Sunday, December 28, 2008

Yummy Banana Nut Bread

Yummy banana nut bread recipe that has just a touch of citrus from lemon juice and orange zest. Makes 2 loaves.
Yummy banana nut bread recipe that has just a touch of citrus from lemon juice and orange zest. Makes 2 loaves.

Yummy Banana Nut Bread

Over the holidays, I had intended to make a banana pudding dessert that I really love - it's one of those layered desserts, a bit of a take on banana pudding. With all the other holiday cooking though, I just never got to it and you know what that means of course. I had a bunch of overripe bananas on my hands. And we all know what we do when we have overripe bananas, right?

Now, I know that banana bread isn't rocket science, and really just about everybody already has their own favorite recipe, but this one has long been a favorite of mine. This bread is light, moist, flavorful and melt-in-your-mouth tender. I just love the addition of the citrus with the bananas - it really makes the bread pop. If you can get your hands on a Meyer lemon, use it - otherwise a good ole grocery store lemon works just fine.

To me, banana bread has always paired best with walnuts, but use pecan if you prefer, or simply leave them out altogether if you'd rather. The one thing you have to take care with, is not to overcook the bread. Sugars are so concentrated with overripe bananas that it's really not that hard to do, and since all ovens vary and have hot spots, start checking your bread at 45 minutes the first time and then check again accordingly.

Even if you already have a regular banana bread you make all the time, I hope you give this one with citrus a try. Here's how to make it.

For more of my favorite quick breads, pop by my Pinterest page!

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Recipe: Yummy Banana Nut Bread

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 45 min | Yield: Makes 2 loaves

  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 6 very ripe bananas
  • 4 large eggs
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • Zest of 1 medium orange
  • 2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans (metal recommended); set aside. Cream the sugar and butter together until fluffy. Add the bananas one at a time until all are incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each one in before adding the next. Add the lemon juice and orange rind and mix until well blended and there are no lumps remaining from the banana.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt and add to the mixer about 1/4 cup at a time, mixing in mix well for each addition. Add the chopped walnuts and mix just to stir them in.

Pour the batter evenly into both of the loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until loaves are firm in the middle and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool the loaves in the pan on a cooling rack until bread pulls well away from the pan and is loose, up to 30 minutes. Turn out onto the rack to finish cooling. Freezes well though recipe may be halved.

Cook's Notes: Metal pans are recommended as ceramic tends to overbrown and overcook the bread. I use White Lily all purpose flour. Halves very nicely for a single loaf. The orange zest may also be omitted if you don't have oranges on hand. Leftover, sweet quick breads like this banana bread make great French toast - try it sometime!!

Caramelized Banana Bread: Instead of adding bananas into batter, slice them lengthwise and brown in a large skillet of 2 tablespoons melted butter. Remove and set aside. Add 2 additional tablespoons of butter and stir in 1/4 cup of light brown sugar. Add to bananas and mash together. Add to batter a little at a time.

Hummingbird Bread: Reduce bananas to 5 and add in one 8-ounce can of undrained crushed pineapple and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to your dry ingredients. Prepare as above. Serve as is, or with a cream cheese frosting - combining an 8 ounce block of cream cheese and stick of butter, adding a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a (1 pound) box of powdered sugar. Beat until creamy and frost bread on tops and sides.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Bread: Omit citrus and blend in 1-1/2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract and 1/4 cup of cocoa powder. Fold in 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and divide batter between pans. Divide 1/4 cup of additional chocolate chips on top of each loaf and bake as above.

Peanut Butter Banana Bread: Omit citrus and combine 1 stick butter with 1 cup creamy peanut butter.


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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on December 28, 2008
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  1. Could you put a print link on this recipe when you get a chnace. I absolutely love banana bread and I can't wait to try this recipe.


    Henry Hayes
    Port Lavaca, TX

  2. Done! Thanks so much for mentioning this Henry - it's one I hadn't gotten back to yet. Hope you enjoy it. Take care not to let it go too long so depending on your oven start checking it at about 40 minutes or so. Last time I made it, I got distracted & it overcooked. Wasn't nearly as good so I won't make that mistake again!!

  3. This recipe looks fabulous, I just have one quick question... Do I use the whole rind of the orange, or just the zest? Thanks a bunch!


  4. Oh goodness - I missed that! Thanks - it is just the zest!! :)

  5. I LOVE your site..cannot stop copying recipes...many of which I actually make! Makes me miss my Mississippi childhood. Go girl! you rock!

    1. Those kinds of comments about our home state sure do make me happy. To be reminded of our home, that's the best compliment - thank you!!

  6. I'm gonna use this recipe, but we grow our own lemons. We grow a lemon called Meyers Lemon. It is a cross between a lemon and orange. Has a fantastic lemon flavor with a hint of orange. Also the fruit is as big as a small grapefruit. Yummy!!!!

    1. I LOVE Meyer lemons Janet!! I bought one of the smaller potted trees, but I only got 2 or 3 lemons the first time it fruited and haven't had a single lemon since. It blooms out beautifully, has plenty of bees & butterflies but the tiny fruit buds just keep dropping off. I have no idea what I am doing wrong or not doing!

  7. Mary does the butter make the loaf moist? I'm looking for a good recipe because so many I've tried have been dry. I think my mother-in-law adds oil. About to give it a try. Thanks.

    1. I think it does Debbie! It gives it a richer flavor to me also. All ovens are different, so just take care not to overcook the loaves - that's the biggest culprit for dryness and I've been guilty of it myself. I tend to, well, let's say, get distracted! I have two eggs for breakfast just about every day - mostly scrambled. I have made an accidental frittata more times than I could say because I walked away from my scrambled eggs & forgot I was cooking them! :) They were mostly salvageable though. Thank goodness for non-stick is all I can say.

  8. Absolutely DELICIOUS!!! My bananas had absolutely black skin and had been in freezer waiting for a great recipe. this recipe was overly ripe bananas with black skin just needed a squeeze to get all the banana fruit into the mixing bowl.TY for this recipe!!

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe & thanks so much for letting me know!

  9. I was just wondering why there is no baking powder since there is acid from the citrus to leaven it & not much mixing. Is this a flat & dense cake without much rise? Is it really moist? Been looking for a recipe to tweak into a heavy & dense banana (nut or not)loaf/cake that I can drench in my Southern Comfort caramel sauce & top with candied bacon (also candied in the SoCo sauce)..a "Drunken banana cake/loaf" if you like.

    1. Hi Joanie! The baking soda is sufficient leavening with the acids, no baking powder is needed with this recipe. It is pretty typical of the rise on banana bread and is neither flat nor dense, as noted by the pictures in the post above. It's a tender, moist banana bread. In the body of the post is a picture of one of the loaves cut in half, using 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. I'm not sure it would hold up to a heavy drench of caramel sauce, though it certainly would take some. Thinking in terms of the classic rum cake recipe. Hope that helps!


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