Banana, pecan and cinnamon loaf

Bananas taste much better in a smoothie or cake FACT. Super easy to make and a great use for black bananas in the fruit bowl!


100g pecans

125g very soft unsalted butter

175g light brown sugar

2 medium eggs

3 small very ripe or over-ripe bananas (fresh or frozen and defrosted), mashed, plus an extra banana, halved lengthways (optional)

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

225g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

juice of 1 lemon

8-10 brown or white sugar cubes


  1. Heat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Grease a 900g loaf tin with flavourless oil and line lengthways with a strip of baking paper that hangs out at either end. Put the pecan nuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes, then remove, cool, and roughly chop.
  2. Put the butter, sugar, eggs, mashed banana, cinnamon, flour and baking powder in a large mixing bowl, add a pinch of salt and beat with an electric mixer until everything is well combined and creamy. Stir through the pecan nuts, then pour into the loaf tin and level the top. Add the banana halves on top if using, cut side up. Put the lemon juice in a small bowl and, working quickly, dip each sugar cube into the lemon juice so it’s completely coated. Scatter the sugar cubes over the cake, around the bananas, without pushing them in at all. Put the cake in the oven and bake for 1-11⁄4 hours, covering with foil after around 45-50 minutes to stop the top becoming too dark
  3. Once a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean (it might have a little banana on it but shouldn’t have any raw cake mixture), remove from the oven and cool in the tin for 10 minutes. After this time, use the two overhanging paper edges to gently pull the cake out of the tin and cool completely on a wire rack. For a glossy top, brush with a little maple syrup, honey or golden syrup before slicing and serving.

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