Ode to Wales Banana Bread

I love any excuse to escape to Anglesey, the beautiful Welsh island where my husband-to-be John grew up. We managed a couple of days of my last book shoot up there, and some of my favourite shots were taken on Newborough Beach – a stunning coastline backdropped by Snowdon and its sister mountains, with a magical forest at one end and a tiny island all of it’s own at the other.


With St David’s Day coming up, as an ode to Wales, I thought I’d share the banana bread John and I picnicked on at Newborough.

Soft, moist, and light all at once and studded with chunks of darkest chocolate, all without any flour, dairy, eggs, or refined sugar. Toast this for breakfast with wild abandon and congratulate yourself for making something that is insanely indulgent tasting and incredibly delicious without dragging you down, or pack it up for a picnic and enjoy with a flask of tea as an afternoon treat like we did on this sunny winter afternoon.



75ml melted coconut oil, plus extra for greasing
200g pecans (walnuts work too)
200g rolled oats
4 large ripe bananas
100g coconut sugar, plus 1 tablespoon (optional)
100ml maple syrup
100ml unsweetened almond milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
a good pinch of caraway seeds (optional)
75g dark chocolate (70%)

Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas 3 and get all your ingredients together. Grease a 900g non-stick loaf tin with coconut oil.

While the oven comes up to temperature, roast the pecans in it for 10 minutes, then roughly chop and set aside. Meanwhile, blitz the oats in a food processor until you have a scruffy flour. Put the oat flour into a bowl.

Put the bananas into the food processor with the 100g of coconut sugar, maple syrup, almond milk and melted coconut oil and blitz until well combined. Add the oat flour, baking powder and a good pinch of salt. Blitz until combined, then stir in the pecans. Add the caraway seeds, if using.

Pour half the batter into the loaf tin. Break the chocolate up into thin strips and lay it along the middle of the batter, leaving space at the end. Pour in the rest of the batter and top with the extra spoonful of coconut sugar. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.


Images: Matt Russell

Posted: 29.02.16 22 Comments


Posted by Charlotte at 10:12 on the 02.03.16

Hi Anna,
Thanks for the great recipe… It smells amazing baking in the oven. I was just wondering the best way to store it once cooled?

Posted by Anna at 10:33 on the 07.03.16

Hi Charlotte, just wrap it in some greaseproof and keep it in a tin. Enjoy! AJ

Posted by Lara at 6:48 on the 12.03.16


I have just come across your website and I think I love you!

This recipe is just what I am looking for and I’m Welsh sooo… #Destiny surely?

That said, my dear Son is allergic to nuts, please could you recommend alternatives if possible?

Many thanks

Posted by Michelle Williams at 8:29 on the 13.08.16

Have to say, this is just delicious. Just made it and nearly ate the whole loaf. Used walnuts and honey. Delicious. Thanks Anna.

Posted by Anna at 3:08 on the 16.08.16

ah lovely to hear you enjoyed it, thank you. AJ x

Posted by Steph at 7:33 on the 21.09.16

This looks lovely. I don’t have a proper food processor but I have oat bran and fine ground oatmeal at home – would either of those work rather than blitzing rolled oats? Also, do you think this would freeze OK if I cut it into slices first? Think this could be a great breakfast to take into work 🙂

Posted by Maren at 10:19 on the 21.02.17

Slightly off-topic: love than loaf box on the pictures! Where might I find
such an item? Any advice is much appreciated!

Posted by Anna at 9:24 on the 28.02.17

Hello Maren. This is one I’ve had forever, but I think Nkuku a similar range. https://www.nkuku.com/product/morro-box-set-of-2 AJ x

Posted by Gerry at 11:46 on the 02.07.18

It’s a great recipe and I’ve used it lots of times now. I just wish the coconut oil and the maple syrup quantities were in weights rather than liquid measures!

Posted by Anne Tamulonis at 11:46 on the 05.07.18

Delicious cake. I only put chocolate in half as we don’t all like it

Posted by Elizabeth at 8:40 on the 12.08.18

Anyone have this recipe in American measurements? 🙂

Posted by Min at 5:52 on the 21.08.18

Hi Anna,
Just made this loaf and absolutely love it! I was just wondering if it would freeze well?

Posted by Kate godfrey at 8:48 on the 09.03.19

Love this recipe Anna! And just to say I did freeze half so I didn’t scoff it all and it was great defrosted, quite like warming it slightly so chocolate melts a bit 🙂

Posted by Barry at 5:40 on the 13.04.19

I tired the recipe today, found it in my copy of The Modern Cook, but had some issues with it solidifying. I cooked it the proper time and thought it was done, but when I flipped it out it was a mushy mess that fell apart in the centre. Scooped it back in and put it in for another 40 minutes and it was better, but still a good section was mushy and came apart. I used previously frozen bananas (thawed) could that be the issue?

I don’t want to cook a lot longer as the sides will probably start to burn.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

Posted by una at 2:47 on the 16.04.19

Woooonderful recipe. This is first time making it…. of many! this will become a staple. Thank you so much.

Posted by Janice D at 2:31 on the 09.01.20

I love this recipe. I have added carrots sometimes. What I would like added to your recipes is the estimated calorie count

Posted by Tamara Tyrer at 6:07 on the 06.04.20

Could I replace brown sugar for the coconut sugar? Thanks!

Posted by maria at 11:43 on the 13.11.20

yes any chance of coconut oil and sugar measurement in grams. Just bought your new cook book which is wonderful

Posted by Amanda at 9:46 on the 13.11.20

So excited to have a gluten-free recipe loaf recipe! Thank you

Posted by Lisa at 8:26 on the 24.01.22

Hello, just made this recipe from A Modern Way to Cook last weekend (I know I’m late to the Party…;) we loved it! I do also have a more off-topic question though: Can you please tell where the wonderful mug in the picture is from? (the one you’re holding in hand) thanks so much!

Posted by Lisa at 10:37 on the 25.01.22

Can someone please tell me where the beautiful mug is from? Thanks!

Posted by Sam at 10:02 on the 23.11.22

Made this cake this evening after getting a link in Anna’s newsletter for baked gifts. Oh my, what a treat of a cake.
Feels that little bit healthier without the usual flour and fats.
I used honey instead of maple and walnuts instead of pecans, threw in hemp seed hearts for a bit of extra goodness, and coconut milk (carton) as I didn’t have almond.
Came out perfectly in the stated time.
Really really tried to leave it to cool for the stated half hour. Managed 15 mins, it was delicious and I regret nothing.

Add a comment