I have tried dozens of Banana Bread recipes over the years and I have never found one that I truly love. There is always something missing or not enough of this or that and I am never satisfied yet disappointed that I went through all this work for a meh bread. I will switch up a thing or two to try make it my own, but there is always something that should be there. I came up with this recipe by taking what I want my Banana bread to taste like and eventually made it happen with the below combination of ingredients.
I feel like I am revealing my biggest secret here – aaahaaa, so I hope you give this a try and give me a great update on how it turned out for you!
First and foremost – we are making Banana Loaf so we need to talk Bananas here. I am the girl that has a whole bunch of bananas frozen in my freezer – yes thats me. I do use them for smoothies and in my muffins – BUT – I do not use them in this loaf. I allow bananas to sit on my counter and turn almost black and very soft, definitely not a banana you would want for breakfast, but a perfect golden ticket banana for this loaf. I find that using the bananas from the freezer in the recipe just don’t work, they don’t have the ability to preform as well as the counter bananas do. I NEVER use fresh or green bananas in any banana muffins, breads, loafs, cookies because they are great to eat but they do not give off enough sweetness that an over ripe banana has to offer.
Once you have your banana situation under control, you can move on to the next step. Greasing and flouring your pan. The bread pans that I have are from my late grandmother and I believe they were her mothers, so they are “older then the hills” I have been told. But they are by far the best pans I have literally ever used. Once you have your pan, take some shortening and moderately grease it all around. Then add a teaspoon or so of flour and tip until the entire pan is covered. Flip over and tap out all remaining flour. Set that aside. For the full steps with photos of how to complete this please click here.
Next important step. You will want to use margarine for this recipe not butter. I am not a huge margarine fan but it is also a main factor here. I like to melt my margarine on my stove on low heat so it melts slowly. I use a small pan and let it melt while I am getting the rest of my ingredients together. Once it is melted half way, pull of the heat and set aside, the remainder will melt as you are preparing the next steps and it will not be overly hot when you go to add to your loaf dough.
For the sugar in this recipe I use both white sugar and brown sugar. Brown sugar provides that deep flavour from the molasses as well and gives a great darker colour to this loaf. White sugar provides a nice balance of sweetness while helping keep the load moist.
You will need both baking soda and baking powder for this recipe. And just a pinch of salt and some flour. Then for just a hint of added flavour add just a 1/4 teaspoon of both nutmeg and cinnamon. All of these ingredients can be mixed together then added to the sugar and butter mixture until well combined.
I am a chocolate lover so if I can add chocolate to something I am going to do just that! I use semi sweet chocolate chips in this recipe as I enjoy how they melt into the batter but yet still stay hard enough to know they are there and give just a hint of chocolatey goodness! An important step to not forget with adding chocolate chips is coating them in flour slightly before you add to your bread dough. This will allow them to stay set in place while cooking and not sink to the bottom of your loaf. you don’t need much flour just enough to cover them and turn them white. These will get folded into your batter right before you pour into your pan.
If you don’t like chocolate you can always add chopped walnuts as well or just leave as is – it is great either way!
The next secret step here is to add just a slight sprinkle of brown sugar before you put it in the oven. About 1 teaspoon sprinkled all over the top will give nice crystallization and a little bit hard top on your loaf. It really brings this loaf together!
For baking you will bake in a 375*F oven for 45 minutes, be sure your loaf is done by inserting a tooth pick into the middle of the load and if it comes out clean it is done. If your toothpick is not dry allow to continue baking for a few minutes and check again. As not all oven cook equally your may take longer or shorter than mine. I suggest start checking it at the 40 minute mark to ensure you do not over bake it. Like with anything you will smell it when it is done baking, your house will be filled with a beautiful aroma from the bananas and the spices!
This load will pull from the sides of the pan when it is ready allowing easy ability to remove from pan once it is cooled.
Once it is out of the oven, allow to cool for about 25 minutes or until you an safely touch the sides of the pan without burning your hands, gently flip onto a platter, then flip again to bring it right side up. Allow to cool at least another half hour before you starting cutting into it (unless you can not wait) otherwise it will not cut very well and will become a bit crumbly.
When I make this loaf it is gone with in a couple hours of putting it out, it seems that every time someone walks by the counter, they cut a piece then another and another – then bam, its gone faster then it took to make.
The Ultimate Banana Loaf
Prep Time: 15 Minutes Bake Time: 45 Minutes
- 3-4 small or 2 large over ripe bananas, mashed with fork (approx. 1 1/4 cup)
- 1/4 Cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 Cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 Cup melted margarine (not to hot)
- 1 Cup Flour
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 Cup semi sweet chocolate chips + 1 teaspoon flour to coat chips with (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375*F.
- Grease loaf pan with shortening, then flour – tap out excess
- In mixing bowl, using whisk attachment, mix bananas and sugar until combined.
- Add in margarine.
- In separate bowl combine flour, powder, soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Then add to banana mixture. Mix well.
- Fold in chocolate chips.
- Pour into loaf pan, sprinkle lightly with brown sugar.
- Place in oven for 45 minutes, check with tooth pick to ensure it comes out clean.
- Allow to cool until you can safely touch the sides of the pan, flip onto a plate and then flip again to have the top exposed. Allow to cool for another 1 hour before slicing into loaf to prevent breakage.