There should be a banana bread for every season. In spring, with it’s fresh mornings, bright evenings and new blooms, banana bread should be kept pure and simple. Rich in flavour, dense in texture and a celebration of the pure banana experience. In summer you want to kick it up a notch by flinging in some pineapple and shredded coconut, or a burst of citrus with lime juice and zest, or a generous handful of summer berries to add some summertime sass to your favourite banana loaf recipe.
By the time Autumn rolls around you’re through with fruit and salad and any pretence at healthy snacks, you want indulgent treats to help you suffer the wind, rain and ever darkening days. The only answer? NUTELLA! Yes, the autumn banana bread must surely contain a substantial swirl of my favourite thing to come out of a jar. Some sort of peanut butter concoction would also be perfect, just don’t forget the chocolate chips.
And that brings us to our final loaf. The banana bread to round out your year. The bread to slice and toast and top with lashings of real butter to eat with a milky coffee in front of a roaring fire. Yes, the winter banana bread should be comforting, hearty and familiar. Which, by extraordinary coincidence (or convoluted blog post intro) this Banana, Cranberry and Honey Loaf is!
We’re taking a tried and tested banana bread recipe and adding some seasonal twists to make everything perfectly wintery. Of course there are cranberries! Nothing says Christmas baking to be more than those beautiful red berries. Here they are studding the sweet bread with welcome sharp bursts of flavour. The honey is bringing all three of the required elements (comfort, heart and familiarity) its subtle but recognisable sweetness perfectly compliments the addition of the cranberries.
- 110g butter, melted
- 280g bananas, mashed
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 110g honey
- 85g caster sugar
- 250g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2tsp baking powder
- 100g fresh cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C (140 degrees C fan). Line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper or a pan liner and set aside.
- In a large bowl mix together the butter, banana, eggs, honey and caster sugar.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder until combined. Add to the wet ingredients and fold in. When the mixture is just about fully incorporated add in the cranberries and mix until they are just evenly distributed.
- Pour the batter in to the prepared tin and bake for about 1hr and 10 minutes. Check the loaf after an hour, when it is done it should be rised, golden brown and a skewer inserted in to the center should come out clean or with just a few crumbs.
- Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Serve on its own or my favourite way to eat it is lightly toasted with a generous spread of butter.