Recipe of the week: Claire Thomson’s delicious malted banana and cacao bread

Let’s face it, there’s not much better than the smell of freshly baked banana bread drifting through the house and this easy-to-bake, family-friendly recipe is the perfect bank holiday treat. Make your own this weekend with this mouthwatering recipe from Claire Thomson, a leading Bristol-based food writer and brand ambassador for Pukka Herbs.

“There’s no wrong time of the year to savour the delights of a moist and sweet banana bread. But, the addition of cacao in this recipe makes for this the perfect, healthy(ish) Easter weekend treat,” says Claire, author of The Five O’Clock Apron.

“Malt extract is a terrific store-cupboard ingredient to use in baking, breadmaking and any recipes that call for sugar or honey. An unrefined syrup made from sprouted barley, it is dark brown, thick and very sticky, with a distinctive malty flavour. If you don’t have (or can’t get your hands on) malt extract, simply add 1 tbsp dark brown sugar.

“With the nutty flavour of the rye flour (though wheat, spelt or wholemeal will all work), the malt works brilliantly, as does the Pukka Cacao Maca Magic latte mix.”


3 (if big) / 4 (if small) very ripe, brown and freckled bananas, mashed on a plate with a fork, plus one extra banana sliced in three down the length of the banana.
75g melted unsalted butter
75g caster sugar
1 tbsp malt extract (can substitute with 1tbsp dark brown sugar)
1 medium sized egg, beaten
1 tsp of baking soda
2 tbsp Pukka Cacao Maca Magic latte mix (can substitute with cacao powder)
Pinch of salt
180g rye flour (can substitute with wheat, spelt or wholemeal flour)


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / Gas mark 4.

2. Grease with a 10 x 20cm loaf tin with butter of oil.

3. Melt the butter in a pan or microwave.

4. In a big bowl and with a wooden spoon mix the melted butter, cacao latte blend, mashed banana, beaten egg, sugar and malt extract together.

5. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix thoroughly.

6. Add the rye flour last and mix to combine.

7. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin. Arrange the 3 banana lengths on top of the cake.

8. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes cleans from the centre of the cake.

9. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from the tin.