How to make delicious banana bread


This surprisingly yummy recipe for banana bread is ideal for the idiot who forgets a couple of bananas for a week and is feeling slightly ill due to the faint scent of esters filling his flat, and yet is pathologically unable to simply dispose of them due to an upbringing which led him to abhor food waste. Why not give it a go?

You will need

  • Those bananas we just mentioned
  • Ill-placed optimism that all the other ingredients will be available in your flat on a Sunday night when the shops are shut


  1. Google ‘banana bread’ and find a likely looking recipe.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4.
  3. Notice you haven’t got any butter. Or, at least, you have a very small piece of butter which says ‘best before’ you went away on holiday a month ago. Put it in the bin, where it belongs.
  4. Think ‘hmm, I have got peanut butter though, I wonder if I can substitute that?’
  5. Google ‘peanut butter butter substitute baking’ and find an article saying you can, if you mix it with other fat.
  6. Take 60 g crunchy peanut butter and mix with 40 g of olive oil, creating a surprisingly smooth, oily substance which smells a bit weird.
  7. Notice that you haven’t got any sugar. But you do have…salted caramel!
  8. Attempt to cream 60 g of salted caramels together with your fat mixture. They are quite chewy and won’t mix well at all.
  9. Microwave the mixture for 30 seconds to soften the salted caramels.
  10. Attempt to cream 60 g of salted caramels together with your fat mixture, more successfully this time.
  11. Add two eggs along with a small amount of self-raising…oh no. No. Don’t do this to me. Not now. We’ve come so far.
  12. Realise you haven’t got any self-raising flour, and this whole exercise has been in vain. There is literally nothing you can substitute for self-raising flour. Even if you ground some bran flakes into powder, they would need to be Jesus bran flakes to self-raise. And even then it would take three days.
  13. Wonder what happened to the self-raising flour. Remember that your girlfriend moved the baking stuff into a different cupboard a few months ago. Open the cupboard which is its new home and find that you do have self-raising flour. And you actually did have sugar all along.
  14. Add a small amount of self-raising flour to the egg, fat and salted caramel, and mix it all together right good.
  15. You also have honey, in one of those squirty devices which seem like a really good idea in the supermarket and then at home the honey crystallises and won’t come out. Microwave the honey for 30 seconds or until it’s squirtable, and then add a decent slug into the mixture because really, at this stage, why not?
  16. Add the remainder of the 110 g of flour you measured out earlier (you were aiming for 100 g but it came out too fast) and 20 g of porridge oats to pretend like this is healthy.
  17. Take your two borderline-sentient bananas and mash them into the mixture.
  18. Finally, add a very heaped teaspoon of baking powder even though the recipe just says ‘a teaspoon’ because you’re pretty worried about the density and viscosity of this gloop.
  19. Seriously consider cooking it in the bowl you mixed it in, but decide to put it in a cake tin in an attempt to salvage what self-respect you have left.
  20. Stick it into the oven just in time to win a camera lens made in the USSR on eBay.
  21. Cook for 25–30 minutes or until golden brown, but turn off the oven at the 20-minute mark because you’re not made of money.
  22. Take out of the oven and leave to stand for 10 minutes.

The resulting monstrosity should be moist, springy and surprisingly OK given your justified scepticism due to having entirely ignored the recipe. If there can be a moral to a cake, it’s this: if life gives you lemons, consider making a lemon tart even if all you have in the cupboard is a tin of baked beans and some curry powder. This is probably some kind of metaphor that should lead me on a path of self-reflection about how I found myself here, blogging about a novel but ultimately unremarkable cake I discovered, but I’ve got some banana bread with a slightly weird olivey aftertaste to finish first.

Banana bread image modified from CC-BY photograph by Whitney

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