Rediscovering Banana Bread

Ila's Canadian Banana Bread.

Ila’s Canadian Banana Bread.

Banana bread had always made an appearance in the kitchen over the years. However, I can’t say I ever was a diehard fan of it though. Recipes tried over the years always yielded decent results without necessarily being memorable.

That recently changed when I was flipping through the pages of Heirloom Cooking with the Brass Sisters. I stumbled by chance upon Ila’s Canadian Banana Bread. The authors state that this recipe apparently dates back from the 1920s and had a note stating “ a Canadian receipt”. Let me tell you that Ila D. Berry found the secret to the perfect banana bread. It is simply delicious… So good that my friends Hélène and Isabelle wanted the recipe (hence this blog post sharing this tasty recipe).

The main difference between this recipe and the previous one I’ve followed are certain ingredients. Ila’s Canadian Banana Bread calls for honey and pumpkin pie spice, which essentially consists of a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Another important detail specified in the recipe is the use of toasted walnuts. I had never thought about this before following this recipe. It seems as though toasting the walnuts in the oven at 350°F for about 10 minutes really enhances their flavour.

Try out this recipe, it won’t disappoint!

Carefully following "Ila's Canadian Banana Bread" recipe.

Carefully following “Ila’s Canadian Banana Bread” recipe.

Ila’s Canadian Banana Bread


  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 4 oz. peeled cored pear (about ½ large pear)
  • 1-½ cups of flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. of pumpkin pie spice (I’ve used spice blend that contains cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, coriander)
  • ¼ cup of softened butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 tbs. of honey
  • 1 cup of toasted walnuts coarsely chopped
The loaf is headed to the oven.

The loaf is headed to the oven.


  • Preheat oven at 350°F
  • Line a loaf pan with parchment paper or coat it with butter or vegetable spray
  • Cut bananas and pear mash until smooth. Set aside. There should be about 1-½ cups of fruit purée.
  • Sift flour, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice into a bowl and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and honey. Add the mashed fruit and beat to combine.
  • Gradually add dry ingredients to the batter. Fold in walnuts. Pour batter in pan.
  • Bake at 350°F for 50 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the loaf comes out dry. Let stand for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and let it cool.

The book:

Heirloom Cooking with the Brass Sisters
By Marilyn Brass and Sheila Brass, Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers, 285 pages.


9 thoughts on “Rediscovering Banana Bread

  1. Hey mon cher Jonathan,ça a l’air délicieux, je vais essayer ce weekend. Je crois que tu as oublié de mentionné la quantité exacte de beurre si je ne me trompe pas.


  2. Merci Jonathan, c’est juste que le mot tasse manque dans la liste pour le beurre, je te tiens au courant du résultat ce weekend

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