Banana bread always seems to be a family staple, with lots of variations and claims of being the best one you’ll ever eat. It is an easy quick bread to make, and can be a great addition to breakfast or a snack any time of the day. However, to be honest I have never found banana breads to be particularly tempting—they often turn out dry, overly dense, and boasting only moderate banana flavor. The few recipes I do like make up for this by adding moistening ingredients, like applesauce or dairy products, and packing in as many extra bananas as possible. Sour cream and heavy cream, for example, are great options for ensuring you end up with a moist, delicious loaf. Many also include lots of tasty add-ins, like walnuts or chocolate chips, for added texture and indulgence.
In this banana bread recipe I added yogurt for a moist crumb and cinnamon for some bonus flavor. I had some cinnamon chips on hand, which when baked add a nice warm flavor and blend nicely into the loaf, and tend to make most any baked item better, in my opinion. After baking for about an hour, the loaf will look a bit dark but maintain lots of moisture and banana flavor. The more bananas and the riper they are, the better. With a loaf this simple, don’t be afraid to experiment and see what versions you like best!
Makes 1 loaf
Prep time: 20 min Bake time: 1 hour
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 very ripe bananas, mashed
½ cup yogurt
½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup cinnamon chips (optional*)
- In a large bowl, combine the room-temperature butter and sugar. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until they become light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix until incorporated.
- Add the flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda to the mixture. With a spoon, mix ingredients together until everything is just combined.
- In a small bowl, mash your bananas and then add the vanilla and yogurt. Add the banana mixture to your batter and mix with a spoon until smooth.
- Spoon the batter into a greased 9-by-5-by-3 inch loaf pan. Bake the bread in a pre-heated oven at 350°F/175°C until the loaf is set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 60 minutes.
*For trying different variations of banana breads, get creative! Add some peanut butter chips and a peanut butter glaze for a savory loaf, try the traditional addition of walnuts, or use whatever dried fruit and types of chocolate you have on hand. You can also get creative with toppings—make a sweet banana frosting to spread down the middle of your slices, a simple glaze to soak in from the top, or a cinnamon crumble topping to go with this kind of cinnamon-flavored loaf.