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Basic Banana Bread Recipe

An easy, old-fashioned banana bread recipe.
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banana bread

This Banana Bread recipe is easy to follow and delivers a cafe-style loaf that is perfect served warm with a little butter.

It’s from a late 1960s recipe pamphlet issued by the Sydney County Council, a time when home cooks were experimenting with their “modern electric” ovens.

banana bread recipe easy

The original recipe for Banana Bread

Do you remember when organisations like councils and appliance companies ran cooking demonstrations and classes?

This pamphlet below contains 10 basic recipes which were demonstrated at Sydney County Council’s showrooms. People could sign up for an 8-week “lecture series” and the message that “good cooks are made, not born” was emphasised.

banana bread recipe

One of those recipes was Banana Bread, and I found it to be a simply, tasty recipe that contained an ingredient we don’t often see included in recipes today – lemon zest.

The zest wasn’t overpowering at all, but rounds out the flavour nicely.

I’ve tweaked the original recipe slightly, updated the measurements and included step-by-step instructions and tips, so keep scrolling through to the recipe card at the bottom of the past.

The ingredients

The ingredients for this recipe are:

  • SR flour
  • bicarb soda
  • salt
  • butter
  • caster sugar
  • lemon zest
  • egg
  • milk
  • mashed bananas.

See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for measurements.

The most important thing about the ingredients is to make sure you use VERY RIPE bananas.

The riper the better!

You can also freeze your overripe bananas and then thaw them out to use in this recipe.

banana bread ingredients

Banana Bread: how to make

You don’t need a mixer to make this recipe, just a loaf tin, mixing bowl and large spoon and a “modern electric” oven.

To start, you grease and line the tin and pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius (fan-forced).

Then sift the SR flour, salt and bi-carb soda into a bowl.

Mix through the sugar and lemon zest.

Mash the bananas well and add them to the mix. Also add the beaten egg and milk.

Stir through to combine the mixture well, but don’t over-mix or beat.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin.

The mixture is a little more “dry” than cake recipes, so just smooth out the mixture so it’s evenly distributed in the tin.

banana bread how to make

The baking time is 35 minutes or until the loaf is a lovely golden brown colour.

Do not open the oven door until you’re certain the cake is cooked. Opening the door too early can result in a loaf that dips in the middle

Also resist the temptation to stick a skewer in the cake to see if it’s done – unless you want to risk seeing your loaf sink in a few seconds.

Yes, the trickiest part of the process is the baking.

The best way to gauge whether your loaf is cooked is by looking at the time and the colour of the loaf.

easy banana bread recipe pin2

Enjoying and storing your loaf

Allow cake to cool to a warm temperature before slicing a few pieces and enjoying with a little butter.

Allow to cool completely and then wrap in plastic wrap or store in an airtight container at room temperature. It should last a few days.

You can also slice it up, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze in portions. It can then be thawed out and enjoyed for the next few months.

banana bread

Banana Bread

An easy, old-fashioned banana bread recipe.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Australian
Keyword: banana bread
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 12 slices
Calories: 163kcal


  • 24 x 14cm loaf tin


  • 1 3/4 cup SR flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarb soda
  • 60 grams butter (chopped into cubes)
  • 3/4 cup castor sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (from approx 1/2 lemon)
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 3/4 mashed banana (from approx 2 medium or 3 small bananas)
  • 1 tablespoon milk


  • Grease a loaf tin (24 x 14cm) and line with baking paper.
  • Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius (fan-forced).
  • Sift SR flour, salt and bicarb soda.
  • Rub in butter.
  • Stir in sugar and lemon rind.
  • Add beaten egg, mashed bananas and milk. Stir through to combine well with a large spoon but don't beat.
  • Pour mixture into tin and smooth out the top a little.
  • Bake for 35 minutes or until a golden brown colour.
  • Allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.


Calories: 163kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 113mg | Potassium: 54mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 152IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg
Recipe Rating

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Thursday 26th of January 2023

Will have to try to banana bread

Annette Gannaway

Sunday 19th of September 2021

Hi Libby, I had a few banana's that was starting to look sad, your recipe for banana bread had perfect timing. I only had whole meal SR flour on hand and it worked fine. I whipped this up Saturday morning for morning tea. It was a hit. Everyone liked it. I have a few banana bread recipes, this one is so easy but I must admit I was skeptical while I was mixing the wet and dry ingredients together I did not know how I was going 'pour' the ingredients, it looked too dry! it all came together in the end.

This recipe is going straight to the trophy room. Annette :)

Libby Hakim

Monday 20th of September 2021

Hi Annette - amazing! Thank you so much for your wonderful review. I actually might add that in as a tip about the dryness of the mix as that concerned me a little too. Thanks again and happy cooking x

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