Third Time’s the Charm? Quest for the Best Banana Bread.

Tonight the kids and I whipped up the third banana bread recipe for our quest. This particular version is adapted from Martha Stewart’s banana bread and was sent to me by an old high school friend. Thanks Liz! The major differences in this recipe compared to the first two are that it uses only white sugar and replaces the oil with sour cream. Until now, I had never seen a banana bread recipe with sour cream, so I was intrigued.

We started by mashing the bananas – Miss A was on hand to help in what has become her new favorite outfit (a princess nightgown), worn both day and night.

She did a great job, but didn’t understand why she couldn’t use her hands to mash them up.

The bananas were then added to a large mixing bowl with the sugar and remaining wet ingredients.

Once we creamed the wet ingredients we combined the flour, salt and baking powder in another smaller bowl. We then incorporated it into the batter half at a time and mixed until creamy.

Next we poured the batter into a greased loaf pan and baked it for an hour and fifteen minutes at 350F. After removing the banana bread from the oven, we turned it out on a serving dish.

Mr. N did us the honor of slicing the bread.

Then we all had some nice warm banana bread. One thing that’s mandatory when making banana bread – make sure to get a warm slice. Yum! 

Tonight’s recipe is probably the best on our quest so far, though we can’t say for sure until we test them all together. Mr. N, Miss A and I all give this one 4 spoons. Mr. N especially liked the crust, and I was really surprised by the results. I have to say I was leery of not using oil and brown sugar. As for dad he liked it, but says it still doesn’t stand-up to his favorite so he’s going with 3 spoons. 

Really we’ve yet to have a bad banana bread, or even just an okay one; so far it’s been a very tasty quest and we can’t wait to try the others in our stack!

Print this recipe: Banana Bread

28 thoughts on “Third Time’s the Charm? Quest for the Best Banana Bread.

  1. A_Boleyn says:

    Yet another banana bread recipe from the “Shmecks” cookbooks written by Edna Staebler a Canadian writer who lives in Mennonite country north of Waterloo, Ontario.

    Buttermilk Banana Bread
    from Edna Staebler’s Shmecks books

    2 cups flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp salt
    1/4 cup vegetable shortening
    1/2 cup sugar (white or brown)
    2 large eggs
    2 ripe bananas (~ 1 cup mashed)
    1 tsp almond flavouring
    1/2 cup buttermilk

    In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar, add the eggs and mix well. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the mashed bananas and flavouring to the milk and add alternately with the flour mixture to the creamed mixture. When well blended, pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 deg F for 45 min to an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool and spread the slices with butter.

    Nut variation: Add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or other nut of your choice.

    Black Forest variation: Add 1/4 – 1/2 cups each drained and chopped maraschino cherries, and chocolate chips

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  2. Charles says:

    The first pic is too cute! 🙂 I always find banana bread batter (is it termed a “batter”) to look so damn unappealing – like sloppy cement or something. So weird to believe it rises up and solidifies into something so gooey and golden and delicious. Still haven’t made any myself – perhaps if I do well on my diet when I weigh in tomorrow and have lost some weight I might treat myself to this indulgence! Which one so far is the best in your opinion? I hope not this one because I can’t buy sour cream here 😦

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    • ChefMom says:

      Oh I love the weekly weigh-ins. Sigh. 😉 Well honestly of these three recipes my favorite was this one, but since you can’t get sour cream by you, hold out for another week or so and we’ll do our family favorite recipe for you next. No sour cream involved. 🙂 And I totally agree with you the batter does look like some kind of paste. I’m not a fan of licking it off the spoon either. This is one dish that’s much better cooked!

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    • ChefMom says:

      It definitely does – I was so surprised. I was afraid it was going to alter the taste too much, but really it didn’t. Thanks for visiting and commenting. Have a great weekend!

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  3. Suzanne & Alyssa says:

    Hi Chef Mom, long time no see 😉 alyssa and I have enjoyed following your adventures since Erin showed us your blog a few weeks ago! Very cool concept for sure, awesome way to get the kids involved in the kitchen and to get them to try more. Wanted to weigh in on the banana bread debate, I have a few recipes for this that are my own favorites, so if you’re interested I’ll pass them along. Also wanted to comment that demerara and turbinado are just of sugar, more coarse varieties of brown sugar. Think the little packets of Sugar in the Raw 🙂 Keep up the good work, we’re loving reading this and alyssa is loving seeing pics of her buddy Mr. N 🙂

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    • ChefMom says:

      Gotch-ya! Thanks Suzanne. Now that you’ve described it, I think I’ve seen the turbinado, but don’t think I’ve ever come across demerara. We’re having a lot of fun with this adventure. Feel free to send over the banana bread recipes. We can never have enough. 🙂

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      • A_Boleyn says:

        Muscovado is another type of unrefined sugar, like demerara and turbinado which all give a similar ‘brown sugar’ taste.

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        • ChefMom says:

          Ah now muscavado I have heard of – I need to spend more time in the spice section of the international market. Then again…I’d probably come home with way too much stuff. LOL.

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  4. Liz says:

    I’m happy to have played a role in your quest 🙂 It is fun to try recipes for the same thing and taste the subtle differences! Let me know if you go on a chocolate chip cookie quest and I will follow that for sure!!

    xo, Liz

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    • ChefMom says:

      LOL! Thank Liz. We are really happy with the recipe. Hmm….a chocolate chip cookie quest, actually any kind of cookie quest, that would be fun – but oh sooooo dangerous for me. It’s the one dessert I have no self-control over! 😉 Have a great weekend!

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  5. A_Boleyn says:

    Your hunt for the great banana bread recipe will ultimately be successful even if you just end up eating the results and never decide on JUST one. 🙂 I would hold out for one with brown/turbinado/demarara sugar though or even molasses. The sour cream sounds like it replaces milk and oil with yogurt also being a possible replacement. Are you considering nut/no nut variations in your search?

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    • ChefMom says:

      Ooooh! I’ve never heard of a banana bread with molasses, now that does sound good! We’re kind of a sans nuts family when it comes to banana breads. I’m not sure why. We all enjoy nuts, but for some reason just not in our banana bread. 🙂

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      • A_Boleyn says:

        I think if you were out of brown sugar you could combine white sugar half and half with molasses and get something with that rich, dark flavour. I’ve used the turbinado and demarara (I get easily tempted to try things I run across in bulk food stores). I can’t remember if you added any spices to your banana breads … cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom??

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        • ChefMom says:

          I’ve never heard of turbinado or demarara – are they spices? Sometimes we’ve added spices – cinnamon and nutmeg. We haven’t used cardamom yet. Our family favorite recipe doesn’t use any spices though, so that’s been fun to experiment with in these different recipes.

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  6. Kay aka Babygirl says:

    Oh that banana bread looks delicious. You know I had to call my mom and ask her culinary advice because I never heard of sour cream in a recipe like this either. She told me she has.. of course she has lol. But a warm slice of this bread would be such a treat for the day :). I hope you and the family enjoy your Memorial Day 🙂

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    • ChefMom says:

      The subtle differences in taste with these three recipes is really interesting. I mean at the core they all taste like banana bread, but there are definitely subtle differences. I think I’m a fan of sour cream, but yep…still need brown sugar.

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  7. Kelly says:

    Enjoying the quest…. plain yogurt is another great sub for sour cream – with the added benefit of higher protein and probiotics. Greek yogurt has a luscious, creamy texture that works particularly well.

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    • ChefMom says:

      Hi Kelly! I’ll have to go through and see if any of the recipes we have in our pile use plain yogurt and I’ll make sure to use the Greek yogurt if they do. Thanks for the tip! Have a great weekend. 🙂

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  8. thecompletecookbook says:

    What a great quest – I have used a family favourite recipe for the longest time and I still rate it as one of the best (how could I not) and recently found a recipe for a quick loaf which is also nice for a last minute pop in from a friend for tea. Your loaf really looks good.
    🙂 Mandy

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    • ChefMom says:

      It’s hard to find recipes that are better than an old family favorite! My dad and I used to make one together and it’s in our stack for the quest too. I haven’t had in years, so I’m not sure how it will stack up to the one that’s become our favorite. The kids are definitely enjoying this quest though. They get so excited with every new recipe. And it cracks me up how serious Mr. N takes his tasting. He puts serious thought into his consideration. LOL. Have a great weekend Mandy!

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