Preheat the oven to 170°C or gas mark 3.
Grease and line a 2Ib loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until soft.
Place the chopped nuts (if using) in a single layer on a lined baking tray and ask a grown up to pop them in the oven to lightly toast them for 5 minutes, being careful not to let them burn.
Ask a grown up to remove them from oven and set aside – be careful because they will be very hot.
Peel the bananas, place them in a bowl and mash them with a fork until smooth.
Add the banana to the butter and sugar mixture and stir to combine.
Sift the flour into the mixture.
Beat the eggs in a measuring jug and add to the bowl.
If using, add the nuts, chocolate chips, and vanilla.
Give everything a good stir round, and then tip the mixture into your lined loaf tin.
Place on a baking tray and ask a grown up to pop it into a pre-heated oven and bake for 1 hour to an hour and ten minutes.
Ask a grown up to take the loaf out of the oven and check it is cooked through by inserting a skewer into the middle of the loaf – when it is cooked, it will out clean.
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 1 hour
2-3 ripe (brown) bananas (the squidgier, the better)
200g self-raising flour
175g caster sugar
150g butter, softened to room temp, and an additional small amount for greasing the loaf tin
1tsp baking powder
75g chopped mixed nuts (Optional)
50g dark chocolate chips (Optional)
1tsp vanilla essence (Optional)