Want Cake? Make Banana Bread Instead!

I love banana bread. I think it is an awesome use for bananas. I mean, it’s nicer than eating them plain, right?

Technically, this is banana cake. It isn’t bread at all, since there is no yeast and no pulling of the dough. But because I have been referring to the above baked good as banana bread since age 5, and because my favourite bakery in my hometown makes something similar and also calls it banana bread, we shall refer to the above baked good as banana bread.

Sue me.

And you know the best part about making banana bread? THERE IS NEVER A DEARTH OF BANANAS WHERE I LIVE, because we get bananas year round. That’s right. Bananas are right up there with coconuts. They are everywhere. Their pervasive presence is there for all to see on the roadside, at supermarkets, in lunchboxes. Benefits of living in the tropics.

And I thought to myself: Why must I bust my a** trying to find lavender to make a lavender shortbread cookie, when I can buy bananas and make banana bread instead? (Well, looky there! A rhyme. I’m a poet and didn’t even know it.) Not that procuring lavender is bad…it’s just that banana bread is also a perfectly agreeable sweet bake.

I found an easy recipe for banana bread on Joy Of Baking. (I love her videos. No nonsense. Easy to follow. And always comes out right.) But since I believe in putting a little spin on stuff, I decided to use chocolate chips (I’m almost pathological when it comes to putting chocolate chips in cake and cookie batter,) and add a little semolina to the batter. I love the texture that semolina gives, and I thought it would be a nice contrast to the sweet mushiness of the bananas. (Is that even a word? Who cares. Still using it.)

Here are a few reasons to make this:

  • It’s yummy!
  • It’s easy!
  • You don’t need to whisk or use an electric mixer, only a spoon!
  • It’s yummy! (It is!)



  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup roasted semolina (For this, all you need to do is take a pan, roast the rava with a teaspoon of ghee or clarified butter until a nice aroma envelopes your kitchen, and let cool. I usually roast batches of it and store for later use.)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (3/4 cup or more if you want. I used chocolate chips in this recipe so added less sugar.)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup melted butter which has been cooled to room temperature
  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed to a smooth paste
  • 1/2 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chips


  •  Preheat oven to 180 C
  • First deal with your dry ingredients. Combine walnuts, flour, semolina, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon powder in a large bowl and set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the lightly beaten eggs, the melted butter, mashed bananas and vanilla extract.
  • Next, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine evenly. Don’t get excited and mix the batter too much; this will make the bread rubbery. (Or so I have been told.)
  • Stick it in the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes at 180 C, or until a toothpick or knife inserted comes out clean.

I know this looks rather Dickensian, like little chunks of peasant bread, but believe me, it tastes great. I need to get a loaf pan to bake in.

Moist banana, the crunch of walnuts, a slight grainy texture from the semolina and of course, the goodness of chocolate chips! Time well spent in the kitchen.