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Banana bread with honeycomb butter

Makes: 8-10 slices, plus 160g honeycomb butter
timePrep time: 30 mins
timeTotal time:
Banana bread with honeycomb butter
Recipe photograph by Martin Poole

Banana bread with honeycomb butter

Whether you opt for homemade honeycomb or shop-bought, this banana bread pairing gives a luxe update on the simple teatime treat

Makes: 8-10 slices, plus 160g honeycomb butter
timePrep time: 30 mins
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (serving with honeycomb butter)


For the banana bread
  • 125g dark brown sugar
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 75g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 75ml sunflower oil
  • 250g plain flour
  • ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 350g very ripe peeled bananas, mashed, plus 1 just-ripe whole banana, cut into 5mm slices
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the honeycomb butter
  • 20g clear honey
  • 30g golden syrup
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g soft salted butter

Step by step

Get ahead
The banana bread keeps for up to 4 days, or slices can be frozen.
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Grease and line the base and sides of a 900g loaf tin (about 10cm x 20cm base measurement) with baking paper and set aside for now.
  2. Combine the brown sugars, melted butter and oil in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment in place and beat on medium-high speed for 10 minutes until very creamy. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Reduce the speed of the mixer and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat on a medium-high speed for another 5 minutes, then add the mashed bananas and vanilla extract. Beat for another minute to combine, then add the sifted dry ingredients and fold through with a silicone spatula.
  4. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf tin, smoothing out the top with a spatula or spoon. Gently place the banana slices, slightly overlapping, on top of the batter, all the way down one side of the tin. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, checking after an hour by inserting a cake skewer into the centre – if it comes out clean, the banana bread is ready. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for about 30 minutes before turning it out to cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. While the bread is in the oven, prepare the honeycomb. Line a small oven tray with baking paper and set aside near the hob. Accurately weigh out the honey, syrup and sugar into a medium pan. Add 2 teaspoons of water and whisk to combine, then place over a low heat. Stir gently to dissolve the sugar, then turn up the heat and cook until the mixture starts to turn a deep amber colour and the temperature on a cook’s thermometer reaches 155°C. Turn off the heat and carefully whisk in the bicarbonate of soda – the mixture will bubble up vigorously and expand, so be careful. Whisk for just a few seconds (you want to dissolve and distribute the bicarb but retain all the air bubbles so the honeycomb remains light, so don’t overmix) then pour the mixture onto the lined tray and let it spread out of its own accord. Leave to cool.
    The honeycomb is best made using a digital or sugar thermometer to get it just right, but you can use 60g of shop-bought honeycomb pieces instead if you prefer.
  6. When completely cool, break the honeycomb into chunks and add 60g to a food processor (the rest can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer; it’s delicious coated in chocolate, or sprinkled over ice cream). Pulse until finely crushed, then blend in the soft butter. Scrape into a small bowl, ready to be spread liberally onto slices of banana bread. The cake is actually best the day after baking, though of course you can also eat it fresh.

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