Banana loaf

Banana loaf

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(53 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr, 30 mins - 1 hr, 45 mins Includes 1¼ hours baking.


Makes 12 slices
A tasty way of using up overripe bananas

Nutrition and extra info

  • Without icing

Nutrition: banana loaf

  • kcal285
  • fat11g
  • saturates5g
  • carbs44g
  • sugars16.1g
  • fibre1g
  • protein5g
  • salt0.52g
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  • 100g softened unsalted butter
  • 140g light muscovado sugar
  • 2 large eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed (about 450g/1lb total weight)



    Probably the best known, most popular tropical fruit, their name probably derives from the…

  • 50g pecans, roughly chopped
    Pecan nuts



    Related to the walnut, pecans are native to America, and grow enclosed in a glossy, browny-red…

  • 50g raisins
  • 150ml buttermilk
  • 280g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 50g icing sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to fan 160C/ conventional 180C/gas 4. Butter a 20 x 13cm loaf tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time (don’t worry that the mixture looks curdled). Stir in the mashed bananas, pecans, raisins and buttermilk.

  3. Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda on top of the banana mixture, then fold in until evenly mixed, taking care not to overmix. Spoon into the prepared tin and level the top.

  4. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes until a skewer pushed in the centre comes out almost, but not quite, dry. Remove from the oven and leave for about 10 minutes, then turn it out of the tin on to a cooling rack to cool.

  5. For the icing, mix the icing sugar with 2-3 tsp cold water to give a smooth, runny consistency. Using a dessertspoon, drizzle the icing in lines across the loaf.

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Comments (70)

greatscot's picture

This came out almost like a dumpling. If you like dumpling you're in luck, but if you're looking for a real loaf then use a different recipe. I believe the buttermilk was the culprit making the mixture heavy and almost dull and if I made it again (which I won't) I would leave it out. Personally I would dates to raisins but there are all sorts of alternatives as other reviewers have said, but I think the dates would add to the flavour more as the mixture was also under flavoured needing a dash of vanilla extract and some nutmeg. Everyone has a different oven and mine took 1 1/2 hrs to cook this through. I wouldn't make this again, but I dare say friends who like dumpling will polish it off quickly.

askouros's picture

Made a variation of this with gluten free self raising flour and sultanas - no nuts or raisins. I used semi skimmed instead of buttermilk.
It is great and makes a good gluten free breakfast/ lunchbox treat.

sazzums4god's picture

Perfect recipe!

broadhaven's picture

I have just made this today. It was lovely, few alterations made, didn't use buttermilk, I found the mixture wet enough, put double quantity of fruit as didn't have pecan. Rather than make it in a loaf I made them in bun tins. I find I am more disciplined if they are in individual portions!! Although I have just had 2!!!

mdcbc2's picture

My oven cooked the loaf in an hour, but I think I should have removed the cake from the oven about five minutes earlier. My fault! So I end up with a nearly burnt cake, but tasted very nice nevertheless. I used raisins this time but, to my taste, the recipe will be improved by adding chocolate chips, or some type of berry instead. I will definitely try it again.

arabellastrange's picture

Reliable, easy to make and well-loved by family and friends. My favourite way to use up unripe bananas. We like blueberries instead of raisins.

vicki_m's picture

Found this recipe when off work and looking for things to do, making it without Buttermilk (as per suggestions in the comments - thanks) and substituted 50g of sultanas and 50g of fresh Blueberries for the raisins & pecans... I loved it, family (including our 3 yr old) & friends loved it too. Now the post christmas glut is over, its time to use up the left overs - including more bananas - so what better to do with them than to remake this banana loaf. If all recipies are so easy & successful I think I may be a baking convert. Yummy!

slaterfamily's picture

I didnt have any pecans so put in more raisins instead and it was still very yummy. I cooked this loaf in a round cake tin as didnt have a loaf tin and it still cooked perfect and wasnt too moist. The kids loved it and had a slice in there lunch boxes today!

fridaygirl's picture

Have made this several times now. Don't use buttermilk, and use chocolate chips instead of raisins, and whatever nuts I have available. This is definitely one of the best cakes I have ever made! I usually cut it into 4 and freeze. Still as yummy once defrosted.

leighk's picture

Great recipe and it turned out ok (I added choc chips) but did cover with greaseproof paper whilst cooking and only cooked for 1 hour - I've had disasters in the past!

uptospeed's picture

I have just finished baking this cake and just had to have a taster really lovely cake.
My oven tends to get really hot so I had to take it out 20min before the time as the top started to go a darker shade of brown. It was cooked perfectly.
Lots of you have not bothered with buttermilk its really easy to do. Just warm the required milk in the microwave for 30 seconds (I used semi-skimmed milk) and then shake a few drops of lemon juice in it, give a quick stir and leave it for a couple of minutes should be a bit lumpy and then add it to your ingredients. No need to buy this stuff.
I tend to keep a bottle of lemon juice in the fridge.

lilyandpops's picture

Was lovely and moist. Very simple to make. I used almonds instead of pecans, and a small amount of semi skimmed milk instead of the buttermilk. Would definitely make it again.

emma052's picture

Great recipe....went down well with the family!

sheilapeeler's picture

I used bread flour. Half white and half wholemeal. I put walnuts and sultanas in it. I omitted the milk. I doubled the quantity as I had a lot of bananas and it made 3 loaves!! One to eat and two to freeze!
It was delicious.

fashionista25's picture

Oh and it took me 4 bananas to make up to 1lb (skinless). It also looks like there is too much mixture for the tin, but as long as it is fairly deep its actually perfect.

fashionista25's picture

Swapped pecans for 100g dark chocolate, and made my own buttermilk (milk with lemon juice). REALLY nice, and not as sweet as the banana cake I normally make. I haven't iced it yet, but I don't think it would really need it. Very handy that it can be frozen :)

annam87's picture

i used all ingredients except for the nuts as i don't particulary like them and it turned out delicious, better than my mums hehe :)

pollytrem's picture

I added walnuts and sultanas instead of raisins and plain yogurt instead of buttermilk. It turned out amazing (even though it fell out of the oven half way through cooking!!..I'm so clumsy! and a disaster in the kitchen). Its really given me a boost to try other things! I have another in the oven cooking now as I want to show off to family and friends!!!!

tomsci's picture

Lovely cake. Omited the buttermilk and was still moist. Also used crystallised ginger and chocolate chips instead of sultanas and pecans. Will have to make again!!

pixelash's picture

Tried this recipe, omitted the pecan nuts but kept the raisins. Lovely and moist. My friends enjoyed this including the other half, I was lucky to get a bit...will try this recipe again...


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