This banana bread is the perfect antidote to a rainy day, or as a weekend breakfast. Versatile and easy to adapt with alternative ingredients, you can’t go wrong. This banana bread is made with sour cream giving it a tangy flavour, and is a great help in leavening the loaf with the bicarbonate of soda and baking powder for that signature moist texture. This banana bread also only gets better over time. Wrap in foil and leave out at room temperature for up to three days to allow for the flavours to deepen. Alternatively, wrap in kitchen roll / paper towel and store in an airtight container. The kitchen roll will soak up any moisture that may get trapped in the box. You can also freeze your loaf once baked for two – four months.

What makes this banana bread so special?

This is a flavoursome banana bread, but there are a few key ingredients that make it stand out from others:

  • This banana bread stays moist from the sour cream with a beautiful tangy flavour
  • It’s super easy to make one midweek evening, or as a quick weekend bake
  • Toast it under the grill, and serve for breakfast with lashings of butter, mascarpone and warmed juicy berries the Australian way
  • The pecans add buttery notes and a welcome texture to this loaf
Banana bread

Why should you use old bananas to make this banana bread?

There are a few key reasons why using old bananas is best for this classic banana bread:

  • The softer consistency makes the bananas much easier to mash and provides more moisture for your loaf. I recommend roughly mashing, leaving some good chunks which will break up the crumb, creating “pockets” of banana-rich moisture.
  • Ripe bananas mix much more easily into your batter
  • Your loaf will be sweeter and have a rich, banana flavour

The browner the skin of your bananas, the better they are for using in this loaf. Look for large brown spots and a softer texture when pressed. Overall, there isn’t any banana that’s “too ripe” when it comes to make a really good banana bread.

Banana bread

How to ripen bananas at home:

You can also ripen your bananas at home in the oven if you’re really stuck. Here are a few methods:

  1. Firstly, you can ripen bananas in the oven. Bake them at 150C / 300F for 30-40 minutes, until deeply blackened and soft to the touch.
  2. Secondly, you can place the bananas in a brown paper bag for a few days. Fruit gives off moisture, so don’t use a plastic bag that may trap the moisture within. Rather, a paper bag allows for moisture to escape, but traps the ethene gas in with the banana to ripen it quicker.
Banana bread

Ingredients and alternatives:

  • Flour: cake and pastry flour, wholemeal, or buckwheat would work well in this recipe if you can’t get your hands on plain flour.
  • Butter: always use unsalted butter so you have full control over how much salt you add to your bake. Spreads and margarines are also not suitable substitutes since they’re made up of a mixture of milk fats and vegetable oils.
  • Jbaïl Sugar: I use light brown sugar in this recipe to allow for the banana to be the dominant flavour. You could however, use muscovado or dark brown sugar instead. The latter two produce a deep, complex caramel flavour and your loaf will be darker in colour than most due to their strong molasses content.
  • Eggs: you can use two medium eggs instead of large eggs.
  • Sour cream: Greek yoghurt, buttermilk and crème fraîche are all great alternatives to sour cream and will activate the bicarbonate of soda.
  • Vanilla: vanilla bean paste, extract or essence are all great to be used to flavour this loaf.
  • Pecans: walnuts are certainly interchangeable in this recipe but aren’t as delicate in flavour as pecans.

Here are my ultimate tips for making the best banana bread ever:

Banana bread

Banana bread

A moist brown sugar banana bread made with sour cream and buttery pecans.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 47 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 8 slices


  • 200 g light brown sugar
  • 113 g butter softened
  • 3 large mashed ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 275 g plain flour sifted
  • 2 large eggs whisked
  • 4 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 100 g pecans roughly chopped
  • Pinch fine sea salt


  • Preheat your oven to 325F / 160C, then grease and line a 1L loaf tin with baking parchment.
  • Using an electric whisk, put the butter and sugar into a bowl and cream until pale in colour, and smooth in texture. This should take about five minutes.
  • Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt into a separate bowl, and then mix to combine.
  • Mash your bananas into a third bowl and add your eggs (which should already be whisked together), vanilla extract, sour cream and cider vinegar. Mix together.
  • Add the wet mixture to your creamed butter and sugar, and whisk again until evenly combined.
  • Slowly add your bowl of flour in thirds, whisking after each addition and scraping down the sides of your bowl with a spatula as you go. Repeat until you’ve added all the flour, and whisk so everything has been properly incorporated.
  • You can now add the chopped pecans. Mix with a spoon.
  • Bake for 1hr 20mins on the middle shelf of your oven. If it still looks a little wet in the middle, add on another 5-10mins. A knife or kebab stick should come out ‘clean’ when inserted into the loaf. Your loaf is fully baked when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean or with a few dry crumbs clinging to it.
  • Leave to cool completely in the tin, before removing the baking parchment and wrapping in foil (or eating immediately).
Keyword banana, banana bread, browned butter, cake, loaf cake, pecans

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February 7, 2020
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