simple malty banana bread

a simple banana bread recipe is something anyone who buys bananas should have up their sleeve, in case they don’t get eaten. while usually banana bread is scented with cinnamon-y spices, dried fruits, nuts or chocolate, which is lovely, I just had a craving for something totally simple, soft and un-embellished. while now I realise that may sound a bit like baby-food…what’s wrong with that? the malty flavour from the Horlicks powder is so comforting, and gives the same warmth of flavour as spices while adding creaminess rather than heat. add-ins like chocolate or nuts will still work perfectly with the recipe, but as the beauty of this one lies in its simplicity, I like it without, as I know I can knock it up without having any of the extras in the cupboard.





  • 3 large or 4 medium/small over-ripe bananas, mashed
  • 120g margarine or vegetable fat spread, or butter, room temperature
  • 150g white sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 190g plain white or wholemeal flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 heaped teaspoons Horlicks powder / malted milk drink powder
  • Optional add-ins such as walnut, choc chips or raisins (but it’s good enough without)



Pre-heat oven to 180ºC fan. Line a standard size loaf tin generously with baking paper.

In a large bowl cream together the sugar and butter with a spoon. Add in the mashed bananas, eggs and vanilla and mix well to combine. The mixture will probably look a little lumpy, which is normal.

Sieve the flour, baking soda, salt and Horlicks into the bowl of mixture. Gently mix until all the dry is incorporated, before mixing in the vanilla, and any additional add-ins, if you want them.

Bake for 50 minutes to an hour until golden on top, with a light spring-back in the centre when pressed. Remove from the tin and let cool on a wire rack.



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