Banana Loaf is a great way to use up over-ripe bananas and the resulting cake is moist, tasty and travels well. This recipe uses the all-in-one method and is quick to make in a food processor.
This is a very ordinary-looking cake, it’s definitely not winning prizes for looks. But it is a very handy recipe to have in your repertoire as it’s lovely and moist because of the bananas. If you don’t like the taste of ripe bananas (and I don’t) you’ll find the flavour of the banana bread isn’t overpowering. This is an easy and quick method for making Banana Loaf. If you don’t have a food processor, it still works – it will just take a little longer.
The bananas need to be ripe enough to mash. Black skins aren’t necessarily a problem. If you only have one or two bananas that are too ripe, put them in the freezer until you have 2-3 good size ones, then make the cake. If you have loads of bananas – as you sometimes do in warm weather – make two cakes and freeze one.
Fruit and nuts
I use sultanas and pecans for my Banana Loaf cakes, but you could use raisins instead. Walnuts are fine instead of pecans. Use whichever you have.
A little bit of rum
The sultanas for this cake are soaked in rum – if you don’t like the flavour, use a spirit of your choice, or you could use orange juice.
Secrets of success
Three things that will mess up your cake:
- Blitzing the nuts to bits – Chopping nuts often puts me off using them in cakes, so here you just pulse them a few times. Just be careful not to overdo it!
- Cooking the eggs with hot butter – This recipe uses melted butter (about 30 sec. on HIGH in the microwave), and the all-in-one method. Don’t put the eggs on top of the hot butter in the bowl. Either put sugar or flour between them or don’t let the butter get too hot. Either way, don’t let the ingredients sit around in the bowl.
- Leaving big chunks of banana – This only happens if your bananas aren’t totally ripe. If they are ripe, they only take a few pulses to combine with the mixture. If they’re not quite soft enough, you’ll get chunks. If it happens, just mash with a fork and mix in.
Why are my cakes sometimes dry?
If your cakes turn out dry, check out my article Why Is My Cake Dry? for some of the most common reasons and the solutions.
Does it freeze?
Banana Loaf freezes well. Wrap in foil or, I’ve recently tried beeswax wraps, which work well. Keep for up to 3 months. If you don’t eat much cake, you can cut it in half and freeze half for later.
Banana Loaf also travels well and is ideal for taking on a self-catering holiday to sustain yourself in the car, and have something delicious for tea. Leave it in the paper wrapper and wrap in foil
- Baking parchment loaf tin liner – Line the tin with a liner and forget about it sticking, or greasing the tin – and the washing up is easier too. Leave the cake in the liner if you’re freezing the cake, or while storing in the fridge to keep it moist
- Oven thermometer – If you’re at all uncertain about oven temperature, a thermometer will help. They’re relatively inexpensive, but make sure you buy one with large numbers (to read through the glass door).
- Beeswax Loaf Wrap – I’m trying to reduce the amount of clingfilm, foil and plastic bags that I use, and my biggest problem has been something to wrap loaf cakes in for the freezer. I’ve now found large beeswax wraps that will cover a loaf of bread, and are ideal for loaf cakes. They’re washable and you can even rejuvenate them. Definitely worth a look.
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- 100 g sultanas
- 60 ml rum
- 125 g butter, at room temperature
- 75 g pecans or walnuts
- 2 large eggs
- 100 g caster sugar
- 180 g self-raising flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder (2.5ml)
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (2.5ml)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5ml)
- 2-3 very ripe bananas (300g peeled fruit)
- Heat the sultanas with the rum. Bring to the boil, cover and leave for half an hour, if possible (but not vital). Use the microwave or a saucepan
- Set the oven to 150°C fan, gas mark 3
- Grease a 2lb loaf tin with butter or use a paper liner
- Melt the butter. About 30 seconds on HIGH in the microwave
For the Banana Loaf:
- Chop the nuts. Pulse a few time in the processor until they're the right size – don't overdo it!
- Take the nuts out and put them aside
- Put all the ingredients except the banana, dried fruit, and nuts into the processor and blitz for about a minute. Scrape down and blitz for 10 seconds.(Eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, bicarb, salt, butter, vanilla)
- Add the bananas and pulse a few times until they're incorporated. If the bananas aren't totally ripe you will have some lumps – just mash them in with a fork
- Add the nuts and sultanas and mix with a spoon to avoid obliteration
- Spoon into the prepared tin
- Bake for 1-1 ¼ hours, but check after 1 hour. The cake will be done when the top is brown and a cocktail stick comes out clean
- Cool in the tin.
Everyday Cooks Tips:
- Although the recipe uses a food processor, you can use any sort of mixer with these modifications:
- Chop the nuts roughly with a sharp knife
- Mash the banana with a fork before mixing in
- To freeze, leave the cake in the paper wrapper, wrap in foil and seal in a plastic bag or box. Freeze for up to 3 months
- Store in the fridge in the liner in an airtight plastic box for a week or two.