Home » Cakes and bakes, For tickles and giggles, Recipes » Ba-na-na-naaaa (to the tune of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony)

Ba-na-na-naaaa (to the tune of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony)

My colleagues at Ogilvy PR Cape Town are starting to get used to the idea of my bringing in some sort of baked something or other on a Monday morning.

This morning it was mini-banana loaves made from a recipe I’ve had for years and years called Teach Me to Cook!, which my mom gave me when I decided to move down to Cape Town to study Graphic Design … in other words, she wanted to make sure I could cook and stay alive!

The interesting thing about this recipe book, which was published in 1994, is that it’s in both English and Zulu, endorsed by the Domestic Workers’ Association and “make[s] it possible for the housekeeper to understand and cook the favourite recipes of her employer.”

I kid you not!

For me, a devoted follower of Italian and Portuguese cooking – even if only hybrid versions thereof, I have to admit that South African desserts and bakes, such as Malva pudding and banana loaf, are to me the bee’s knees and I love to make them, which is why I still hang on to this recipe book.

I’ve made the banana loaf recipe so many times and am happy to say it’s always received with a smile.

So here’s the original recipe, which I’ve adapted to make on average 12 mini-banana loaves: perfect for the office or a tea party.


half a cup margarine

1 cup castor sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

2 eggs

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

4 ripe bananas, peels and mashed


Combine the margarine and sugar in a mixing bowl and mix very well. Stir in the vanilla essence.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.

Sift flour and baking powder together. Add the egg mixture along with the mashed bananas. Mix well.

Turn the mixture into a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan (or 12 mini-loaf tins). Place in a preheated oven at 190°C for 45 minutes (30 minutes for mini-loaves).

Remove pan from the oven. Remove loaf from the pan and cool on a wire cooling rack.

*licks chops*


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