Make Ahead

Espresso Banana Bread

February 20, 2014
11 Ratings
  • Makes one 9x5 loaf
Author Notes

After re-discovering The Jumpin' Monkey, coffee and banana smoothie, I've been a believer in the combination of espresso and banana. It's just good. I've had an intense craving for banana bread the past two weeks, but bananas that weren't ripe enough. Ahhhh, the wait. Terrible. But, finally I was able to make banana bread, and I decided to add some espresso to the batter. It's subtle and yummy, and would be particularly good with chocolate chips, if you like chocolate chips in your banana bread, but is also awfully good without. This banana bread recipe is based on Joanne Chang's (I almost always start my baking with a look at how Chang makes something!) and the recipe on Smitten Kitchen, which I believe she got from Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes. —fiveandspice

What You'll Need
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed well
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature (the temp here is important because a cold egg will congeal the oil/butter)
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream, or creme fraiche, or Greek yogurt
  • 2 ounces shot of espresso (or absurdly strong coffee)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso granules
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil (or melted, unsalted butter)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (whole wheat pastry flour would also work well)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  1. Heat your oven to 350°F and grease a 9X5-inch loaf pan. In a medium-large mixing bowl, stir the mashed bananas together with the egg, sour cream, espresso, and vanilla extract, until everything is well combined. Stir in the instant espresso granules (you can omit these if you want, but if you use only brewed espresso, the bread will have a very subtle coffee flavor -- adding instant espresso as well pumps up the coffee flavor. I think it's good both ways.)
  2. Next, stir in the melted oil/butter until it is completely incorporated. Follow this by stirring in the sugar until everything is well mixed.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Dump this mixture into the wet ingredients and stir just until there are no dry streaks left. The batter will still be lumpy. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake in the oven until a tester inserted into the loaf comes out clean, about one hour.
  4. Remove from the oven, allow to cool in the loaf pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then gently run a knife around the edge of the bread and turn it out of the pan. Finish cooling the bread on a cooling rack. I think the flavor of banana bread gets better if you let it sit for a while, but who can help themselves from having at least one piece while it's still warm, right? But, it'll be even better on day two! Accompanied by espresso! Because espresso is good.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • suzannakang
  • Katherine S
    Katherine S
  • BB
  • Nicole
  • Vera Kern
    Vera Kern

55 Reviews

Kenna M. April 27, 2023
I am a real banana bread lover. This recipe is excellent and will now be my go to. Thank you so much.
Emily March 11, 2023
This is my absolute favorite banana bread recipe. I've used butter, olive oil, and canola oil, 3 or 4 bananas (depending on what needs to get used up), 1/2-2/3c sugar, AP/spelt/WW flour... so many variations and it's always moist and delicious. I usually make 3 mini loaves and either share or freeze for later.
mac October 22, 2021
I really enjoy this! Something about the coffee flavor compliments the banana well and gives it an almost savory taste. I cut the sugar to just 1/2 cup, use coconut oil, and usually mix wheat flour or wheat germ with the white flour. You may find yourself second guessing the length of time in the oven, but it really does take the full hour. The addition of nuts would be good to change up the texture if you're feelin' it, but just as good without!
T July 18, 2021
This is a perfectly moist bread!! Bakes 10 large muffin cups.
Reduced sugar to 1/2 cup and oil is 75g. 170C for 25 min was perfect :)
T July 18, 2021
And add walnuts at the end!
annejillian19 April 6, 2021
Love this recipe! I've already shared it with a few other friends. They never thought to add coffee to their banana bread. Now with this recipe I started adding a handful of chopped walnuts and mini semi-sweet chocolate chips. I feel like its changed the sweetness and overall moistness of the bread. Am I supposed to make other adjustments when I add those two in?
suzannakang October 3, 2020
This was easy to make and the espresso gave it a nice oomph. I’ll try with chocolate chips next time. My ten-year old son devoured it.
Katherine S. August 9, 2020
This was amazing. I included chocolate chips. I used sea salt which is what I had available, and I think some of it stayed intact to give some salted chocolate flavor bursts. Also I had to use a smaller loaf pan and it worked fine, just kept checking with a skewer. Due to gooey banana the skewer might still be a little sticky even when ready - just not pulling out raw batter.
Katherine S. August 9, 2020
Editing to add I used coconut oil and regular KA AP unbleached flour
BB July 25, 2020
Something didn’t quite work in this recipe and it has an odd flavour to it. Going to try again and use butter instead of coconut oil and see if that makes a difference. Crossing my fingers! :)
LOIS A. August 16, 2019
So good, so very moist. rave reviews
Nicole August 7, 2019
I made this the other day. exactly like the recipe, I add a bit of semi sweet chocolate, I also make cold brew at my house so I added that to the bread instead of the espresso. this cake is so moist! delish!
Oaklandpat May 5, 2019
Love it fiveandspice! Thanks for the great recipe. The only thing I will change next time is to add in some walnuts.
kitkat February 12, 2017
This was lovely with the addition of a small handful of chocolate chips and a large handful of toasted walnuts. It baked up with wonderfully crisp edges and a moist, almost custard-like center (though it was definitely baked through). The banana, coffee, vanilla, chocolate and coconut play nicely they're having a reunion outside of the tropics. The only problem is that it's nighttime and it's hard to stop eating it!
Freddurf May 2, 2016
Just pulled this out of the oven and it was very tasty. It was moist and delicious! I used the smallest setting on my Kuirig and the espresso flavor came through just fine. This has now replaced my family's banana bread recipe (sorry mom!)
Vera K. January 15, 2016
Made this last night but with the alteration of chai soaked raisins as recommended by Kerry. I didn't have any espresso and it sounded yummy. I also only used 1/3 cup of sugar and it was still very sweet. My co-workers devoured it none the less.
Kerry G. October 18, 2015
This is a great recipe as is. ... BUT...the 7 year old didn't like the coffee taste, and the 12 year old wasn't fussed either way. So I made some changes that would still satisfy the adults. Oh, and btw, does everyone know the trick about roasting whole unpeeled bananas if yours aren't super ripe? brilliant. Changes: 3/4 cup raisins soaked in strong chai tea for one hour, drained and then added to food processor with banana, egg etc...omitted coffee all together, so Used 1/2 cup melted butter plus the greek yog. Used 1/4 brown sugar and 1/2 cup white. In dry, I added 1/2 tsp cardamom, and 1 tbsp cocoa powder. Everybody is very happy!
jenny August 10, 2015
I've made this twice now, it's great and keep moist for days!! I added fresh finely ground espresso directly, and also 1/2 tsp ground cardamom (I love cardamom in my coffee!), and the flavour was lovely, not overpowering but definitely there. I also subbed in 1/2 cup coconut flour for the wholeweat. This is now my go-to recipe for banana bread!
jenny July 26, 2015
Yum! I used 1 tbsp of ground espresso which gave a good amount of a coffee hit but not overpowering.... Also used a combo of wholemeal and coconut flour. Very yummy, more dense than my usual recipe for banana bread, in a good way!
Transcendancing October 5, 2014
I really liked how this turned out, although I don't know what caused my beautifully rounded top to flatten so dramatically when I took it out of the oven. I left it in the tin as recommended too, so baffled. The flavour however was gorgeous, I am not a banana fan and I think the only time they become edible is in cake. My housemate on the other hand, loves them and also appreciated the cake (and ate three pieces, which is uncharacteristic of him, so clearly the flattening didn't impact too much). I gave my cake an hour and five minutes, cake tester came out completely clean and dry but interestingly the inside - especially the bottom of the cake was moist and even somewhat gooey - but still seemed to be cooked. Will have to see if this is a feature of this cake or if it was something I did this time around.
Lisanne July 23, 2014
It is in the oven now~ smells fab! We had 4 large bananas, so added another egg, used 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup sugar and 2 cups flour (guesstimated the rest of the ingredients). Used a large scoop to make 6 muffins and the rest went in the pan. We won't have to wait the full hour to get a taste!! Thanks for a new style of banana bread!!
Rebecca July 15, 2014
I am pretty disappointed right now. I just got done making this treat and it just isn't as great as you sold it. I was super excited about it too because I love banana bread and coffee. I used the 2 ounces of espresso and did the granules. Still, you cannot taste even a hint of espresso. Super bummed out. Out of 5 stars, I would give this one a 3 at best.