Monday, March 4, 2013

Banana Nut Bread : Free And Easy Bake-Along #40

It's my turn to select for our Bake-Along, and I've chosen Banana Nut Bread. I thought that we could do with something simple and nice, and this looks very simple. This is not actually a bread, to me the texture is somewhere between a bread and a cake. It certainly does not have the texture of a bread, so I guess it is closer to a cake, but again, this is much denser than a regular cake. 

Looks like a loaf cake to me, by the  crack on the crust, like most loaf cakes has. Whatever it is, this is quite nice. I made a couple of changes to the recipe as follows :
  • Firstly, as usual, I reduced the sugar, from original 250gm to 170gm. For me, I could further reduce the sugar by perhaps another 30gm or so.
  • Next, I substituted the buttermilk with a mixture of homemade yoghurt and milk. 
  • I noticed that the measurement for the flour in cups and grams are very confusing. In the recipe, it was written as 2 cups is 315gm, whereby the standard measurement for 1 cup of flour is anywhere between 113gm to 140gm, but I have always used 125gm for a cup of all-purpose flour. So here, I have used 250gm and not 315gm as stated in the recipe. 
  • I have reduced the bicarbonate of soda by half.
  • I've added 1/3 cup of golden raisins as I love raisins in banana cakes. I was planning to soak the raisins in some rum, but have completely forgotten about it. 
  • I've added 1 tsp of vanilla extract.

It smells lovely while it was baking in the oven.  The texture is dense, soft and moist. Chunks of sweet smelling banana is scatttered throughout the cake, with the nutty walnuts and flavour from the golden raisins makes a very nice combo. 

I had a slice for breakfast the next day, and the flavour has further improved, as it tasted much better.

A thick slice with a cup of warm tea, would keep you energized for your busy mornings!

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Banana Nut Bread
(adapted from "The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book")
Makes one 9 by 5-inch loaf
6 tbsp (90gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (250gm) sugar (I use 170gm)
2 or 3 very ripe bananas, coarsely mashed (about 1-1/2 cups / 280gm)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk (I use a mixture of yoghurt and milk)
2 cups (315gm) all-purpose flour (I use 250gm)
1 tsp baking soda (I use 1/2 tsp)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup (90gm) coarsely chopped walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts (I use walnuts)
1/3 cup golden raisins (my addition)
1 tsp vanilla extract (my addition)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Grease and lightly flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the bananas and eggs (and vanilla extract, if using) and beat until smooth. Add the buttermilk and beat just until combined.
  3. In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, salt and nuts (and raisins, if using). Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and beat just until combined. The batter should be slightly lumpy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. It should be no more than two-thirds full. Bake until the top is dark golden brown and dry to the touch and the edges pull away from the pan sides, about 55-60 minutes. A cake tester inserted into the center should come out clean. Let the bread cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut into thick slices to serve.
Storage tip : Wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature overnight or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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  1. Hi Joyce
    I am first to comment.... well I've been to Zoe, then to Lena and now you on the same Banana Walnut bread. It is really Bake Along ha....loves banana bread/cake. They always come out soft and moist in texture and the aroma fills the whole house while baking too!

  2. Hi Joyce, I've also cut the sugar and used walnuts. Raisins sound great in this. It is a delicious loaf!

  3. Joyce, I love all bakes with bananas in it. Yah, I find cup measurements confusing too and prefer recipes that come in grams hah! hah! Last weekend I baked some banana muffins and did what you did-substitute buttermilk with yogurt. It turned out very well. I must try this banana bread next.

  4. Hi Joyce,

    I think the substitution of buttermilk to yogurt seems to produce the similar result that I get. This is a dense cake and very energy-packed.


  5. I too try not to follow recipes with cups as measurements if I can help it, this cake looks lovely but too dense for me, I prefer lighter versions:)

  6. Hi Joyce.. my... i must have been missing quite a fair bit due to my "stopping" of bake blogging recently...
    This banana nut bread looks very tempting indeed... I should have time to bake once while i.wait for my nanas to b more ripen... waitz for me....:))

  7. Banana and nuts in bread, who can resist to it;

  8. Joyce, I can take these 3 slices at one go. Looks so yummy, fluffy and it raised so well. Fantastic.

  9. I just visited Mich Piece of Cake and Lena. You gals have baked it so beautifully. Drooling just looking at the photos....

  10. Wow! Love your version with addition of raisins & vanilla. Love the bits of bananas & raisins in this moist cake. I agreed that I prefer use yogurt than buttermilk & I'm always confused about cups & grams measurement. Thanks for the tips. But I must say that I've no luck with banana cakes that always turned out to be uncooked (too moist)! Tried quite a number of recipe but still haven't find the prefect one yet. So I will definitely give this recipe a go soon.

  11. Hi and thanks for organizing this Bake-Along. I really enjoyed it and it was first time I baked Banana Bread. Positive: Easy and beautiful cake. The smell in the house. Even better next day and perfect for my half marathon training. Negative: Too much sugar.

  12. hello joyce, thanks again for the alert of the flour amount. YOu know, sometimes i bake blindly..hehe..yeah, the texture of the cake is less softer than a 'cake' but then still good:)

  13. Beautiful! The cake looks really moist...just the way I love my banana cake.

  14. Our measurements here are still even more different as I use a 1 cup/250ml measure. Banana bread always goes over well for tea time or with children.

  15. Eileen, Hundred Eighty DegreesMonday, March 04, 2013

    Hi Joyce, do you know there's such day call National Banana Bread Day? It is on 23 Feb. I love banana cake.: ) Nice Bake..

  16. This is the 1st banana nut cake that I've seen today! Not sure that whether I had said this b4 but I love seeing the sexy crack in the middle of the cake!

  17. Banana and nut is such a great combination for cake. My whole family loves it.

  18. Another option of using banana in cake. Love banana ! Hope I manage to get some and join this time Bake.

  19. Joyce , maybe you should try Rose Levy Beranbaum's banana bread :D For sure , it is really a bread lol Love this moist and moreish bread er cake ?!

  20. Hi Joyce! So you were the one picked this for your baking event... I saw it on Zoe's, Lena's and Mich's blogs...

    Lovely cake... I mean bread... :D

  21. Looks good, I'm loving your version of banana bread. Must have this for breakfast. :D Got my eye on your next posts.

  22. i have never added raisins to my banana bread before but it sounds and looks like a genius idea. I must do that next time. What a wonderful recipe and your right- easy bake!

  23. Adding raisins, should be very nice too. I like this recipe.

  24. Joyce,
    I have made this banana bread following your recipe few days ago. The result is very good, my youngest loves it.
    Hope to post it by today :p