Two Great Banana Breads

I made two different versions of banana bread this week and, unable to choose between them, have decided to share both. The first is my childhood favourite, a delicious use for spotty bananas; we used to have this in our house at least once a month, wrapped up in its shiny foil packet. It would start off whole and I’d cut a slice, then a little from one side, then a little from the other side. All my slices, even now, come out crooked.  But there’s something about the addition of sour cream that makes this banana bread really irresistible and moist, like everything I ever loved about cake. It comes from The Canadian Living Cookbook which was–and still is–a major fixture in my mum’s arsenal; it covers everything from candy to bread to casseroles and roasts.

I’m also going to share another version I got from Orangette (a lovely blog), as it’s very different; it’s chewy and spongy, with no milk or oil, but a very distinctive topping. It’s lighter, and cut in squares instead of slices, brownie-style. Plus, it has plenty of chocolate.

Whichever version you choose, banana bread is delicious, feels virtuous (just like carrot cake, which totally contains vegetables), and is very easy to make. It’s rich and delicious, and very easy to experiment with: feel free to add walnuts, pecans or chocolate chips, dates or raisins.

Banana Bread, version one (adapted from The Canadian Living Cookbook)

  • 1 cup mashed, very ripe banana
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (or 1/4 cup cream cheese and 1/4 cup milk, which is the combination I used)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Farenheit and grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

In a large mixing bowl, combine bananas, sugar, oil, sour cream and eggs. Mix thoroughly. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing gently but fully. You want to keep the mix as light as possibly while avoiding those dreaded bites of unmixed baking powder in your final product.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the pan 5 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool completely. Slice.

Banana Bread, version two (adapted from Orangette)

  • 3 very ripe bananas (any size)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (or chopped dark chocolate, since the chips aren’t popular here)


  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Farenheit and butter or spray an eight-inch square pan very well.

In a medium mixing bowl, mash the bananas well with a fork or potato masher (a very good tip). Add the eggs and stir well to combine. Add the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and vanilla, and stir to combine. Add 3/4 of the chocolate chips and stir briefly. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and set aside.

Meanwhile, mix together the topping ingredients and spread evenly over the banana bread batter. Sprinkle over the remaining chocolate chips. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let cool in the pan at least 10 minutes, then turn out on a wire rack to cool completely. Cut it up and serve with butter for extra indulgence.


5 Comments on “Two Great Banana Breads”

  1. Chocolate chips are hard to find here in Spain too…turning what should be regular cooking endeavors into proper workouts involving lots of fierce chopping. Speaking of chips – I miss butterscotch chips. Yum!

  2. Heather says:

    YUM. I love banana bread of any shape and size.

    As to the above comment, I actually have butterscotch chips in my cupboard right now and was trying to figure out what to do with them! (Besides eat them plain, of course…) Any ideas?

  3. Sarah says:

    Hmm, you might try these butterscotch apple slices, Heather: Actually, that whole Hershey’s recipe page seems full of good ideas. Let me know how you get on!

  4. Looks delicious! I should try that! 🙂

  5. Stanislava says:

    Ready to nibble on the computer screen, looks and sounds so delicious! Do you ever use that special bread making machine or cook bread in the oven?

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