Moreish morsels – banana & date loaf

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I adore banana, I really do…but I have a problem with the texture. That claggy, glaggy throat-clogging texture drives me to distraction in a very bad way, and I find that I just can’t tolerate the fruit in its natural state. However, that certainly doesn’t stop me from enjoying it in any other way possible, which may explain why I am always on the lookout for new recipes to try this fruit in!

When my kid sister bought me this cookbook, I was immediately smitten with this recipe…though why I didn’t try it sooner is beyond me! It’s a very dense and heavy loaf cake, but has an inexplicably moist and delicate crumb that melts on the tongue and keeps you coming back for more.

Banana & Date Bread
(from Donna Hay Simple Essentials – Fruit)

125g unsalted butter, softened & cut into cubes
175g brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten together
200g all-purpose flour (recipe originally called for 225g)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda (also known as baking soda)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups mashed banana (make sure it’s well mashed)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (not that horrid maple-flavoured syrup nonsense)
1 cup roughly chopped dried dates

1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C, lightly grease a small loaf tin and line with non-stick baking paper. Place the butter &sugar in a bowl and beat till pale and creamy. Gradually add the egg while beating, then beat to combine.

2. Sift together the flour, bicarb soda, baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon twice to ensure the leaveners are not clumped together.

3. Add the chopped dates to the flour and stir well to ensure they’re well coated with flour (this prevents them from sinking to the bottom during baking)

4. Stir the sifted flour & dates into the creamed butter & eggs mixture.

5. Pour the maple syrup into the mashed bananas and mix, then add the bananas to the rest of the batter and lightly mix together (do not overwork as this will make the cake tougher, and you want a nice tender crumb for this cake)

6. Spoon into the lined loaf tin and bake for 70 minutes, or till a skewer inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.

Allow this loaf to cool completely before slicing as it has a very moist & delicate crumb, and if you attempt to slice it before it is cool, the sodding thing will fall apart! However, once it is cooled, slices do taste best when slightly warmed…though temperature won’t matter much when you give this a taste!

Even though I’ve dropped the amount of sugar in this recipe, it’s still quite a sweet treat so I highly recommend making a pot of unsweetened tea to accompany it.

Apologies for taking so long since my last update…I’m a bit bulldozed by things happening in my life at present and blogging has taken quite a back seat. However, hopefully things will begin to settle down soon :)

[tags]banana, dates, bread, cake, baking, recipes[/tags]


  1. Nice idea! I have two desperate bananas in my fridge… I’ll try your recipe for my boy’s (allways hungry!!!)afternoon snack (it’s spring holiday here), and for me too with a cup of tea as you advise. Thank you…

  2. I love dates so this loaf would be devoured! Great step-by-step photos.

  3. Ohh, I know people who would love this variation of banana bread/loaf

  4. the only banana’s i like are the ones smashed into banana bread!

  5. Looks just perfect! I’m your exact opposite pole when it comes to bananas because I love them completely just as they are :) In fact, sometimes I’ve even wondered if I might win a banana eating competition if I tried! ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. I dig dates in banana bread. They tend to work out really well. I’m really thinking that I should be giving Donna Hay a try… have never tried any of her recipes!

  7. Nice to see you posting – and I also don’t like bananas by themselves but love them in cakes – I also often have them in smoothies with other fruit – I tried a smoothie with just banana in it the other day and it was too intense – banana and date is a great combination which I must try soon

  8. Good eats, great blog…


  9. @Dominique (de vous ร  moi…) – I hope you and your boys enjoy it :)

    @Shari -Thanks hon :)

    @Mermaid Sweets – I hope you give it a try :)

    @thecatskillkiwi – LOL! Me too :)

    @Mia – LOL! You sound like my brother :) While I dig prepared banana, he loves his as nature made ’em :)

    @RecipeGirl – I think Donna Hay is overrated, but she does occasionally have a few gems :)

    @Johanna – I know what you mean! If a banana is also a minute past ripe then I can’t use it in a smoothie as I know the flavour will be too much for me!

    @Mike Foster – Thanks!

  10. franci wellen says:

    ๐Ÿ˜ˆ thank-you I also love bananas on warm toast.

  11. ๐Ÿ˜‰ โ—

    I cannot tell you how much I thank you for this recipe โ—
    Today marks the 4th time I’ve made it in just over 3 weeks.
    I love it, my friends and family love it.
    Even my date hating husband loves it.
    I now am asking the green grocer for his over ripe bananas ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Thank-you SO much โ— โ— โ—

  12. @franci wellen – Bananas on warm toast? I never really thought about that as a potential snack, but it does sound good…maybe with a pinch of ground cinnamon sprinkled across the top?

    @Janice – I’m so glad you’re enjoying it :) I usually make this once a fortnight as well and have also taken to badgering my local greengrocer for his overripe stock! Hopefully you’ll continue to enjoy this recipe and not get sick of it :)

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