Brilliant Banana Bread

I think everyone has made banana bread at one time or another. It’s one of those recipes that graces most cookbooks and everyone seems to have a family recipe hidden somewhere. We make it at LEAST once a week in our house either as muffins or as a loaf and we love to spice things up by adding in different ingredients. Shop-bought banana breads and muffins are PACKED with sugar and sometimes other nasties (like preservatives and transfats)  and its such a convenient crowd-pleaser to have on standby for my (permanently)  hungry boys. This version can be refined sugar free, is not crazily sweet, and healthy enough to eat every day. You can add coconut sugar or add unrefined brown sugar if you prefer – all versions taste good!

Made with rich cocoa for a Chocolate Banana Bread version 

Muffins work well for school (easy to transport) and this bread also works well for a quick breakfast (slathered in nut butter) when you just want something simple. Its really SO easy and quick to make and both my boys can make this (almost) on their own 🙂

You can make this Banana bread your own by adding the things you like – walnuts, raw chocolate, pecans, pumpkin seeds – whatever you and your family enjoy. I like to add some desiccated coconut (as in this pic) for some crunch, although be warned – desiccated coconut can dry things out so maybe just a couple of tablespoons.

Beauteous Banana bread! We added seeds and a sliced banana on top

You can also replace the stoneground wholemeal flour with Spelt flour – or even gluten free flour depending on your preference. I like to use Spelt as its naturally low in gluten and always GMO Free. It gives it a different texture and I find makes the loaf more like bread and less like cake. If you wanted to add more moistness add some raisins, chopped apricots or dried pears – I have done that before here and it was super yummy.

In season Pecans were added here

The only other note I will add is to use VERY ripe bananas – the more ripe the better the flavour and texture. And you can keep a chunkier texture when you mash if you prefer – I know my youngest has a thing for “bits” so I cream mine up. Generally in baking its important to be precise so stick to the method if you want perfection –  don’t mix up the order of mixing 🙂

Chocolate marbled version here! Halve the batter once prepared and then add 4 tbsp cocoa to half and mix in. Dollop the mixture in spoon-fulls alternating so you will end up with a marbled finish!


250g Stoneground wholemeal flour (I like Wellness warehouse or Biowheat)

2 teaspoons baking powder

125g unsalted organic butter, softened – OR coconut oil OR light Olive oil

100g Unrefined brown sugar (I like Natura Sugars) OR 1/2 cup runny honey OR 100g Coconut Sugar

4 very ripe bananas, mashed

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Pinch of ground cloves (optional)

Additions: Walnuts, Raw chocolate, apricots, cranberries, grated orange zest, Pecans, Raisins, dried diced pear – you can also leave the ground cloves out but we love the additional spice that gives.


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and prepare a 19cm x 11cm loaf pan, by lining it with baking paper.

Cream your softened butter (or oils) with your honey and until creamy and then add your mashed bananas, then your eggs, then your vanilla and spices.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and gently fold it into the batter taking care not to overmix.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin (23cm x 13cm – standard) and bake for just over an hour or until the bread is tested with a skewer and comes out clean. I find this cooking time varies depending on what I have added to the batter so take care and don’t take it out too early. If you feel the top is browning too fast cover with foil.

Leave your fragrant Banana Bread to cool in the tin for 5 minutes and then turn onto a wire rack to cool further.

I love mine still hot from the oven with a little organic butter or a drizzle of Macadamia nut butter and this loaf makes about 8-10 slices depending on how generous you are feeling.

Note: You can also make these into muffins just by dolloping into muffin cases and a pan and cooking for 25 minutes at the same temp.