Best Ever Banana Bread

This is a family favourite and one of those ‘go to’ recipes I make again and again; especially if there are a few overripe bananas in the fruit bowl. It barely lasts a day in our house and is so so easy to make – I’d encourage even the most hesitant would-be baker to give it a try. It’s one of Nigella’s, from her Domestic Goddess book – probably the best book I know for those staple baking recipes everyone looks for.

Makes 8-10 slices   |  20 mins prep plus 90 mins cooking


  • 100g sultanas
  • 50ml whisky, rum or brandy
  • 175g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 125g unsalted butter, melted
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3-4 bananas, very ripe, mashed (about 300g without skin)
  • 60g chopped walnuts
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

You will also need…

  • a 2lb loaf tin, buttered and lined with greaseproof paper


  1. Put the sultanas and whatever alcohol you choose to use in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, cover and leave for up to an hour to allow the sultanas to absorb the liquid. Drain.
  2. Preheat the oven to 160c (fan), prepare the loaf tin and get started on the rest.
  3. Sieve the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt into a medium bowl and combine well.
  4. In a larger bowl, use a hand held mixer to combine the melted butter and sugar until well blended. Beat in the eggs one at a time and add the mashed bananas, then use a wooden spoon to add the chopped walnuts, drained sultanas and vanilla paste.
  5. Add the flour mixture a third at a time , stirring well after each addition. Scrape into the prepared loaf tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 90mins but check after 75mins. When it’s ready, a skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean.
  6. Leave in the tin on a rack to cool before slicing and eating with or without a thick spreading of butter. Yum!

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