcz's picture

Really delicious, but definitely agree with other users comments that you need to reduce the amount of sugar to at least 100g if not less, as 140g is far too sweet and it works best if you cook for 30 mins gas mark 4 then reduce to gas mark 3 for another 20 mins. Otherwise, the best banana bread I've made! I added pecans too and a handful of sultanas. Mmmmmm!

Gizmo6002's picture

Made this a couple of times now and it's delicious. As others have said it takes longer to cook than the reciepe states. I cooked it for 30 mins at 160 (fan oven) then turned it down to 150 for between 20 and 25 mins.
I also reduced the sugar to 90g and increased the flour to 175g... Came out perfect and was gone in a couple of days.

fiboyd's picture
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Really yummy banana bread but definitely is NOT ready in 30 mins, more like 50! Light, fluffy and like other reviews, used 90g sugar...also added splash of vanilla extract - delicious and so easy to make!

rine's picture
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Over the years I have made a lot of banana loaves which have Always ended up in the bin because they were either too dry or too heavy. Until this one. It was deliciously moist and light and lasted a couple of days. I did reduce the amount of sugar as it is not necessary with bananas and omitted the topping as well. I added three ripe bananas instead of two and mashed them up really well with a tiny bit of milk before adding them.
I did add some chocolate chips into the dough. Delicious!!!