Start to Finish: 60 to 75 minutes

Servings: 4 to 6

Difficulty Level: Beginner

Save a bit of time without sacrificing any of the flavor or texture you expect from a moist, tasty banana bread by swapping baby food for fresh mashed bananas. Delicious by themselves, baby food bananas offer rich flavor to baked goods. Vary the recipe by adding chocolate chips or chopped nuts, if desired. This banana bread recipe was adapted from Food & Wine’s old-fashioned banana bread recipe.

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 6-ounce jars baby food bananas
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

Grease a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray or butter, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar together by beating the ingredients with a hand mixer or a stand mixer on medium speed until the mixture is smooth and the sugar is blended and the butter is fluffy. Alternatively, combine the ingredients by hand with a wooden spoon and a wire whisk.

Beat the eggs into the butter mixture, adding one at a time and thoroughly mixing it into the batter before adding the second egg.

Add the bananas and the yogurt, beating the ingredients until the mixture is smooth.

Gradually add the flour into the banana mixture, stirring until the flour is combined.

Transfer the batter to the baking pan and bake the banana bread for 50 to 60 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick or a metal skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let the loaf cool for 15 minutes before inverting it on a wire rack, removing it from the pan and setting it right side up to cool.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together.

Slice the banana bread and serve it as is, or dress it up a bit before plating it. Some ideas include:

  • Adding powdered sugar to a fine mesh sieve. Shake it over the top of the banana bread before slicing and serving it.
  • Making a simple glaze to top the bread by combining 1/2 cup powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon milk and a dash of vanilla extract. Drizzle it over the banana bread.
  • Icing the top of the banana bread with an easy cream cheese frosting. Start by beating 4 ounces of softened cream cheese with 1/4-cup softened butter, 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk and 1/8-teaspoon salt. Spread it evenly over the top of the cooled banana bread and sprinkle some chopped walnuts or pecans over the top, if desired.

Adding nuts and chocolate chips aren’t the only way to switch up your banana bread. Other options include:

  • Making a rich banana bread with a touch of peanut butter by cutting the butter back to 3 tablespoons and adding 1/3-cup of peanut butter to the batter. Mix in 2 to 4 tablespoons of chopped peanuts for added crunch. Glaze the loaf with 1/3-cup of powdered sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter and 1 tablespoon milk.
  • Adding another fruity element by dicing two Granny Smith apples into 1/2-inch pieces and mixing it into the batter. Increase the spices by adding 1/4-teaspoon ground cloves and 1/4-teaspoon nutmeg.
  • Fill the loaf pan halfway with the banana bread batter. Melt 1/2-cup of chocolate chips by placing them in a microwave safe bowl and cooking them for 30 to 60 seconds, checking and stirring them every 15 seconds. Pour the melted chocolate into the loaf pan, swirl it with a knife and top it with the rest of the batter.