Banana Bread – Nigella Domestic Goddess

I have a lazy day at my sisters today so catching up on posting a few of my old favourite recipes. In my view the banana bread recipe alone in Nigella’s Domestic Goddess cookbook justified the cost of the book. From when you heat the sultana’s in rum the kitchen smells amazing and it’s a great way of using bananas that are (long) past their best. I’ve never put walnuts in the cake and since it’s so soft and moist I’ve never felt like adding the walnuts (60g in case anyone reading wants to try adding them). I also don’t drain any excess alcohol that isn’t absorbed by the sultanas. I could gauge how often I make this by seeing how often I buy a new bottle of rum as this is the only thing I use rum for 🙂


  • 100g sultanas
  • 75ml bourbon or dark rum
  • 175g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 125g unsalted butter, melted
  • 150g sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 small or 3 large, very ripe bananas (about 300g weighed without skin), mashed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Put the sultanas and rum or bourbon in a smallish saucepan and bring to the boil.
  2. Remove from the heat, cover and  if you can leave for an hour until the sultanas have absorbed most of the liquid.
  3. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/gas mark 3.
  4. Sieve flour, baking powder and bicarb (and salt if using, I never add salt to cakes) into a medium-sized bowl and, using your hands or a wooden spoon, combine well.
  5. In a large bowl, mix the melted butter and sugar and beat until blended. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the mashed bananas. Then, with your wooden spoon, stir in the drained sultanas and vanilla extract (and walnuts if using).
  6. Add the flour mixture, a third at a time, stirring well after each bit.
  7. Scrape mixture into the loaf tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 1-11/4 hours. (When it’s ready, an inserted toothpick or fine skewer should come out cleanish).
  8. Leave in the tin on a rack to cool.

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