Banana Bread Bristol Fashion


Banana Bread Bristol Fashion adapted from Brixton Banana Bread by North/South Food

The back story is that Brian eats a lot of bananas and I don’t. So if for some reason he hasn’t eaten them they sit there going browner and browner.  There are always bananas lurking in various stages of decay and I try and ignore them for the most part.

Then I read Brixton Banana Bread by the wonderful North/South Food and was inspired by her freezing her excess bananas for a later date.  Writing this post today, I realise it has taken me almost a year to get round to making this cake but I am glad that I finally did! So many thanks to North/South food for inspiring me to use my brown bananas and for her recipe. 

I looked up banana bread recipes and read loads and then went scooting back to my starting point. Isn’t it often the way?

The BBC one uses butter and buttermilk but I was quite pleased to make a dairy free cake for a change. Felicity Cloake in her How to Cook Perfect everything series, does her survey of various recipes. She seems to make just about everything and is a good reference point.  Here is her article on  How to cook perfect banana bread if you are curious, though her final selection seems to involve a huge amount of baking soda which I don’t think you need. I think banana bread is just one of those foods that are fairly forgiving so I offer my version here:-

Yesterday I disinterred a selection of bananas that had been frozen last July! Embarassing eh?

The time before I had done this, they were incredibly watery and sticky when I defrosted them and I had used them in a pancake filling and they just weren’t very nice at all. So, this time I thought I would let them drain while they defrosted and see what happened next.  I left them for the best part of 24 hours dripping away and used the drained and mashed bananas in the recipe above.  Out of curiosity I tasted the dark liquid that had dripped away. It was dark and sticky and very very sweet. You could probably ferment it into some liqueur or something. (Please don’t shout at me that I have got rid of the best bit!)  So I am thinking that if you want a darker, sweeter and stickier bread then you should add at least part of the drained syrup back in and maybe reduce the sugars elsewhere in the recipe, though it isn’t an exceptionally sweet ‘bread’ anyway.

FullloafingardenI have adapted North/South Food’s recipe to use hazelnuts and  ground almonds and my favourite Basra date syrup and I have changed the spice mix to suit my tastes as I am not a nutmeg and mace fan. I think it would be a good one to try with GF flour, but I don’t do much of that sort of baking.

You will need two bowls and a loaf tin or some cupcake holders if you are making small ones.


  • 250g plain flour
  • 50g ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 75g toasted hazelnuts, very rough chop, some big bits some small
  • 1 generous teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • a large pinch of salt

Spice Mix

  • 3 tsps of ginger
  • 1 tsp all-spice
  • 2 tsps cinnamon
  • 100 ml of vegetable oil ( I used rapeseed)
  • 2 large organic eggs
  • 60g light brown sugar
  • 2 dessertspoons of date syrup ( or sub any syrup you like)
  • 2 tsps of home made vanilla extract
  • 3 large defrosted and drained mashed bananas


The mixture above made enough to three-quarter fill my 400 g Matfer loaf tin the long thin straight sided tin that makes such a nice shaped loaf  (Fran,  is this the tin you were asking about?)  and made three muffin sized cakelets as well.  I compromise on the greasing and lining of tins, by buttering the inside and then placing a strip of silicon baking parchment along the bottom and up the two short sides. I do this because I am lazy and hate lining tins, but am also superstitious that if I don’t vaguely pretend to line the tin it will stick. I buy this useful roll of parchment from Lakeland, it lasts me years.

Heat the oven to 160º Fan/180º Conventional. I cooked this one on the conventional setting.

  • Mix the first lot of ingredients and your spices together in a bowl.
  • Put the oil, sugar, eggs, date syrup and vanilla essence in another bowl and mix well till all amalgamated. This took about 60 seconds at high speed in the Kenwood.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet mix, or the other way round, depending on how you do things and mix them together, don’t overwork this mixing.
  • Drain and mash the defrosted bananas and mix them in last.  I ended up with a fairly thick slightly lumpy batter from the nuts and the bananas.
  • Spoon into your tin to about the three quarter mark and bake for about 55 minutes to an hour and take it out when your skewer comes out clean when you poke it into the loaf.
  • The little cupcake holders which took about two tablespoons of batter each were done in 15-17 minutes.
  • Tip out of tin while still hot and leave to cool on a rack.


We ‘tested’ the three little cupcake sized ones while they were still warm but left the loaf for breakfast, when Brian was filled with joy at having cake for breakfast!  And, I must admit, I had some too! This cake/bread slices beautifully, is quite light and soft without being crumbly and full of banana and spice flavour. It would make excellent picnic food. Brian observed it wouldn’t crumble even if he put it in his pocket. Those pockets….


Did I mention the sun came out this morning and treated us to a little warmth?   Here is a photo of an early variety of daffodil, which I learnt from Sara Venn today is called February Gold. I chucked the bulbs in the corner of this bed by the house when we first moved here and made no note of their name but they have come up every year since, usually in January but even in this apalling wet weather they are still doing their thing.

I think the rain is due back tomorrow but even a little sight of blue sky was enough to make everyone feel a bit happier that I bumped into today.

18 thoughts on “Banana Bread Bristol Fashion

  1. cecilia

    Lovely bread, and I like baking that is not too sweet, that daff is gorgeous, isn’t it just the way with bulbs, I always heave them in then forget where they are or what they are, which reminds me I should have divided my tulips last year and forgot! lovely post, a little sun is always nice… c

    1. Joanna Post author

      I am very slapdash about bulbs, and often find I dig them up when I shouldn’t as I don’t know where they are, but I had some help planting last autumn and am looking forward to some surprise new ones coming up, I can see shoots here and there, so am getting excited :)

  2. Misky

    OH! Look at those daffs!! How marvelous, Joanna. Spring has arrived in your garden. I have hope that we’ll see the same soon. That bread is gorgeous, by the way. Simply wonderful.

    1. Joanna Post author

      The dog just got me up to go out and there are pearly white clouds whisping across the sky at breakneck speed. Roll on Spring but I have a feeling it may get colder first :)

  3. ardysez

    Wow, you have daffodils already. Can anyone not smile while looking at one? Beautiful looking bread… I have a freezer full of frozen bananas! My favourite banana bread has a bit of brandy in it… hehehehehhhhh. I will try yours as I like the nuts, and the spices. Don would also be thrilled to eat cake for breakfast!

    1. Joanna Post author

      I went back and read North/South’s post again and have realised that she mashes the bananas BEFORE she freezes them. I think I like the sound of your brandy soaked banana bread :)

  4. hotlyspiced

    The bread looks amazing. I can’t believe Brian walks around with food in his pockets! The daffodil is a lovely touch of Spring – it can’t be too far off now. I don’t know whether you should have added the sticky liquid or not. I guess it’s a question of experimenting with the recipe. But this is a great way to use up food that otherwise would just be thrown out xx

    1. Joanna Post author

      No I can’t believe it either, I think he was maybe going back to childhood :) I am a convert now to the freezing of bananas !

  5. Ann

    That looks like a really good banana bread. I love that date syrup and use it in lots of things – it was one of your blogs that put me on to it so thank you!
    The daffodils have made me go all nostalgic for the UK – they don’t do well here and I have memories of great drifts of them……

    1. Joanna Post author

      Thanks Ann, the date syrup is relatively new to me too. I bought a mysterious jar of black seed syrup the other day, I haven’t opened it yet. I think it is nigella seed syrup, no idea what it will taste like :) I have one other bulb that is flowering, a tiny blue anenome blanda and lots of green shoots, none of the other daffodils are more than a couple of inches high as yet !

    1. heidiannie

      I am having the hardest time commenting here- yesterday the sock comment got lost and I thought it was gone forever- and then it showed up much later. And now – whilst I’m still in the midst of making a comment it gets posted before I’ve even finished! Anyway- I just wanted to say that I’m not sure which sight was more glorious the bread or the daffodils- but no- I am sure. It is the daffodils.
      Thank you.

      1. Joanna Post author

        I am sorry that you are having a hard time commenting and thanks for persevering Heidi! I think the sock comment went into the ‘moderation’ file because it had a hyperlink in it. I have my settings on that way automatically, that way I can check where the links go before they are published. Do email me if the comments play up and I will do my best to sort them out. The daffodils are so sweet, there are only about eight in the clump but I am always so pleased to see them!

  6. narf77

    I wonder if this could be made without eggs? I might give it an antipodean bash by adding some chia or flax egg alternative or just a besan slurry and I will probably mix that besan slurry with some non-dairy kefir and let the soaked flour sit overnight as it is SURE to rise then! ;). Cheers for the lovely share, the idea that somewhere the world is cold enough to appreciate hot banana bread for breakfast and the hope that someday we, too, will get a little teeny bit of rain to stop the tumbleweeds from triumphantly rolling all the way down our tar melting, cracking highways

    1. Joanna Post author

      I am sure you can make vegan gluten free banana bread and you are most welcome to have some of our rain and cold air, I will just huff and puff in your general direction :)

      1. narf77

        I get the feeling that you wouldn’t mind a few warmish days in return…lets do a week swapsies. One week rain for me and a week nice and warm for you…then we can have a couple of weeks of “our” weather and back to swapsies. A win-win situation all round and one that I am going to petition your House of Lords and Houses of Parliament (of which the Lords are part I am assuming? ;) ) to see what can be done. Anything that delights the general population and results in increased productivity has GOT to be looked at ;)

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