Bake

Kristen’s Family Banana Bread

October 11, 2021
8 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Food Stylist: Lauren Lapenna. Prop Stylist: Sophia Pappas.
Author Notes

This is the banana bread I'll always come back to. Maybe because I can get two flawless loaves in under 15 minutes of work. Maybe because I can tweak it with what's on hand (and haven't broken it yet). Or maybe because it's the one my mom's been making since I was a baby, so it just tastes like home.

Recipe adapted by Peggy Cooley, Susan Miglore, and Kristen Miglore from A Plan for All Seasons: A Menu Cookbook by the Stanford Junior Women of Pasadena. Here are a few other recommended riffs we’ve tried: sprinkling the nuts on top, swapping up to 25 percent of the all-purpose flour for a whole-grain flour, and decreasing or increasing the sugar slightly (the original recipe called for 2 cups, but Kristen decreased that to make room for the sugary topping). This particular iteration tastes even better on day two.

Hear more from Kristen on why this banana bread is the one she and her family always return to on The Genius Recipe Tapes. —Genius Recipes

Watch This Recipe
Kristen’s Family Banana Bread
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • makes two 9x5-inch loaves
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for buttering the pans
  • 6 very ripe large bananas (frozen and thawed work great)
  • cups (350 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • cups (315 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup (170 grams) chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1 cup (113 grams) chopped nuts, such as walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • Turbinado or other sugar for sprinkling on top (optional)
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Butter two 9x5-inch loaf pans. (A loaf pan plus an 8-inch cake pan also works well, but note that the shallower pan will bake faster.)
  2. In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a potato masher.
  3. Mix in the butter, sugar, and eggs well.
  4. In a medium bowl, sift (or whisk) together the flour, salt, and baking soda, and add to the banana batter.
  5. Stir just until the flour mostly disappears. Add the optional chocolate and/or nuts, then stir just until no streaks of flour are visible.
  6. Pour into the buttered loaf pans (feel free to mix and match pans, but no pan should be more than ⅔ full). Sprinkle a thin layer of turbinado sugar on top.
  7. Bake until the top is dry and deep golden brown, and springs back when lightly pressed with a finger in the center. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out dry or with moist crumbs clinging (and maybe chocolate streaks, but no wet batter), 35 to 45 minutes, or less for shallower pans.
  8. Let the loaves cool until warm, about 30 minutes, then unmold, or let cool fully in the pan (handy for storage). Store tightly covered at room temperature.

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Recipe by: Genius Recipes

4 Reviews

[email protected] October 20, 2021
This banana bread recipe is perfect! I added the chocolate chips and walnuts. Big hit!! Saved!!
 
carswell October 16, 2021
My recipe is a stripped down version of this one - less fat and considerably less sugar. I usually use brown sugar instead of white and my preference for spicing is to use a generous amount of cardamom over cinnamon. If I’m short on my supply of frozen bananas I will use some applesauce to make up the difference.

I’m another one who doesn’t care for chocolate in banana bread. I’m ambivalent on walnuts, sometimes I put them in but not usually.
 
Lisa L. October 13, 2021
Banana bread is controversial. People love it or they hate it. If they love it, it's usually a specific one with which they grew up and nothing else compares. I've tried a number of recipes & will try this one, but our family go-to is a one-egg, much-less-butter recipe that I made my own by adding a fistful of chopped toasted pecans & another of shredded unsweetened coconut. The combo is divine. I'm with your parents re the chocolate. I find the combo of banana and chocolate too sweet, but will give yours a go.
 
Doris October 13, 2021
I agree. I had to create my own recipe bc I found most of them too sweet. And store bought Banana Bread tastes artificial. So, less butter with shredded coconut and pecans sounds wonderful. I add tahini & sesame seeds plus chocolate chunks to the top of my version.