Hearty, tasty and perfect for breakfast, lunch or teatime, banana bread is one of our favourite things to make (and eat!). Its fruity name means it always feels a bit more virtuous than tucking in to other types of cake. There are so many variations of this moist loaf, but our spiced Earl Grey-sultana take on a Nigella recipe is ideal for this time of year.
100 g sultanas (soaked overnight, if possible)
1 mug of Earl Grey
175 g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
125 g unsalted butter (melted)
150 g caster sugar
2 large eggs
3 medium bananas (mashed)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Completely cover the sultanas with a steaming mug of Earl Grey, then leave to soak for at least 1 hour, but ideally overnight. Drain once you’re ready to bake.
Preheat the oven to 170ºC/gas mark 3/325ºF. Put the flour, baking powder, bicarb, spices and salt in a medium-sized bowl and combine well using a wooden spoon.
In a large bowl, mix the melted butter and sugar and beat until blended. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the mashed bananas. Then, with your wooden spoon, stir in the drained sultanas and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture, a third at a time, stirring well after each bit.
Scrape into a large lined loaf tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 1 hour or slightly more, until golden. Leave in the tin on a rack to cool then slice and serve with a cup of tea. This keeps really well for at least 3 days and is also delicious toasted under the grill with a dash of salty butter on top.