The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Banana Bread

dabrownman's picture

Banana Bread

This week we again baked, a little late as usual, with the 3 GMA’s.  This weeks bread was banana bread.  We were flat out of deserts around here and had been forced to eat Russell Stover candies for a few days, not the best option. So, when I saw the GMA’s fine examples, I knew my apprentice had to chime in with her take.


It is, of course, full of all kinds of other things besides bananas since Lucy has no self control whatsoever – I can’t figure out who she takes after but it can’t be pretty.  We changed our recipe a little for this bake.  Instead of 1 C of sugar split half and half between brown and white we only used 3/4 of a cup split.  We used 1/2 C each of almonds and walnuts instead of all walnuts.


Instead of 3 ripe bananas, we used 4 frozen ones - couldn’t wait any longer for the fresh ones to get brown.  We added some dried prunes to the dried apricots, raisins and cranberries in our usual snockerd mix.  We used 1 T of bourbon and 1 T brandy to do the snockering instead of our usual bourbon only.  Our current drinking bourbon is some very nice and old 103 proof premium small batch variety and way too good for dried fruit snockering in my book.


We also substituted 1/3 C of oats for some of the flour too.  We have these little packages of oatmeal everywhere and I am determined to get rid of them so they won’t fall out the cupboard every time you open a door… Sheesh!  One down.


We kept all the chocolate chips but made them the mini size this time - since it was going in the mini oven.  It took an hour at 350 F for this bread to hit 180F in the center and be declared done by Lucy who looked a little hungry if you ask me...... and 5 more F wouldn't have hurt any..


From what I can tell, none of the change we made for this bake hurt the taste of our banana bread in the least - which is usually made into cupcakes and frosted with cream cheese icing.  No frosting this time -plain will do.

Brownman’s Banana Bread or Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Dry Mix:

1 ½ C plus 2 T flour

¼ tsp salt

1/8 tsp each ginger, cloves, allspice

1 tsp each cinnamon and nutmeg

1 tsp baking soda

¼ tsp baking powder

1 C chopped walnuts

1 C chopped chocolate chips

Bourbon Fruit – add bourbon to below dried fruits in a Pyrex 1 cup measuring cup covered with plastic wrap.  Microwave on high for 30 seconds and set aside 15 minutes to plump up fruits.

2 T bourbon

¼ C raisins or sultanas

¼ C dried cranberries

¼ C dried apricots cut into raisin size pieces

Wet Mix:

 3 mashed up ripe bananas

1/8 cup sour cream

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

½ C vegetable oil

½ C each brown and white sugar 

Add ½ C sugar, ½ C brown sugar and Bourbon fruits to wet mix and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Mix the wet into the dry and stir 50 times with spatula until the flour is incorporated
Quickly fill cupcake paper liners 3/4th full or put into PAM sprayed large bread loaf pan.

Bake cupcakes for about 12-16 minutes until wooden toothpick comes out clean.  Loaves will take 45 minutes or more for wooden skewer to come out clean. 

After 20 minutes remove from pans and let cool completely on wire racks.  Ice both with cream cheese vanilla icing and put sprinkles on each to decorate per the holiday or special occasion.  Makes about 21 cupcakes or 1 large bread loaf pan.

Cream Cheese Frosting


1/4 C butter, softened

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

8 oz. package powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract.

You can cub the juice of ½ of a lemon and the zest if you prefer that to vanilla.


Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended; stir in vanilla.



isand66's picture

Wow that looks fantastic DA.  I could eat that whole thing in one sitting, but it wouldn't be fair to your apprentice so half would have to do.

Your inside looks nice and moist and I'm sure that bourbon and drunk fruit must make this the perfect BB.

Great baking.


linder's picture


Bourbon makes the world go round(especially if you drink too much), and I'll bet it gives a great flavor kick to the banana bread!  With all the fruit and nuts it's got to be seriously tasty.  One slice and coffee/tea in the morning and you're good 'til lunch. Nice baking.  Enjoy!


dabrownman's picture

is one of 8 basic food groups around here and we usually don't have a nip till 5 PM but this does make a fine breakfast bread....toasted with butter (my favorite) or  God forbid .....French Toast.  It's as good as panettone, challah or brioche for French toast.    This a seriously good banana bread  and you would like it.  Made as cupcakes with CC icing is our favorite for this recipe but we are trying to be less decadent even if the apprentice is putting up a fight.

Thanks for the nice comments Linda and

Happy Baking.

dabrownman's picture

our favorite desert recipes.  It was time to start cutting back the sugar in the recipe though.  I didn't miss it especially with all the other really good for you stuff fruits, nuts, chocolate and bourbon in the mix.  No icing either and none needed for such a low cal desert bread.

I'm not sure what the GMA"s are  baking next but I think my apprentice will do their take on Lemon Tea Cake.  We have plenty of bread till summer most likely.  Will have to use some limoncello and lemon peel for that one. 

This BB can be a little addicting so i froze it all except on slice and was real tast Ian.

Glad you liked it Ian.   Looking forward to your next bake. 

isand66's picture

I'm dreaming up a lemon bread...have not finished my plan just yet, but it will be more of lemon sourdough than a tea cake. Wish I had some of your famous limoncello to add to it though :).

I just got back from a visit at my office in PA and I brought them a couple of my Yeast Water, SD, onion Ale Rye breads.  I have to say it is becoming one of my favorites.

Look forward to reading about your limoncello tea cake!



Mebake's picture

Wow! Very rich, and aromatic, DA! well done! as side note, to avoid fruits sinking to the bottom, i read that you could dust them well with flour prior to incorporating them into the mix.


dabrownman's picture

definitely a desert bread or a rich breakfast one.  I did dust all the heavy mix ins like nuts and chocolate chips in the dry ingredients but in this case I forgot to incorporate the snockered fruits the first time I loaded it into the tin and oven so they were undusted.  I was closing the door of the oven when I saw the fruits sitting out so had to de-tin and remix the whole lot again quickly so things were not as evenly distributed as they were originally :-)  I'm not sure the flour dusting works when this happens .......

At least it doesn't have butter in it and can be considered lower in fat !  It sure tastes good.

Happy Baking Khalid

EvaB's picture

and I shall have to try the snockered fruit! I personally drink Scotch but wish I could get my first love up here, I started my drinking education with Old Crow burbon, it was what my Uncle bought, and he was sure that I needed to learn to drink "good" whiskey which was fine since I am not a rye whiskey fan although there are certainly good ones out there, I just like the taste of burbon or single malt scotch!