Olive Oil, Banana Bread


banana cake.jpg

I don’t really know whether this should be called bread or cake. But considering I eat it for breakfast, I feel less guilty calling it bread. There are so many ways to make banana bread/cake. Some make it with butter, others with oil. I chose olive oil for my version, again for less guilt. But olive oil really works and keeps this cake moist and flavorful. Walnuts have a nice crunch and if you are not too keen on using cinnamon, zest it with some orange or lemon zest. My guess, you’ll be eating it for breakfast too.


  • ¾ cup walnut halves
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup soft brown sugar
  • 4 medium, ripe bananas (about 270 grams), mashed in a small blender
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon (or 1 tsp orange or lemon zest)


Preheat oven to 175 C. Butter a 13 x 23 cm loaf pan and line the base and two long sides with greaseproof paper. Leave some paper hanging from the sides. You will need this paper to lift the cake out of the pan once it’s baked.

Spread walnut halves on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 6-7 minutes until fragrant and starting to colour. Be careful not to burn them. Set aside to cool.

In a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat olive oil and sugars until mixed. Add mashed bananas and yogurt and beat until combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract.

In a large bowl, sift flour with baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Change the speed of mixer to low and beat in flour mixture. Beat until combined. Don’t overbeat. Add walnut halves and mix through.

Spread batter in the prepared pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes until a cake tester in the middle of the loaf comes out almost clean. Leave cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

Use the overhanging paper to lift the cake out of the pan. Cool cake completely to room temperature before cutting and serving. Store wrapped with plastic wrap. It keeps longer refrigerated (but it never lasts than long!).

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