Were you even in the pandemic if you didn’t cook banana bread at least once? One of the many strange outcomes of the coronavirus pandemic, like loungewear and “going for walks”, is that now everyone has a favourite banana bread.
Best Banana Bread
I first discovered banana bread on honeymoon in Hawaii. In my opinion, and according to the BBC since who even am I, the banana-rich island of Maui is home to the world’s very best banana bread. After making it to the Travaasa Hana just before sundown, the famous oasis that lies at the end of the Road to Hana, there it was, my first fresh loaf just waiting.
“Banana bread, banana bread, we could be banana bread. We’re not pretty but we’re not dead we can be banana bread!” Fast forward to today, and that is a banana bread song by Caspar Babypants, which I’ve listened to a few thousand times. It’s easy to forget that I once lived the glamorous life of a travel blogger as baby songs play on repeat.
I’ve since lost count how many times I’ve made banana bread, but it’s a lot. This here is the first recipe I ever used, and the last. In between, I’ve tried them all. But this is the one I keep going back to. Given to me by my dear friend Ioanna, who is a nutritionist, not only makes this my favourite recipe, but also the healthiest!
Of course, like with any recipe, I’ve made it my own with a few modifications:
- If possible, I use brown muscovado sugar instead of white
- I replace the walnuts and raisins with around 75g chocolate
- I add an extra 1/2 tsp of vanilla essence and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon!
And remember, you’ll need a 2 pound (900g) loaf tin to make this recipe. I use this one from Masterclass, available on Amazon.
- 3 medium/large ripe bananas mashed with a fork
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cup brown muscovado sugar (also works with white sugar)
- 2 medium eggs lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose (plain white) flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 60-75g of dark chocolate however you like. My favourite is 2 x Cooks’ dark chocolate curls (30g each). While my husband prefers 75g Lindt Excellence dark chocolate chopped into small pieces.
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- Preheat your oven to 176 degrees (no fan)
- In a bowl, mix the butter and sugar together until creamy and combined.
- In another bowl, mix the melted butter and beaten eggs into your mashed bananas.
- Then, combine both bowls and mix well.
- In a third bowl, mix the flour and baking soda together.
- Then, mix the flour into the bowl with the banana mixture.
- Now, combine everything, adding the vanilla essence, dark chocolate and cinnamon, and mix well.
- Lastly, grease a loaf tin with butter (here I use salted).
- Bake for 55-60 minutes.
- Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from tin.