Banana Bread

Back when I got married the first time – which would be (doing the math…) 24 years ago last month – my mother gave me Cooking Down East by Marjorie Standish as a wedding gift. Except that now that I type that, I think maybe it was a Christmas gift. Whichever, I’ve had it for 24 years and I love the hell out of it.

(One day I’ll make the Blueberry Cake, because that is the finest stuff on the face of this earth, I tell you what.)

Last week, Katherine gave me some bananas that were getting overripe, and I knew immediately that it was time to make this bread, because it’s been a while and a life without banana bread is just not worth living.

This recipe doesn’t call for nuts of any kind – I made it without nuts this time around, but I’ve added walnuts or toasted pecans in the past and had it turn out really good. It just depends on whether you’re in the mood for nuts. Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t. HA HA.


Banana Bread (1)

Shortening, salt, sugar, flour, baking soda, bananas. I keep shortening in my pantry for exactly two recipes: this one, and the Blueberry Cake. I honestly can’t think of any other recipe I use it for.

Banana Bread (2)

Cream the shortening, then add salt and sugar. The recipe says to add the sugar “gradually”, so I add about 1/3 of the cup of sugar at a time and let it blend in really well before I add more. When the sugar is all added, you add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each egg is tossed in. While that’s going on, I like to go ahead and sift my flour and baking soda together.

Banana Bread (4)

Did I mention that the light in my kitchen is crappy?

The recipe then suggests that you mash the bananas with a fork and then “beat until light.” I don’t do that, because there’s only so much I’m willing to do. I’m not going to mash the damn things and then beat them AND THEN put them in the mixer. I mean, seriously, what the hell? I AM TAKING A STAND, DAMNIT.

Then after you mash and beat the bananas (or don’t), you add the bananas to the batter alternately with the flour and baking soda (which you sifted together, remember?)

Banana Bread (7)

Banana Bread (8)

When it’s all mixed up, dump it into a greased loaf pan and bake for an hour. I like to start checking on mine at 50 minutes, just to be safe. I think this time around, it was done (checked with a toothpick) at 55 minutes.

Banana Bread (9)

Here’s the thing about any kind of quick bread like this: it needs to sit. It’s pretty good if you eat it as soon as it’s cool, but if you wrap it up in plastic and stick it in an out of the way cupboard for two or three days? It is FABULOUS. I wrapped mine in plastic wrap, intending to let it sit for a couple of days, but someone couldn’t wait that long, and got into it the very next day. I refused to eat any that day, but the day after that I ate a piece and holy smokes. SO GOOD.

Banana Bread (10)

I ate my slice plain, but I’ve eaten it with cream cheese in the past. It’s also good warmed up with a bit of butter on it. Fred ate some with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and gave it two thumbs up.

Banana Bread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12?
  • ¼ c. shortening
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ c. flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 bananas, beaten creamy
  1. Cream shortening, add salt, add sugar gradually.
  2. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Sift flour together with baking soda. Mash bananas with a fork, beat until light, add alternately with sifted dry ingredients to egg mixture.
  4. Turn into greased loaf pan.
  5. Bake 1 hour at 350ºF.



Banana Bread — 9 Comments

  1. I use that exact recipe, but I sub butter for shortening. I’ve made it with only two bananas and it’s still awesome, but last time I used two bananas and a half a cup of applesauce and it was really moist.

    • I wondered if I could sub butter for shortening, and thought maybe I could, but wasn’t sure enough to actually try it (because if it hadn’t turned out I would have been very sad – and out of bananas!)

  2. I love banana bread and have about a dozen recipes. Can never decide which is my favorite. I’ll have to try yours now.

    On mashing bananas, I just put them in my 2 qt pyrex measure and mash with a potato masher until there aren’t any giant lumps. You get some little banana chunks in the bread, but we think that’s a good thing.

  3. I baked a loaf this morning and this recipe is awesome. Not too sweet, like most BB recipes are (for me), yet plenty banana-y in taste.

    I used flax-seed and water as an egg substitute so, next time, I’ll lower the baking temperature because I had to take it out at 40 minutes. It’s a bit soft in the center, but won’t be a problem at all when we’re eating it tomorrow with coffee.

    We couldn’t wait to try it and I had two slices at lunchtime (with a spinach and carrot salad, so it balanced out). I put coconut butter on one slice and OHDEARGOD!!!! it was amazing.

    Um, it wouldn’t serve 12 in a million years around here, just sayin’. I could probably eat the entire loaf in 12 bites, though, so there’s that.

    Thanks so much for this recipe! 🙂

    • Yay, I’m so glad you liked it!! And I didn’t know what on earth to put in for the number of servings, so I just said 12 – but yeah, you’re right. I can’t imagine trying to make 12 servings out of that (not big enough) loaf. 🙂

  4. Yesterday I had three bananas just screaming to be put into baked goodies and I cannot find my recipe book, disaster!
    So while my 4 year old was screaming, banana muffins, banana muffins, banana muffins!!! I went online, and went to the first foodie website I could think of (this one, duh) and glory be, there was a banana bread recipe 🙂
    I switched out shortening for butter and put it in muffin forms and sprinkled a cinnamon/sugar mixture on top.
    Were they good? Let’s just say that it isn’t even 24 hours later and there aren’t even crumbs left!

  5. This is a very moist bread. Not overly sweet but just right. A nice way to use up bananas. I did add walnuts, 1 tsp. vanilla, and a dash of nutmeg. I baked it for 65 minutes. It came out just right.

  6. I’ve been using this banana bread recipe for years. My family loves it and everyone I have ever served it to has said it’s the best. I ALWAYS double the recipe and make two loaves as it just doesn’t last very long in my house.
    BTW…the disposable tins you can purchase in the supermarket are the perfect size for this recipe…the bread rises up beautifully. Judy

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