This is a barely adapted, lazier version of Nigella Lawson’s banana bread – not that the original was fussy or anything. You still get a fragrant, slightly sweet, soft cake that is lovely to have with a hot drink, or perhaps with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream if you want to get fancy. Just make sure you use really ripe bananas, black and slightly shrivelled, too pungent and squashy to eat – that means it’s intense enough to use in this cake.

Omit or play around with the raisins, nuts, or other additions and toppings as you wish; I just had some pine nuts left over, but flaked almonds, pistachios, and rolled oats are also delicious.

Recipes: Banana Bread with Pine Nuts

Serving Size: Serves: 8 – 10 slices


  • . 175g plain flour
  • . 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • . ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • . ½ teaspoon salt
  • . 125g unsalted butter, melted (plus a bit extra for greasing)
  • . 125g white caster sugar
  • . 2 large eggs
  • . 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • . 3 - 4 small/medium very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
  • . 100g raisins or sultanas
  • . A couple of tablespoons pine nuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. Grease and line a loaf tin of at least 9” x 3” (23 cm x 7.5 cm) with a little butter and a long strip of baking paper. I cut the paper so it hangs over the short ends of the tin, greasing the unlined sides well.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the plain flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt. Set aside for now.
  4. Beat the melted butter and the sugar together in a large bowl until just blended.
  5. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract.
  6. Tip in the mashed bananas and the raisins, combining well.
  7. Add the flour mixture a third at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
  8. When everything’s smooth and blended, pour the cake batter into the prepared loaf tin.
  9. Sprinkle some pine nuts on top, covering the batter well.
  10. Bake for 1 hour, possibly a little more.
  11. When it’s ready, the cake should be well-risen and golden, and a cake tester (skewer/toothpick/bit of spaghetti) poked into the middle should come out mostly clean, maybe with a moist crumb stuck to it, but certainly no wet batter.
  12. Cool in the tin, then slice and eat as you wish.
  13. This cake will keep wrapped in foil at room temperature for a couple of days.

About The Author

History of Art graduate from SOAS (jointly with UCL). I cook, eat, and observe the world. Then I write about it and share it with you. This is a unilateral decision.

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