A perfectly baked rum and raisin banana bread that’s so moist and chock full of raisins and nuts. Go crazy with your favourite dried fruit and nuts with this one!

There’s something so indescribably satisfying about making your own home-baked rum and raisin banana bread. Especially when it’s your first.

Every time I bake this, I know I’m in for a glorious sweet treat.

Perfect-Bake Rum & Raisin Banana Bread

Crazy cravings come on almost instantaneously when that wonderful, almost heady, fruity aroma of bananas, begin wafting through my kitchen.

It’s like having an aromatherapy session. But so much better, because this actually puts yummy into my tummy!

And if you’re just starting to get into baking, nothing could be easier than banana bread. It’s a real confidence booster! Especially when it seems almost too easy to make one that turns out this good.

And wherever you are, I’m sure it’s not hard to find banana bread lovers. It’s always well received and thoroughly enjoyed.

So if you ever get stumped on what to bring to a pot-luck or gathering, a sweet treat of banana bread hardly ever disappoints.

I know it’s so easy to buy bakery-made ones these days. But I find that fresh home-baked banana bread are always appreciated.

Perfect-Bake Rum & Raisin Banana Bread

Nigella Lawson’s banana bread recipe

I’ve read so much about Nigella Lawson’s banana bread recipe that I simply had to give it a try. I know every baker’s probably got their go-to favourite recipe. Maybe even a couple!

I have a few of my own favourites, Western as well as Asian-inspired. But there’s something really quite outstanding about Nigella’s recipe. It always makes a perfectly-baked and deliciously moist banana bread.

Tips for making your perfect banana bread (Nigella would approve!)

Over-ripe bananas give the best flavour!

Ever since I started using over-ripe bananas, I haven’t looked back! They always deliver the most intense sweetness and flavour when baked.

Over-ripe bananas aren’t just those in yellowing banana skins with a few black spots. I literally wait till the banana skins are freckled all over, even turning brown black in parts!

But let’s face it! When we get the baking itch, we just can’t wait, right? If your bananas look like they’ve got some way to go before becoming ripe, here is how you can get your bananas to ripen quickly.

Liquor and non-liquor substitutes for rum

Of course, if you ask me, I think the dark rum-infused raisins or sultanas do really make the bread here. But you will hardly taste it, it’s so subtle.

In addition to rum or dark rum, other liquors namely brandy, bourbon, bourbon whiskey, and banana liquers like Bols Creme de Banane, also work very well in banana bread.

If you’d like an alcohol-free banana bread, use water, lemon juice, orange juice or apple juice. My favourite choices are water and lemon juice, because of the little or no sugar content.

As it is, dried fruit tend to be sweetened and can have quite a bit of sugar in them. By gently simmering in water or lemon juice, some of these sugars can be leached out of the fruit.

Toasted nuts add crunch and a more intense, nutty taste!

Nuts in banana bread are a wonderful combo! In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had banana bread without nuts. But if you can’t have nuts or are simply not a fan, it’s as easy as omitting the nuts entirely. Or even better, you can sub out the nuts with any of these tasty alternatives.

Which nuts can you use? Oh my, the simplest answer is virtually any nut you love!  Walnuts, pecans (which I used here), cashews, macadamias, pistachios, almonds – all work well in banana bread.

More importantly, when using nuts in baking quick breads and cakes like this, it’s a good habit to always toast the nuts. Toasting the nuts always intensifies their sweet, savoury, nutty flavour.

After toasting, let the nuts cool before adding into the cake batter. A little tip! Toss the nuts in a little flour to lightly coat. This way, you can help prevent the nuts from mostly settling towards the bottom of the batter in the pan.

Perfect-Bake Rum & Raisin Banana Bread

Here are more awesome recipes to inspire your next bake:

Tried this recipe? I’d love to see! Remember to share your pics on Instagram and tag @foodelicacy or #foodelicacy.

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Super Moist Rum & Raisin Banana Bread

4.8 from 20 reviews
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield: 12 servings
This recipe by Nigella Lawson gives you a perfectly baked banana bread that’s deliciously moist and chock full with dark rum-infused raisins and nuts. Go crazy with your favourite dried fruit and nuts with this one!


  • 100 g sultanas (or raisins)
  • 5 tbsp dark rum (or bourbon)
  • 175 g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp pinch of salt
  • 125 g unsalted butter melted
  • 140 g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 250 g over-ripe bananas mashed (or roughly 3 to 4 small ripe bananas)
  • 60 g chopped pecans (or walnuts), lightly toasted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • In a small saucepan, place the sultanas (or raisins) and add the dark rum (or bourbon). Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • Remove the saucepan from heat, cover with its lid. Let it sit for at least an hour, or until almost all the rum (or bourbon) has been absorbed into the sultanas (or raisins). Drain the excess liquor.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 170 deg C (or 325 deg F). Grease and line a loaf tin (23 x 13 x 7 cm / 9 x 5 x 3 inches) with baking paper.
  • Place the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix together well till thoroughly combined with a wooden spoon or using your hands.
  • In a mixer bowl, place the melted butter and sugar and beat until blended. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the mashed bananas. Then, with a wooden spoon, stir in the pecans (or walnuts), drained sultanas (or raisins) and vanilla extract. Stir in the flour mixture, a third at a time, combining well after each third.
  • Pour out into prepared tin . Bake in the middle of the oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours. At the end of 1 hour, test with a metal or bamboo skewer inserted into the centre of the loaf. If the skewer comes out with wet dough, continue to bake for another 5 minutes, and test again. Repeat every 5 minutes until skewer comes out somewhat clean of sticky batter. Leave in the tin on a rack to cool. Slice thickly or thinly as desired, and serve warm.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1g, Calories: 275kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 53mg, Sodium: 193mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 19g
Cuisine: Western
Course: Cake Recipes
Author: Celia Lim
Did you make this recipe? Be sure to leave a rating and a review in the section below, and tag @foodelicacy on Instagram and hashtag it #foodelicacy so I can see!