I have used, and recommended this recipe more times than I can remember. One of the things I particularly love about this recipe is that, because it uses American cups for the measurements, it always feels super quick to pull together. I use the ones by Joseph & Joseph – although mine are clearly an older style and no longer stocked anywhere!
The original recipe can be found on the American food blog, Cookie & Kate. The recipe I use is virtually the same – with some tweaks of ingredients to reflect a UK shopping experience and a slight simplification.
For example, I replace ‘Baking Soda’ with ‘Bicarbonate of Soda’ on the ingredients list – which seems like an American thing. And I never measure out my bananas in a cup like in the original recipe. Instead I just grab two bananas, mash them up and chuck them into the mix. In other words, this is the slightly lazier, British version of the original recipe!
There are also a one or two things that I’d recommend through extensive banana bread cooking (and tasting!) over the years.
The first of these recommendations, is that I have never been able to find ‘white whole wheat flour’ that Cookie & Kate recommend in their recipe, and when I used regular whole wheat flour it came out a bit… dense. I’ve also tried wholemeal bread flour which was just plain awful. As a result, I like to use wholemeal spelt flour – it’s a bit easier to find in the UK (I usually get it from Holland & Barrett) and is has enough structural integrity for the bananas.
The second recommendation is, make sure your bananas are seriously ripe. The riper you bananas – the better! Ideally brown all over, and very spotty. As they ripen they tend to take on a more syrupy consistency and ooze into the bread. If they’re not ripe enough, your bread won’t have as strong a banana flavour.
Next, although you can use Extra Virgin Olive Oil, I think it makes a huge difference if you use melted coconut oil. I fill up the measuring cup, and then put it in the microwave for 10-30 seconds, depending upon how solid it is, until it’s melted. You don’t want it to be boiling hot though or you’ll cook your eggs!
Ultimate Banana Bread
- ⅓ cup Melted Coconut Oil or Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- ½ cup Honey or Maple Syrup
- 2 Eggs
- 1 cup Mashed Ripe Bananas about 2 ½ medium or 2 large bananas
- ¼ cup Milk of choice or water
- 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda NOT to be confused with baking powder!
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ½ tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon plus more to swirl on top
- 1 ¾ cups Wholemeal Spelt Flour
Preheat oven to 165°C (140°C fan) or 325° Fahrenheit, and grease a 9×5-inch bread tin.
In a large bowl, beat the oil and honey together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well, then whisk in the mashed bananas and milk. (If your coconut oil solidifies on contact with the cold ingredients, pop your bowl in the microwave for 10 seconds to warm).
Add the bicarbonate of soda, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon, and whisk to blend. Lastly, switch to a big spoon and stir in the flour, just until combined. Some lumps are ok! If you’re adding any additional mix-ins, gently fold them in now.
Pour the batter into your greased bread pan and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.
Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before slicing (or less if you're like me and just can't wait!)
Anyway, let me know what you think. Hopefully you enjoy as much as I have, and it becomes a part of your regular recipe rotation! As ever, let me know 🙂