Banana and walnut loaf is a classic cake that never goes out of style. It’s moist, tender, and full of sweet banana flavor and crunchy walnuts. It’s perfect for breakfast, brunch, or afternoon tea, and it’s easy to make with simple ingredients.
In this blog post, I will show you how to make a delicious banana and walnut loaf using the recipe from Mary Berry, one of the most famous and respected British bakers. Mary Berry is known for her simple and foolproof recipes that always turn out great. She has written over 70 cookbooks and hosted several TV shows, including The Great British Bake Off.
So, if you’re looking for a simple and satisfying cake to make this weekend, why not try Mary Berry’s banana and walnut loaf? I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I do. Here’s how to make it.
What is Mary Berry Banana and Walnut Loaf?
Mary Berry’s Banana and Walnut Loaf is a moist, tender quick bread punctuated with nutty walnuts and sweet chunks of banana. This classic teatime cake is simple to make yet flavorsome, with the ripe banana providing natural sweetness. The walnuts add crunch and rich flavor, while the addition of chocolate chips makes it extra decadent. This easy recipe comes from acclaimed British baker Mary Berry.
Why You Love this Recipe
There are many reasons to love this recipe.
Here are some of them:
- Uses up ripe bananas that would otherwise go to waste
- Versatile – customize with different spices, fruits, nuts
- Makes just 8 slices so you don’t have to worry about leftovers
- Quick and easy – only 15 mins prep time, 45 mins bake time
- No special equipment is needed – just a loaf tin, bowl, and fork
- Foolproof recipe that always turns out great
- Makes the house smell amazing while baking
- Satisfies a sweet craving in a healthier way
- Moist and tender crumb with crunchy walnuts
- Sweet banana flavor that’s not overpowering
- Little effort for an impressive teatime cake
- The kid-friendly recipe they will enjoy helping make
- Mary Berry’s expertise means reliable, delicious results
Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Banana and Walnut Loaf
- 1 ripe banana (peeled weight 100g/4oz)
- 1 tbsp milk
- 50g/2oz soft butter or baking spread
- 75g/3oz plain flour
- 75g/3oz caster sugar
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 free-range egg
- 50g/2oz dark chocolate chips
- 50g/2oz dark chocolate (optional, for decoration)
Instructions to Make Mary Berry Banana and Walnut Loaf
Step 1: Preheat the oven and prepare the loaf tin
Preheat the oven to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3. Grease a 450g/1lb loaf tin with some butter and line the base with baking parchment, then grease this as well. This will help the cake to come out easily.
Step 2: Mash the banana and mix the cake batter
Use a fork to mash the peeled banana in a mixing bowl. Add the milk, butter, sugar, egg, flour, bicarbonate of soda, and baking powder, and beat with an electric hand whisk until combined and smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips and spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin. Level the top with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
Step 3: Bake the cake and let it cool
Bake the cake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until well risen, shrinking away from the sides of the tin, and golden brown. A skewer inserted into the center should come out clean. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
Step 4: Decorate the cake (optional)
If you want to make the cake more festive, you can decorate it with some melted chocolate. Break the chocolate into small pieces and add to a heatproof bowl. Melt the chocolate in the bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring regularly, until smooth. Spoon the melted chocolate into a piping bag and pipe zig-zags across the top of the loaf. Set aside for the chocolate to set.
What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Banana and Walnut Loaf?
You can serve this cake on its own, or with some toppings or accompaniments. Here are some ideas:
- A dollop of whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or custard for a decadent treat.
- A drizzle of caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, or honey for extra sweetness.
- A sprinkle of powdered sugar, cocoa powder, or cinnamon for a simple decoration.
- A slice of butter, cream cheese, or peanut butter for a creamy contrast.
- A cup of tea, coffee, or milk for a refreshing drink.
Pro Tips to Make Mary Berry Banana and Walnut Loaf
To make this cake even better, follow these pro tips:
- Use ripe bananas that have brown spots on the peel. The riper the banana, the sweeter and more flavorful the cake will be.
- Measure the banana by weight or volume, not by number. One medium banana is about 100g/4oz peeled, or ½ cup mashed.
- Beat the batter well with an electric hand whisk until smooth and combined. This will ensure a light and airy texture.
- Don’t overbake the cake, or it will become dry and tough. Check the cake after 40 minutes, and insert a skewer into the center. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. If not, bake for another 5 minutes and check again.
- Let the cake cool completely before slicing, or it will crumble and fall apart.
Variations of Mary Berry Banana and Walnut Loaf
You can easily adapt this recipe to your preferences.
Here are some variations you can try:
- Add spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, or cardamom for extra flavor
- Swap chocolate chips for raisins, cranberries, cherries, or dried apricots for a fruity twist
- Use pecans, almonds, pistachios, or macadamias instead of walnuts for a different crunch
- Leave out chocolate chips and nuts for a plain banana loaf
- Reduce the amount of sugar by half for a less sweet loaf
- Substitute honey, maple syrup, or other natural sweeteners for granulated sugar
- Add 1/2 cup shredded coconut for tropical flair
- Fold in blueberries, raspberries, or chopped apples for bursts of fruit
- Top with a streusel made from flour, oats, brown sugar, and butter before baking
- Glaze cooled loaf with cream cheese frosting or chocolate ganache
- Bake in mini loaf pans for bite-sized banana loaves of bread
- Add 1 tsp vanilla or almond extract for extra flavor
- Make muffins by dividing the batter among lined muffin cups
How do I store and Freeze Mary Berry Banana and Walnut Loaf Leftovers?
If you have any leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the cake for up to 3 months. To freeze, wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil, and label it with the date. To thaw, let the cake sit at room temperature for a few hours or in the fridge overnight.
- Related: Chocolate Bundt Cake Nigella
How do I reheat Mary Berry Banana and Walnut Loaf Leftovers?
If you want to reheat the cake, you can do so in the oven or the microwave. To reheat in the oven, preheat the oven to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3, and place the cake on a baking sheet. Cover the cake loosely with aluminum foil, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until warm. To reheat in the microwave, place a slice of cake on a microwave-safe plate, and microwave for 10 to 15 seconds, or until warm. Be careful not to overheat the cake, or it will become dry and hard.
- Related: Delia Smith Banana Cake
Nutrition value per serving (based on 8 slices):
- Calories: 399 kcal
- Fat: 20 g
- Saturates: 8 g
- Carbs: 53 g
- Sugars: 30 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 6 g
How do I make my banana and walnut loaf more moist?
To make your banana and walnut loaf more moist, you can add a splash of yogurt, sour cream, or buttermilk to the batter. This will also add some tanginess to balance the sweetness. You can also use very ripe bananas, as they have more moisture and flavor. Another tip is to avoid overbaking the cake, or it will become dry and tough. Check the cake after 40 minutes, and insert a skewer into the center. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. If not, bake for another 5 minutes and check again.
What can I substitute for walnuts in my banana and walnut loaf?
If you don’t have or want to use walnuts, you can substitute them with other nuts like pecans, almonds, pistachios, or macadamias. Chopped hazelnuts also work well. For a fruitier flavor, you can use raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, or chopped dried apricots in place of the walnuts. Just use about 50g/2oz of any dried fruit or nut of your choice, and chop if the pieces are large. The substitutions will provide a similar crunch and flavor impact.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post and learned how to make Mary Berry’s banana and walnut loaf. This is one of my favorite cakes to make and eat, and I’m sure you’ll love it too. It’s moist, tender, and full of banana and walnut goodness. It’s also very easy to make with simple ingredients and minimal equipment.
If you try this recipe, please let me know how it turned out in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to ask me. I’m always happy to help.
Thank you for reading and happy baking!
Other Mary Berry Cakes Recipe
- Mary Berry Pineapple Upside Down Cake
- Mary Berry Red Velvet Cake
- Mary Berry Lemon and Lime Cheesecake
- Mary Berry Strawberry Cheesecake
- Mary Berry No Bake Baileys Cheesecake
- Mary Berry Vanilla Cheesecake
- Salted Caramel Cheesecake Mary Berry
- Mary Berry Marble Cake
- Mary Berry Banana and Chocolate Loaf
- Coconut Cake Nigella