EASY EVERYDAY BANANA LOAF

EASY EVERYDAY BANANA LOAF

I've been baking this cake for years and it really is the best way to use up your over-ripe bananas. Serve it in thick, greedy slices with plenty of tea.

This version has a lovely golden topping of almonds and sugar, but if you're not a fan of nuts you could happily lose those and still have a delicious loaf. I've included some twists and tweaks on this recipe depending on what you like in a banana loaf {there are so many versions!} in my baking notes at the end of the recipe.


Easy everyday banana loaf

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

170g unsalted butter, cubed, room temperature

170g golden caster sugar

3 medium eggs

1 tsp mixed spice

1tsp sweet ground cinnamon 

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp date nectar

3 ripe bananas, peeled

170g self-raising flour

2 tbsp demerara sugar

handful flaked almonds

METHOD

Preheat your oven to 180˚C/Gas Mark 4.

Prepare a 2lb loaf tin with a loaf baking liner or grease and line with baking paper.

Using an electric mixer if you have one, combine the butter and sugar on a medium speed until smooth and creamy. One by one, whisk in the eggs – then add the spices, vanilla extract and date nectar.

Roughly break the bananas up into pieces and then whisk everything again until combined. The bananas will break down easily into smaller chunks as you whisk, so don't worry too much about lumpy cake!

Remove the bowl from the mixer. Sift a little of the flour at a time into the mixture, folding in gently with spatula or palette knife until you have a smooth batter.

Spoon the mixture into the tin and level out.

Combine the demerara sugar and almonds in a small bowl. Sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the cake.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and when a skewer is inserted into the centre of the cake it comes out clean.


Baking notes

  • Always use over-ripe bananas; they should be a speckled custard-yellow on the skin {as oppose to the limey fresh yellow of an unripe banana} and very soft inside. 
  • For fruity variety, reduce your bananas by one and add 70g of chopped dates, apricots or sultanas {or a combination of all!}. 
  • If nuts are your thing, reduce the flour to 100g and add 70g ground almonds. You can also add 70g of chopped pecans or hazelnuts to the overall recipe if you fancy! Whole pecans also make a great alternative topping to almonds.
  • In winter, I use dark brown muscovado sugar instead of golden caster and swap the date nectar for treacle. I also increase the mixed spice by an extra teaspoon for a richer, cold-weather friendly version of the cake.
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