Banana and Walnut Bread a la Jane Grigson


Banana bread gets a bit of a bad rap out there I think.  There is so many commercial versions that really leave a lot to be desired in both flavour and texture of the loaf.  To be honest, I tend to look at my banana bread as being more of a cake in name and also in how I consume it.  You can’t help but notice I’m a fan when you see how many versions that I have on my blog.  My favourite when I’m attempting to be healthy is to cook up my sister’s gluten-free version, but I’m also just as much a fan of Stephanie Alexander’s Banana Cake.

Recently I was given Jane Grigson’s Fruit book and have been devouring the pages much like I would a great banana cake.  The book is equal parts a wonderful source of knowledge, a lovely charming read and a great source of recipes.   With 3 overripe banana’s on the kitchen bench hankering to be something there seemed like never a better time to see what this recipe was like.

The good news is that it is delicious.  It requires no butter and even 2 days on is as moist as the moment I pulled it from the oven.  The banana flavour really shines for me, although I think the walnuts get a little lost lending more in texture.

Jane Grigson’s Banana and Walnut Bread

from Jane Grigson’s The Fruit Book

  • 3 large ripe banana’s, mashed
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 175g castor sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Preheat your oven to 180c. Line a loaf tin with non-stick baking paper.

Cream your butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add in one egg at a time, mixing until well combined after each addition.  Add your dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Hand mash your banana’s in a bowl with a fork.  This is important as an electric mixer will puree them and become too liquid.  Once mashed stir through the walnuts and banana by hand. Spoon the mixture into your baking tin and then back for approx 1 hour or until a skewer returns from the loaf clean.

Allow to rest for approx 15 minutes in the tin before removing to cool completely.

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. ladyredspecs says:

    Yum, I love good banana bread and have tried loads of different recipes, but never this one. Glad you are loving the books! Xxxx


    1. Leah says:

      Love the books, both of them are awesome. Great pressie, thanks mum xx


  2. Francesca says:

    I am also keen on Stephanie’s version, but this one looks very good. I usually make banana bread when I find a few squishy bananas for sale at a reduced price ( I have noticed that the big two supermarkets no longer do this) or in summer when they ripen too fast on the bench. I haven’t read Jane Grigson’s classic but- my ordered copy of Alice waters arrived at the library today so I am keen to read it.


    1. Leah says:

      Can’t wait to hear what you think of Alice Waters book. I hope it lives up to expectations. 🙂


      1. Francesca says:

        I have it- it’s “the art of simple food” and it’s great. I love it already.


  3. I am a big fan of banana bread and make this all the time as there always seem to be overripe bananas around. Funnily enough, my family’s tried-and-true recipe is very, very close to this one – 3 tsp of baking powder instead of 4. Perhaps ultimately it came from the same source? However, I let mine cool completely in the tin as I think you get a moister cake this way. And, with a little bit of timing adjustment in the oven, they make great muffins. Glad you are enjoying your cookbooks.


    1. Leah says:

      I’ll have to try your method of cooling in the pain. This did stay pretty moist though. Loving my Grigson at the moment 🙂 lady red specs is a very good gift giver 🙂


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