Mary Berry calls Cambridges a 'modern couple with tradition'

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Mary Berry has shared many cake recipes over the years, including favourites such as Victoria Sponge cake and shortbread. However, the iconic baker’s banana bread loaf is to die for – big enough for the whole family, the cake takes less than an hour to prepare, bake, and cool down.

Mary Berry has shared multiple types of banana bread recipes in the past. Whether it’s a loaf with seeds on the top or one with chocolate chips in the middle, all are delicious and easy to make.

Mary’s top tip is to use “over-ripe bananas”, so that bakers don’t need to throw away their stale bananas when they no longer look appetising.

Instead, they can use them to make banana bread.

In her Classic Mary Berry cookbook, the baker explained how to make a seed-topped banana bread loaf.

She wrote in the book: “These lovely well-risen, light-textured moist cakes are perfect for when the bananas are over-ripe in the fruit bowl and no-one is keen on eating them.

“The seeds and sugar topping adds crunch and nuttiness.

“Baking two small cakes is perfect when making for school fetes etc. While one goes out the door never to be tasted or seen again, the other can stay at home to please the family.”

The ingredients Mary listed are enough to bake two cakes, serving six people. The cake takes 30 to 40 minutes to prepare, bake, and cool down before serving.

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100g (4oz) baking spread, plus extra for greasing

150g (5oz) muscovado sugar

200g (7oz) self-raising flour

One tsp bicarbonate of soda

Two eggs

Two medium (about 200g/7oz) ripe bananas, peeled and mashed

For the topping

25g (1oz) pumpkin seeds

25g (1oz) sunflower seeds

One tbsp demerara sugar


You will need two 450g (1lb) loaf tins. First, preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark four, then grease the tins with baking spread and line with baking paper.

Measure the baking spread, sugar, flour and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl, add the eggs and bananas, and beat the ingredients with an electric hand whisk until light and combined.

Spoon the mixture equally between the prepared tins and level the tops. Sprinkle over the seeds and demerara sugar.

Bake both cakes on the middle shelf in the oven for about 35 to 40 minutes or until well risen, golden and a skewer inserted into the middle of each cake comes out clean.

Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then turn out on to a wire rack and peel off the baking paper before leaving to cool down completely.

Mary went on to recommend preparing ahead of a specific event if needs be, as the cake can be kept in an airtight container for a day – and still taste just as delicious and moist.

The cake also freezes well, which means that one cake can be eaten now and the other at a later date.

The baker listed some of her top tips, saying: “Never throw out even the blackest of bananas.

“The riper they are, the softer and more flavour they have. Bananas also freeze really well. Once past their best for eating, peel and open freeze on a tray, then pack into freezer bags.

“You’ll always have bananas to hand to make this quick and easy cake – just defrost and use as above.”

Mary added: “To make one large cake, use a 900g (2lb) loaf tin and bake for 50 to 60 minutes.”

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