Sunday, 11 March 2012

Banana Tea Loaf with Cranberry and Cardamom

To continue with my banana overload last week, more bananas found themselves made into this delicious tea loaf today which I spotted on a recipe card in Waitrose. Loved the sound of the combination with cardamom and I had some dried cranberries over from Christmas cooking too so gave it a try.

Here's how it's made and how it turned out:

1 Pure Green Tea bag (I used a Green tea & Cranberry tea bag)
50g Dried Cranberries
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
6 Bart Fairtrade Cardamom pods (I did use 6 pods this time but would try just 2 when I bake it again - see notes below)
50g butter, cubed
100g Demerara sugar
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 medium egg, beaten
2 ripe bananas, mashed

Not the prettiest picture but...this is the dried cranberries steeping in the green tea bag.
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (adjust for fan ovens), gas mark 4. Butter a 1-litre loaf tin and line the base with greaseproof paper. Pour 150ml boiling water over the tea bag and add the cranberries. Leave to steep for 5 minutes then remove the tea bag. Don't drain, keep the liquid by the way.
Cardamom seeds added to flour mixture.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Crush the cardamom pods and remove the seeds. Add the seeds to the flour mixture then rub in the butter until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the demerara sugar and orange zest.
Whisk the egg with the tea-infused cranberries and add to the dry ingredients with the mashed banana. Mix well then spoon into the prepared tin and level the surface. Bake for 50 - 60 minutes until well risen, golden and firm to the touch. Turn out, remove the paper and cool on a wire rack. 
The recipe also suggests to wrap and keep for 24 hours to allow the flavours to develop, but does anyone really bake a cake and not eat it for 24hrs? You're very disciplined if you do, I did not do this and dived straight in. It's a really lovely flavour this tea loaf but as I mentioned above, I would definitely only add the seeds from 2 cardamom pods when baking this again, I found that 6 gave it a too overpowering flavour but obviously that's down to personal taste. Give it a go and see what you think, let me know how it goes if you try it.
The recipe card also suggests that it freezes really well, either as loaf or in slices if wrapped well. Ours didn't last that long but good to know.
This recipe was taken from a recipe card I picked up in Waitrose, it's also found on on


  1. Right I'm trying this one next! Love banana bread

  2. I got the recipe card and tried it and, admittedly first time I probably took it out the oven a bit early (banking on the fact that my fan oven cooks stuff pretty quick) and it was really soggy and doughy in the middle. I just tried it again tonight (because I was so disgusted with myself that I'd managed to ruin a cake! ) and I left it in easily for just under 60 mins and it was still soggy in the middle. Did you put the 150 ml of tea in with the cranberries? I can't work out what I'm doing wrong!

  3. Hi Bex - oh no, how annoying, I hate cake disasters when you can't work out why! I did soak the cranberries in the tea but drained off the excess tea before adding the cranberries to cake mix. Did you drain yours or add it all? Maybe that's why yours was a bit soggy? It's not very clear to do this in the recipe but the cranberries didn't soak that much up so I thought best to drain them. Good luck if you try again.