I don’t like banana bread.
There—I said it.
Cue the shock and hand-wringing and exclamations of my lack of humanity. I’ve heard it all. But I still don’t like banana bread.
THIS banana bread, however, is pretty freaking awesome.
I got the chance to fly out to eastern Washington in late January with my dad to visit my Grandma and some other family on his side. I see most of them maaayyybe every decade, often longer, so it was a great chance to catch up and reconnect. My grandma had baked some banana bread that I ended up snacking on all weekend. It was dense and moist, like a flat little cake, and studded with chocolate chips. I loved it.
She gave me her recipe and I played with it a little, including using all whole wheat flour, leaving out the coconut (partly because I forgot), and using dark chocolate chips. I also baked it in two shallow dishes instead of making a regular-size loaf, which I think actually was the best thing I could have done for even cooking and keeping everything moist.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Whip together the butter and sugar (I just hand-mixed).
Stir in the eggs, bananas, and buttermilk.
Add the flour and baking soda, and combine everything into a batter. Mix in the chocolate chips, walnuts, and and any other add-ins.
Grease your pans. One thing I did to make my bread the texture I like is to use a 7″x11″ pan and also a regular bread pan, and spread the batter in more of a cake thickness instead of a regular loaf.
If you’re using shallow loaves/pans (which I recommend), your baking time will probably be around half an hour; full loaves will be around an hour. The bread will turn golden, and the middle will set up so it doesn’t really wiggle when you shake the pan.
If possible, let the bread cool for around an hour before serving, it lets the crumb set. This keeps really well for at least a week, just keep well-covered.
Grandma’s Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- 1/2 cup of butter, softened
- 1 cup of sugar (I used more like 3/4 cup)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup of mashed bananas (2 large-ish bananas)
- 1/2 cup of buttermilk
- 2 cups of flour (I used white whole wheat)
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 3/4 cup of dark chocolate chips
- Optional: 1/4 or 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts (or slivered almonds)
- Optional: 1/2 cup of shredded coconut
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Whip together the butter and sugar (I just hand-mixed), then stir in the eggs, bananas, and buttermilk. Add the flour and baking soda, and combine everything into a batter. Mix in the chocolate chips, walnuts, and and any other add-ins.
Pour the batter into greased pans. I used two shallow pans to get everything to bake more evenly (vs. a traditional big loaf). In a 7″x11″ and a regular bread pan, the batter was a cake-like thickness instead of a big loaf. If using shallow loaves/pans, your baking time will probably be more like half an hour; for full loaves, bake around an hour. It will turn golden and the middle shouldn’t shake or wiggle much at all when you shake the pan. Cool for about an hour before serving, to let the crumb set.