Moist Banana Bread Recipe

This is the most delicious and moist banana bread recipe that I have ever tried. We make it with pecans, but it is also very tasty with walnuts.

The key to success is the ripeness of the bananas.

The bananas must be extremely ripe - the blacker the better. When you peel bananas that are this ripe, you will notice that they are light, easy to mash and have a highly pronounced sweet banana flavour.

This lightness and sweetness directly affects not just the flavour, but the lightness of this bread.

This recipe comes from one of my favourite and most reliable cookbooks, The Ultimate Recipe Book by Angela Nilsen. I love this book. Angela has taken a variety of popular English recipes, and researched each recipe until she has found the very best recipe for each one.

You can buy your own copy, or look in more detail here on Amazon.

Moist Banana Bread Recipe

Level: easy
Time: 1 1/2 hours
12 slices

100g (2/3 cup) pecan nuts
3 medium bananas with
black skins (very very ripe)
finely grated zest 1/2 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g (1 1/2 cups) plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
115g (1/2 cup) soft butter
140g (2/3 cup) light muscovado sugar
2 beaten eggs
4 tbsp soured cream

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F, gas mark 4.

  • Butter a 2 lb loaf tin and line the base with baking parchment.

  • Spread the nuts out on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 10 minutes. They should look slightly darker in colour.

  • Put 10 or so pecan halves on one side to top the cake with. Break the rest roughly into pieces. It's easy to do this with the end of a rolling pin.

  • Peel the bananas and mash them with a fork until they are as smooth as you can get them. Measure out 225g of banana to use in the cake. Any that is left over can go in a smoothie, or you can eat it with cream - yummy!

  • Add the lemon zest and the vanilla essence to the banana and stir.

  • In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with an electric hand whisk for 2 minutes. The mixture should be paler in colour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as you go along to make sure that all the mixture is thoroughly beaten.

  • Add around one third of the egg and whisk again until fully incorporated. Add the rest of the egg in two batches, whisking between each addition.

  • Gently stir in the banana and the soured cream. You need to be gentle to keep the air in that you just created with all that whisking.  The mixture will look curdled - that's OK.

  • Weigh the flour and add the baking powder and baking soda. Stir them thoroughly together.

  • Add half the flour to the banana mixture and fold it in gently with a large metal spoon. It's important not to over-mix it. Add the rest of the flour and fold that in too.

  • When the mixture is just together, add about 3/4 of the broken pecans and stir.

  • Transfer the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top.
  • Scatter the broken pecans and the halved pecans that you saved over the top of the banana bread.

  • Bake for one hour in the centre of the oven. Set the timer for 45 minutes, and check the bread at this stage. If the nuts are starting to brown too much, then place a piece of foil loosely over the tin.

  • The bread should have risen and feel firm. If you push a skewer into the middle, it should come out without any raw mixture on it.

  • Once it is properly cooked, take it from the oven and leave it in the tin for five minutes to cool and then turn it out onto a wire rack. Peel off the lining paper and leave it to cool completely.

    We like to wrap this loaf in parchment paper and then tin foil for 2 days before we eat it. It becomes more flavourful and deliciously moist. It will still keep for a further two days - so we usually have it a couple of days in a row.

Serve with

This moist banana bread recipe is delicious either on its own or with butter. We love to serve it with Earl Grey or with a mixed mint tea. Spearmint and peppermint go very well together. It's a lovely simple bread to serve with tea in the afternoon.

Originally, of course, afternoon tea was just served with thin slices of bread and butter. We would be the size of house-sides if we had a full afternoon tea spread every day! Tea loaves like this banana bread are ideal for our weekday teas.

As part of a larger spread, I would serve banana bread with watercress sandwiches, salmon sandwiches and tomato sandwiches.

For additional sweets, I would serve apricot tarts and dark chocolate cupcakes. With such a deliciously fruity mix, I would certainly serve Earl Grey tea.

If you thought this Moist Banana Bread Recipe was amazing, you might also love our Moist Carrot Cake.