I think every home cook should be known for at least one dish and this banana bread was my friend Ruth’s. She was a sweet, kind soul and talented speculative fiction writer with an ability to make people feel at ease through her baking. Since her passing, I’ve made these every year around her birthday. It’s an easy and generous recipe for two loaves or a couple dozen muffins. It’s not difficult to halve, but you’ll notice it calls for three eggs–to get that half egg you can beat an egg and take out two tablespoons of the mixture or add a tablespoon each of butter and milk.

Yields 2 loaves or 24 muffins

Ruth Stuart’s Banana-Cinnamon Bread
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  • 300 g (500 ml) flour
  • 10 ml baking soda
  • 5 ml cinnamon
  • 5 ml allspice
  • 300 g (375 ml) sugar
  • 2.5 ml salt
  • 185 ml flavourless oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 medium bananas, mashed (375g, with the peels on or 500 ml of fruit)
  • 100 g (125 ml) chocolate chips or raisins or nuts (see notes)--optional


  1. Preheat oven to 175C/350F. Grease and line two loaf tins or two cupcake trays (12 bowls each).
  2. Whiisk together the flour, soda, and spices and set aside.
  3. Cream together oil and sugar for five minutes, then add the eggs for another two minutes. Beat in the mashed bananas until smooth. Mix the flour in three additions, until just blended. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour into prepared tins and bake for about an hour (for the loaves, the muffins should be done in about 20-30 minutes) or until the tops are golden, the sides have pulled away, and an inserted skewer comes out clean.


Re: chocolate chips (or other additions)--I double it to a full cup's worth.