16 March 2009

Mom's Favorite Banana Bread

We all have our favorite recipes for different things, and this is my mom's favorite recipe for banana bread. It's from her old Joy of Cooking cookbook, and she's been making it for a while now.
What she likes about this particular recipe is that it's moist, cake-like in texture with a hint of lemon, and it stays white. To elaborate, she likes whole grain foods, but that's not what I'm talking about. Many banana recipes tend to take on that hue when bananas are left in the air to oxidize, and I'm guessing that since this recipe has lemon juice in it the citric acid prevents that from occurring. All I really know is that someone exclaimed to my mom that she was amazed that this banana bread was white, as her son wouldn't eat banana bread because of the color.

To the basic recipe I added what ended up being too many blueberries and toasted pecans. You might be saying that one can never have too much when it comes to blueberries, but it does affect how easily it can be sliced. I also glazed the top with a runny buttercream (Mom does that occasionally).

Everyone enjoyed this, especially mom. It's almost insane not to enjoy a moist, tender, blueberry and pecan-flecked slice of banana bread. Just sweet enough to nicely enhance the natural sweetness of the banana, and a subtle lemony flavor that is always a winner, this is a perfect treat any time of the day. This tastes good toasted, too.

Recipe after the jump

Quick Banana Bread
Recipe from Joy of Cooking, with very minor changes by us

1¾ cups sifted all-purpose flour
2¼ teaspoons double-acting baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup shortening
⅔ cup sugar
¾ teaspoon grated lemon rind
½ teaspoon pure lemon extract or fresh lemon juice
1 egg, room temperature
1 cup ripe banana pulp mixed with ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
½ toasted chopped pecans (optional)
½ fruit of your choice (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease an 8x4-inch loaf pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.

  2. Place shortening, sugar, lemon rind and extract in a large bowl and beat for 2-3 minutes or until blended and creamy. Beat in egg and mashed banana. Add sifted ingredients in three parts to the sugar mixture, blending the batter until just combined after each addition. Fold in nuts and fruit, if using, then pour batter into prepared baking pan; bake for about 50-60 minutes or until skewer inserted in center comes out clean (the pressing method works, too).

  3. Place baking pan on cooling rack and let cool for 10 minutes before removing and cooling completely on rack. (Not that you can't slice it when warm, but let it cool at least 20 minutes longer before doing that.)


  1. Mmmmm! This is going to go on my must cook list for the week.

    I assume that is 1/2 cup for the pecans and fruit, right?

    Also, I'm sure I can find a bunch of recipes for a buttercream, but would love to hear what yours was if you have time to post it.

    Thanks for the great idea and recipe!

  2. Veggie Girl - I like recipes accompanied by traditions. That's what baking's all about. =)

    Justin - Thanks!
    It's 1/2 each pecans and fruit, so up to 1 cup total. You can vary the amounts to suit your taste.

    The buttercream is a simple one from Wilton, I think it's half butter-half shortening, but I simply added too much liquid so it's been in the fridge since rock of ages, waiting to be used up.

    A quick recipe is to take 1-2 TBSP softened butter in a bowl, "whip" it with a fork, then add a few tablespoons of sifted confectioners' sugar, a drop of vanilla extract or flavoring of choice, then add drops of milk until it's as thin as you prefer.

  3. I was just thinking how nice banana bread would be. Will have to add this to the week's baking list.

  4. i remember the first time i had banana bread.. i loved it.

  5. this looks fabulous!! all juicy berries and all :)

    (yes it is "snowing" on my blog pics! i may have to take that down soon...)


  6. I love banana bread, although I've never it with blueberries before. I'm bookmarking this recipe!

  7. Thanks for sharing this well-tested recipe. Looks extra good with the runny buttercream.


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