We're a nation of banana bread lovers, and for good reason. Banana bread is one of those irresistible treats that is a joy to bake and (more importantly) eat. It also uses up overripe bananas that may have been destined for the bin. And if our social media feeds are anything to go by, the best banana bread recipe has been a go to for those of us who've been using the lockdown period as an opportunity to get baking.
Equally enjoyable for breakfast with a cup of coffee, as a lazy midday brunch, or as an accompaniment to our afternoon cup of tea, we're excited to bring you our ultimate banana bread recipe. You'll need a handful of ingredients – the most important being speckled bananas – and around thirty minutes to achieve this dreamy banana bread. Want the process to be even easier? We recommend using a food mixer.
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Banana bread recipe
The best thing about banana bread is how easy the recipe is to adapt. Whether you like the idea of adding fresh or frozen fruit – we love the idea of blueberries – want to make your banana bread gluten free, or want to try out experimenting with different sweeteners including honey, or maple syrup, you can't go far wrong as long as you rely on our ultimate banana bread recipe as your base.
Here's everything you need to know:
- 2 eggs
- 3 or 4 overripe bananas
- Plain flour, 125 grams
- Greek yoghurt, 200 grams
- Sugar or another sweetener, around 50 grams or to taste
- Baking soda, one teaspoon
- Butter, for lining the cake tin (you can also use olive oil instead)
1. Preheat your oven to 180ºC/160º fan oven/gas mark 4.
2. Beat the butter until it's smooth and creamy. Add the eggs and combine.
3. Mash your bananas and combine them in your mixer bowl with the flour, yoghurt, sugar and butter, and whisk until the consistency is smooth and slowly flowing, but not too runny. The measurements are not an exact science here: if your batter is too runny, add a bit more flour; if it's too thick and dry, add more yoghurt.
4. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden on top. Check the cake is cooled right through by sliding a clean knife into its centre. If it emerges clean of baking mix, it's ready to come out; otherwise give it another five minutes.
5. Cool before serving. You can also freeze this cake after baking – it'll be good in the freezer for about a month.
How to make banana bread like Jamie Oliver
If, like us, you're on your third, fourth of fifth loaf – having obviously relied on our original banana bread recipe for inspiration – you may be looking for easy ways to switch things up (isn't life wild at the moment?) to further refine your technique. So, we thought we'd look to celebrity chef Jamie Oliver for some fresh inspiration.
What did we discover? Well, well, well, as you might expect Jamie Oliver has some secret ingredients that he uses to make his banana bread extra tasty. And, what's more, they're probably things that you already have hanging around the house.
1. Jamie doesn't whisk his bananas into a smooth consistency. Instead, he mashes them so that they're 'smooth and chunky' – folding them into the mixture with the flour. The end result: sweet pockets of baked banana.
2. What was the secret ingredient we were on about? Well, Jamie Oliver stirs in a splash of apple juice to his mashed banana for an extra sweet touch, along with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey when he adds the flour. Mmmm tasty.
3. Jamie Oliver also adds his eggs one at a time, beating one egg in entirely before adding the next.
4. Lastly? Jamie adds roughly chopped pecans for a bit of crunch. Yum.