Monday, March 4, 2013

Banana Nut Bread

When Joyce from Kitchen Flavours suggested this recipe for our bake-along with me and Lena, from Frozen wings late last year, I know instantly that this is the most ideal fuel for my marathon training...

Comparing to my previous moist and buttery Martha Stewart's banana loaf, this one has lesser butter and banana but contains buttermilk instead. If you are expecting a fluffy cake, this is definitely not the kind. This banana bread is dense in its texture and fully packed with lots of banana and energy. For my training, I had to fast-forward my bake-along baking to bake this loaf. Being filling to eat and long-lasting for my energy supply, this banana bread has been really effective for my training. And not surprisingly at all, I have actually baked this recipe for more than once!

By accident, I have discovered an interesting way of baking this loaf with a nice nutty crowning top and here's something to share... Instead of mixing in the nuts into the cake batter, I filled up the cake batter to about 80% of the prepared pan and then gently push in the pre-roasted nuts from the top of the batter. The finishing bread would be then beautifully dome-shaped with the nutty topping after baking.

Besides sticking to the original recipe, I have also baked them in form of banana muffins with chocolate chips for me and my son... And all I can say is we are going bananas with all these banana baking!

My banana bread with a nutty dome 
The essential ingredients
This is how I made my banana bread with this nutty crowning top...
This banana bread is dense and very filling to eat.
Using this recipe to bake banana chocolate chips muffins for my son...
Enjoying slices of this bread with light spread of honey... They are very powerful for my run!

Here's the recipe from Williams-Sonoma
(with my modification in blue)

6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar (reduced to 150g)
2 or 3 very ripe bananas, coarsely mashed (about 1 1⁄2 cups)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1⁄2 cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda (replaced with baking powder)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (replaced with ground cinnamon)
1⁄2 tsp salt
3⁄4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts (I used per-roasted walnuts)

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until creamy, about 1 min. Add the bananas and eggs and beat until smooth. Add the buttermilk and beat just until combined.

In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, salt and nuts. 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.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. It should be no more than two-thirds full. Bake until the loaf is dark golden brown and dry to the touch and the edges pull away from the sides of the pan, 55 to 60 min. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean. Let the bread rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn the loaf out onto a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut into thick slices to serve. Makes one 9-by-5-inch loaf.

Storage Tip: Wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature overnight or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Note: Using 2/3 of this recipe with raw caster sugar, I've baked this bread in a 8 cm x 17 cm loaf pans at 160°C fan forced for 50 min. 

Using the full amount of this recipe with light brown sugar and chocolate chips (instead of walnuts), I've baked 16 standard size banana chocolate chip muffins at 160°C fan forced for 20 min.

Happy Baking
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Thanks Joyce! This banana bread is very fuel-efficient and great as energy consumption for all sporting events!
Please note that the linky tool for bake-along is no longer available.


  1. Hiya Zoe, this looks yummy. My loafs never rise so so much. Your pics are gorgeous! x

  2. That banana bread looks absolutely stunning.

  3. Hi Zoe,
    I love your 步步高升 banana nut breaad, looks so perfect.
    Can i have one piece? hehe!

  4. Hi Zoe! Banana and walnut! I like this bread for the nutrients and source of energy! Perfect for my training...

  5. I love the way the nuts are mostly on top and the bread more dense at the bottom. Beautiful.

  6. Hi Zoe
    Banana and walnut always goes well with each other. I loves banana cake or bread...but my banana always seems disappear by the time it ripes well for my bakes. So it never been able to bake banana cake.

  7. hi zoe
    This is great...i love banana bread with nut..

  8. Oh wow, it looks so moist Zoe! And congrats on finishing the marathon. :)

  9. Hi Zoe,
    Yeah, this bread cake is an energy booster! LOL!
    Adding choc chips are great for the little ones!
    Very nice medal! Congratulations again! :)

  10. Oh YUM! Who doesn't love a delicious homemade banana nut bread?! Always a winning combination!!!!!

  11. Hi Zoe, love that nutty topping and drizzle of honey!

  12. Zoe, "jia yiu jia yiu" for your marathon training! I like your idea of gently pressing the nuts on top of the cake batter, I think in the future, if I'm going to bake any fruit butter, banana or nut cake, I will sure use your method(if i remember, haha)

  13. I love the height on your banana bread!

  14. Zoe, love the way you add the walnuts. If I bake this, I will make it into muffins. I know it is delicious. And wow, you run the marathon!

  15. That sure looks like a very filling cake, full of nuts and fibre, yet very healthy! Gorgeous with the nuts crowning the top!

  16. Zoe! A Marathon Medal!!...well done on your achievement and determination:) I couldn't do that I really admire those who could and DID!

  17. Zoe, i ♡ yr bread in tis square shape... yumyumyum!!!! Yes , me too ♡ yr walnuts in yr bread! Kudos:))

  18. I can eat this plain without anything with a cup of white coffee. This bread will send me to heaven. Looks so good, Zoe.

  19. I'm a fan of walnut but not bananas. Will probably substitute it with another fruit. Mmmm..... wonder what's nice to go with walnuts......

  20. Good tip for the nutty dome shape, adds crunch to the crust!

  21. OMG this is stunning!!
    Have a nice week

  22. Hi Zoe. Thanks for organizing this Bake-Along. It was a lot of fun. It was the first time I baked Banana bread. Positive: Very easy to do. Result was a beautiful bread and it smelled lovely in the house for hours :). I like aswell the fact that you don't have to through away old bananas. Negative: too much sugar in the recipe. Next time I will use only half. Aswell i think I will use Walnuts instead.
    I liked the way you put the nuts on the top. Will do this next time. Good idea.
    I am training for half-marathon so this bread is perfect for me :).
    Congrats on your marathon finish. This is my goal but in couple of years :).

  23. This cake looks really dense , flavorful with nice nut topping.Wow! Congratulations on finishing the marathon ! Bravo!

  24. Zoe , your banana cake looks so pretty ! I love the small loaf tin :D

  25. it looks cute too with that nutty dome! so can i say this banana bread was also your little secret to your marathon achievement? hehe...of course also not forgetting our cheers and support given to you! :D

  26. Love this loaf Zoe... For me, a banana bread is not complete without nuts! So great addition!

  27. Hi Zoe, love the way crown on the loaf! It looks so cute!

  28. Oh my! I love walnuts in baking. I like how it stayed at the top, it made this bread look more beautiful.

  29. Beautiful creations! Nut and banana is a perfect combination!

  30. We love banana bread and this recipe looks awesome!

  31. Love the extra generous walnuts on the banana loaf but the cutest are the muffins with choco style!!

  32. Hi Zoe,
    Your banana nut loaf looks so cute with the walnut crown.
    OH!! so this is like a energy bar for you, in the marathon... :p
    No wonder you are so great :)

  33. I will be trying this recipe as soon as my bananas get overripe! :)

  34. Zoe, yours muffin using that recipe looks great. I want some over here too.