Here’s the thing about bananas: I only like them when they’re perfectly yellow. And that only gives, like, a 1-2 day window. At the first sign of a brown spot, I know they’re getting saved for banana bread.
Banana bread was one of my very favorite snacks as a child–preferably straight out of the oven with a slathering of cream cheese. I actually thought it was my mom’s recipe until I received a box of recipes as a wedding gift from her mom, my Gramma Tina. Banana bread is one of few passed down recipes that I have, so I certainly hold it dear.
It’s a pretty simple recipe, so sometimes I play around with it depending on what I have around. I might go halfsies with whole wheat and all purpose flour, or I might add espresso and cacao nibs (see notes). I might swap out some of the sugar for maple syrup or honey. But no matter what, I always lick the bowl.
3 very ripe bananas
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line and/or grease loaf pan(s) or muffin tin.
In a large mixing bowl, mash bananas with a fork or potato masher. Stir in melted butter, eggs, and sugar.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to wet, and stir until just combined. Fold in pecans, and pour batter into greased/lined pan(s).
Bake large loaves 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Decrease baking time for mini loaves and muffins to around 30-35 minutes.
Serve warm or room temperature with a smear of cream cheese or butter (if desired). Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Variations: add 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder to wet ingredients. Add 2 tablespoons cacao nibs (or chocolate chips) and/or swap out nuts for hazelnuts, walnuts, etc.
If making muffins, fill cups about 3/4 full. Use a spring-loaded cookie scoop to get perfectly rounded muffin tops.
Your bananas should be really ripe. Like, all the way brown. If you aren't ready to make banana bread when your bananas are ready, they can hang out in the fridge for a little while, or you can peel them and throw them in the freezer for longer (in a bag, of course).