Brixton Banana Bread

Banana bread

I am very fussy about how I like my bananas. Barely yellow, top tipped with green and a satisfying crack when they open, this means that there is about five minute window when they are at the stage where I can eat them and enjoy them. This means I spend a lot of time realising that the little blighters have gone and ripened on me while I was making a cup of tea or turning my back for just a second. This could be pretty wasteful except that I make really really good banana bread.

Like all banana bread, this is a great way to use up overripe bananas, but unlike many banana bread recipes, it’s as simple and straightfoward as you want it to be. In fact this recipe is so simple that it was the only thing at all I could make at all in my teens when I thought cooking and baking was too difficult and scary to be bothered with. I felt confident to make this recipe because I’d learned it from the mother of the family I au paired for one summer in America who couldn’t cook at all. In between ordering take out food or heating up frozen burritos, she whipped up fresh banana bread for breakfast and I figured if someone who struggled with doing carrot sticks to go with hummus could do it, so could I!

Over the 17 years I’ve been making this recipe, I’ve tweaked it a bit and it’s changed from Boston Banana Bread to Brixton Banana Bread with the addition of some different spices, but it’s still super easy to do. I simply mash up bananas as they ripen and freeze in bags until needed. They defrost by the time you’ve measured everything and it means you don’t chuck black bananas out all the time.

Brixton Banana Bread: makes 1lb loaf

  • 300g plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon mace
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 eggs
  • 100ml vegetable oil
  • 75g sugar
  • 1 tablespoon black treacle
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 mashed bananas

Grease and line a 1lb loaf tin and heat the oven to 180℃. Then put the flour and all the other dry ingredients in a bowl. Put the sugar, oil and all other wet ingredients in another bowl and add in the eggs, beating them until combined. Then pour the wet mix into the dry and add in the bananas, mixing lightly til combined. The batter should be dark, glossy and slightly lumpy. Pour it into the loaf tin and bake for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean.

Cool on a rack for as long as you can wait and then have a good thick slice of this with a strong mug of tea. It’s super soft and sticky with a lovely sweet banana flavour and if you don’t devour the whole loaf in one sitting, it keeps really well for several days when wrapped in a tea towel. It also toasts beautifully with a smidge of butter as an excellent breakfast. It’s simplicity itself and I think it’ll probably something you make for years to come to once you’ve tried it!

10 replies
  1. joanna
    joanna says:

    Reading your post I muttered ‘genius’ under my breath. My partner looked up and raised an eyebrow. ‘You can freeze bananas’ I said and read your post to him as I waved at the three blackening bananas on the table. Thankyou for this great recipe !

  2. Becs@Lay the table
    Becs@Lay the table says:

    Oooh a nice cheeky bit of treacle in there…i bet it is delicious. I bought some very green bananas today but it’s pretty much guaranteed that they’ll be forgotten and blackened at the end of the week! Best start prepping for banana bread 😉

  3. Miss South
    Miss South says:

    Becs: the treacle is a recent addition. Really lifts it I find. And makes it go really really well with cream cheese…

  4. Saneie
    Saneie says:

    Thank you very much for this Miss South – I’ve wanted an easy banana bread recipe for ages, ever since a disastrous attempt at a ridiculously complicated one I was assured was ‘to die for’ but was more like ‘to die of’ when produced by me! I shall look forward to making this. Also thanks for the fabulous tip on freezing ripe bananas, I didn’t know you could.

  5. Mary-Claire Wilson
    Mary-Claire Wilson says:

    Miss South!
    I loved your pearl barley risotto and stuffed cabbage recipe (from the Observer). Made it when I should have been writing. Aren’t you on Twitter? Wanted to sing your praises there.

  6. Miss South
    Miss South says:

    Laura: the great banana watch is over! Just don’t freeze them whole rather than mashed. You get the saddest limp thing look like it’s trying to crawl off the plate otherwise!

    Mary-Claire: you’re making me blush! I’m on Twitter as northsouthfood. Mister North and I share the account so come say hi!

    Saneie: I promise this is really really simple. I’ve never had it fail and I’ve had positive feedback from anyone I’ve given the recipe to other many years. It really is my Old Faithful!

    Sophie: a little butter? You’re a better lady than me….

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