Banana bread is a tasty afternoon treat that goes perfectly with a cup of tea or coffee. It’s a quick and easy recipe, and a great way to use up overripe bananas. It’s so easy that most of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry!
The sugar content in this recipe is less than some others but the dates more than make up the sweetness. The advantage of using less sugar is the bread is less prone to burning when baked. It gives a crispy texture that keeps everyone coming back for more.
Everyone has their own preference for when a banana is perfectly ripe. The problem is they’re notoriously difficult to time the ripeness right. For that reason I always seem to end up with the odd banana or two at the end of the bunch that just don’t get eaten in time. Whenever that happens, this recipe comes into play! It’s perfect when the bananas are just starting to turn brown, or even if they’ve sat around for a few days longer. It really doesn’t matter and the end result is always the same… delicious.
That said, if you don’t want to make banana bread straight away, a trick I use is to put the ripe bananas in the freezer. They’ll keep in there for a few weeks and although the skin will turn black, they are perfectly fine on the inside. Just let them defrost a little before mashing them up for the bread.
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Making banana bread
There’s not too many tricks to making this one. Everything is added to a mixing bowl and it’s all stirred together before being placed into a loaf pan. If you don’t want to add the dates you can skip them, but they make the final result extra gooey with a touch of honey sweetness.
The pan goes into the oven for 65-75 minutes. Test the bread with a wooden skewer or chopstick and when it comes out clean, it’s ready. Let the bread sit in the pan for about 10 minutes after coming out of the oven. If you try to remove it too soon it will be prone to crumble. Then turn it out onto a cooling rack to cool. I love to eat the banana bread while it’s still warm so it doesn’t have to cool completely. Wait about 30 minutes before slicing though otherwise the bread texture will be more brittle than springy.
Serve with a knob of butter or enjoy it as it comes. This banana bread will easily last for a few days in an airtight container… if you manage to last that long before eating it all! To make the leftovers more enjoyable, cut a slice and place it in the microwave for about 15 seconds. It’ll be as good as it was freshly baked.
And that’s all there is to it. Simple and delicious banana bread. The perfect afternoon treat. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
- 300 g self-raising flour, sifted
- 160 g brown sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 125 ml buttermilk
- 150 g unsalted butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large bananas, mashed
- ⅓ cup dates, chopped
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped
- unsalted butter, extra for greasing pan
- Pre-heat oven to 180ºC. Grease a loaf pan (10 x 20cm) and line with baking paper.
- Using a metal spoon, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and mixed spice in a mixing bowl. In a seperate bowl, lightly whisk the eggs and vanilla extract. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the egg mixture along with the buttermilk, butter and bananas. Stir until combined and then add the dates and walnuts. Gently stir until completely combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 65-75 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted comes out clean. Set aside to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.
- Serve slices warmed with butter.
- No buttermilk? Simply take regular milk and add a teaspoon of lemon juice. Let it sit for 5 minutes until it starts to thicken and add to the recipe in place of the buttermilk.
Have you tried this recipe?
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