The Queen's former chef shared 2 of the palace's banana bread recipes, and the caramel version is only for the kids (2024)

  • Former Buckingham Palace chef Darren McGrady said there are two different banana bread recipes for the royal adults and children.

  • The original banana bread, made with nuts and raisins, is what the chefs keep in the palace kitchen in case the Queen has an unexpected visitor for afternoon tea.

  • Another version of the recipe that substitutes the nuts and raisins for caramel is made especially for the royal children.

  • McGrady shared both recipes with Insider.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Queen Elizabeth's former chef Darren McGrady shared Buckingham Palace's banana bread recipe in his latest YouTube video.

The video shows McGrady making the recipe using two signature ingredients — nuts and raisins — and explaining that it would be saved in the refrigerator for emergencies, such as an unexpected afternoon tea guest at the palace.

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However, it turns out the palace has more than one banana bread recipe.

McGrady told Insider that there was another version of the recipe that he would make for Prince William and Prince Harry, who were just children when he worked at the royal household from 1982 until 1997.

"At the palace, we'd have banana bread in the refrigerator all the time. So if suddenly Princess Anne turned up and wanted afternoon tea just as we were locking up the kitchen and going for a break, it was okay because we had banana bread," McGrady told Insider.

"It was the same if the Queen had guests. Comfort food would always be on the menu," he said.

When asked if there was one particular royal that chose it as their go-to dessert, McGrady said Prince Charles often enjoyed banana bread for afternoon tea or for picnics at Balmoral Castle.

The only time McGrady would use a different recipe was when making it for the children.

"The only thing it wasn't used for was the royal nursery. And that's because the royal children at the time — Wills, Harry, Beatrice, Eugenie — didn't like fruit and nuts," McGrady said.

"What kids like fruit cake? They don't. So that's where my banana caramel cake came in. We'd make the banana bread with a sweet caramel frosting, and that was popular with them," he added.

McGrady shared the palace's original banana bread recipe and the caramel version with Insider.

Here's the palace's original banana bread recipe:


  • 8 oz self-rising flour

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • 4 oz unsalted butter

  • 6 oz sugar

  • 4 oz golden raisins

  • 1 oz chopped walnuts

  • 2 oz cherries

  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 lb ripe bananas


1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Grease and line a loaf tin with parchment.

3. Rub the butter into the flour and salt.

4. Add the sugar, walnuts, raisins, and cherries.

5. Make a well and crack the eggs into the center.

6. Mash the bananas, add to the eggs and vanilla paste, and mix well.

7. Add to the flour mix and stir until combined.

8. Pour into the prepared loaf tin, smooth out, and bake in the center of the oven for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Here's the caramel banana bread recipe:


For the cake

  • 1 cup plus 1 tbs butter

  • 1 ½ cups light brown sugar

  • 4 eggs

  • 2 cups mashed bananas (about 5 medium)

  • 3 cups self-raising flour

  • 2 tsp baking soda

  • 1 ½ cups sour cream

  • 2 tbs milk

  • 2 tsp vanilla paste

For the frosting

  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter

  • 2 cups light brown sugar

  • ½ cup sour cream

  • 6 cups powdered sugar

  • 2 tsp vanilla paste


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a ½ sheet pan tray (12 x 18 x 1).

2. Prepare the sponge by creaming the butter and sugar using an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

3. Add the eggs and banana and beat together. Stir in the flour, soda, sour cream, milk, and vanilla paste until there are no lumps and the batter is smooth.

4. Pour into the prepared tray, smooth out, and bake in the center of the oven for about 40 minutes or until the sponge springs back when touched and is a golden brown.

5. Allow the sponge to cool completely before frosting.

6. Prepare the frosting by melting the butter and sugar in a pan. Stir without boiling for about 2 minutes.

7. Add the sour cream, bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla paste.

8. Leave the frosting to cool slightly and thicken before carefully frosting the sponge.

9. Cut the cake into fingers and serve.

  • Read more:

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  • How to make 11 of the royal family's favorite meals at home

  • The Queen refuses to eat burgers with a bun, according to her former chef

  • The Queen is hiring a housekeeping assistant to live in a lavish royal residence, but the hiring process is far from straightforward

Read the original article on Insider

The Queen's former chef shared 2 of the palace's banana bread recipes, and the caramel version is only for the kids (2024)
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