Banana Bread: Four Ways

As many have also experienced, I’ve found myself making much more banana bread than I would normally during quarantine. These recipes are my top four so far. All work best with overripe bananas and call for them to be smashed; I prefer to use a potato masher, but two forks do the trick as well.  The first is my personal favorite—it’s super dense and buttery and the flavor comes out with a hint of caramelization. I like it best in muffin form, but up to you! The second is a super moist recipe my grandmother has been making for years. It’s light and fluffy—more of a banana cake. The third is my favorite as far as chocolate chip banana bread goes; the batter itself is more bready and less sweet, but with the addition of dark chocolate, it is delicious! The final recipe is vegan banana bread. It was actually my favorite banana bread recipe for a while—a classic banana bread with a delicious brown sugar crumble on top. An unpopular take: I don’t like nuts in my baked goods, but if you want, all of these recipes would go well with about ¾ cup of walnuts or pecans folded in just before pouring into the pan (same goes for chocolate chips!). 

 

Banana Bread 1: Caramelized and Buttery

Ingredients

½ cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

2 eggs

¼ tsp vanilla

4 bananas, smashed (add an extra if you’d like)

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¾ tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350℉. Set up about 16 muffin tins with cupcake liners. In a large bowl, stir together butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, mix until well combined. Stir in bananas. In a small separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda. Fold the dries into the wet ingredients. Pour the batter into the tins and bake for about 20 minutes.

 

Note: in the corner is me experimenting with edible flowers on the bread.

Banana Bread 2: Grandma’s

Ingredients

1 cup white sugar

½ cup unsalted butter, softened

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 ½ cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

4 tbsp sour cream

2 bananas, mashed

Preheat oven to 335℉. Butter and flour one 8”x11” cake pan. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream and baking soda and set aside. This will poof up and contribute to the light, fluffiness of the banana bread. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes by hand, 2 with a mixer). Add the eggs and vanilla, and stir to combine. Add the flour and mix until there are only streaks of flour remaining. Next, gently fold in the sour cream/baking soda mixture. Finally, add in the bananas, gently fold, and pour into the prepared pan. Bake for about 35 minutes. 

 

Banana Bread 3: Chocolate Chip

Ingredients

5 bananas, mashed

5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

½ cup plain greek yogurt/regular plain yogurt/sour cream

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup chopped chocolate/chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease and flour two 3”x5” loaf pans or a 9”x5.” In a large bowl, whisk together the bananas, butter, yogurt/sour cream, and brown sugar. Next, add the eggs and vanilla. Stir until well combined. Add the flour and baking soda to the bowl and whisk the dry ingredients together gently. Then, combine the wet and dry ingredients, until the flour is almost completely mixed in, but slight streaks still remain. Then add the chocolate and pour into the prepared pans. Cook for about 50 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

 

Banana Bread 4: Vegan 

Ingredients

⅓ cup white sugar

⅓ cup brown sugar (plus ⅛ cup for topping)

⅓ cup neutral oil (I use canola)

4 bananas, mashed

1 tsp vanilla 

2 cup all-purpose flour

¾ tsp baking soda

½ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp salt

1 cup non-dairy chocolate chips (totally optional!)

Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease and flour two 3”x5” loaf pans or one 9”x5.” In a large bowl, stir together the white sugar, ⅓ cup brown sugar, and the oil. Add the banana and vanilla, and mix again. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and with a spatula, fold to combine until there are just streaks of flour remaining. Fold in the chocolate chips, and pour into the prepared loaf pans. Sprinkle the reserved ⅛ cup brown sugar over the loafs. Bake for 40 minutes (or until a knife comes out cleanly), let cool for about 10 minutes, and enjoy!

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