Dan Lepard’s Banana Blondies

When it comes to bananas, CT and I are not fans. Strange, therefore, that I ended up buying a whole bunch of cheap bananas the other day. My eye for a bargain has let me down on numerous occasions, as a box full of ready made pasta sauces languishing at the back of a cupboard will testify. I worked my way through the apples and then the pumpkins and now it looks as though it’s the turn of bananas. This may be the first of many posts on the subject!

If I’m going to eat bananas, baked in cakes is one of the best ways, so I dutifully leafed through my baking books. Being in the mood for something sweet and comforting, Dan’s banana blondies taken from Short & Sweet sounded just the ticket – lots of sugar, white chocolate and caramel – you couldn’t get much sweeter than that!

This is how I made them:

  • Placed a large pan on a low heat and poured in 75g vanilla sugar followed by 2 tbsp of water.
  • Allowed the sugar to dissolve then upped the heat until the sugar was boiling. Let it boil for about 5 minutes when the colour started to darken and a drop plopped into a glass of cold water set hard. Getting this bit right is always tricky as you want a hard caramel but you don;t want a burnt one.
  • Stirred in 75g chopped Brazil nuts then quickly poured out onto a piece of baking parchment to cool and set.
  • Broke into pieces.
  • Melted 100g unsalted butter and 200g vanilla flavoured white chocolate in the same pan (I’m a great believer in saving on washing up).
  • Removed from heat and stirred in 225g vanilla sugar.
  • Beat in 1 egg and 2 bananas – peeled and finely chopped.
  • Sifted in 225g flour (half wholemeal, half white) and 1/2 tsp baking powder.
  • Added the broken nuts and mixed until just combined.
  • Spooned into a 9″ sq cake mould and baked at 180C for 20 mins.
  • Left to cool, then cut into little squares.
As I found out when cutting, these weren’t really cooked enough; another 3-5 minutes would probably have been a good idea. But as I infinitely prefer under cooked to overcooked brownies, I wasn’t going to complain. Oh no, indeed not, these were just the scrumptiously sweet little bites of delight I was hoping for – even with the banana! The crunchy bits of caramelised nuts were excellent for a contrasting texture and flavour and were really delicious. 


  1. Leave a Reply

    Dom at Belleau Kitchen
    8th December 2011

    This Dan fellow should start his own blog! They look so good. I can’t believe you’re not a banana fan. They’re so very good for you, well not so much when surrounded by sugar and white chocolate but even these blondies must have made you smile!!

  2. Leave a Reply

    8th December 2011

    These sounds yummy. Not seen a banana blondie before. Love the sound of the caramelised nuts inside.
    I always find it hard to resist a bragin. Soemtimes I buy things without a clue what I’m goign to do with them. Baking often come to the rescue though 🙂

  3. Leave a Reply

    8th December 2011

    these look lovely, always liked bananas in cakes, may have to give them ago.

  4. Leave a Reply

    8th December 2011

    Yum yum yum! I’ve been eyeing up those blondies and wondering if they might be a little sweet with all that caramel and white chocolate, but they do look seriously good in the pic. Am impressed that you made blondies over brownies – would have thought you’d opt for the maximum chocolate factor 🙂

  5. Leave a Reply

    Rolling Pin Claire
    8th December 2011

    Do these count as one of your 5 a day? Yeah, I thought so! Love the idea of the caramel nuts, I never saw that before. They look great, even if you think they’re under-cooked 🙂

  6. Leave a Reply

    8th December 2011

    I like the sound of the crunch of the caramelised nuts very much. I like bananas, but not so much in a cake. I reckon I could probably eat one, or two, of these though, but only if you made me 😉

  7. Leave a Reply

    A Trifle Rushed
    8th December 2011

    Perfect, I’m always buying bananas for healthy eating and then as no one touches them they are ready for a lovely weekend bake, so I’ll try these. Thanks for the tip about leaving them in, though I’m with you, I prefer squiddgy brownies and blondies!

  8. Leave a Reply

    8th December 2011

    I’m also not a huge fan of bananas, especially in baked foods. There’s something about a mushy banana that just turns my stomach. However, despite my reservations, these look terrific! I’m loving the color and texture achieved here…

  9. Leave a Reply

    8th December 2011

    I think I like Blondies even better than brownies and I can imagine how moist the banana would make them. Will mark up that recipe from Dan for future reference!

  10. Leave a Reply

    Baking Addict
    8th December 2011

    I love baking with bananas and almost always have a bunch waiting to ripen. Coincidentally I saw this recipe in his book a few hours ago when I was debating if I should rustle up something for National Brownie Day but have decided to make my We should cocoa entry instead, unless I get distracted by something else! These look amazing, must must try them.

  11. Leave a Reply

    Helen T
    8th December 2011

    Sound delicious, you could almost convince yourself they’re healthy. Almost.

  12. Leave a Reply

    8th December 2011

    I had noticed this recipe in Dan’s book and your description of it now confirms to me they are as good as they look/ read in the recipe. I sort of like bananas but think they always taste better in cakes and I am not keen on their smell either!! X

  13. Leave a Reply

    Karen S Booth
    9th December 2011

    Now I DO like bananas, and so this recipe LEAPT right out at me! They look totally divine and what a great way of using those “bargain” bananas too!

  14. Leave a Reply

    9th December 2011

    Banana, white chocolate and caramel- what a great trio. I think these might prove dangerously good.

  15. Leave a Reply

    9th December 2011

    Great looking blondies, I’ll have to try them. I have just made Blondies with Oreos. Zeitgeist. GG

  16. Leave a Reply

    Johanna GGG
    10th December 2011

    Oh I know that feeling – I am very fussy about bananas and once they get too ripe i go off them – assume that this might be a way to use up bananas that aren’t so yellow any more – if so it could be just the recipe for me

  17. Leave a Reply

    11th December 2011

    I’m not partial to bananas or the by product called white chocolate. A sugar buzz overload – although my Dad (aka)Victor Meldrew would be partial. Thanks 🙂

  18. Leave a Reply

    11th December 2011

    Dom – it’s not the flavour I object too, it’s something to do with the starchy texture. So I’m happy with them in cakes and smoothies -it’s just not up there with my top list of flavours. Dan does have his own forum, as it happens and it seems to be quite popular – no surprises there!

    Katie – me too, I have cupboard loads of “bargains” that sit there whilst I scratch my head as to what to do with them.

    MCB – thanks. Made another banana cake with some and some banana porridge, but still have a couple left that are looking decidedly ropey!

    Gary – as long as you are after something sweet, these are delicious.

    Little Loaf – these are very sweet. They were very much like fudge, both in sweetness levels and texture, but seriously good nonetheless. I love brownies, but sometimes it’s good to do something a little different – still have two brownie posts to put up from way back – both of those were seriously good too!

    Claire – I like sweet treats you can kid yourself that the good balances out the bad 😉 The pictures only show the cooked bits around the edge, not the liquid bit in the middle. But the next day they had solidified and were just like pieces of fudge.

    FoodyCat – that man Dan seems to have lots of clever ideas!

    Kath – the caramelised nuts worked really well and not something I’d have thought of. I am happy to take the blame for any number of pieces of cake 😉

    Jude – these did firm up the next day and were really delicious. Very sweet so a little goes a long way – kept us going for the week.

    Anna – thank you. Nothing worse (well perhaps there is really) than an over baked brownie.

    JW – strange isn’t it, how certain foods can do that.

    Baking Addict – now there’s a co-incidence. I think you’d love these. Sounds as if we might be expecting a brownie from you for WSC. You can never have too many brownie recipes 😉

    Helen – Thank you. I do a lot of that!

    Laura – this post has made me feel a lot better for feeling iffy about bananas. Now realise I’m not in the tiny minority I thought I was.

    Karen – you need quite a sweet tooth for this one as well as a love of bananas. But they are well worth making.

    Tori – he he, this is always my problem with brownie type bakes – dangerously good indeed.

    GG – Thanks. Your oreo blondies sound most intriguing.

    Johanna – oh yes, mushy bananas are really horrible unless baked in a cake. These do come with a high sugar warning though.

    AVP – these were definitely ones for the sweet toothed. But we just had a little bit each day and it lasted us the week.

  19. Leave a Reply

    11th December 2011

    I haven’t made these yet, but my copy of the book seems to fall open at this page and I stare at it drooling – sadly my husband refuses to eat anything containing banana. I’m going to have to make them and feed them to my workmates just so I can try one myself!

  20. Leave a Reply

    11th December 2011

    Aveen, don’t tell him they’ve got banana in and see if he notices – or is that too naughty?

  21. Leave a Reply

    Jill @ MadAboutMacarons
    12th December 2011

    Wow – they do sound sweet but definitely comforting and perfect for this time of year. Isn’t that funny about you shying away from bananas? I ate so many when I was first pregnant that I’ve never touched one again but by the sound of your quest here, you’ve convinced me to give them a go again. Love the look of their texture!

  22. Leave a Reply

    12th December 2011

    WLM – squidgy brownies are yum – just wishing I had one to eat now!

    Jill – he he. I guess there are worse things than bananas to get cravings for. These were really good (if very sweet) and they’ve gone onto my to make again list.

  23. Leave a Reply

    2nd April 2012

    I don’t know how this post passed me by last year, but these look delicious! And I do exactly the same thing with bargains – my local shop had mars bars on sale for 20p – I would never ever buy one to eat but now I have 6 waiting to be baked into something!

    • Leave a Reply

      21st February 2013

      And somehow, I missed you comment. I’m now intrigued as to what you used those mars bars in.

  24. Leave a Reply

    Maya Russell
    21st February 2013

    I love banana cake but I’d never heard of banana brownies. I’d leave out the nuts (as my kids don’t like nuts).

    • Leave a Reply

      21st February 2013

      These were really good Maya, but they wouldn’t be the same without the caramel. I guess you could substitute the nuts with pieces of fudge?

  25. Leave a Reply

    Stephanie M
    5th March 2013

    I have a Banana hater in my house too! I have this book, so I’ll have to try these and see if Mr Riverside can stomach them, surprisingly he had no problem with chocolate banana bread!

  26. Leave a Reply

    20th December 2014

    Didn’t realize these were meant to be like brownies, and pleased to hear that they can be eaten if slightly undercooked, as unsure if I could eat mine 🙂

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