Pear and banana loaf is an extremely moist cake, with quite a dense texture, and is absolutely packed with the luscious combination of pears and bananas. A slice of this cake for breakfast will keep you going until lunchtime, or why not just enjoy a slice with a cup of tea as a mid-morning snack?
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Banana pear cake
If you're looking for a light-as-a-feather sponge cake such as a Victoria Sandwich, then perhaps this recipe isn't for you.
However, if you want a cake with a dense texture, that's absolutely packed with flavour, then I think you're going to love this pear and banana loaf. The addition of pears elevates plain old banana bread to a whole new level!
It's a great way of using up spotty old bananas that are on the verge of being thrown out. And if you team the bananas with sweet juicy pears then you've got a winning flavour combination.
You can use either firm pears or pears that have softened. If your pears are very firm, you should peel and grate them; if your pears are on the soft, mushy side then it would be best to chop them into a fine dice before adding them to the cake. You can even use canned pears if you don't have fresh ones. Just drain them very well and chop them into small dice before using.
Pear and banana loaf is a very easy cake to make - it's just a matter of creaming the butter with the sugar, and beating in an egg. Then you just mix in the flour and stir in the bananas and pears before baking for an hour in a moderate oven.
What you will need
You will need a mixing bowl for the cake, plus 2 smaller bowls to hold the mashed bananas and chopped or grated pears.
For baking the banana pear loaf you will need a 10cm x 20 cm (that's 4" x 8") loaf tin. You could also use a slightly larger loaf tin, but then the batter would not be so deep and you would have to reduce the cooking time slightly to compensate.
If you are going to be grating your pears, then you will also need a box grater.
This recipe makes an 8" x 4" pear and banana loaf that you can cut into approximately 12 slices.
**You can get the complete recipe on the printable recipe card at the end of this post**
Bananas - the spottier the better. If there are a lot of very brown bits on your bananas you can just cut them away and discard them. For this recipe, you will need the equivalent of 2 cups of ripe mashed bananas.
Pears - the pears should be peeled. If the pears are very firm they should be grated on a box grater. Soft, riper pears can be sliced into small dice. You can also use canned pears, but they should be drained of as much liquid as possible before being cut into small dice, so that the liquid content of the cake is not too high. You will need 1 cup of chopped or grated pears for this recipe.
Butter - I like to use unsalted butter for baking, and add my own salt to taste.
Sugar - caster sugar is more finely ground than granulated sugar and dissolves more easily when being creamed with butter. You can use granulated sugar, but you might find you need to cream the butter and sugar together for a bit longer.
Flour - I've used plain flour for this recipe and added one teaspoon of baking powder for each cup of flour. You can use self-raising flour instead and omit the baking powder.
Egg - I used a large egg.
Vanilla essence - optional, but does enhance the flavour.
Salt (not pictured) - I normally add half a teaspoon of salt mixed in with the flour. If you are using salted butter don't add extra salt.
What to do
Peel and mash the banana.
Peel the pears and grate them using a box grater.
If your pears are very soft, you should chop them into small dice rather than grating them.
Set the pears and bananas aside.
Measure the sugar into a mixing bowl.
Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the sugar.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and creamy and the sugar has dissolved into the butter.
You can use a wooden spoon or spatula for this step. If you have a food processor you could use that.
Add the egg and vanilla essence to the creamed sugar and butter.
Mix thoroughly to combine the egg with the butter and sugar.
Now tip in the flour and baking powder.
If you are using salt, add ½ teaspoon of salt to the flour.
Add the grated pears and mashed bananas.
Mix well to combine. The flour should be completely incorporated.
Lightly grease the sides of your baking tin and cut a strip of baking parchment to line the bottom.
Leave the baking parchment strip long enough to stick out at each side to make it easier for you to get the cake out of the pan.
Transfer the batter to the baking tin.
Bake in a preheated oven (180C / 355F) for one hour or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out cleanly.
Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the baking tin, then remove it from the tin and cut it into slices to serve.
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Tips and FAQ
Yes. Allow the loaf to cool to room temperature, then wrap it in a layer of baking parchment, followed by a layer of tinfoil. Place it into a large plastic bag and freeze for up to 4 months.
To defrost, remove the loaf from the plastic bag and leave it on the counter to defrost completely.
Transfer the loaf into an air-tight tin or wrap it in tin foil. You can store it in the kitchen for up to three days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Yes, just remember if you use a larger pan that the cake will not be quite as deep and will need less cooking time. Depending on the size of the pan you use, start checking for doneness after 45 minutes. If a wooden toothpick comes out cleanly then the cake is done.
Save for later
If you'd like to make this pear and banana loaf yourself, why not save the recipe to one of your Pinterest boards so you can find it easily? Just click on the image below.
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If you enjoyed this pear and banana bread, you may also like to try some of my other easy baking recipes:
- Chocolate Weetabix crumble slice
- Blackberry and apple pie
- Zucchini and pistachio cake with cream cheese frosting
- Best ever carrot and walnut cake
- Easy banana walnut bread
Pear and banana loaf
(Click the stars to rate this recipe)
- 4 large very ripe bananas mashed (approx 2 cups)
- 2 large ripe pears peeled and grated (approx 1 cup)
- ⅓ cup / 75 grams unsalted butter at room temperature
- ¾ cup / 150 grams caster sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1½ cups / 210 grams plain all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 355°F
- Peel and mash the bananas. Peel and grate the pears. Set both aside.4 large very ripe bananas, 2 large ripe pears
- Measure the butter and sugar into a mixing bowl and cream them together until they are light and fluffy.⅓ cup / 75 grams unsalted butter, ¾ cup / 150 grams caster sugar
- Add the egg and vanilla essence and mix well until creamy.1 large egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- Add the flour and baking powder. If you are using salt, add that at the same time.1½ cups / 210 grams plain all-purpose flour, 1½ teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt
- Add the grated pears and mashed bananas.
- Mix thoroughly until all the flour has been incorporated and you have a nice thick cake batter.
- Lightly grease the sides of your baking tin and cut a strip of baking parchment to line the bottom.Leave the baking parchment strip long enough to stick out at each end to make it easier for you to get the cake out of the pan.
- Transfer the batter to the baking tin.Bake in a preheated oven for one hour or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out cleanly.
- Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the baking tin, then remove it from the tin and cut it into slices to serve.
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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