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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Classic Banana Bread

Without a doubt, banana bread is the single most frequently baked treat in my home. I look for ripe bananas at the market so we don't have to wait too long for them to be ready at home...I make a loaf weekly and it doesn't EVER see its 3rd day. At this point baking banana bread has an emotional significance to me because its become one of those unintentional kids come home on Monday to the fragrant smells of banana and vanilla and have a slice after school. After dinner, they grab another slice. The next morning on their way out to school, they grab yet another the time they get home they're lucky if there's any left...and they wait for the following Monday to get their "bb" fix again. Banana bread makes Mondays a little less bleak, and who doesn't love that?!

If you go through my blog, you'll find several versions of this yummy cake. Here's how this new and improved version is different:

1) I've gone back to the basics and removed any extra ingredients or flavors (Greek yogurt, pumpkin, pumpkin butter, oats, etc.) to celebrate banana bread in all its glory, as a simple and utterly amazing bread. This translates into quicker prep time and fewer ingredients for you.

2) The texture of  banana "bread" instead of banana "cake" has been achieved with the tweaking of measurements. I'll let you in on my hugest extra EGG was what it took to get a perfectly dense crumb on this treat (and not Greek yogurt or honey or any of the other stuff I've played with over the years).

3) Flax seeds are amazing. Adding them instead of walnuts takes care of potential nut allergies, gives a huge boost of nutrition and provides the nutty flavor that so many of us love with banana bread. If you don't like them, not a problem, just leave them out!

4) MOST IMPORTANT: Your bananas must be RIPE RIPE RIPE RIPE RIPE. And by ripe I mean too brown to enjoy on their own, but not nasty enough that you need to toss them out. When bananas get very ripe, their flavor deepens and they become sweeter, then when they're baked you will get that intense banana flavor that resembles a professional baked treat. Whatever you do, resist the urge to prepare this banana bread without ripe bananas, it will be the difference between an average bread and an AMAZING one (and you are completely capable of amazing, regardless of your experience!).

Makes 16 slices when baked in a bundt pan

-3 eggs
-1/2 cup granulated sugar
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1/3 cup melted coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
-4 OVER RIPE mashed bananas (2 cups)

-2 cups flour
-1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Optional add-ins (up to 1 cup total)
-1 tablespoon flax seeds
-chopped nuts
-chocolate chips
-chopped dried fruit or dates

To make
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a bundt pan.
-Using an electric mixer or by hand, mix eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla together. Stir in melted coconut oil and mashed bananas.
-In another bowl, stir the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon) together and slowly add to the banana mixture. Stir until everything is moistened but DO NOT overmix so your banana bread stays moist. Gently add optional flax seeds or other add-ins.
-Pour mixture in greased pan and bake on the lower rack of a preheated oven for 40-50 minutes (I take mine out at 45 minutes). If you are baking in a loaf pan your bake time will be closer to 60 minutes. Your banana bread is finished when an inserted toothpick comes out with a few crumbs attached.
-Remove from the oven and cool completely. Flip onto a platter and garnish with optional powdered sugar. Serve.

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Try these other treats!

Skinny Banana Oat Muffins
Vegan Orange Muffins

Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


  1. I saw this last night and glanced at my over-ripe bananas sitting in my face...15 minutes later this was in the oven making my kitchen smell incredible. I ate a slice right after it came out and loved it, even warm it was flavorful. This morning I raced to have another with my coffee and it tasted even better. I left it simple without adding anything in and to figure out how good the actual recipe was, now I can't wait to make it again and add fun things like m&ms and peanut butter cups!!!

  2. twins woke me up at 5 am (typical day)...and this was in the oven by 6 am! Now its cooled completely and we just ate 3 slices each. ITS SOOO PERFECT. I've had another recipe I use so I was hesitant to try yours but I always love the other recipes you've posted so I figured this would be good, and it was great. Loved the idea of flax seeds instead of nuts.

  3. Can't wait to try this! I wish my bananas would hurry up and ripen!

  4. beeeeeeeesssssst banana bread EVER EVER EVER

  5. oh my goodness gracious we LOVED this. At first I was about to start with my typical behavior of subbing out ingredients all over the place. Thank heavens I did NOT because this is excellent as written. With so many banana bread recipes floating the net, you've really nailed it on this one.

  6. the most heavenly banana bread. I added an extra 1/2 cup banana to use up all I had and left the rest of the recipe as written. Baked at 325 in my convect oven, middle lower rack for 60 minutes in my loaf pan. gave me a huge loaf that was baked perfectly, amazingly moist and downright dangerous.

  7. Not sure what more I can say that the others haven't BUT THIS IS TOO GOOD. My family all agreed that this is the best banana bread they've ever tried and have warned me from straying for this recipe!

  8. simply terrific. made as directed and will repeat for sure

  9. Excellent recipe, easy to follow instructions and great results! I love all the recipes I've tried from your blog, thank you!