Sweet, Snacks

Walnut & Date Banana Loaf

I know what you're thinking: is there really any need for yet another banana bread recipe? And although we all became well-acquainted with this dish over lockdown, my answer would be: absolutely!

I always have bananas going brown in my fruit bowl, and if my freezer is already packed with frozen ones, this is what I make. It's almost fail-safe, a cinch to make, and a delicious little pick-me-up to take you through the week.

This gorgeous version has an almost sticky-toffee taste to it, especially when thick slices are toasted and slathered with butter. As with so many of my recipes, it's super-adaptable – if you don't like walnuts, use pecans or omit the nuts altogether; if you hate dates, switch them for raisins, and so on...

Even if you think you've got banana bread nailed, I urge you to give it a try.

10-12 slices


Wet ingredients

4 ripe bananas

¼ cup oat or almond milk

¼ cup light oil, such as groundnut or coconut

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

1 tbsp flaxseeds

Dry ingredients

2 cups self-raising flour

½ cup soft brown sugar or coconut sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground allspice

¼ tsp grated nutmeg

Pinch of salt

½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped (optional)

4 medjool dates, roughly chopped (optional)

To finish

½-1 banana, sliced lengthways

1 tbsp soft brown sugar

To serve

Plant-based yogurt

Handful chopped nuts

Maple syrup


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/Gas 4, and line a loaf tin (or use a silicone one that doesn't need lining).
  2. Break the bananas into a bowl, mash with a fork, and add the remaining wet ingredients. Stir to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, including the walnuts and dates, if using. Leave a few nuts aside to scatter on top of your loaf before baking, if you like.
  4. Carefully fold the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined, being careful not to overwork the batter.
  5. Empty the batter into your prepared tin, and lay the banana slices on top. Sprinkle with the sugar and remaining nuts, then cook for around 40-45 mins.
  6. Check the bread is cooked by inserting a skewer: if it comes out clean, it's done, but if it's still a little sticky, bake for another 15 mins. If the top is already well-cooked, cover with foil before placing back in the oven.
  7. When the bread is done, remove from the oven and allow to cool a little in the tin before turning it onto a cooling rack.
  8. Serve slices warm on their own, or with dollops of yogurt, extra nuts and a drizzle of maple syrup.

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