Date, Brazil Nut and Banana Loaf

This tasty and filling loaf is a cake in disguise! Made with banana as its base and succulently delicious dates and brazil nuts added to boost the sheer yumminess of this edible delight, it makes for a scrumptious addition to any afternoon tea cake stand display.



8-10 slices

175g plain flour

50g polyunsaturated margarine

50g sugar (granulated or castor)

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 egg, beaten

3 very ripe bananas, peeled and smashed together

75g dried and pitted dates, chopped


  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 4, 200°C electric.
  • Line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
  • Put the margarine and sugar in a bowl and cream together.

Dawn: With a spoon, start to mix the margarine and sugar together so that they begin to form a thick ‘paste’ and continue to mix until the two ingredients have formed a light and fluffy looking consistency. 

  • Next, beat the egg into the margarine and sugar mixture until all three ingredients are combined. Then add the bananas, a little at a time until they are incorporated into the mixture.
  • Add the chopped dates and mix.
  • Add the bicarbonate of soda and the flour, sifted together.
  • Pour the mixture into the lined loaf tin and place in the centre of the oven to bake for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown in colour.

Dawn: To test to see if the loaf is baked, simply push a knife blade into the centre and if it emerges clean, the loaf is baked. If there’s googey mixture on the blade, the loaf needs baking a little longer. I’ve recently started using an old, sterilised knitting needle to start testing whether or not a cake is cooked and I simply pierce the cake with the needle – if it comes out clean, it’s cooked. Simple!

  • Serve warm or cold.

Dawn: Adding fruit to a recipe is a natural way of increasing its sweetness factor and it’s worth pointing out that the riper the bananas are, the sweeter they will be so you may wish to compensate for any extra sweet taste by reducing the actual amount of sugar used in the recipe. 

Slices of this delicious fruity concoction taste even more divine with lashings of a delicious preserve spread liberally on them.


Fit for a King – or a Duchess! As in the case of Anna, 7th Duchess of Bedford who born the idea of afternoon tea as a bridge between breakfast and dinner in the nineteenth century. Back then, it was the norm for only two meals to be consumed during the day with dinner being served in the evening so many people found the late afternoon a time of hunger. The Duchess thought of the idea of having a pot of tea, bread and butter and a slice of cake served to help her ward off hunger until her dinner which was served at the fashionably late time of 8pm. And hence, the birth of afternoon tea, whereby the upper classes would take a “low” or “afternoon” tea at 4pm with the “middle” and “lower” classes taking a more substantial “high” tea later at 5pm or 6pm as substitute for dinner. It soon became a traditional which was adopted across the British Empire with its colonies spreading far and wide from India to the West Indies. 

The Cooking Dynamo’s recipe for Banana Loaf can be found here


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