Banana Bread with Spelt and Honey

October 17, 2014


I can never have enough bananas in my house. And despite the fact that there is usually a bunch sitting on my bench, always taking too long to ripen for smoothie, soft-serve, butter rum or porridge purposes, I don’t part with them lightly. It’s not uncommon for my father-in-law to request a banana snack when visiting, and my response of “yes, absolutely have a banana”, never comes as fast as it should. Because I need them, you see. There’s always something banana-based to be blitzed or baked, and as much as I adore mulberries, quince, peaches and rhubarb, if I had to choose one fruit I would yell BANANA without skipping a beat. I need to be nicer. Or maybe just buy more bananas. 

Recently I hid bananas from loved ones long enough enough to allow the fruit to age and sweeten perfectly for banana bread. Do you like banana bread? I’d bet confidently on the fact that most people do. It’s cake in loaf form, and is often served without icing or any decoration that would make a slice for breakfast seem inappropriate. About four years ago I went a little nuts on banana bread, ordering it whenever I had the chance, even if it was surely a subpar slice because BANANA! I maxed out, oooooh yeah I did, and bananas were henceforth relegated to other dish duties. Some years later, after easing off the preparation and waiting patiently for the craving to come tumbling back in, it’s time for banana bread once more. And here we are with a very lovely loaf.


Spelt flour was a natural addition to the bananas in this loaf, as we know I favour it in baking. Honey, too, as I try to avoid more refined sugars when possible. Googling banana bread recipes that used spelt and honey lead me to a fabulous version on Cookie + Kate, which served as my major inspiration in making this loaf. One Friday morning a few weeks ago, I noticed that the bananas were ready, brown and begging to be baked. And so I clapped my hands and mashed them into bread with extra virgin olive oil. I flirted with the idea of using yoghurt too, but felt I might end up with something too yoghurt cake-like, which, while I dearly appreciate in its own right, was not what I was going for here. So I kept it simple, only a little cinnamon and a touch of vanilla.

The result is a loaf that is all the clichés I want in a banana bread and none that I don’t. It has substance, with keen banana chunks and spelt power, but at the same time this is a light loaf, with a fluffy interior and dreamy, pronounced crumb. The crust is sticky, sweet and chewy…

There’s a lot of goodness here.

On this morning we served hedonistically thick slices of fresh banana bread with tart natural yoghurt and stewed rhubarb. And in a move that felt so right though was entirely unnecessary, we flash pan-fried our slices in butter. A more humble serving, plain or perhaps with a pat of butter or a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, is also lovely. Especially when warm from the oven, but we already knew that.

Thank goodness for bananas.


Banana Bread with Spelt and Honey

Only very slightly adapted from Cookie + Kate’s Honey Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Makes 1 loaf

1 & 1/2 cups Spelt Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
pinch ground Cinnamon
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup Honey (or maple syrup)
2 Eggs
1 cup mashed Bananas (~215g weight skin off = ~2 medium bananas)
1/4 cup Milk
1 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract
Option: an extra banana sliced in half lengthways and placed on top

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease and line a 20cm x 10cm loaf tin, with baking paper hanging over the edges so you can lift it out easily.
2. Sift the spelt flour and baking soda into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and cinnamon and stir to aerate and combine.
3. Beat the olive oil and honey together in a separate bowl. Add the eggs and beat well. Mash the bananas into the mixture, then add in the milk and vanilla and stir to combine.
4. Fold the wet ingredients through the dry ingredients until just combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and smooth the surface with the moistened back of a spoon or spatula.
5. Bake in your hot oven for ~50-60 minutes, until a skewer inserted to the middle comes out clean (cover with foil at the 40ish minute mark if browning too quickly). Allow to cool in the tin for ~5 minutes before lifting out and cooling on a wire rack for a further 30 minutes before slicing.


Heidi xo

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  • InTolerant Chef October 17, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Oh so yummy indeed Heidi! I’ll have to try a gf version of this as BigJ begs me to make banana bread from time to time, but I don’t do it often enough as MiddleC doesn’t like bananas- maybe she’s adopted? 🙂

    • Heidi October 22, 2014 at 8:24 am

      I think she must be. Strange, strange child. Hehe kidding. Kind of x

  • Hannah October 17, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Oh but this with Pepe Saya cultured butter. Oh but yes.

    • Heidi October 22, 2014 at 8:25 am

      I need a bucket of that butter now x

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  • Sheheen March 3, 2015 at 7:23 am

    Seriously the BEST banana bread ever! Added chocolate chips and baked early this morning. Had for breakfast. And lunch.

    • Heidi March 3, 2015 at 2:06 pm

      Sheheen, that makes me so happy!! Woohoo! Thanks for letting me know 🙂 x

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  • Andrea April 14, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    I have the banana spelt and honey bread today with coconut oil instead of olive oil…. amazing thanks for the receipe!

    • Heidi April 15, 2015 at 8:46 am

      That’s great to know, thanks Andrea! Super happy you like it 🙂 x

  • Natalia April 17, 2015 at 8:19 am

    Is the nutritional info available for this recipe?

    • Heidi April 17, 2015 at 9:44 am

      no, but I’m sure you can try putting it into a database online somewhere x

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  • irene August 6, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Im baking this now and plan on serving it exactly like yours on the weekend. smells wonderful 🙂

    • Heidi August 7, 2015 at 8:45 am

      Brilliant! 🙂 x

  • Samantha October 25, 2015 at 12:41 am

    Stumbled upon this recipe a few months ago and have now made your banana bread 5 or more times – I absolutely love it!!
    Thinking to try some variations next time with adding a little something extra, what would you recommend?! 🙂

    • Heidi October 26, 2015 at 8:46 am

      Hi Samantha! Gosh I must make this again! I’ve done it with choc chips. Try walnuts or toasted sunflower seeds for crunch. You could even try dried fruit. Chunks of chocolate are great though 😉 Or a pb & jam swirl…!?!? Crazy? x

  • Lou December 7, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Absolutely love this recipe, it’s baking in the oven as I type this and smells heavenly! Just wondering how you would store this- fridge or cupboard? Thanks lovely Heidi! x

    • Heidi December 7, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      oh great!! The fridge is safest, however if it wasn’t warm out and if we were going to eat it in a few days I’d probably just leave it on the bench on a plate covered in plastic wrap, personally! x

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  • Daisy April 2, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    This is just the best – thank you Heidi!
    Substituted maple syrup for the honey and it was delicious. Also added walnuts, which tasted fab.
    Thanks again for making my afternoon.

    • Heidi April 3, 2016 at 9:20 am

      oh that makes me SO happy, Daisy! Yay! I must make it again, this time with walnuts for sure. I appreciate you letting me know about the maple syrup, lots of people can’t eat a lot of honey, so it’s great to know it works well! x

  • Lea Rosier April 29, 2016 at 7:26 am

    Thank you Heidi for posting your excellent recipe.
    I also use spelt flour in date squares with great results.
    Super happy to find olive oil in this recipe and use it!
    Also, since I was low on spices, I took a chance using only allspice and Angostura bitters in lieu of vanilla.
    Added an apple for moisture and the results were delicious.
    I’m enjoy experimenting with different spice variations.
    Thanks again.

    • Heidi April 29, 2016 at 9:05 am

      Lea, this makes me so happy! What excellent substitutions you made too, yummo! Thank you for letting me know x

  • Lea Rosier April 29, 2016 at 7:28 am

    Meant to say “enjoying”.
    Don’t know how to edit my comment.

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  • Nyssa May 7, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    This is the most awesome recipe. I love it. I think I’ve made it about 20 times now. It’s not expensive. It’s not time-consuming. It’s not overly complicated. Children love it. Partner loves it. I love it (and don’t feel guilty about eating it). Can use for a quick breakfast if cooked in muffin tins. Can add nuts and seeds to it. Can ice it with quark and honey. I am yet to put chocolate in to the batter but it sounds delicious!
    Thank you, a hundred times.
    PS Just made it for Mother’s Day afternoon tea!

    • Heidi May 8, 2016 at 9:23 am

      Nyssa what an awesome comment, I love how you & your family enjoy this recipe. And all your variations!! So good. I adore that quark + honey icing idea, thank you. Happy Mother’s Day xx

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  • Steph August 31, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    Hi there, this recipe looks delicious! Do you think it would work using coconut milk in place of cow’s milk (i’m dairy free at the moment as my son is allergic). Thanks! 🙂

    • Heidi September 1, 2016 at 9:41 am

      Absolutely, Steph! x

  • Laura October 2, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    Heidi, do you think fresh espresso would work in this recipe? If so, at what point would I add it? Thanks, Laura

    • Heidi October 3, 2016 at 10:42 am

      Firstly, Laura, I love the way your mind works. I feel it may get lost in the mix and the flavour not come through, but you could definitely add it in when folding the wet & dry ingredients together and see how you go. Just add a tablespoon or so more flour. Otherwise, perhaps try an espresso, honey, cream cheese frosting…?? x

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