How to make banana bread, the ultimate comfort food of lockdown

Rosie Paterson is famed, and rightly so, for her banana bread. As its popularity sweeps the nation like never before, she shares her classic recipe.

The national treasure that is David Attenborough was everywhere — everywhere — when Planet Earth II aired in 2016. Greenland went global — and so did their Google searches — when President Donald Trump said he was going to buy the country. And prior to 2018, I’m fairly sure no one had owned a metal water bottle since the Second World War. Sometimes, things that were near-forgotten just pop into the forefront of the national consciousness.

All of which brings us to banana bread. I can only assume, that when talk of a lockdown began, people began hoarding bananas in the same numbers as loo roll. Because my Instagram feed and stories are full of people baking loaves of the stuff, eating it at alarming speed and, in some cases, begging others to stop and move on to other culinary adventures.

It’s unfortunate for those crying out for a carrot cake perhaps, or even something as exotic as a pavlova. Banana bread is what we need in times like this. It’s quick and easy to make; it’s perfectly acceptable to eat it at any time of the day — including, brilliantly, breakfast — and most importantly, you can adapt a basic recipe to suit all tastebuds and whatever you have in your cupboards.

Some of us (me) decided to give up refined sugar and alcohol for Lent, which may or may not come as a surprise to those of you who read all about my similarly questionable and ill-timed decision to give up single-use plastic, in 2016.

Anyway, for those of you in the same boat, here’s a refined sugar and dairy free banana bread recipe. It’s an entry-level, hybrid-recipe between some of my tried and tested favourites. But feel free to use any type of flour that might be lurking in your kitchen and add in any chopped nuts and chocolate, dry fruit and ground spices. Two tablespoons of raw cacoa powder also work, if you want a chocolate taste.

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Makes 10 slices

  • 150g spelt flour
  • 1tbspn baking powder
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1tspn ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tspn vanilla paste
  • 2tbspn light honey
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 50g light olive oil


Preheat your oven to 170 degrees and line a standard-size loaf tin.

First, combine your dry ingredients: the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

In a separate bowl whisk your eggs for a couple of minutes, until light and frothy. Then, whisk in the vanilla paste and honey.

Combine the dry and wet ingredients, before whisking in the mashed bananas and, finally, the olive oil. Keep whisking until everything is combined, but do not overbeat.

Pour into your pre-lined tin and bake for roughly 45minutes. It’s worth checking your loaf after 35 minutes, by inserting a clean skewer.

If you’re adding in any chocolate, nuts or dried fruit, do this at the very end, with a wooden spoon, just before turning the mixture out into your tin.