nigella's banana bread

The best things come unexpectedly. Like…

Holding a long awaited package in the palms of my hand, days before it’s expected to arrive.

Breathing deeply and not having to sneeze/tear around blossoming trees.

Finding that lost $5 bill in your pocket that you didn’t realize you lost.

Coming home to a text message that says, “Sister [Clare], that banana bread thing you made was so good!” when it wasn’t the sister who baked it.

nigella's banana bread

While I was shopping for milk, I came across this tiny bread pan, about a third of the size of a regular bread pan. It’s the perfect size since I live alone and can’t nearly eat as much as most recipes call for. It even fits into a toaster oven, so I can avoid firing up the gas oven! Anddd, it’s less waiting time. Bread usually takes 40-60 minutes to bake. A mini version takes half the time!

My favorite chef in the whole world is Nigella Lawson. There’s something about her that just makes her super lovable. I think it’s her way with words and her soothing voice. If you haven’t seen or heard of Nigella yet, I suggest you youtube her. She’s also quite gorgeous.

Nigella’s one of those “let’s be serious- we’re baking, not trying to lose weight” sort of person so I use her recipes only when I feel like I can splurge on those calories. But this recipe was surprisingly healthy, despite the stick of butter that it calls for. It’s totally worth it. I’d gladly run 6 miles to burn off a couple of slices.

nigella's banana bread

What makes this banana bread recipe stand out from the rest is the use of rum. The original recipe calls for raisins and rums so that each bite of raisin gives a burst of that sweet, mildly alcohol-ly goodness. Since we have every imaginable liquor at home except for rum, I used Southern Comfort… and apricots. It was so good, I’m hoping to make this again tomorrow. The recipe below makes a whole loaf (not the mini one shown above)

Nigella Lawson’s Banana Bread


  • 75 ml Rum dark rum works best (or Southern Comfort in my case)
  • 100 gSultanas (dried apricots work too!)
  • 175 gSelf raising flour
  • 125 gButter melted
  • 150 g Sugar
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 3 medium Bananas (need to be ripe or overripe)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • Handful of walnuts
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
In a saucepan, add the sultanas and rum and bring to a boil, then turn off. The recipe calls for you to soak them for an hour, but uh, I disregarded that and it was fine. I think any sort of dried fruits work and any fruity/sweet liquor work.
In a large bowl, melt butter. Add the flour and sugar. Beat until well blended. Add in the eggs one at a time and then beat in the mashed bananas. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to add the vanilla extract, cinnamon, sultanas, and walnuts. Fold in gently.

nigella's banana bread

Bake at 340F for 1 hour or until the bread turns golden brown and springs back when pressed.

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