Category Archives: Quick Bread

Chocolate Banana Bread

Chocolate Banana BreadNobody really needs more than one recipe for banana bread, but here I am anyway, posting a fourth.Chocolate Banana BreadYes, now you can go into my archives and make banana bread four ways: whole wheat with walnuts, topped with oat crumble, vegan and made with just one banana, and today’s chocolate version! Because who needs cinnamon and nuts when you can have dutch process cocoa powder and chocolate chips?!Chocolate Banana BreadThis loaf is everything you want in a banana bread—easy, no-mixer, moist, rich, intensely flavored—with a fudgy stickiness usually reserved for chocolate cake. But since it’s a quick bread, this is socially acceptable for consumption before noon. You’re welcome.Chocolate Banana BreadChocolate Banana BreadThe rules for Chocolate Banana Bread are the same as with all my banana breads: use only the saddest of bananas and don’t stir the batter together more than 25 strokes. I’m serious—count your stirs aloud and stop at 25. The reason is simple: the more flour is stirred into liquid ingredients, the more its gluten forms. More gluten means tougher results. Rubbery banana bread? No, thank you! So, keep the stirring to 25 strokes and don’t be alarmed if there are a few floury streaks leftover; they’ll be long gone by the time your Chocolate Banana Bread comes out of the oven.Chocolate Banana BreadAnother quality this loaf shares with its cinnamon-spiked sisters? It’s good on day one, but unreal on day two. The chocolate and banana flavors combine and deepen overnight to create a near-brownie-like taste and texture that will have you going back for more! And since Chocolate Banana Bread has less sugar, oil, and flour than my other recipes, you can do that without thinking too hard.Chocolate Banana BreadChocolate Banana BreadLove that ❤ Chocolate Banana Bread

Chocolate Banana Bread
makes one 9×5” loaf

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder (I like dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons espresso granules (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup canola oil
3 large very ripe bananas, mashed
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips + more for topping

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9×5″ loaf pan. Line with parchment, leaving overhang on the long sides. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso granules, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together brown sugar, eggs and oil until combined. Whisk in mashed bananas. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to stir the batter 10 strokes, making sure to scrape the side of the bowl. At ten strokes, pause and add the chocolate chips. Stir an additional 10-15 strokes.

Transfer batter to prepared pan and top with additional chocolate chips, if desired. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with only a few moist crumbs.

Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before running a knife around the edge and using the parchment overhang to remove the bread to a rack. Cool completely before slicing and serving.

Leftovers will keep tightly-wrapped at room temperature for 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week.Chocolate Banana BreadChocolate Banana BreadChocolate Banana Bread

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One-Banana Banana Bread {Vegan}

One Banana Banana Bread {Vegan}I love banana bread. It’s a classic, easy crowd-pleaser, and while I’ve had a few that were subpar, I don’t think I’ve ever turned a slice away.

I already have two banana bread recipes on this site (see here and here). They are both pretty standard, containing the usual three overripe bananas. They’re great for those times when I have a bunch of near-rotten bananas lying around, but if I’m being honest, I rarely do. I buy a bunch nearly every week with the vague intention of making banana bread, but it almost never happens. Between breakfasts, snacks, and an obsession I have with creating a perfect banana milkshake, they’re gone long before they’re brown enough to be folded into brown sugar batter and slid into the oven.

One Banana Banana Bread {Vegan}Last night my boss offered me a banana that was far past its prime, casually suggesting that I make something with it. This is not an uncommon occurrence; people offer me their leftovers all the time in hopes that I’ll use them for some higher purpose. My biggest successes so far have been this Overnight Raspberry Cheesecake-Stuffed French Toast Bake and this Peanut Butter Granola.

I didn’t even have to think about what that banana would be thrown into–I came straight home to make an old favorite, Faux Martha’s One-Banana Banana Bread. I made this recipe over and over in the spring of 2015, using up overripe bodega bananas and messing with its chemistry in an effort to make it mine. I soon realized that her recipe was perfect already. As such, last night I had every intention of following her recipe to the letter, but upon discovering that I was out of eggs, I made a lot of adjustments at once.

One Banana Banana Bread {Vegan}The version I’m sharing today is vegan, made with a few easy changes. The “egg” is made from ground flaxseed and water. The buttermilk is a mixture of almond milk and apple cider vinegar. The butter is swapped for coconut oil. All the rest of the ingredients are standard fare: flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and so on. Fold them all together (but don’t stir too much–banana bread can easily be made tough), scrape the batter into a loaf pan, and bake for 40 minutes.

One Banana Banana Bread {Vegan}Now, this recipe does not make a ton of banana bread–there is just one banana in there after all–but the half-size loaf that it produces is seriously good. It’s dense, moist, and full of banana flavor. This loaf was made last night before bed, and when I woke up this morning to have a slice, the flavors had married perfectly.

For those of you wondering if this bread, being made without eggs and milk and butter, is as delicious as traditional banana bread, the answer is a resounding yes. I have toyed around with vegan baking here and there, but had never attempted a vegan banana bread until last night. I wondered if I’d be able to taste the flax or if the coconut oil would change the flavor, but I shouldn’t have worried. This One-Banana Banana Bread {Vegan} is just as delicious as the recipe that inspired it.One Banana Banana Bread {Vegan}

One-Banana Banana Bread {Vegan}
adapted from Faux Martha
makes 1 small 9×5″ loaf

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
3 tablespoons warm tap water
1/3 cup non-dairy milk
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
1 large ripe banana

Preheat oven to 300F. Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Set aside.

Make a flax egg. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together flaxseed and warm water. Let sit five minutes, or until thickened. Set aside.

In a measuring cup, whisk together non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together melted coconut oil and light brown sugar. Whisk in flax egg and non-dairy milk mixture followed by vanilla and mashed banana. Add dry ingredients. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold ingredients together (20 strokes maximum). Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let banana bread cool completely in the pan on a rack. Run a small, thin knife around the edge and invert. Slice and serve.

Banana bread is best the next day.One Banana Banana Bread {Vegan}

Oat Crumble Banana Bread

 I almost didn’t share this recipe. Heck, I almost didn’t make this recipe.

Two weeks ago, I received an order for a hummingbird cake, so I went out and bought the necessary coconut, pecans, pineapple, and bananas. But things happen, and I had to cancel four days before the cake was scheduled for delivery; a friend of mine passed, and I was asked to cater the memorial. It was something to which I simply could not say “no.” So the bananas continued to brown, and the first half of the Fourth of July weekend was spent marathon-cooking with my friend, David, going to the service, and making sure all of the 100+ guests were fed. 

I got home Saturday night and noticed the browning bananas on my way to bed, figuring I’d throw them in something the next day. Sunday, my friend Liz came over to make pie, and the bananas were neglected again. I went into work unexpectedly on the Fourth of July, so no baking happened that day. 

When I went to pour my cold brew on Tuesday morning, I noticed the little bunch of bananas drooping off my baker’s rack, brown and visibly soft, seemingly minutes away from being inedible. And so I peeled and mashed all four and gently stirred them into banana bread batter. I poured it into a loaf pan with every intention of keeping it plain…but that’s not really my style. Classic banana bread is great, but I’m the kind of baker who loves to add cinnamon swirls, layers of cheesecake, or at the very least, a handful of chocolate chips anywhere I can. But it’s hard to add any of that stuff once the batter’s in the pan and the oven is making your kitchen a sauna. I was about to tap the pan on the counter and slide it into the oven, but then I paused, grabbed a half-stick of butter I had leftover in the fridge, a canister of oats, and some walnuts, and mixed up a quick crumble to sprinkle over the top before baking. 

When I took the loaf out of the oven, I had no intention of posting the recipe. The oat crumble had huge, beautiful clusters, my whole apartment smelled of cinnamon and bananas, and I couldn’t wait to have a slice before heading to work, but who really needs another banana bread recipe? Once you have a good one, you make it over and over, forever-and-ever-amen. I already have a whole wheat version on here, and I wasn’t planning to add another anytime soon. Plus, I had a lemon cake on the docket. Again, I was not going to post this recipe. 

But then, I ate a slice. And I followed it with a second one. All afternoon at work, I thought about the soft cinnamon-banana bread base and the crispy, crunchy combination of oats, toasted walnuts, and brown sugar in the crumble. It really is perfection in a mouthful. And so the lemon cake got pushed to next week, and here I am posting a second banana bread recipe.

And that, my friends, is the very long story of how this Oat Crumble Banana Bread recipe came to appear on this blog. 

 Oat Crumble Banana Bread
makes one 9×5″ loaf

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup neutral-flavored oil (I like canola)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup plain yogurt (nonfat is fine)
4 large ripe bananas, mashed

Oat Crumble:
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts (optional)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9×5″ loaf pan and line it with parchment, leaving a little overhang on the long sides. Grease the parchment. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together oil and brown sugar, followed by eggs, plain yogurt, and mashed bananas. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to stir the batter together in no more than 20 strokes. There may be some small bits of visible flour–this is fine.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Set aside while you prepare the oat crumble.

In a small mixing bowl, stir together oats, flour, cinnamon, light brown sugar, salt, and walnuts. Use a pastry blender (or two forks) to cut butter into dry ingredients until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Use your fingers to scatter the crumble over the top of the banana bread batter. Tap the full pan on the counter five times before baking for 55-65 minutes, tenting with foil at the 30 minute mark. The banana bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with only a few moist crumbs.

Let the bread cool completely in the pan on a rack. Use the parchment overhang to lift the bread out of the pan onto a cutting board. Slice and serve.

Oat Crumble Banana Bread will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to ten days.

Cinnamon Swirl Zucchini Bread

 Isn’t it funny how our tastes evolve as we age? Things that we were horrified by years ago become our favorites out of the blue, leaving us with no idea of when or why our opinions changed. Sometimes we don’t even notice that we’ve changed at all.

For instance, my mother ordered a slice of zucchini bread once on a family vacation eighteen years ago. We were in who-knows-where Pennsylvania at the crack of dawn, eating breakfast at a picnic table outside a white clapboard coffee shop. I have no memory of what I ordered, but I remember being taken aback when my mom sat down with that bread. 

It was like I didn’t even know her anymore. Who was this woman, and why was she trying to ruin breakfast with vegetables? She offered me a bite and I recoiled in horror (internally, at least). Don’t get me wrong, I liked vegetables, but in my thirteen year-old mind, there was something utterly wrong about eating bread loaded with squash. 

But times have changed. Here I am eighteen years later, writing a blog post about zucchini bread. I don’t know when I moved over to the dark green side, but I’m now a card-carrying member. I mean, what’s not to love about soft, sweet, cinnamon-scented quick bread? It’s perfect for breakfast or a snack or dessert. Sure, there’s zucchini in there, but aside from a few green flecks, it’s not even noticeable. It’s only there for moisture. And you could use buttermilk or sour cream or yogurt for that anytime of year, but when the produce aisles are exploding with ripe, reasonably-priced zucchini, why not take full advantage?!

This zucchini bread recipe is a total classic and would be great with a cup of chopped nuts stirred into the batter, but today, let’s get a little crazy and fill our quick bread with a tunnel of melted cinnamon-sugar. Yes, you read that correctly. This isn’t any old zucchini bread–this is Cinnamon Swirl Zucchini Bread! 

So how do you get all that cinnamon-sugar goodness inside your quickbread? Well, it’s surprisingly easy. Once the simple no-mixer-required batter is stirred together, half of it is poured into the bottom of a loaf pan, then blanketed in cinnamon-sugar before the rest of the batter is layered on top. As the zucchini bread bakes, the cinnamon-sugar layer melts and moves as the bread rises. Once the loaf is completely cool, you can slice it up and see a little swirl of sweet cinnamon goodness throughout 😍 

Oh yes, this Cinnamon Swirl Zucchini Bread is something that even little thirteen year-old me could get excited about. And who wouldn’t? It’s moist, sweet, lightly spiced quick bread swirled with melted cinnamon-sugar, and it comes with a small serving of vegetables that you can’t even taste. It’s the dream. 

 Cinnamon Swirl Zucchini Bread
makes one 9×5″ loaf

For the pan:
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon neutral-flavored oil

Cinnamon Swirl:*
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Zucchini Bread:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup neutral-flavored oil (I use canola)
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups shredded zucchini, not packed (about 1 1/2 large zucchini)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Grease the pan. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together flour and oil. Use a pastry brush to paint the entire inside of a 9×5″ loaf pan. Pour out any excess. Set aside.

Prepare the cinnamon swirl. In a separate small bowl, use a fork to whisk together granulated sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

Make the zucchini bread. In a medium-large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together oil, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar. The mixture will be clumpy, like wet sand. Add eggs one-by-one, whisking to combine after each addition. Stir in vanilla, followed by shredded zucchini. Add dry ingredients, and stir just until combined (no more than 20-25 strokes).

Transfer half the batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with all of the cinnamon swirl mixture. Top with the remaining batter, spreading to cover the cinnamon-sugar layer. Lightly tap the pan on the counter to release any large air bubbles. Bake 40-50 minutes, tenting with foil at the 20 minute mark. Bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs.

Let zucchini bread cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Once the bread is cool, run a small thin knife around the edges of the pan before inverting to release. Slice and serve.

Store bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days.

Note:

If you don’t wish to use the cinnamon swirl, add an extra teaspoon of cinnamon to the zucchini bread batter.