A Morning Cake: Banana Bread

It took me a long time to be convinced by the virtues of banana bread. I was after a flavour and texture that could work in the morning (so not too sweet or soft) and as a treat at teatime (so not too bready). I mean, what could be better than a cake that can be eaten for breakfast? But the elusive combination of density and moistness evaded me for years; every recipe I tried was either too dry, too spongy or (and I know this sounds weird) too banana-flavoured. Then, having re-discovered the delights of its carrot cake, and knowing that the North Americans are experts in baking, I turned again to the New York Cookbook.

Here, of course, I found a recipe that I love not only because it’s dead simple but also because it works brilliantly with bananas in all states of repair. I first made it with some that were so ripe when I froze them that they were liquid by the time I’d defrosted them. To this day I’ve never bettered that result.

Banana Bread (adapted from the New York Cookbook)

You will need:

115g/4 oz butter (the recipe calls for 1 stick, which is a quarter of a pound)

1 1/3 cups dark brown muscovado sugar

3 large eggs, mixed together lightly with a fork

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (not, as the photo above suggests, baking powder)

1/4 cup sour cream

1 1/2 cups plain flour (either a mix of half wholewheat, half white, or just white; the recipe recommends x and y flour combined but I’ve successfully made it with white plain flour)

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup really really ripe bananas (ones that have gone completely soggy and black-skinned are the best), mashed to a pulp

a large, greased loaf tin (mine is about 21cm long by 12cm wide by 6cm deep)


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4 or 160C for a fan-assisted oven.

1. Cream together the sugar and butter…

until you have something that looks like this…

2. Add the eggs and vanilla extract then mix again briefly until all incorporated.

3. Stir the bicarbonate of soda into the sour cream and add to the eggs/butter/sugar mixture.

4. Mix the wet ingredients together to form a smooth batter.

5. Sift the flour and salt together, then add to the batter.

6. Finally fold in the mashed bananas and mix until thoroughly combined. 7. Put the batter into the loaf tin and bake for about 50 minutes (the recipe says an hour, but I’ve never left it that long) until a knife inserted into it comes out clean.

This entry was posted in Breakfast, Cakes, Cookery books, Easy cakes, Fast food, New York Cookbook, Saturday breakfast, Sunday Breakfast, Very few ingredients and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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