Banana Date Loaf

This was kind of an experiment.  I had spotty bananas lurking malevolently in the fruit bowl, gassing the other residents, and a recipe that a friend had recommended.  All good so far. I started off with the first steps of the method and then realised that the butter in the ingredients list was missing from the method. Um… I’d had long conversations this week with (professional and could-be-professional bakers about how baking is a science and you can’t fudge quantities and methods. Then set about fudging the recipe*.

Banana Date Loaf

This makes for a pleasantly squidgy loaf with a slight nuttiness from the spelt flour.  I used a four pans on a six mini-loaf tray – substantial small cakes that are good to slice and eat in squares.


  • 115g unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 medium bananas
  • 30g honey
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 110g muscovado sugar
  • 170g wholegrain spelt flour
  • 10g baking powder
  • 50g any dried fruit – I used chopped apricots


  1. Cream together the sugar and eggs to light ribbon stage
  2. Wonder what to do with the butter
  3. Think “Sod it”, chop the butter up really small and add in, and blitz again
  4. Think “This will never work”
  5. Stick the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds so it becomes more of a batter, and the butter relents
  6. Put the chopped dates in a small saucepan with a few tablespoons of water and heat gently til the dates ‘melt’
  7. In another bowl, mash the honey and banana and add in any dried fruit
  8. Sift the flour and baking powder into the egg/sugar mixtures, then add the banana mix and the date mush.  Incorporate without overmixing.
  9. Put in lined tins, somewhat sceptically, bake for 20-25 mins or until a cake tester comes out clean
  10. Taste with some trepidation… they say “Woo-hoo! ‘Tis good!”

It should be fine to keep in an airtight tin for a few days, but there’s none left to test that theory. But next time I make it I’m going to try slicing and freezing a couple of the loaves, as well as working out when the butter should go in.  Assuming the cakes are around long enough to be frozen.  I think it would also be good lightly toasted, once defrosted.

*apart from the hit-and-miss method, I did largely substitute ingredients so it wasn’t that fudgy I guess

Here are the instructions I started with:

Preheat oven to 180C/Gas mark 4. Place eggs and brown sugar in electric mixer and whisk to light ribbon stage. Sift flour/baking pwdr into separate bowl. Mash bananas with honey. Combine all, but don’t overmix. Spoon into
tins and bake for 30-35 mins.

11 thoughts on “Banana Date Loaf

  1. Haha I like your style of baking nice and chaotic, If you want a recipe combining the banana and coconut I have a banana bread recipe you might like (I’m sure you could include chocolate too)

    • The banana chocolate cupcakes from the Hummingbird bakery book are also good, and keep for 3-4 days which is useful!

  2. It’s a relief to find a recipe where the method matches my usual baking process… I have a lot of the ‘oh shit’ moments when doing cooking that requires exactness and scientific rigour. And now I know what to do with spotty bananas too. Bonus.

    • Yes, and baking isn’t as forgiving as savoury ‘cooking’ – but they were tasty. I mean, once I was halfway there I felt I had to persevere with the recipe! Oven was on, etc etc…

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