Easy Banana Bread {Lightened Up}

April 5, 2011

As many of my readers probably know by now, I really love quick breads and eat them almost everyday (on the days that I don’t eat them, I get really grouchy). A few of my friends have asked me whether I have tried to make my banana bread lighter.  And the answer is yes, of course I have! I honestly don’t recall where the source of this recipe was, I have had this for over 15-years, but it is a lighter version of this Easy Banana Bread recipe that I posted earlier this year.

Of all of the other quick breads that I have made, this is the only version that I must say transformed beautifully into a “lighter” bread without losing its beautiful flavor and texture.  I substitute half of the butter with unsweetened apple sauce, use white wheat flour, omit the walnuts, and add a little bit more of mashed bananas into the mixture. Finally, I add a couple of tablespoons of dark chocolate chip morsels because dark chocolate has been said to be healthy! But feel free to omit those. The key here is to make sure that the bananas are very ripe; to ensure that they are tender and have excreted all of that sweet goodness. With this lighter version, I think I can have an extra slice! By the way, I’m absolutely in love with this cinnamon pecan streussel, so I added some for topping–and they were divine. Happy baking! 🙂

Source: Blissfully Delicious original

1-3/4 cups white wheat flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup butter/margarine, softened
1/3 cup of unsweetened apple sauce
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1-1/2 cup mashed ripened bananas (make sure that the banana skin is almost black)
2 tablespoons of dark chocolate chip


Blend in everything, bake at 350 degree for an hour in a 10×4 pan or, in 2 loaves of 8×3.

Yield: 8 servings per loaf.


Banana Stuffed French Toast

January 22, 2011

As soon as I  saw this recipe printed on a recent Williams Sonoma catalog, I knew that I had to make these. I love having bananas for breakfast; and love them in all of my baked goods.  I don’t normally make French Toast at home not because I don’t love them-but because I don’t have access to places that sells breads that would make wonderful French Toast. This was a great excuse for me to make Challah; which I had been putting off for a very long time. While this recipe calls for a specialized panini maker; I think they be as wonderful as well on a regular griddle; you just need to flip them to ensure that both sides get browned. I really loved how the caramelized bananas inside the gorgeous challah slices really added sweetness and interesting contrast of texture to the crispy bread. I think having the right kind of bread is very critical in this recipe. If you are looking for something special to make; this may be one to try. Next time, I would also double the amount of caramelized bananas and used them as topping as well.  Happy eating!

In case you’re looking for more breakfast recipes that uses this power fruit; check out the following recipes:

Banana Bread, Easy
Banana Bread, Flour Bakery Famous
Banana Bread, Kona Inn
Banana Crunch Muffins
Banana Pecan Muffins

Recipe by Chef Bryan Voltaggio via Williams Sonoma

2 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. plus 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbs. water
2 large ripe bananas, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1-lb. loaf day-old challah, ends trimmed, bread cut into 6 slices, each 1 1/2 inches thick
2 cups milk
6 eggs
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. granulated honey ( I used 1/4 tsp of regular honey–not sure if this was the correct amount)
Seeds from 1/4 vanilla bean

In large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter. When the foam subsides, add the 2 Tbs. granulated sugar and the water, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cook until the mixture is lightly caramelized, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the bananas and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool. Using a small, sharp knife, cut a slit 2 inches long in one side of each bread slice, cutting three-fourths of the way. Stuff the pockets with the banana mixture, dividing evenly.

Preheat an electric panini maker to “panini” mode. Set a wire rack on a baking sheet.

In a large bowl, combine the milk, eggs, cinnamon, granulated honey, the 1/2 cup granulated sugar and the vanilla bean seeds and blend with an immersion blender. Pour into a baking dish. Soak half of the bread slices for 5 minutes, turning occasionally.

Place the bread on the panini maker and cook, adjusting the top plate so it lightly presses the bread, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the rack-lined baking sheet. Soak and cook the remaining bread slices. Serve the French toast with maple syrup and your favorite toppings.

Yield 6.

Roasted Banana Cinnamon Rolls

May 22, 2010

Red loves cinnamon rolls.  And I love anything with bananas. When I saw this recipe on Picky Palate, I knew that we had to make this very soon. I love bananas, so I used three bananas, and even that–I felt like I could have used more. In the future, I think I would probably add another two bananas. Depending on the ripeness of the bananas, you can also adjust the amount of sugar used. These rolls were absolutely to die for! I know that we’ll be making this again soon.

1 tube of Pillsbury French Bread Roll (I used my cinnamon roll dough)
3 ripe bananas cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons softened butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Place banana slices and cut up pieces of butter into a small baking dish.  Sprinkle with brown sugar and bake for 25 minutes or until golden and bubbly.  Remove and let cool for 10 minutes.  Next, use a fork to smash roasted bananas until well combined.

Reduce heat to 350 degrees F.  Unroll dough into rectangle.  Spread with softened butter and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.  Place dollops of roasted banana mixture evenly over top.  Starting from long end, roll up into log shape.  Using a sharp knife, cut 1 inch slices and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until just turning golden brown.  Remove and let cool for 10 minutes.

Whisk powdered sugar and heavy cream until combined; drizzle over top of warm rolls.

Yield: 12 rolls

Easy Banana Bread

January 31, 2010

Banana bread is simply one of my favorite things to bake. I have tried several different recipes in the past; some that I have liked, and other were okay. But I keep on going back to this hand-written recipe that I can’t even remember the source. I have been making this version below for probably over 15 years. There is nothing fancy or special with recipes; it calls for standard pantry items and very ripe bananas. I usually wait until my bananas are very brown that they give off these incredible sweet smell, then I would look forward to making these on the weekends’ morning.

If you want to try other varieties, here are the two that I have posted in the past:

Banana Bread, Flour Bakery Famous
Banana Bread, Kona Inn

1-3/4 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup butter/margarine, softened
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed ripened bananas
2/3 cup chopped walnuts


Blend in everything, bake at 350 degree for an hour in a 10×4 pan.

Yield: 10 servings

Banana Cream Pie

April 20, 2009

I have been wanting to make a banana cream pie forever. All of the recipes that I have seen used 6+ eggs, some even call for 8-10 eggs! I wanted a simple recipe that produces delicious result, so I thought this Paula Deen’s recipe was a good one to use a starting point.

So what was the verdict? This pie has a wonderful flavor, but I thought that the filling could be a little less runny. “But it’s not supposed to be firm,” Red pointed out. I was wondering if he was right… Here are a few more observations.

We ended up using a 1% milk instead of whole-milk like she called for (and this could have been the reason the pie was runnier than I had expected). I also used 3 large bananas so I could make 2 layers of fruit. My bananas also were very ripe, so next time, I would probably take 2 T of sugar out of the measurement because I want my desserts to be a little less sweet than standard dessert.

Adapted from: The Lady and Sons, Savannah Country Cookbook by Paula Deen
Serves 6-8 pieces

1/3 cup plus 1/4 sugar, separated
3 T cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups milk
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 T butter
2 tsp vanilla
2 egg whites
2 bananas, sliced (or more)
One 9-inch pre-baked pie shell

In a saucepan over a medium heat, combine 1/3 cup of sugar with the corn-starch and salt. Blend in the milk, then egg yolks. Cook and stir until mixture thickens. Remove from heat, stir in butter and vanilla. Cool to room temperature.

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form, gradually add 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold in egg yolk mixture. In pie shell, alternate layers of banana slices and cream filling. Cover and chill. Top with whipped cream and additional sliced bananas, if desired.

Ricotta Pancakes with Banana Pecan Syrup

April 19, 2009
I stumbled upon this while searching for a recipe to use up my big bucket of ricotta cheese. While I absolutely love Ina Garten’s Banana Sour Cream Pancake, I was still very intrigued by this recipe and didn’t mind another pancake recipe in my repertoire.

This recipe uses very simple ingredients that you can find in any pantry and ricotta (I guess you can argue this as a pantry staple in an Italian home). At the same time, it skips the vanilla extract or lemon zest that are the standard in most homemade pancakes. And… the verdict?

Wow, I was absolutely blown away! This is probably even lighter & fluffier than Ina’s recipe, and the syrup was just absolutely divine. It makes the regular maple syrup even appropriate for a company. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did.

Adapted from Food Network


For the Banana-Pecan syrup:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 small bananas, thinly sliced (3/4 cup)
1 cup cane or maple syrup

For the Ricotta pancakes
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, separated
2 cups milk
4 ounces ricotta, well drained (1/2 cup)
Butter or vegetable oil


For the Banana-Pecan Syrup:
Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the nuts and saute for about 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the bananas and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add the syrup and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, or until the syrup is hot and slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside in a warm place.

For the Ricotta Pancakes:
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt together onto waxed paper or a plate. Beat the egg whites in a medium bowl with an electric mixer or whisk until stiff but not dry. Beat the egg yolks, milk, and ricotta together in a large bowl until well blended and smooth. Add the dry ingredients and mix gently with a large spoon. Stir a spoonful of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it, then fold in the remaining egg whites with a rubber spatula.
Warm a serving platter in a 200 degree F oven.

Heat a nonstick flat griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium high heat until hot. Grease with butter or vegetable oil. Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup batter per pancake onto the pan and cook for about 2 minutes, or until bubbles form on the surface, then flip the pancakes over using a large wide spatula. Cook on the other side for 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer the pancakes to the warm platter.

Serve immediately or hold in the oven while you cook the rest of the pancakes. Serve the pancakes on heated plates topped with the syrup.

Flour Bakery Famous Banana Bread

March 21, 2009

After my rather unsuccessful attempt of making a new and better version of banana bread, I convinced myself to try another recipe. This time, I landed on the Flour Bakery‘s famous Banana bread’s recipe. The interesting part of the recipe was that it calls for oil and the use of sour cream –which I had never tried before in my quest to find a perfect banana bread recipe. I only had 3 very ripe bananas, so that’s all I used. I also used sour cream instead of cream fraiche.

I was actually pretty satisfied with the recipe. It was very moist, full of flavor, and had just enough sweetness from the banana. It took a little bit longer than an hour to bake (to make sure the center baked completely and wasn’t goey), probably about an hour and 20 min. I wonder that maybe Chef Joanne uses her industrial convection oven, which would bake slightly differently than my modest oven at home. And this recipe didn’t call out for the size of the pan, so I used the regular 8×4 loaf pan.

Overall though, this was a winner in my book — and will try again. Red was pretty happy with the flavor and we thought that next time, maybe we’ll follow this slightly different version of the same recipe on Runner’s World, where it calls for applesauce in replacement of oil, and uses 9×4 pan. Enjoy!!!

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
3 1/2 bananas, very ripe, mashed
2 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped


Set oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a loaf pan with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Beat sugar and eggs with a whisk until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Drizzle in oil. Add mashed bananas, creme fraiche, and vanilla. Fold in dry ingredients and nuts. Pour into a lined loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Banana Bread on Foodista