If you are my husband, you know that I have spent the last approximately 6 months perfecting this recipe. I have made this over and over and over and over, just slightly tweaking little things until I finally settled on this recipe that I personally love.
Let me preface this: I hated banana bread. Like the stuff used to make me want to puke. I LOATHED it. At least until I tried the Starbucks banana bread. It was sweet, not dry at all, and it didn’t reek of old bananas. That stuff was GOOD.
So, I decided to figure out how to make it myself.
Let me also add that this recipe is 100% dairy and lactose free if you use almond or coconut milk. I like to use the almond-coconut mix from Silk.
This recipe has a crusted outer side, and a moist and very soft inner bread. You can choose to add walnuts (Drew’s favorite) or totally leave them out (my favorite.)
My secret to sweet and perfectly moist, yet fully cooked bread?
2 cups flour 1.5 cups sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons milk (use coconut or almond to make it dairy free)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 bananas, peeled and completely smashed
1 tub of banana puree baby food (I use the 4oz tub or 3.5oz squeezy pouch)
(If you don’t have a tub, you can use 3 bananas.) optional 1/2 cup walnuts
1. Preheat your oven to 325°F. 2. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in a bowl. Set aside. 3. In a separate bowl, mix the egg, sugar, and oil until combined. Do not over-beat the eggs.
4. Add dry ingredients in and scrape the sides of your bowl several times while mixing.
5. Peel your bananas, and smash them with a spoon. Add the baby food puree to the ones you smashed and mix all the bananas together.
6. Add banana mixture, milk, and vanilla to the main bowl and mix well.
7. Mix in walnuts if desired (optional.)
8. Grease a bread pan, or a small Corningware dish. Pour batter into the dish.
9. Bake for 60-70 minutes, taking out when a skewer comes out clean when inserted to the middle of the bread. The top will brown rather early, but feel free to check with the skewer multiple times if you are worried about over-baking.
Gather your ingredients, and preheat your oven to 325°F.
Mix your flour, salt, and baking soda together in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix the egg, sugar, and oil until combined. Make sure you do not over-mix, as beating the eggs too much can change the consistency of the bread at the end.
Add your dry ingredients in and scrape the sides of your bowl several times, as the sugar and eggs like to coagulate on the sides once you add your dry mixture.
Peel your bananas, and smash them with a spoon. Bananas that are very spotted, but not quite fully brown are my favorite to use. Of course, banana bread is great for using older bananas. You can also use newer, totally ripe bananas, but they will be much more difficult to smash. Once fully smashed, add in the pouch or jar of banana baby food to your banana mixture, and mix well.
Add your banana mixture, milk, and vanilla to the main bowl, and mix well.
Add in your walnuts if desired.
Grease a bread pan, or a small Corningware dish. My favorite is this 1.5qt Corningware casserole dish, because it makes a very long and short slice of bread. Pour your batter into the dish.
Bake for 60-70 minutes, taking out when a skewer comes out clean when inserted to the middle of the bread. Right at 65 minutes is perfect for our oven. The top will brown rather early, but feel free to check with the skewer multiple times if you are worried about over-baking.
Make sure you make this recipe when you have friends coming over, because it will make your house smell AMAZING. You’re welcome.
This is a weekly recipe in our house now, and the kids now beg often for some “buh-nuh-nan-na bread.”
Ah, these are one of my very favorite treats to make. I’m a dark chocolate fan, and love using real cocoa to bake with. There’s just something about the richness of homemade chocolate recipes that doesn’t compare to boxed mixes.
They are Henry-approved, and a definite Henry favorite, too. So addicting, and even when I double the recipe, we eat them all within two-three days.
These are also included in my “hospitality food/meal train ideas,” because these are one of my favorites to bring to families when I am making food through a meal train. They are very easy to make simultaneously with other food, and I usually make a double batch when baking them for others so our fam can enjoy them, too.
Because I hate blogs that make you scroll through 400,000 photos of the recipe being made before ACTUALLY giving you the written recipe, here is the simplified recipe, followed by my kid and baking photo spam. Ha.
I love making these cookies with Henry, because the rolling of the cookies in the powdered sugar is a super fun way to incorporate even toddlers into the baking process. It’s a bit messy to do with kids, but doesn’t that make it even more fun?
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder – (1/2 dark, 1/2 regular is my favorite to use.)
1/2 cup vegetable oil 2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Beat together cocoa powder, oil, granulated sugar, and salt until well combined. The dough will look like a gritty soil. Only mix until ingredients are fully incorporated.
Mix in eggs, one at a time. Beat until fully combined after each egg.
Add vanilla and beat until combined.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder.
Take the dry mixture, and combine it to the dough slowly. Mix until combined, but do not over-mix.
Roll dough into approximately 1″ balls. If you find the dough is too sticky, you may refrigerate it for a few hours, or simply coat your hands in powdered sugar before rolling.
Pour 1/4 cup of powdered sugar in a bowl, and roll balls in the sugar until they are fully coated.
Place them on a greased baking sheet at least 1-2″ apart, and bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes. The cookies do not spread out much, so I fit more on a sheet than I usually do for other cookies. DO NOT OVERBAKE!
When the tops begin to crack, they are ready to remove from the heat. Centers will likely still be gooey.
(You can bake them for around 10-13 minutes if you do not like a chewy center and want them to be crunchier- just not my preference for these.)
Let cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes or so before moving them to a cooling rack. With the gooey center, the extra time on the sheet keeps them from falling apart.
Enjoy! They are 100% enjoyed best with a cold glass of milk!
Beat together cocoa powder, granulated sugar, salt, and oil until well combined. I prefer to use my KitchenAid, because the dough is very sticky. Usually I stop mixing, scrape the edges of the bowl once, and mix for a few more seconds to make sure everything is combined well. The dough will be gooey, gritty, and dark, and somewhat resemble muddy soil.
Mix in eggs, one at a time. Beat until fully combined for each egg. Make sure not to over-beat the eggs.
Add vanilla and beat until combined.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder.
Take the dry mixture, and combine it to the dough slowly. Mix until combined, but do not over-mix. I usually combine about a cup at a time and mix until no flour is visible each time. I will scrape the sides of the bowl once, then mix for a few more seconds before rolling the dough into balls.
Roll into approximately 1″ balls. I sometimes make them a tiny bit bigger, because I prefer gooey and thick cookies.
If you find the dough is too sticky, you may refrigerate it for a few hours. I adapted a couple of my favorite recipes to make this one so that it normally does not require chilling, though! This one sticks together better, and doesn’t seem to stick to your hands nearly as bad as a few other recipes I have tried.
I start with 1/4 cup of powdered sugar, then add more if I run out.
I wipe out the inside of the previous dry ingredients bowl, and dump the powered sugar into it, because I hate making more dirty dishes.Henry LOVES rolling the cookies in the powdered sugar. He does a really good job at age two, and even places them on the cookie sheet himself.
Coat your cookies completely in the powdered sugar.
Place them on a greased baking sheet (I linked my favorite air bake sheet that is HUGE and allows for less batches in the oven) and bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE!
When the tops begin to crack, they are usually ready to take out. They will be very gooey, and I find they are not really able to be effectively moved from the baking sheet for several minutes.
(You can bake them for around 11-12 minutes if you do not like a chewy center and want them to be crunchier, just not my style. I think they lose a lot of their chocolatey richness if they aren’t chewy.)
Let them cool on the cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes or so before moving them to a drying rack.
11. And finally, ENJOY!
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