I received this banana bread recipe from my dear friend and fellow graphic designer Julie in Boston about 10 years ago. She brought the bread to work one day and my recipe radar immediately started buzzing. Of course I asked for the recipe, which she graciously shared with me the next day…on a piece of paper, in her handwriting, complete with a little sketch of a monkey holding bananas. About five years ago I digitized all my recipes (i.e. sat down and typed them all into the computer for hours on end…digitized sounds cooler, though). Despite the digitization, I still hang onto my recipe card box. It’s a treasure. All those recipes, lovingly hand written, complete with notes, sketches, and, sometimes, the handwriting of loved ones who have since passed. I can still picture many of those handwritten recipe cards, even when I’m looking at a typed version on the computer or iPad. Like with this bread. That little monkey will never leave my brain and always reminds me of happy times in the design studio with Julie.
This banana bread is soooooooo good. A little lighter in texture than other banana breads, but still very moist. I brought it to a party last weekend and people were gushing. And I feel like I can say that with total humility since it’s not my original recipe. ALTHOUGH…my tweaks have put it over the edge, if I do say so myself. (Okay, humility out the window!) The original recipe calls for nuts, which I hate in my baked goods. Instead, I put in coconut. It’s so awesome. Also, I try to use mini chocolate chips whenever I can. They distribute beautifully through the bread and are perfect for this recipe. That’s not to say that if you use regular chocolate chips you won’t be happy…you will. But the minis kind of rock it.
- 1¼ Cup sugar
- ½ Cup (1 stick) margarine, softened (Jane note: I use butter)
- 2 eggs
- 1½ Cup mashed ripe bananas (Jane note: about 4 medium-sized bananas)
- ½ Cup buttermilk (Jane note: if you don’t have buttermilk on hand, put about a 1 tsp of lemon juice or vinegar into your ½ cup, then fill the rest with milk and let sit for 5 minutes)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2½ Cup flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- 1 Cup mini chocolate chips
- ¾ Cup shredded coconut (original recipe calls for 1 C chopped pecans or walnuts instead of the coconut)
- Preheat oven to 350, grease bottom only of 2 loaf pans.
- Mix sugar with margarine/butter. (Jane note: I use my beloved pastry blender to do the mixing until the point when I add the dry ingredients.) Stir in eggs. Add bananas, buttermilk and vanilla.
- Stir in flour, baking powder, salt, soda until just moistened – do not overstir!
- Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips.
- Bake 1 hour 15 minutes, until top and edges are browned and the center looks cooked (Jane note: I have dark, non-stick bread pans and my bread is done at ~45 minutes). Cool 5 minutes in pan and then on wire rack.