The Best Mary Berry Banana Bread Recipe

Easy Mary Berry Banana Bread Recipe
Yields: 6 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 Mins Cook Time: 1 Hr Total Time: 1 Hr 15 Mins

Banana bread is a beloved classic that finds its way into the heart of home baking. Among the various recipes available, Mary Berry’s banana bread stands out for its simplicity, moistness, and delightful flavor. This recipe brings together ripe bananas, flour, sugar, and a few additional ingredients to create a loaf that’s both comforting and satisfying.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through the steps to create this classic bake, offering tips to ensure your banana bread is perfect on every occasion.

What is Mary Berry Banana Bread?

Mary Berry Banana Bread is a moist, sweet bread made with ripe bananas, flour, sugar, and eggs, among other ingredients. It’s distinguished by its rich banana flavor and soft, tender crumb. This bread is a staple in British baking, made famous by Mary Berry, a renowned baker and cookbook author known for her straightforward yet delicious recipes.

Serving 6-8 people, this banana bread can be whipped up in about 1 to 1.5 hours, making it an ideal project for both novice bakers and seasoned pros looking to add a classic to their repertoire.

Banana Bread Recipe Mary Berry

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Simple Ingredients: Uses everyday ingredients found in most pantries.
  • Easy to Make: Straightforward instructions, suitable for bakers of all levels.
  • Versatile: Perfect for breakfast, dessert, or as a snack.
  • Comforting: The warm, sweet aroma and taste bring a sense of comfort and nostalgia.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Banana Bread

  • 225g (8oz / 1 cup) Self-raising flour (with a pinch of salt)
  • 100g (3.5oz / ½ cup) Butter, at room temperature
  • 150g (5oz / ¾ cup) Caster sugar
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 4 Ripe bananas (approximately 300g or 10.5oz once peeled)
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 2 tbsp Milk (about 30ml)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • Optional: 50g (1.75oz / ½ cup) Walnuts or pecans, chopped (for added texture)

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Banana Bread

Instructions to Make Mary Berry Banana Bread

Creating this delightful banana bread involves a series of simple steps that guarantee a moist, flavorful loaf every time.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Preparing Your Ingredients

  • Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Grease a loaf tin and line it with baking parchment to ensure easy removal of the bread once baked.
  • Mash the bananas until smooth. A few lumps are okay, but you want to achieve a fairly consistent mash for even distribution in the batter.

Step 2: Mixing the Batter

  • Cream together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. This introduces air into the mix, contributing to the bread’s soft texture.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a spoonful of flour with each to prevent curdling. Stir in the mashed bananas, ensuring they’re well incorporated.
  • Fold in the remaining flour and baking powder, mixing until just combined to avoid overworking the batter. Overmixing can lead to a dense loaf.
  • Stir in the milk and vanilla extract, adjusting the consistency. The batter should be thick but pourable.
  • If using, fold in the chopped walnuts or pecans now for added texture and nuttiness.

Mary Berry Banana Bread Baking

Step 3: Baking

  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin, smoothing the top with a spatula.
  • Bake for about 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. If the bread is browning too quickly, cover it with foil halfway through baking.
  • Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Mary Berry Banana Bread Baking

What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Banana Bread?

  • Butter or Cream Cheese: Spread a slice of banana bread with butter or cream cheese for a rich, satisfying treat.
  • Fresh Fruit: Serve alongside fresh berries or sliced bananas for added freshness and a vitamin boost.
  • Nut Butter: A layer of almond or peanut butter adds protein and makes for a filling snack.
  • Yogurt and Honey: For a lighter option, pair with Greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey.

Mary Berry Banana Bread Recipe

Expert Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Banana Bread

Achieving the perfect loaf of Mary Berry Banana Bread is within reach with these expert tips. From ingredient selection to baking techniques, each tip is designed to enhance the flavor and texture of your banana bread, ensuring a delightful result every time.

  • Selecting Bananas: Look for bananas that are very ripe; the more speckles, the better, as they are sweeter and mashed easily.
  • Measuring Ingredients: Precision matters. Use a digital scale for accurate measurements, ensuring consistency and the perfect balance of ingredients.
  • Mixing Technique: Gently fold the wet and dry ingredients together until just combined to avoid overmixing, which can lead to a dense loaf.
  • Checking Oven Temperature: Use an oven thermometer to verify the accuracy of your oven’s settings, as baking at the right temperature is crucial for optimal rise and texture.
  • Testing for Doneness: Insert a skewer or toothpick into the center of the bread; it should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached, indicating it’s perfectly baked.
  • Cooling: Allow the bread to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack. This makes slicing easier and helps retain moisture.

Variations of Mary Berry Banana Bread

While the classic Mary Berry Banana Bread is a crowd-pleaser, introducing variations can add an exciting twist to this beloved recipe.

Experiment with these suggestions to customize the flavor and texture according to your preferences.

  • Chocolate Lovers’ Banana Bread: Mix in 1 cup of chocolate chips for a rich, chocolaty flavor that complements the banana.
  • Nutty Delight: Incorporate ½ cup of chopped walnuts or pecans to introduce a crunchy texture and nutty taste.
  • Blueberry Burst: Fold in 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries for a fruity, tangy twist that pairs beautifully with a banana.
  • Cinnamon Swirl: Before baking, layer the batter with a mix of cinnamon and sugar, then use a knife to create a marbled effect for a warm, spiced flavor.
  • Vegan Variation: Substitute the eggs with flax eggs and the butter with a plant-based alternative to cater to vegan dietary preferences.
  • Tropical Twist: Add ½ cup of shredded coconut and a handful of chopped pineapple for a tropical flavor that transports you to sunny shores.

How do I Store Mary Berry Banana Bread Leftovers?

Storing your Mary Berry Banana Bread properly will help maintain its moisture, flavor, and freshness, whether you’re saving it for a few days or longer.

Here’s how to do it:

  • At Room Temperature: Wrap the banana bread tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or place it in an airtight container. It will keep for up to 3 days.
  • In the Refrigerator: For longer storage, refrigerate your banana bread. Wrapped tightly or in a container, it will stay fresh for up to a week. This is especially helpful in warm climates or if you’ve added perishable mix-ins like cream cheese.
  • Freezing: Banana bread freezes beautifully. Wrap it in a layer of plastic wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil, or place it in a freezer-safe bag. Label with the date, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight at room temperature or in the refrigerator before serving.

How do I Reheat Mary Berry Banana Bread Leftovers?

Enjoying leftover banana bread at its best often involves reheating it to revive its moistness and warmth.

Here’s how to warm it up:

  • Microwave: For a quick method, microwave a slice of banana bread on a microwave-safe plate for about 10-20 seconds. Be careful not to overheat, as it can dry out the bread.
  • Oven: Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F). Wrap the banana bread or individual slices in aluminum foil to prevent them from drying out. Heat for about 10-15 minutes, or until warm throughout. This method works well for reviving the entire loaf or large pieces.
  • Toaster Oven: Slices of banana bread can be warmed in a toaster oven. Set it to medium heat and monitor closely to prevent burning. This method adds a slight crispiness to the edges for a delightful texture contrast.

Nutrition value (per slice)

  • Calories: Approximately 200 kcal
  • Fat: 6g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 34g
  • Sugar: 18g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Sodium: 200mg


Can I Use Frozen Bananas for Mary Berry Banana Bread?

Yes, frozen bananas can be used in Mary Berry Banana Bread. Thaw them at room temperature or in the microwave and drain any excess liquid before mashing. Using frozen bananas is a great way to ensure your bananas are at the perfect level of ripeness for baking.

How Long Does Banana Bread Last?

Mary Berry Banana Bread will last up to 3 days at room temperature when wrapped tightly or stored in an airtight container. For longer storage, it can be refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for up to 3 months, ensuring it’s well-wrapped to maintain freshness.

Can I Add Mix-Ins to the Banana Bread?

Absolutely! Feel free to add mix-ins like chocolate chips, nuts, or dried fruit to the banana bread batter. A cup of your chosen add-in is a good amount to start with, ensuring the additions are evenly distributed throughout the batter before baking.

What Can I Do If My Banana Bread Is Dry?

If your banana bread turns out dry, it may be due to overbaking or measuring the flour incorrectly. To prevent dryness, ensure accurate measurements and check the bread for doneness a few minutes before the recipe’s suggested baking time. Adding a bit more mashed banana can also help increase moisture in future bakes.

What Should the Texture and Taste of Mary Berry Banana Bread Be Like?

Mary Berry Banana Bread is known for its moist and tender crumb, complemented by the rich and sweet flavor of ripe bananas. The ideal loaf should be soft inside with a slight crust on the outside, and it should taste naturally sweet with a hint of vanilla. If you opt for add-ins like nuts or chocolate chips, they should introduce additional textures and flavors that complement, rather than overpower, the banana.

Where Did Mary Berry’s Banana Bread Recipe Originate?

Mary Berry’s Banana Bread recipe originates from her extensive career as a culinary writer and television presenter in the UK. Renowned for her straightforward, reliable recipes, Mary Berry has published numerous cookbooks that feature classic British baking, including her famous banana bread. This particular recipe is a favorite among home bakers for its simplicity and delicious outcome, embodying Mary Berry’s philosophy of using simple ingredients to create comforting, home-cooked meals and treats.

Final Words

Mary Berry’s Banana Bread recipe stands as a testament to the beauty of simple, classic baking. Whether you’re a novice in the kitchen or a seasoned baker, this recipe offers a foolproof path to a deliciously moist and flavorful loaf that’s sure to become a staple in your baking repertoire. With the added flexibility of variations and pro tips, you have the opportunity to perfect your banana bread to suit your tastes and occasions. Enjoy the process of baking and the delightful moments of sharing this comforting treat with others. Happy baking!

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