It has been an overwhelming week. Apart from being on day 6 of my self imposed Alexis Ren’s abs challenge – that has been killing me, yay! but it’s good I guess, yay! -, I’ve been dealing with all sorts of life changes that my emotional self is not entirely equipped do deal with at the moment. After all, it’s almost Christmas, we are weeks away from the new year, and I would love to enjoy some good old routine right now.
Anyways, this week also came with the realisation that I simply cannot keep up with my regular supply of bananas. I have every intention of using them when I buy them, but somehow between buying them and eating them, something goes awfully wrong and I end up throwing out more bananas that I would ever like to admit. I don’t know what the problem is. I mean, I do like the little things. They are the perfect topping to a generous bowl of oatmeal. They are essential for smoothies, and an amazing source of potassium. It pains me to throw them out, but I can’t eat over-ripe banan..wait a minute. I know what you’re thinking.
Ripe bananas are good for many things! And in my world they exist for one reason: banana bread. Banana bread is the perfect refuge of over-ripe bananas. I don’t know why I don’t have a loaf coming out of the oven every week. Well, I do know actually…
I’ve tested many banana bread recipes over the years, and I’ve come to believe everyone should have at least one amazing banana bread recipe, and this is mine. It’s absolutely amazing. The right texture, not overly moist, not too crumbly. Instead of melted butter, it calls for softened butter, making the bread soft and not oily. Another thing I really like about this recipe is that it uses brown sugar. I love brown sugar, and they are the reason behind the perfect cookie, so upon seeing this, I knew I would love this recipe (original here). And lastly, instead of milk it uses yogurt, and whenever possible I always use yogurt when baking. It adds even more moisture to the recipe, and the final product is the most delicious, soft cake that is just the right amount of sweet.
One thing I did miss in my version was the nuts. I love the crunchiness and texture it adds to banana cakes, so I kind of missed biting into a crunchy piece of nuts every now and then, but it was still amazing nonetheless.
Before we finally get to the recipe I just need to add one very important note: for an even more amazing banana bread, I highly recommend spooning a generous amount of mascarpone cheese over your slice of bread and then a gentle drizzle of maple syrup, and I’m telling you it’s amazing! Just trust me on this.
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup (80g) plain yogurt or sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
- 2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 large ripe bananas)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- optional: 3/4 cup (100g) chopped pecans or walnuts
- Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan or coat with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl.
- Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar together on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. On medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the yogurt, mashed bananas, and vanilla extract on medium speed until combined. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until no flour pockets remain. Do not overmix. Fold in the nuts, if using.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 60-65 minutes. Loosely cover the bread with aluminum foil after 30 minutes to help prevent the top and sides from getting too brown. A toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf will come out clean when the bread is done. Remove from the oven and allow the bread to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack.
- Cover and store banana bread at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Banana bread tastes best on day 2 after the flavors have settled together.