Banana and walnut loaf

November 12, 2016
Sweet bakes
Family Verdict:


75g Soft maragarine (such as stork)

100g white sugar

1 large egg

225g plain flour

2 level teaspoons baking powder

4 over-ripe medium bananas

grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon (I sometimes substitute a splash of lemon juice of i dont have a lemon to hand)

50g walnut pieces

demerera sugar to sprinkle over

You need to make this is a 1lb loaf tin (one with sides approx cm * cm). Grease the loaf tin and (if you have it) line the bottom with some easi-glide type non stick material

Put the flour, margarine, egg, baking powder and sugar in a bowl and mix together - use a mixer if you have one. The mixture will be rather dry and clumpy like not quite pastry dough

Mash the bananas in a separate bowl and add the citrus zest and walnuts

Add the banana mix to the flour mix and carefully mix them all together to get a homogeneous texture. Try not to break up the walnuts.

Pour into the loaf tin and bang it on the counter a couple of times to leel the mixture

sprinkle (with a heavy hand) demerera sugar over the surface

Put into an oven at 180 C for 1 hour

remove from oven when it is golden and firm to the press. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out and remove the bake-o-glide from the base.


Its the weekend, its November and it is raining so stuck indoors despite the Garden calling. So after ferrying the Eldest and the Boy into Cambridge early doors, the youngest off to a party and a two hour window before Second Daughter needs to go to dance. What to do. Well any number of things that need not concern us here, but on eyeing up the fruit bowl I spy a hand of over-ripe bananas.

Now the issue with bananas in this house is that the Offspring will only eat them in a very narrow window of time. When brought home and they are all gorgeously yellow and spotless they will be eaten with Gusto. They love bananas. The trouble is if they miss this window and they start to enter the banana equivalent of adolescence then the appearance of spots puts them all off. As soon as the spots appear then the Bananas are doomed. I can (and have) watched them go spotty to brown to black to liquid in the fruit-bowl, without a demur from the Offspring.

So long ago I learnt what to do with them - I turn them into a cake. The cake needs over-ripe bananas for sweetness and I get not to have to throw them away with all the guilt that brings. Plus the Offspring, who have no obvious recognition of the irony, love the cake even if they abhor the main ingredient.

The cake is based originally on a Delia recipe from the book that was a bible when we were packed off the Uni - the complete cookery course. I still use it today, it is a little dated but still has some timeless nuggets in it.

The cake is a doddle to make. If you have the over-ripe bananas you probably have everything else you need. The addition of demerera sygar sprinkled over the top is mine. It adds a crunch to the cake which is lovely and rounds it off nicely. As a bonus, the cake does not really go stale and keeps for several days and because of the natural sweetness of the bananas does not have too much added sugar (in fact you could try cutting this back even further. Once it is in your repertoire, you will come back to it again and again.

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