Friday, April 24, 2009

The Best Banana Bread

I realize that I need to start including recipes with these photos. It's irritates me when I read a baking blog and I see a dessert that I really really want to bake and they don't include a stinkin recipe. I don't want to be thought of like that. And this recipe is truly the best banana bread recipe out there. I've made so many banana bread recipes and this one wins hands down. (Sandy knows, because I made it just for her last time she was here). I used to think that cinnamon was an odd addition to banana bread. Cinnamon & banana? What in the heck? But after trying this recipe, I've changed my mind. There is not cinnamon in the whole thing - it's just a thin layer of cinnamon brown sugar struesel throughout. It's not a heavy texture and it's not overly banana-y. It's kind of light & fluffy in fact. Be sure not to over bake it. I always err on the side of underbaking things because I remember that even when you remove your baked goods from the oven, they continue to bake because of residual heat. Please try and make this delicious bread and report back with your results. Now, take note that this recipes calls for a 350 degree oven but my bread turned out much better when I baked it at 325 degrees. I'm sure that is partly because I have dark, nonstick bread pans and I'm aware that the dark finish on these pans really speeds up the browning process. At 350 degrees, my bread got really dark on the outside while the inside was still raw. I sprayed each loaf pan with Pam, lined the bottom with a strip of parchment and then placed them all on a jelly roll pan. I also place my oven rack in the top 1/3 of the oven - otherwise the bottom of my loaves (or anything that I bake) gets too brown for my liking. I used the mini loaf pans and when I bake them all together, it's much easier to pull them all out of the oven when they are all on the jelly roll pan (or cookie sheet works too). I also always rotate the entire pan halfway through baking to ensure even baking. I fill the mini loaf pans about 2/3 full of batter. Make sure you place the finished loaves on a rack to cool. Otherwise you risk a soggy bottom. Ok, here is the recipe. It's originally from which is where I get many of my wonderful recipes.

Banana Bread
1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 medium very ripe bananas)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans) (I left these out because I don't like nuts)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon


1. Cream the butter & cream cheese together. Gradually add the granulated sugar and continue beating till light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the mashed banana and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda & mix until batter is just moist.

2. In small bowl, mix together nuts, brown sugar & cinnamon. (I always double this part because I like it so much).

3. Fill your loaf pans/pans about 1/3 full of the batter, then sprinkle your cinnamon mixture over the batter. Top with remaining batter.

4. Bake at 350 degrees until inserted toothpick comes out clean or with moist crumbs, not batter. (I don't give a cooking time because it depends on your loaf pan size. My mini loaf pans took about 35 minutes and that was with 8 of them in my 325% oven).

5. Put loaf pan/pans on a rack to cool then pop them out in about 10-15 minutes.

6. EAT!

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