Ok, so I have two cakes left on my journey of baking my way through American History; and I had fully intended on sharing the next one this week. However… I didn’t read the directions very well in advance and the cake that we’re baking requires two days to fully make (it has a lot of wait time). So when we started on Sunday afternoon, it just wasn’t feasible. However, by then, I really wanted something sweet (hey – pregnant woman here!) so I knew I still wanted to bake something! Based on my available ingredients, I defaulted to an old favorite – my Best Banana Bread recipe! (As a plus – I also had a bunch of bananas that were at the perfect banana bread ripeness.)
So here it is – my favorite/best banana bread recipe and steps to make it! Full recipe below following the steps and tricks!
Obviously you need bananas that are ready to use – I like to use them when they’re just starting to get pretty soft and getting brown spots. I don’t like it when they’re too mushy or too far gone!
So you start out by melting your butter and then adding your sugars (white sugar and brown sugar).
Then you whisk that together until well incorporated. Note: as a “lazy” baker, sometimes I default to always using my stand mixer – however, with this particular recipe, I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s super easy to overmix this batter which can lead to a tougher bread. I promise it won’t take too much out of your arm muscles to stir this one up by hand!
After mixing the butter and sugars, you add your eggs, one at a time, and your vanilla!
Then you add in your spices – for me this is a key part of banana bread that a lot of recipes leave out! I always add nutmeg and cinnamon (two types!) to my banana bread.
Now I’m a bit of a spice snob – I go to the Spice House in Evanston, IL (there’s another location downtown) for all of my seasonings. I’ve found that the spices I get there are a lot more flavorful than what you can find at the grocery store. In addition you get a lot more selection and at a very reasonable price (to be honest, sometimes even cheaper than the grocery store). From there, I get and use both ceylon and cassia cinnamon. Most of the cinnamon you find in the grocery store is cassia cinnamon – and if you only have that, then that’s totally fine. I just like the depth of flavor from using both! (Some people also attribute health benefits to ceylon cinnamon, which is secondary to me at least in this recipe but interesting to consider.)
After your spices, you add in your dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking soda).
Then you mix until just combined (again – just combined – you don’t want to overwork).
After you get the dry ingredients incorporated, you add your mashed banana and your yogurt. I also switch to a folding method at this time rather than whisking to prevent that over-mixing.
After you fold in the banana and yogurt to be fairly well combined (shouldn’t be perfectly smooth!) – then you can pour it into a 9 inch bread pan that has been greased or sprayed.
Then you bake at 350F until it’s a pretty golden brown color and you can insert a toothpick in the middle which comes out clean.
And here’s your finished bread!
Simple Sparkles Best Banana Bread
- 1 stick of butter (melted)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 4 tsp cinnamon (2 each of cassia and ceylon if possible)
- 1.5 tsp nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 c greek yogurt (note: you can substitute regular yogurt as long as it’s a thicker/creamy one – not too much water!)
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed
- Preheat your oven to 350F and grease a 9 inch bread pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together your melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar.
- Then add your vanilla and your eggs (one at a time), and whisk together until relatively smooth.
- Add your dry ingredients – flour, baking soda and salt – and stir to mix until just combined (don’t overmix!)
- Then add your bananas and yogurt – fold together until just combined.
- Pour batter into your bread pan and bake at 350F for approximately 55-60 minutes (or until it’s a nice golden brown color and you can insert a toothpick into the center and it comes out clean).
- Let it cool (at least a bit) before serving… although who doesn’t love warm bread!
The bread can really stand by itself but some suggested toppings (if you want) would be butter, brown sugar, cream cheese or a cream cheese frosting!
You could also add nuts or chocolate chips if you want!
Then, you just enjoy your bread! 🙂
Come back next week for the next cake recipe! 🙂