I absolutely love banana bread. There, I said it. What first started as a hackneyed coping mechanism during the lonely lockdowns of 2020 has now become, through trial and error, an almost weekly baking ritual in my household – as well as a canvas for exploring more seasonal fruit-based cakes.
This versatile dessert is not only a great way to use up those last couple of bananas that no one wants, but also is also perfect if you’re hosting a brunch or afternoon tea (or get peckish late at night). Sliced and packaged, banana bread also makes for an excellent basket stuffer or hostess gift during the holiday season. There’s nothing more personal than gifting something you’ve made yourself, right?
For this particular banana bread recipe, I’ve cut down on the refined carbs by using mostly wholewheat flour, which is made from grinding the whole kernel of wheat. This way, it retains the fibre, proteins, and nutrients lost during the processing of refined white flour. As a general rule, using wholewheat flour requires more hydration in your batter or dough, hence the use of yoghurt in this recipe. Keep it plain or mix in some extras before popping your bread in the oven. I usually add chopped walnuts, blueberries, or chocolate chips, or enjoy it plain with some blackberry jam or ice cream on the side.
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1¾ cup wholewheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1 tablespoon vanilla essence or extract
- 113 grams butter
- ¾ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2-4 overripe bananas, mashed
- 2 tablespoons full-fat yoghurt, beaten
- Mix-ins: chocolate chips, blueberries, walnuts (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC and line a 9×5 pan or 2lb loaf pan with parchment paper. Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature so that they’re easy to mix together.
2. In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), beat together the sugars and softened butter until smooth and no lumps remain. Start at low speed and increase gradually to high speed. Add the yoghurt, vanilla extract/essence, and beat until smooth.
3. In a small bowl, beat the eggs and then add to the sugar mixture bowl until well combined, making sure to scrape down the sides. In another bowl, finely mash the bananas with a fork. Add the mashed bananas to the sugar mixture and fold until just combined.
4. In a separate large bowl, sift the flours, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and whisk until everything is combined. Add half of the flour mixture to the sugar and banana mixture, and gently fold it in until just combined – do not overmix. Then, add the remaining half until just combined and no streaks of flour remain.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Add in your toppings (optional) and bake for one hour or until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.
6. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Allow the banana bread to cool within the tin as this will make it easier to pull it out. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream or jam.