I have a confession to make: I have never really liked banana bread. You take bananas that are so over-ripe that no one is willing to eat them, and then you make quick bread with them to try to pass them off as edible. Most of the banana breads I’ve had, the over-ripe banana flavor is still overpowering. Blech.
In my quest to use up all those bananas that inevitably go past their prime, I have tried a number of recipes over the years. At last, I’ve come across one that I truly enjoy for its own sake. I let bananas go over-ripe on purpose sometimes to make this bread. It’s that good.
There are a number of things you can do to change this recipe up. Take out the spices, leave out the nuts, even (gasp!) leave out the chocolate. But this recipe, with all the extras added in, is my favorite version.
What you need:
- 6 T. butter, melted and cooled
- 1 1/4 c. toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
- 2 c. flour (I have subbed up to 1/2 c. of the flour with whole wheat)
- 10 T. sugar
- 3/4 t. baking soda
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 t. cinnamon (optional)
- 1/4 t. nutmeg (optional)
- heaping 1/2 c. bittersweet chocolate chips, chunks, or a chopped bar (optional)
- 3 very ripe, spotted soft large bananas (about 1 1/2 c. well-mashed)
- 1/4 c. plain or vanilla yogurt or sour cream
- 2 large eggs, whisked
- 1 t. vanilla (store-bought or homemade)
- shortening and flour for the pan
- 1 9″x5″ loaf pan
- large bowl
- medium bowl
- rimmed baking sheet for toasting nuts
- nut chopper (or cutting board and knife)
- cooling rack
Time: 20 minutes prep, about an hour to bake
Freezeable: Yes. Place in a gallon freezer bag.
Serves: One loaf provides 12-16 slices.
Multiplying the recipe: You can mix two recipes in the same bowls.
Spiced Banana-Chocolate Chip Bread:
Preheat the oven to 350F (with rack in the lower-middle position). Grease and flour a 9″x5″ loaf pan (it helps to also line the bottom and long sides with a strip of parchment, but this isn’t necessary).
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter so it has time to cool.
Put the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for a few minutes, until fragrant. Watch them so they don’t burn!
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix in the chopped toasted nuts and the chocolate.
In the medium bowl, mash the bananas with the butter. Add the yogurt, eggs, and vanilla and stir to make sure everything is evenly mixed. With a spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients in the large bowl. Once just combined, stop mixing. The batter should look thick and chunky.
Scrape the batter into the pan and bake for 55-65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. After cooling for 5 minutes, remove the bread from the pan and place it on a wire rack to cool.
- I almost always double this recipe. We will eat a loaf in a few days, and the other goes in the freezer for another day!
- You can also make muffins. Line a muffin pan with paper or silicone muffin liners. Scoop batter into 12 muffin cups and bake about 20 minutes at 350F. (Check with a toothpick after 15 minutes to make sure you don’t over-bake them.)