Banana and Cardamon Loaf


This is my go-to banana loaf recipe for when those bruising and sweetly turning bananas are slowing deteriorating in the fruit bowl, unaware of their potential. This loaf is easy to knock out and can be kept for a while in the cake tin. Here I’ve added the beautifully pungent ground cardamon but this can be left out or substituted.

I love banana loaf as its one of those ‘cakes’ that is less restricted by Paul and Mary’s dreaded ‘science’ of baking. This recipe for example only has one egg in the entire mixture but still manages to set with a lovely rich texture. The recipe is therefore hugely open to adaptation and I change mine practically every time. Try these little additions which I’ve done in the past:

  • Ground cardamon, cinnamon or ginger
  • Replace hazelnuts for your classic walnut
  • Add chunks of chocolate chips
  • Add a handful or desiccated coconut
  • Add a decadent molten layer of peanut butter/salted caramel/Nutella inside
  • Top the mixture with a crumble mixture before baking
  • Soak the bananas in rum for a bit…



Makes 1 loaf (Taken from Delia Smith’s ‘All in one Banana Loaf’ with a few adaptations)

  • 75g butter, softened
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  •  225g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cardamon (or other spice of choice)
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 70g hazelnuts, toasted and chopped roughly.
  • Handful demerara sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a loaf tin with parchment.
  2. Place the butter, sugar and egg in a food processor and combine (or use an electric hand whisk)
  3. Sieve over the flour, spices and baking powder and combine (don’t worry if it looks dry!)
  4. Add the bananas to the processor and combine until you have a smooth and creamy batter.
  5. Stir through the nuts (or any chocolate chips, coconuts additions etc)
  6. Pour into the loaf tin and sprinkle generously with the demerara sugar (or crumble) to create a nice crunchy topping. (If adding a layer of peanut butter/caramel etc, add half the batter to the tin, dot with the chosen filling and then spoon on the remaining batter to cover before baking)
  7. Bake for 50-55 minutes until cooked.
  8. Leave to cool in the tin before removing and slicing

Gorgeous sliced, toasted and layered with cinnamon butter