Serves a Crowd

A to Z Loaf Cake or Muffins (Banana Bread and nearly 50 variations)

May  5, 2017
2 Ratings
Photo by Wikipedia commons
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Makes 1 large cake, 2 loaves or layers, 24 cupcakes
Author Notes

Tasty, utterly reliable, easy to put together from pantry staples or with a specially planned main ingredient...this recipe is a banana bread with about 50 interchangeable main ingredients...fruits, vegetables, yogurt, preserves or honey. I've lost track, but I've made about 3/4 of the variations and liked them all ;) Serve plain for breakfast, lunch or snacks. Or with a favorite cream cheese icing or lemon glaze after dinner. Recipe may be vegan (soft tofu instead of eggs & certified vegan sugar instead of regular) and/or gluten-free (use GF flour). Make with apples or honey for the fall Jewish holidays. Bake in Bundt, tube pan, loaf, layer cake or muffin pans. Recipe is easily halved with good results. Adapted from Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Book, 1990, 3rd ed. Lemon glaze recipe from makers of Bertolli olive oil. —Nancy

What You'll Need
  • For the cakes
  • 2 cups A-to-Z ingredient (see list at end of directions). But use only 1/2 cup if using citrus juice or dried fruit
  • 1 cup brown (or vegan) sugar. But use only 1/2 cup if using dried fruit or tomato. And omit totally if using jam, marmalade, mincemeat or honey as main ingredient.
  • 1/2 cup eggs (2 large) or soft tofu
  • 1/2 cup nuts, your choice, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cold pressed oil (your choice - olive, seed or nut)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (or 2 1/4 cups of all-purpose or GF white flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice or British mixed spice
  • Oil and flour, or paper liners for pans, amount as needed
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder
  • Lemon glaze icing (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner's or icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  1. Prepare A-to-Z ingredient. Peel, pit, chop or puree, as needed. Let frozen fruit thaw & drain, then measure. Use dried fruit as is or rehydrated and drained; chop large pieces into medium dice.
  2. Heat oven to 350F. Prepare pans- line with cupcake papers or parchment paper, or lightly with oil and flour. Use ONE large, like rectangular 9 x 13", Bundt or tube pan, spring form 10" diameter OR TWO of selected 8-9" round cake pans, 9 x 5" loaf pans. Or enough cupcake pans to make 24 total.
  3. Mix dries in one bowl and wets in another. Lightly fold wets and dries together & pour batter immediately into prepared pan(s). Bake single large cake 40-45 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Start checking loaf or layer cakes at 20-25 minutes. For cupcakes, check at 15-18 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven. Let cool. Serve plain, with cream cheese icing (your favorite recipe) or with lemon glaze (recipe here).
  5. Lemon glaze. Mix confectioner's sugar, lemon flavorings, olive oil. Add more lemon juice or water for thinner texture, if desired. Drizzle on top of cakes/cupcakes, or between layers.
  6. A-to-Z ingredients. Apple, apricot, banana, beets, blackberries, blueberries, carrot, cherries, coconut, cranberries, currants, dates, eggplant, fig, grape, honey, jam, kiwi fruit, lemon and/or lime juice, marmalade, mincemeat, oranges, peach, pear, pineapple, plum, prunes, pumpkin, quince, raisins, raspberries, rhubarb, sour cream, sweet potato, strawberries, tomato, winter squash, yam, yogurt, zucchini.
  7. Keeps: a few days at room temp; one week in the fridge; 2-4 months frozen.

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