Banana and Pecan Loaf Cake

I’m a bit gob-smacked (and only ever so slightly miffed) to find that that cookery websites this week are awash with banana bread. It’s like we’re all tied into some hive mind. There is a good reason for this synchronised recipe writing though.

When everyone is busy cooking for Easter, a banana cake is easy to throw together and is generally well-liked by both adults and children. It’s as good for breakfast as it is with a cup of tea or coffee, and because it’s moist, it keeps well.

My version combines bananas and pecan nuts, which I prefer to the usual walnuts. The cake recipe is based on one from Jamie Oliver and the streusel topping on one from Deborah Madison.

You will need a 2lb loaf tin, either with a paper liner or greased, then base-lined with a piece of greaseproof paper (grease that too).

Banana and Pecan Loaf Cake

  • Servings: enough for a hungry family
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100g pecan nuts (plus more for the streusel, see below)

Approx 450g very ripe bananas, weight before peeling (4-5 fruits)

125g butter, room temperature

125g soft light brown sugar

2 large eggs

200g plain flour

2 level tsp baking powder

1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 level tsp powdered cinnamon

Pinch of salt

For the streusel:

1 1/2 tbsp butter, room temperature

1 1/2 tbsp marzipan, chopped

75g demerara sugar


Pre-heat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas Mark 3.

Make the streusel first: chop the nuts finely and work together with the remaining ingredients, with your fingers or in a food processor, to make a crumbly paste. Cover and set aside.

Chop the pecans until you have a mixture of small crumbs and some larger bits. Place in a bowl. Peel and mash the bananas.

Cream together the butter and sugar, either in a food processor or by hand, until pale and smooth. Break in the eggs one at a time, mixing between additions and scraping down the sides of the bowl so everything is incorporated.

Add the mashed bananas and nuts, then sieve in the flour, baking powder, bicarb, cinnamon and salt. Mix to a smooth batter.

Spoon into your prepared loaf tin, smooth the top and sprinkle with the streusel. Rap the tin on the worktop a couple of times to settle the mixture. Bake for one hour, or until a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean.

Once done, remove from the oven and cool in the tin for five minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

14 thoughts on “Banana and Pecan Loaf Cake

  1. I’m not sure why I ticked ‘like’ really. Am I the only person in the world who loathes the taste of cooked banana? Anyway, Happy Easter Linda!

  2. This cake can be taken to another level with equal measures of double cream and maple syrup, simmered until reduced and poured over the cake.

  3. Sounds lovely – I’m not a good baker but banana bread never lets me down! Ruby Tandoh and Sophie Dahl’s versions are also easy and very tasty.

  4. You know what, I thought that too about the banana bread – frankly it can’t be a coincidence. There are always going to be some coincidences (there are only so many recipes and ingredients) but blimey! If I saw a lot of one thing being posted, rather than jumping on the bandwagon I’d want to go do something different. Just to be a) awkward and b) who wants to be thought of as a food version of Boris Johnson (ie that quote about him that he waits for the pack to go past then runs in front of it shouting “Follow me!!”) Love anything with pecans in by the way 💙

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