Hope’s Homemade Banana Bread

homemade banana bread and coffee

Growing up our home was filled with laughter and fun. As the smell of homemade banana bread is filling my house I can’t help but think of my father’s banana trees.

One year, while living in Florida, dad planted two banana trees in our backyard. He wanted us to experience fresh bananas straight from the source. Bananas aren’t a simple fruit to cultivate. They require a great deal of patience and produce fruit when they feel like it (How to Grow Bananas).

We waited, and waited, and waited…. and finally right when the four of us (sister and brothers) were about to give up there was a small cluster. So we waited some more. And we waited. Ok, I don’t really know how long we waited. I was a kid and 24 hours felt like an eternity in my world.

When we finally got our 3 bananas to split 6 ways each was the length of my small hand. But that tiny bite of banana was the sweetest taste I can remember. It was fresh, sweet, and an adventure. It was my whole childhood in one bite.

Perhaps that’s why I’ve been on a mission to perfect this banana bread. It reminds me of a simple life back home. For the last ten years, I have been making and tweaking this recipe as gifts to new neighbors, a Christmas treat for friends and a family favorite for my children. I might not have a banana tree in the backyard like dad did, but the smell of homemade banana bread fresh from the oven is a memory I hope they cherish.

When making this bread it is important to stick to European butter and real vanilla. Each individual ingredient makes a large impact on the overall taste. If you don’t have buttermilk, it’s worth the extra trip to the store. Trust me, we’ve tried every variation on this recipe over the years before unanimously agreeing that we had found the one.

First, gather your ingredients.

You will need:

  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup European style salted butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (3 to 4 bananas)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

For the topping:

  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 TBSP melted butter

Heat oven to 350 F. Mix sugar and butter in large bowl untill creamy. Add eggs and mix till well blended. Add bananas, milk, and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add to the wet mix and blend until moistened. Do not overmix.

Pour into two greased bread pans (or 24 muffin cups).

Combine wheat germ, brown sugar, and butter. Mix until it resembles crumbs. Divide the topping evenly on the loaves (or muffins).

Bake 60 to 75 minutes (about 45 to 60 minutes for muffins). Cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pans and enjoy.

As muffins or small loaves, the banana bread freezes nicely but is best warm from the oven and slathered in butter.

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Hope’s Homemade Banana Bread

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  • Difficulty:Easy
  • Cook Time:60 mins
  • Serves:6
  • Freezable:Yes

Nutrition per portion

Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup European style salted butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (3-4 bananas)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • TOPPING
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 TBSP melted European salted butter
Method
Heat oven to 350 F Mix sugar and butter in large bowl till creamy. Add eggs and mix till well blended Add bananas, milk, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add to the wet mix and blend until moistened. Do not overmix. Pour into two greased bread pans (or 24 muffin cups). Combine wheat germ, brown sugar, and butter. Mix until it resembles crumbs. Divide the topping evenly on the loaves (or muffins). Bake 60 to 75 minutes (about 45 to 60 minutes for muffins). Cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pans and enjoy.