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Spiced banana loaf cake with chocolate chunks
Spiced banana loaf cake with chocolate chunks
added by Three Go Mad

This fragrant, gently spiced tea bread is a true pick-me-up – perfect for ravenous children returning from school, or anyone in need of cheering up. Bananas become much sweeter and more deliciously scented as they mature, so make sure the ones you use are well ripened. They will be much easier to mash too. Serve this tea bread thickly sliced – just as it is or with butter. After a few days, it’s best lightly toasted and buttered. As seen on the first episode of River Cottage: Three Go Mad shown on Channel 4 in July 2012.

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Prep time
  • 15 mins
Cook Time
  • 45 mins
  • 6 - 8
  • 20 cardamom pods
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • Good pinch of sea salt
  • 100g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 125g light muscovado sugar
  • 100g chocolate chunks (ideally 70% chocolate)
  • 2 ripe bananas (about 250g, peeled weight)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar
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  1. Place strips of baking paper into a 1 litre non-stick loaf tin (approx 20x10cm) to add a lifting aids once cooked.

  2. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas mark 4.

  3. Toast the cardamom pods in a small dry frying pan over a medium heat until fragrant. Remove from the heat, peel the pods away from the seeds and grind the seeds to a powder in a pestle and mortar.

  4. Sift the flour, salt and ground cardamom seeds into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub in, with your fingertips, until the mixture resembles medium breadcrumbs. Add the muscovado sugar and chocolate chunks and mix lightly until well distributed. Make a well in the centre.

  5. Mash the bananas to a soft and slightly lumpy puree. Add the egg and blend together, then pour into the well in the dry ingredients. Mix together and then beat until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

  6. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, levelling it out with the back of the spoon or spatular. Sprinkle the demerara sugar over the top. Bake for about 45 minutes until well risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

  7. This cake will keep for 5 days in an airtight tin and freezes superbly.


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8 replies
Replied on

I too reduced the number of cardamon pods to about half the suggested amount, and the loaf turned out lovely, if i may say so myself :-) its such an easy reciepe and i will be making this again for the coming dark winter months...

Replied on


I tried this cake and it was delicious. Please can anyone suggest if banana can be subsituted by any other fruit(if so how much quantity) as I don't like bananas. Or is it a good idea to add 2 egss and skip banana/fruits completely. Please help as I would love to bake this cake again with my taste.
Thank you

Replied on

My wife wasn't too keen, so i also reduced the cardamon content but did a nice variation, sustitute the banana and choc for blueberries and cherries

Replied on

Ten cardamon pods was certainly enough, otherwise the banana flavour was lost. I also put the chocolate into the freezer for half an hour before use so that it didn't melt away in the cooking. Fabulous cake and will certainly be making it again

Replied on

This is the lovliest banana cake I have ever tasted and my other half and my son loved it. The cake didn't even last two days!! Am already having to bake another one. It is very easy to make. I just used cheap milk chocolate as I don't like plain and it was lovely.

Replied on

Cardamon is very easy to come and I agree that its quite a strong flavour, personally I like it but next time I would use a couple less pods just to make it a little more subtle. Just the right amount of banana for me probably depends how ripe they are, I also used good quality dark chocolate drops just because that what I had in the cupboard! Kids really loved it too, great way of introducing new flavours to them, would make this again.

Replied on

Hi you can get cardamon easily in all the supermarkets. I got my pods from tesco only a couple of pound. I made this yesterday and I just have a few points to mention. Cardamon is quite a strong aromatic flavour so I would use only 10 pods as I found it quite over powering. Also there was hardly any taste of banana so I would use 3 or maybe 4. Last point I used very good organic chocolate and it was just a little bit too bitter for this reciepe.

Replied on

Is there a substitute for the cardamon? I cant say its a spice I've used before but cardamon pods I think might cause a few probs finding locally. Thx

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