I always overestimate the number of bananas I should buy. Part of the problem is that I prefer to eat them slightly underripe, when they’re still a bit “al dente” and tangy rather than soft and sweet. Regardless, I often find myself with several overripe specimens that I won’t eat but feel guilty throwing away. Fortunately, I don’t mind baking with ripe bananas. Banana bread is probably the easiest option, but I also have banana muffins and cupcakes in my repertoire—I’m sure you’ll see them in the future.
The following recipe is from JoyofBaking.com, my go-to site whenever I need a new recipe for a baked item. My only addition is the sparkling sugar, which I add to nearly everything I bake. Although bananas aren’t a fall fruit, there’s something about the cinnamon-sweet smell of this bread baking that makes me feel all warm and cozy.
1 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 ripe large bananas, mashed well
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Raw or sparkling sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place oven rack to middle position. Butter and flour bottom and sides of a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nuts. Set aside.
In a medium bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. Lightly fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined and the batter is thick and chunky. (The important thing is not to over mix the batter. You do not want it smooth. Over mixing the batter will yield tough, rubbery bread.) Scrape batter into prepared pan; sprinkle top with raw or sparkling sugar. Bake until bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55-60 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan.