Baking,  Fruit,  Recipes,  Sweet

Treacle, Ginger and Oat Banana Bread

The rules in our house say that if you have ripe bananas, you make banana bread. This Treacle, Ginger and Oat Banana Bread is low GI and lower in fat than a normal banana cake/bread recipe.

The 4yo says that this is the best banana bread “eh-ver” and who am I to argue with his wisdom? All the same he is my biggest fan so I admit he’s very biased.

I’ve been testing replacing my normal caster sugar with a combination of dark brown muscavado sugar and black treacle in banana bread for a while. Not only does it give the cake bread a golden caramel colour, it adds a slightly bitter note which works extremely well with ground ginger and sweet ripe bananas. You could of course use some crystallised ginger in the recipe, remove the ground ginger and reduce the sugar content even further.

As the banana bread has a long baking time, you add the oats whole to the mixture and they plump up beautifully in the oven. Replacing a portion of the flour with oats instead makes it lower GI than a bread made with only plain flour. Oats take longer for your body to digest as they are less refined.

I get away with less butter than usual in this recipe because the number of bananas keep it beautifully soft and moist. Be careful not to break them up too much in the mixing process. I slice them into the mixture at the very end. If they do turn to mush then the bread mixture will become solid and claggy when baked, rather than soft and yielding.

I use a 2 lb loaf tin and get about 12 generous slices out of it. If you slice the bread thinner you’ll get more. The banana bread freezes very well for up to 1 month, and keeps in a dry and sealed container for up to 3 days.

At 12 slices, my calorie calculator tells me that each serving comes out at 231kCal.

My shopping calculator tells me that , excluding the cost of your time and electricity, each portion costs 30c.

Treacle, Ginger and Oat Banana Bread


  • 80g dark muscavado sugar
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 20g black treacle
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 100g oats
  • 4 ripe medium bananas

Treacle Ginger Oat Banana Bread from Wholesome IrelandMethod

Preheat your (fan) oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Grease and flour a 2 lb loaf tin extremely well. I don’t bother with tin liners because if you do this properly, then the loaf will slide straight out.

Beat together the sugar, butter and treacle until they are well combined. Add the 2 eggs and beat well, it will turn a little curdled but don’t worry as it will be fixed once you add the flour. Pour in the flour, baking powder and ground ginger. Beat well again and you will get a stiff mixture. Add the oats and mix again.

Finally, peel and slice the bananas. Mix loosely into the batter. Pour the batter into your well prepared loaf tin. Using a spoon, create a small well down the middle of the mixture in the tin. This will enable the cake to rise and bake evenly.

Bake for 50 minutes in the preheated oven. After 50 minutes test the cake using a skewer or cocktail stick. If it comes out clean then remove the cake from the oven and allow to stand in the tin for 20 minutes before tipping out onto a cooling rack. If the skewer is sticky, bake for a further 10 minutes before testing again.

Serve this Treacle, Ginger and Oat Banana Bread as it is or with a smear of fresh Irish Butter. However my hubby loves a slice of this cake/bread warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

I'm an Irish mother to 2 boys, born & bred in Dublin, Ireland. I like to cook simple & fresh food for the family, with the family on a budget.


  • Pussinflipflops

    Added 200 g Raisins to a large slug of Calvados and soaked for an hour before adding instead of half the banana’s

  • TamNZ

    Made this today – absolutely delicious! Was surprised at how stiff the mix was until I added the chopped bananas. I couldn’t be gentle to incorporate the banana but they didn’t get too mangled. The ones on the outer edges came out all caramelised and yummy. I hope you don’t mind – I am going to link to this post from a weightwatchers message board. Just want to share the love of this recipe!!

    • Wholesome Ireland

      Hi Sam, I think that you will struggle to get the loaf to rise with just brown flour. You could try a half/half mixture instead. The texture would be coarse but I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t work. I think I should try it out for myself!

  • lisa

    Hi, i just tried this recipe and it was delicious. I replaced the oats with ground hazelnuts and added chopped crystallized ginger. And 50/50 normal flour and wholemeal flour. The only issue is that it was just a little too crumbly .. no idea why. Maybe because of the wholemeal flour. Whatever… it was still excellent. Thank you!!!!

    • Wholesome Ireland

      Hi Lisa, yes it would be the 50/50 mix of flours that would make it crumbly. Add another banana to the mixture before baking and it will hold together better. I’m glad you like it!

      • lisa

        Excellent, good to know. Reminds me i only used 3 bananas instead of 4 .. i should learn to stop going off track with these things :-). Delicious in any case, so thanks again for the awesome recipe.

  • Helen McCarthy

    Hi have you tried this bread as muffins? I love doing breads etc as ‘muffins’ as it allows for ease of freezing and transport in lunch boxes.

  • Helen

    Hi I have made these using a muffin tray, made 11. Fab flavour but did not rise as I expected, rather dense which is very disappointing. Followed recipe to a t, just cooked for 35mins. Help?

    • Caitriona Redmond

      Hi Helen

      Try adding an extra 2.5g/half a teaspoon of baking powder to your batter to lighten the mixture. When you’re dividing it amongst muffin tins you might need a little bit of added oomph to help it along!

  • elenH

    Thank you Catriona, I will try that with the next batch. I just had one from the freezer, warmed with butter to accompany the Sunday papers. Delicious…………..

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