Let’s Be Pen Pals

Hey friends, how are you all going?

Did you enjoy the school holidays with your kiddoes? I decided to take two of our birthday girls up the coast to a local resort for a few nights. We had the best room, right near the most amazing pool. I even brought my swimmers!! Anyone who knows me knows that one of my pet loathes is wearing swimwear so I rarely, if ever swim. I much prefer to be loaded up with a basket of books to read while my treasures swim. But this pool was sooo tempting that I boldly declared that yes! Mama Bear will swim!! Ha ha! (and the heavens roared!)

Anyway, just as we were settling in for the first night, a not so convenient lockdown was announced. Ugh. ‘No worries’ I thought, ‘we will just chill in our room, go swimming and watch movies all day’. No such luck. As I ventured out to the pool a cleaning lady poked her head over the railing two floors up, “No, you can’t use the pool during lockdown!” Oh really? So we will just stare at it for another two days. Ripper. Thanks for that.

I always knew it was a dangerous business going out your front door.

Never mind. We still enjoyed our time together and it may or may not be true that one of us snuck into the spa for a quick three minute dip after dark.

Walking on the wild side Babeee!

Now, onto this banana bread. I have been making it for years. It’s the best recipe, making two loaves which is perfect for our large family, although it usually only lasts a couple of days before being completely devoured by hungry teenagers. If by some miracle it does last more than a few days, pop a slice into the toaster and put butter and honey on it. So yum!

As our fam has gotten older and more into healthy eating, I have been able to adapt this recipe to make it gluten free and refined sugar free. I always use coconut sugar as a replacement for white sugar, which enhances the flavour, making it more caramelised. I also replace the white flour mostly with almond meal and a bit of GF plain flour.

*NOTE: This is not my original recipe. It comes from the book Alice’s Tea Cup which is based on the cutest little tea house in New York City. WOW! (all my dreams right there!). I have adapted the recipe significantly to make it suitable for dietary requirements. You can, however use this recipe with plain flour and any sugar you like. 

The best part about this bread is that you can use it as a base and jazz it up with a number of complimentary ingredients. Some tasty additional options that I have used include (but obviously not all at once):

  1. 1 or 2 cups of sugar free choc chips (or regular choc chips/chocolate if you prefer)
  2. 1/2 to 1 cup toasted coconut with toasted coconut flakes pressed on top before baking.
  3. 1 to 2 cups of chopped dates.
  4. 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries or strawberries, or a mixture of both.
  5. 1 to 2 cups of lightly roasted and chopped nuts (pecans/ walnuts/cashews/macadamia nuts)

Healthy Banana Bread (Gf,rsf)

recipe makes a large batch of delicious, healthy banana bread that the whole family will enjoy.
Author Adapted from "Alice's Tea Cup"


  • 7 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 3/4 cups coconut sugar
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 5 eggs, room temp
  • 3 cups almond meal
  • 3/4 cup plain gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cardamon
  • 2 ripe bananas sliced length ways to put on top of cake


  • Preheat oven to 160C
  • Line and spray two loaf tins
  • Mash bananas well, set aside
  • In an electric mixing bowl, combine eggs, oil and sugar. Mix on lowest speed until combined.
  • Slowly add the sifted almond meal and gf flour, baking soda, bicarb soda and spices until its all incorporated. Scrape sides of bowl as necessary.
  • Turn mixer off and use a spatula to fold in bananas. (Add any extras at this point)
  • Carefully divide mixture into two loaf pans. Place sliced lengths of bananas on top of each loaf and sprinkle with coconut sugar.
  • Bake in oven for approximately 35 minutes or until brown,firm to touch and a skewer comes out clean. Note that the temp is 160C, slightly less than a moderate oven. This is to ensure the top does not burn. If loaves are not cooked after 35 min, keep checking every 5 minutes. Leave on a wire wrack to cool.
  • Banana bread will keep in a sealed container or glass lidded cake stand for about a week. After a few days its reeeeally nice toasted and served with butter. Yum!

Speaking of walking on the wild side, some of you may remember my Cake Vigilante Road Trip I took all by myself earlier in the year. It was without a doubt the best day I’ve had in a long time and since then I have been keen to take myself, a cake and my camera on another creative date.

Well! Do I have an adventure to share with you?! Ahhh… let’s just say that yes I did manage to get out the door with a gorgeous cake and a couple of less enthused young accomplices, and yes, we did go on a lovely country drive…but somehow my best plans kinda hit the road jack, almost literally, and I have decided not to be a baby and hide my blunder from you all, but rather man up and show you the not so instagram worthy reality of a creative life in progress.

Sooo, make sure you tune in next week for the latest adventures of ‘Mama Bear trying to do something creative and fun that turns into something not so creative and definitely not fun.’ I promise you it will be a hoot.

Meanwhile, do yourself a favour this weekend, whip up a batch of moreish banana bread, buy a packet of chips and watch the Bunnies smash the Panthers on Sunday! YESSS!

Go the Rabbits!

Until next week,

Love Anna xx



  • 5 stars
    Can’t wait to try this! Thank you for your beautiful & generous inspiration ????

  • Yummo! Can’t wait to try that banana bread. Thought for a moment there that someone else hijacked your post…..Bunnies and Panthers…Anna watching sport??? Who is this person? Really is never too late to learn new things about old friends. Xxx

    • A
      Anna Hogbin

      Ha Ha! I know right! Bobby has always gone for the Rabbits. xx

  • Kathie Tanttari

    Yuuummmm, I’m gonna try that this week! I love the different things I find out about you on this blog Anna! No idea you go for the Bunnies! Love you heaps xxx

Leave your comment

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.