Banana bread is one of life’s simple pleasures. Moist, soft, and full of possibilities. It also allows for creative liberties. You can make plain ol’ banana bread, or jazz it up in so many different ways.
I prefer to make my banana bread special each time by topping/stuffing it with brown sugar, and adding some kind of nut. Cashews and walnuts seem to be crowd favorites. In the fall, I add Pumpkin Pie Spice to feel a bit more festive.
My baseline recipe that I use is from LoveMischka. It’s a no fuss recipe that allows for all kinds substitutions, add-ins, and general yumminess. And the best part? NO OIL. The bananas provide all the moisture you need, with some butter added in for some density and delicious flavor.
The star of the show, however, is something I concocted myself. While I’m sure this isn’t a novel idea, I’m pretty dang proud that I thought to do this. Are you ready?
Brown. Sugar. Center.
Please, try to hold your applause. In all seriousness, adding some brown sugar goodness elevates this recipe to new heights. I’ve even put cream cheese in it before for some creaminess and tang! It works really well. With that said, let’s get to the recipes.
Banana Bread Ingredients:
- 2-4 VERY RIPE bananas (brown, mushy, basically too gross to eat).
- 3/4cup of sugar (potentially 1/2cup if you’re using 4 bananas! Also, not really wet, but mixes with wet ingredients well).
- 1 large egg
- 1tsp of vanilla extract (I never measure this, I just eyeball it).
- 1/3cup of melted butter
- 1 1/2cups of flour (self rising or all purpose; honestly either work).
- 1tsp baking soda
- 1/4-1/2tsp cinnamon
- 1/4-1/2tsp nutmeg
- ***For spices: I dump whatever I feel like into the bowl, and a lot of it. I used Pumpkin Pie Spice in my most recent batch!***
- Optional: walnuts, cashews, chocolate chips, chocolate powder, etc. The possibilities are endless!
Brown Sugar Filling Ingredients
- 1/3-1/2cup of Light, packed brown sugar
- 1/3-1/2cup of butter, softened
- 1/3-1/2cup of flour
- Pinch of salt
- Splash of vanilla extract
- Optional: 1/2 block of cream cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325-375 depending on your oven. Bake times may vary).
- Spray your loaf pan with non-stick spray, or coat with butter/oil. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together wet ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, add flour, baking soda, and spices. Stir/sift well and get all dry ingredients incorporated.
- Slowly pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Mix while pouring to keep batter smooth. DO NOT pour all at once!
- Pour all mixed ingredients into your greased loaf pan.
- Using a spoon, drop globs of the brown sugar mixture into the middle of your raw batter.
- Using a toothpick, knife, another pointed object, marble the brown sugar on the top of the batter (It will drop into the bottom and middle of the bread while baking).
- Top with anything you’d like! Nuts, chocolate chips, blueberries, etc. Anything goes.
- Recommended bake time is 40 MINUTES. However, ovens vary. Use discretion.
- Use the toothpick method to ensure the middle is baked thoroughly (poke the bread in the middle, all the way through. If the toothpick is clean, it is done. I sometimes pull my baked goods out of the oven even if there is a small amount of batter on the toothpick. It will continue to bake it the pan. Only a SMALL amount of batter, though).
- Remove from oven using oven mitts and let cool in the pan! Serve by itself at room temperature, warm it in the microwave, serve with ice cream or coffee, whatever your heart desires!
You’ll be left with moist, sweet, delicious banana bread! I included cashews and the brown sugar filling in this batch.