Banana loaf is also known as banana cake or bread. Either way, bananas can certainly add a special something to any standard cake recipe. Fresh and flavorsome, bananas are an underrated and fantastic ingredient for baking with. In addition, they have many excellent health benefits to boot.
Bananas have a high fiber content which will help the structure of our banana cake to stick together, and they contain the amino acid tryptophan. This is a fantastic aid if you suffer with low mood and depression because the body converts this amino acid into serotonin, which is one of the body’s feel-good hormones. This will help to elevate and boost your mood for the better. Certainly, eating bananas on their own would be the healthier way to get all these fantastic health benefits, but this recipe is about banana cake to enjoy with family and friends.
This recipe is especially good if you have a few overripe or ‘just about to pass for eating’ quality bananas left over. So instead of wasting them and throwing them away, you could put them into this delicious recipe, and no-one will be able to tell that the bananas were going soft. If anything, their soft texture will help them to blend into the cake more readily and with lovely smooth results.
If you are not much of a cook or baker then fear not. If you follow this recipe accurately, then you should be able to produce something that is both edible and tasty, in less than an hour from start to finish.
You will probably have most of the following ingredients in a cupboard at home to give baking this recipe a try today. Baking can be very therapeutic and relaxing. This loaf could last for months if you freeze it once it is made and fully cooled down. Otherwise store it for up to a month in an airtight container and/or bread bin.
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- 200g self raising flour
- 150g caster sugar
- 125g butter, softened
- 50ml milk
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- 100g walnuts, chopped (optional extra)
*Preheat the oven for 180C/Gas Mark 4
Firstly, lightly grease a loaf tin with some butter or margarine. This step is important to stop the loaf from sticking to the sides of the tin when baking. Also, it makes it easier to remove from the tin afterwards. You could use grease proof paper instead of butter, or you could combine both methods together. Doing this will help to ensure that your banana cake really will not stick to the sides of the tin.
After you have done this, find a medium sized bowl and combine all the dry ingredients together. This includes the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger. Giving the flour a good airing by sifting it too will help the cake to rise nicely.
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Next up, you can add all the wet ingredients so that includes the butter, egg and the milk. In a separate bowl, mash up the two bananas fully and then add these to the cake mix as well.
Stir the batter with a wooden spoon, or use an electric hand whisk if you have one available. This method will be a lot quicker and easier to help ensure that all the ingredients are integrated fully.
If you are including the optional walnuts, then fold them into the mixture at this point too. You should aim for the finished cake to have a smooth, even texture without any lumps (apart from the walnuts of course). Therefore, take your time with this step and in combining the ingredients together.
Now you are ready to bake your banana cake, or 'loaf' depending on what you prefer to call it. So carefully pour the mixture into your greased loaf tin, and pop it into the oven for approximately forty-five minutes at 180C. You should check that the top of the cake turns a nice golden color before removing it from the oven.
Insert a clean knife into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean then this means that the cake is cooked inside and is ready to remove. Allow it to cool fully on a wire rack before attempting to remove it from the baking tin.
You could ice it if you wish with a mixture of icing sugar and water, with a ratio of three parts icing sugar to one part water. Enjoy!
If you want to go further when baking this recipe, then you can add other ingredients to your banana loaf to make it taste more interesting and flavorsome.
Spicy ingredients such as cinnamon and ginger mentioned above, will pack a punch in terms of flavor. In addition, have you also thought to include one teaspoon of allspice or ground cardamom?
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Dry mixed fruit could also go down a real treat, and works well with the flavors of the cake. Simply add anything up to two-hundred grams of your favorite dried fruits to the recipe above.
Orange and lemon zest work well too, and you could even add chocolate chips and ice it for a really indulgent version! There are so many ways to customize this recipe with other nuts and berries, so you can experiment and get creative when baking.
I hope that you are now excited to try out this easy recipe. It is one of my favorites because it is quick, simple and can be eaten with savory or sweet items. You may prefer it simply on its own or with butter. Bananas have so much more to offer than we give them credit for.
Why not comment below if you have used bananas in any other recipes lately and share with others your ideas for great dishes which include bananas.
Below is a You Tube video from the channel ‘Joy of Baking’ with Stephanie Jaworski. She makes a delicious chocolate banana bread recipe. This provides a great alternative flavor and taste to the classic loaf.