Vintage Banana Nut Bread

Vintage Banana Nut Bread
I love making loaf cakes and quick breads and this Vintage Banana Nut Bread is fast becoming one of my favourites. The original recipe comes via my late Mom, from my well-worn but treasured copy of her Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. I used to thumb through it when I was a kid, dreaming of being the perfect housewife, preparing wonderful food and setting tables like they did in the pictures.

Vintage Banana Nut Bread

Today I know that real life isn’t actually like the glossy photographs you see in cookbooks and magazines and that good enough is far better than perfect but this book is still a trusted resource. In fact, all these years later I’m still cooking my way through it.

Recently I discovered a recipe in my treasured volume for Banana Nut Bread. I was drawn to this particular recipe as it contains bran. I’m always on the outlook for healthier quick bread recipes and with bran and only a half-cup of sugar this one seemed to fit the bill.

Vintage Banana Nut Bread

Bran can be tricky to find here in England. Bran Muffins are not as popular as they are in North America – although I am doing my best to remedy that! Anyway, recently I discovered freshly milled bran at Mapledurham Mill, the last working mill on the River Thames.

Vintage Banana Nut Bread
The mill is part of the Maplehurham House estate, which dates from the time of King Henry VIII. They are have been milling grain there for over 400 years. I love the idea that my bran has come from such an historic mill.

Old-Fashioned Banana Nut Bread

My Vintage Banana Nut Bread has a really lovely flavour. The bananas give it a wonderful sweetness and the texture means it is suited to breakfast, teatime or snacks. I love it cut in thick slices spread with soft butter or with anything at all really! It’s positively addictive.

Vintage Banana Nut Bread
Serves: 10 thick slices
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 well-beaten egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup bran
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 3 mashed bananas (about 1½ cups)
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup chopped nuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Grease and flour or line a 9½ x 5¼ x 2¾ inch loaf pan.
  3. Cream butter and sugar.
  4. Add the egg.
  5. Now stir in the bran and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
  6. Combine buttermilk and bananas in a medium bowl.
  7. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.
  8. Add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk and bananas.
  9. Mix thoroughly.
  10. Stir in the nuts.
  11. Transfer the mixture to the lined pan.
  12. The bread normally takes between 45 and 50 minutes to cook but check after 35 minutes as oven temperatures really can vary. The bread is done when a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  13. Allow to cool completely before slicing.
  14. The bread will keep for two or three days in a sealed container or wrapped in aluminum foil.
Adapted from The Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

If you enjoyed this recipe you may also enjoy Carrot Walnut Bran Muffins.

Shared with Say G’Day SaturdaySee Ya in the Gumbo, Treasure Box Tuesday

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Article by April Harris

April has written 1291 great articles for us.

April is a writer, recipe developer, frequent traveller and blogger sharing travel, food, and style. Based in the south of England, April is a British Canadian who is passionate about family, hearth and home, healthy living (with treats!) and the transformative power of travel.

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  1. Yum, that bread looks delicious! I love banana bread, and I love that this one doesn’t have a ton of sugar. That picture of the mill is gorgeous! Visiting from Say G’day. 🙂

  2. Beautiful Pictures April and your banana bread sounds lovely. Thanks for sharing.

  3. What kind of nuts are you using? Banana bread sounds great!

  4. First of all – congratulations on your new space!! So elegant as always! You’ve once again inspired me to start going back through some of my vintage cookbooks. I have some from as far back as the 1930’s. It’s interesting to see all the different versions of banana nut bread. I love your addition of the bran and am very surprised to read that bran is hard to come by over there. Well, you cooked up a delicious looking quick bread!

    • Thank you so much, MJ! I’m so glad you like it! That’s wonderful you have cookbooks from as far back as the 1930’s. It must be so interesting reading – and cooking from – them!

  5. I love those pictures of the mill, April. It’s very special that after 400 years, it is still in operation. Too many things are abandoned too soon.

    Keep up the fight for making bran more popular! I like to “sneak” wheat germ into baked items and pancakes. will have to start doing that with bran too. Thank you for sharing your lovely bread!

  6. I really like the banana bread.. I add cinnamon too.

  7. I love old fashioned recipes and this looks like a great one. Banana bread is so good and I bet the bran just makes it so much better. Great recipe.

  8. This bread sounds lovely, April. Love the combination of banana and nuts. I will try this next time I have bananas 🙂

  9. This looks wonderful! I love the addition of the bran.

  10. So nostalgic and good!

  11. You can’t go wrong w/ banana bread slathered in butter! I’ve never tried using bran or buttermilk in mine. Sounds like I must give it a go!

  12. Interesting recipe. I love looking at old cookbooks and using the recipes.

  13. I can imagine enjoy a slice or two of you banana but bread with my tea right now April! Pinned and shared!

  14. Your banana bread looks divine April…and I love your healthier tweaks, especially the of bran which will add a healthy dose of fiber!

  15. I also love that the bran you used in the recipe comes from a place with great historic significance! It was fun to read about your inspiration behind this recipe.

  16. The hubs loooves banana bread! I am pinning this recipe to try the next time I make it. Thanks for sharing it!

    • I hope your husband loves this banana bread as much as mine does, Jess 😉 I’m so glad you like the sound of the recipe. Please do let me know what you think when you make it and feel free to share a photo on my Facebook page if you like!

  17. Fantastic looking bread! Here we call it – cake (as it’s sweet), and also bran-muffins are not popular at all. But banana bread is slowly becoming more and more popular.
    A few slices of this bread with some butter on, and it’s the perfect snack for me 🙂

  18. Thae banana bread sounds so good, April. I love the old worn treasured copy of the magazine and the memories behind these papers. So precious!Pinning and tweeting!

  19. What a beautiful loaf of bread April! The perfect comfort food treat!

  20. This banana bread is absolute treasure, Love it April

  21. I love the fact that you use bran in this recipe and the light amount of fat. So many times
    when I’m enjoying a banana nut bread or muffin, I know that the contents has too much fat and little to no bran at all. Thank you for this wonderful, healthy recipe! I sure do appreciate it.

  22. This sounds delicious! 🙂

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks:

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  23. Hi April, your recipe for banana bread looks so good.
    Thanks for sharing this at C&C with J&J.
    Enjoy the week.

  24. I have the same cook book and still use it. My Mom puts butter on her banana bread as well. Thanks for sharing your wonderful posts at Over The Moon Party.
    See you next week.


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