Chefs' Recipes

Mark Best’s best-ever banana bread

You better believe it.

By Mark Best
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 50 mins cooking (plus cooling)
  • Serves 8 - 10
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"The world is broken down into simple sub-sets – those who like ripe bananas and those who don't. I'm with the latter," says chef Mark Best.


  • 250 gm softened butter, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 335 gm raw sugar
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 2 cloves
  • ½ tsp white peppercorns
  • 300 gm plain flour, sieved
  • 6 small ripe bananas, coarsely chopped (about 450gm flesh)


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-force). Grease a 21cm x 9.5cm x 6cm loaf tin with butter. Line with baking paper.
  • 2
    Cream butter and sugar on high speed in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl between each addition.
  • 3
    Blend spices to a fine powder, then sift with flour and baking powder. Toss through banana to coat, then fold flour mixture through butter until incorporated. Pour into prepared tin and tap firmly on bench to remove air pockets. Bake until a skewer can be inserted and removed cleanly (45-50 minutes; if bread browns too much on top, cover with foil until cooked). Cool bread in tin for 15 minutes, before turning onto a wire rack.
  • 4
    Serve bread warm or cooled with lashings of salted butter.