Banana loaf is one of the easiest recipes that I bake on a regular basis. It not only helps me use up any bananas that are on the verge of overripening, it also gives me a chance to share homemade bakes with friends and family.
I learned this recipe when I was studying in the US, and the first time I made it I was rushing in between classes. So, I simply mixed everything in one bowl, poured the batter into a pan and left it on its own until it’s done. It came out perfectly, but on my second attempt since I had time on my hands, I took care to separate the eggs to whisk the whites and whipped everything until nice and fluffy. Disaster! This is one of those recipes that do not allow you to be finicky or try to be too precise.
Thereafter, every time I made this loaf I just ignored the lumps or any unmixed bits, and they baked perfectly. They can also be baked into mini loaves or muffins but you’d have to shorten the baking duration to 25-30 minutes.
The huge variant in the baking duration is because of the ripeness of your bananas. Ripe bananas tend to be wetter so they will take a bit longer to bake. The type of bananas also contributes to the baking time. I usually use pisang berangan or pisang emas, our local bananas that give an aromatic fragrance without any artificial essence. However, it is more common for Americans to use Cavendish for almost anything that involves bananas.
This recipe is also quite forgiving if you have more bananas that you need to use up. The recipe calls for one cup of mashed bananas, which consists of about three pisang berangan. You can comfortably add another whole banana without adding more of the other ingredients but just bake an additional 10 minutes or so until it is done. Any more than that, and you will need to increase the amounts of eggs, butter and flour proportionately.
We don’t usually see chocolate chips in banana loaves in Malaysia but it is quite common in the US. I usually go for chocolate chips with lower sugar content such as semi-sweet or dark chocolate. It gives a perfect balance of sweet and bitter complementing the wonderful flavour of our local bananas.
This loaf is especially delicious when it’s fresh from the oven. One of my favourite ways of enjoying it is to spread a dollop of butter on a warm slice and take a bite before it completely melts.
- 1 cup ripe bananas
- 115g butter + 25g for greasing
- 190g brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 250g all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 175g chocolate chips
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- Grease a loaf pan, line it with baking paper, then grease the paper and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whip the banana with an electric mixer on medium until coarsely mashed.
- Add butter, sugar and eggs and continue whipping until barely blended.
- Sift in flour with salt, baking powder and baking soda and continue whipping until just combined.
- Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts, then pour into the prepared loaf pan.
- Bake in a preheated 180°C oven for 60-75 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Cool for at least 10 minutes, remove from pan and cool completely before slicing to serve.