Recipes: 5 Ways With Banana Bread

I took one for the team, and tested different banana bread recipes, so that you could confidently join the banana bread baking craze that has swept the world amid the Covid 19 crisis.

I have really enjoyed this challenge that I set myself. Call me competitive; when I see blog posts that say, ” the best ,” “best-ever,”  or  “life changing,” ( insert eye roll here as I can’t believe a recipe can be life changing, but anyway….) I just have to try it myself. So here we have 5 of the 8 recipes I tested.

My criteria was simple: find the tastiest recipe. I tested a variety of different recipes, some were similar and I didn’t want to duplicate recipes that were similar, so these 5 are my final selection, they offer a variety of ingredients and styles from dense and dare I say it , moist, to lighter texture and even one using sour dough discard.

My final selection are the recipes below; 2 were from recipe books, 2 were recipes I had scribbled in my notebook, and one was from a popular blog.

The first two are by far my personal favourites as I like a particular type of banana loaf. Recipe one, from Il de Pane a bakery in Knysna was clearly the most delicious ! Only requiring a dusting of icing to finish it off, was moist and flavourful. Whilst it does require creaming the butter and sugar together, I forgive the extra step for the deliciousness. This is a very dense loaf, which I love, however if you are a fan of a dense type cake skip on down to the last two recipe which are lighter.  Donna Hays recipe is definitely the easiest, a one bowl cake for those who prioritise quick and easy, it is one to include in your repertoire. Number 3, a recipe I have made for many years requires a little more work, and is great if you are looking for the familiar flavours of banana bread with something a little extra for special occasions. The final recipe is my version of a healthy banana loaf, delicious in a loaf tin, sliced, toasted and served with a drizzle of honey or in a lunch tin for snack time. I hope you will enjoy these as much as I have .

Happy baking !

Love Taryne


Basic Banana Bread



il de pain Recipe book Anytime

This recipe was my favourite. It was everything I love about banana loaf. just make sure you use very ripe bananas as they are essential to a good banana loaf !

1 loaf 9 cm x 22 cm 

125g / 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 

213g / 1 cup dark brown sugar

2 large eggs

360g / Approx 4 large very ripe bananas 

56g / 1/4 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

210g / 1 2/3 cup cake flour 

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 

1/2 teaspoon salt

60g / 1/2 cup walnuts  ( optional ) 

  1. Preheat oven to 160oC . Grease and line a loaf tin
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy 
  3. Gradually add the eggs one at a time, incorapate after each addition
  4. Mash the bananas and add the sour cream and vanilla extract. Add to the egg mixture and mix to combine.
  5. Sift the flour, salt, bicarb and fold into the wet mixture, do not beat, only mix lightly to combine. Fold in the walnuts if using.
  6. Spoon into peppered cake tin and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Do not overtake or the loaf will be dry .Remove from the oven, allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a rack, untold and allow to cool completely before slicing.
  7. Serve sliced with honey whipped butter .
Basic Banana Bundt cake with caramel drizzle



Donna Hay Basics to Brilliance 

I loved this recipe, it is so quick an easy, a one bowl cake, which is perfect for baking with children. My family voted this cake their favourite, and I will definitely be making it again soon.

24 cm bundt tin or loaf tin

390g / 1 1/2 cup  mashed ripe bananas (approx 4 bananas)

125ml / 1/2 cup vegetable oil or light olive oil 

3 eggs

260g / 1 1/2 cups brown sugar

225g / 1 1/2 cups self raising flour, sifted 

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

  1. Preheat oven to 180oC. Grease a bundt tin
  2. Place the mashed banana in a large mixing bowl, and add the oil, eggs, sugar and vanilla and mix to combine.
  3. Fold in the sifted flour and cinnamon, mix to combine. DO NOT OVERMIX.
  4. Pour into prepared tin, an bake for 1 hour until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  5. Remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tin. Turn out onto a wire rack, and cool completely.
  6. To serve, pour over the salted caramel and slice.
Rippled Banana & Date Loaf with Lemon Drizzle


This recipe is one of those that I have had in my repertoire for more than 20 years, and its a classic and well traveled too! It came from a weekly column in the Daily Mail newspaper in the UK. I used to make it regularly when I was a chalet girl in Canada, and it was always a delicious tea time treat. I enjoyed making it again, and added the lemon drizzle which the original recipe did not include. It is a lighter cake and not as dense as the first two recipes. 


250g Stoned dried dates

grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

2 very ripe bananas

175g unsalted butter, softened

175g caster sugar

3 eggs

225g self-raising white flour

2.5ml (1/2tsp) baking powder

For the lemon drizzle icing

1 cup icing sugar sifted

zest of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon lemon juice

  1. Preheat the oven to 160c  Grease and line a 1.1 litre loaf tin. Set aside 4 dates.
  2. Place the remainder in a small heavy- based saucepan and add the lemon rind and juice, and 90ml water. Bring to  the boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes until the dates are soft and pulpy. Puree the mixture in a food processor or blender until smooth. (Alternatively mash together in a bowl, using a fork)
  3. Mash the bananas until completely smooth. Cream the butter and sugar, together in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the banana puree and eggs. Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and beat until thoroughly combined.
  4. Spoon a third of the banana mixture into the prepared loaf tin and level the surface. Spread half of the date puree over the surface. repeat these layers, then cover with the remaining banana mixture.
    Cut the reserved dates into thin lengths and scatter them over the surface.
  5. Bake for 1-11/4 hours until well risen and firm to the touch.Leave in the tin for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
  6. To make the icing, mix the icing sugar with the lemon juice and zest, blend until smooth. Pour over the cooled cake, and allow to stand for 10 minutes until the icing is set.

NB The date puree needs to be similar in consistency to the banana mixture. If it seems too thick, beat in a little water.


Light Banana & Walnut Loaf


Best Banana Bread via Drizzle & Dip & Oh Lady Cakes Blog

This recipe was touted as the ” best banana bread recipe ever,”  as per the title. A big claim.  I won’t go so far. Yet, it is still a delicious recipe and was worth including, especially if you prefer a lighter texture cake.  The recipe calls for a teaspoon of salt. I have left the recipe as is, however when I make it again, I will half the quanitity (1/2 tsp) I also made the recipe with coconut sugar, and I don’t think its essential, and I expect that using a dark brown sugar would result in a richer darker loaf.
I made these in smaller loaf tins as part of a post on styling loaf cakes .I wouldn’t necessarily make it this way again, if you do you might need to adjust the cooking time as smaller tins won’t require a long a cooking time as a single loaf tin.

4 very ripe/overripe bananas (380gms)

4 large free-range eggs

2 Tbsp milk (any kind)

½ cup sunflower oil or other neutral oil

1/2 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar (muscovado / Demerara)

2 cups flour (I weighed out 290gms)

2 tsp (8gm) baking powder

¼ tsp (1gm) baking soda

1 tsp salt (yip, a whole teaspoon of table salt)


2 – 3Tbsp coconut sugar (or 2 Tbsp regular dark brown sugar of your choice)

a handful of walnuts, roughly chopped (a little more than ¼ cup)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F and line a medium sized loaf tin with parchment paper ( or grease smaller loaf tins if using)
  2. In a large bowl whisk the bananas until soft (this will happen easily), then add the eggs, milk, oil and sugar. Whisk until well combined.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the wet mixture and gently fold until its incorporated.
  4. Empty this into the lined baking tin and top with the additional sugar, chopped walnuts and sea salt flakes. Bake for 45 – 55 minutes until golden and baked through. To test if it’s done, insert a sharp knife into the thickest part of the loaf and if it comes out clean it’s done. If necessary, loosely cover the loaf with tin foil from about halfway through to prevent over browning.
  5. Allow this to cool in the tin for a while and then remove to cool on a rack.
Healthy Banana Squares


I adapted a recipe I had scribbled down in my note book for a breakfast banana loaf to use some of the sour dough starter discard that I from my other lockdown project – sourdough ! This is a very different type of banana loaf, it is more bread than cake, and high on the virtuous scale, so you can enjoy a big slice for brekkie, guilt free. A drizzle of honey and a good smear of butter will up the deliciousness.

380g / 1 1/2 cups brown whole wheat flour or a combination of spelt & brown flour 

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/4 cups mashed brown bananas

Extra banana for the topping 

50g sourdough discard

1/3 cup melted and slightly cooled coconut oil or light olive oil ( I used olive oil) 

1/2 cup  honey

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 large egg at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Sweet dukka or Demerara sugar & oats for sprinkling 

  1. Heat your oven to 180oC. Grease a loaf pan or square baking tin with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork. Add the  oil and stir until combined. Stir in the sourdough discard, honey, Greek yogurt, egg, and vanilla extract. Stir until smooth.
  4. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, don’t over mix. If you over mix the bread will flatten and end up heavy.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with Demerara sugar, or sweet dukka, chopped walnut or rolled oats and place pieces of banana slices on the top, spacing them evenly .
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the bread comes out clean. Check the bread at 50 minutes, and if browning too quickly cover with foil for the remainder of the time.
  7. Remove the pan from the oven and set on a wire cooling rack. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the bread and carefully remove from the pan. Let the bread cool on the wire cooling rack until slightly warm. Cut into squares so that a banana piece is in the centre of each piece, serve drizzled with extra honey.




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