Banana Tea Loaf

Passion fruit icing takes this gorgeous classic banana tea loaf off into a different dimension.


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Grease a 900g loaf tin with butter. Line the base with baking paper.
  2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Beat the egg in a cup. Mash the bananas with a fork.
  3. Tip the soft butter into a second bowl. Beat it well with a wooden spoon to cream it up.
  4. Add the sugar to the butter. Cream together with a rapid beating movement until the mix is light, pale and airy. This could take up to 5 minutes. Creaming well ensures a great textured cake.
  5. Now, add the beaten egg just a bit at a time, beating hard during/between additions. If the mix starts to split (curdle) add 2 good pinches of the flour and keep beating the mix vigorously.
  6. Add the flour in one go. Fold the mix together with a large metal spoon and a few light figure of eight movements. Cut down into the mix and turn and scoop lightly to retain the air. When the mix comes together, add the mashed banana, date, rind, vanilla, a bit of juice. Fold it in with minimal movements until evenly distributed. Your mix should drop easily off the end of your spoon. Add a drop of milk or lemon juice if it seems dry. You want ‘soft dropping consistency’.


  1. Spoon the mix evenly into the tin. Bake for 40-50 minutes. Take a look after 30. Cover tin with baking paper if it’s browning too soon. Test for doneness: insert a cocktail stick/strand of dry spaghetti into the centre. It should come out clean, the cake golden and risen. It may crack a bit but don’t worry.
  2. Remove to a rack. For a glazed finish, brush the top immediately with a bit of honey or apricot jam dissolved in a bit of water. For an iced finish, allow to cool first.
  3. ICING: melt the butter and leave it to cool. Cut the passion fruit across. Scoop the contents into a sieve over a bowl and push the juice through.


  1. Make the icing when the cake is quite cold. Melt the butter in a small pan. Tip into a dish to cool.
  2. Sift the icing sugar into a larger bowl. Add the melted butter, a teaspoon of passion fruit juice, a squeeze of lemon, a little grated rind and the milk. Beat to create an icing which is spreadable ie neither too runny nor thick. Taste it as you go. It should fizz deliciously on your tongue. Add a bit more sugar if you need to or a bit of extra milk or fruit juice.
  3. Using a metal spatula or a large metal spoon, or both, tip and spread the icing over your cake. Let it dribble over the sides artistically or keep it neat. I like to place a few pieces of dried cranberry on top for decoration. You could use dried sour cherry, blueberry or bits of fresh fruit if eating at once.
  4. Store in an airtight tin. This one keeps a few days. This works for afternoon tea or a lunch box or breakfast. Serve on a cake stand if you have one and cut into slices.

Useful Cooking Information


Metric Imperial
10 g½ oz
20 g¾ oz
25 g1 oz
50 g2 oz
75 g3 oz
110 g4 oz
150 g5 oz
175 g6 oz
200 g7 oz
225 g8 oz
250 g9 oz
275 g10 oz
350 g12 oz
450 g1 lb
500 g (½ kg)18 oz
700 g1½ lb
900 g2 lb
1 kg2¼ lb
1.3 kg3 lb
1.8 kg4 lb
2.2 kg5 lb


Metric Imperial
50 ml2 fl oz
75 ml3 fl oz
100 ml3½ fl oz
125 ml4 fl oz
150 ml5 fl oz¼ pint
200 ml7 fl oz
250 ml9 fl oz
300 ml10 fl oz½ pint
425 ml15 fl oz¾ pint
600 ml20 fl oz1 pint
800 ml1½ pint
1 l1¾ pints
1.2 l2 pints
1.5 l2½ pints
1.8 l3 pints
2 l3½ pints


Metric Imperial
5 mm¼ inch
1 cm½ inch
2 cm¾ inch
2.5 cm1 inch
3 cm1¼ inches
4 cm1½ inches
5 cm2 inches
10 cm3 inches
15 cm4 inches
20.5 cm6 inches
23 cm9 inches
25 cm10 inches
30 cm12 inches

Spoon measures - mean level measures unless the recipe says 'heaped'

Eggs - are always large for baking, unless recipe says otherwise

Oven Temperatures

Gas °F °C
Mark 1275140

Fan assisted ovens - remember to reduce temperatures by 20°C

Most Useful US/European Conversions

ButterUS 1 cup / 2 sticks8 oz220 g
SugarUS 1 cup6 oz175 g
FlourUS 1 cup4 oz110 g
LiquidUS 1 cup8 fl oz225 ml
Prepped OnionsUS 1 cup4 oz110 g
Cheese, GratedUS 1 cup4 oz110 g
Diced FruitUS 1 cup5 oz150 g
Fresh BreadcrumbsUS 1 cup2 oz55 g

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