Banana Bread

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There are some recipes that you just know by heart; recipes that you’ve made so many times that it’s become a waste of time to even take out your cook book or binder.  If someone told you to whip up that certain dish, cake, or soup, then you wouldn’t even hesitate.  Every ingredient, measurement, and step has been gone over so many times that you’ve maybe lost count.  But the look of ease that may make others jealous makes you feel even more at home in the kitchen.  For me, one of those time-tested recipes is for banana bread.  I’ve made this moist, fragrant cake so many times for my family, friends, and guests that I’ll turn to my never-fail banana bread whenever I’m in doubt as to what to serve.

My mother was the one who had taught me to make banana bread.  She received the original recipe from another mother at my elementary school and made some adjustments – such as replacing butter with oil, decreasing the sugar, and adjusting the amount of bananas used.  When my mom first taught me to bake banana bread, I was in first grade.  Before then, my experience in the kitchen had only consisted of making scrambled eggs – with a few singed hairs in the learning process.  So upgrading from the stove to the oven was a big deal.  And to a first grader, a big deal is truly a big deal.


I modified the original recipe my mother gave me, and the new recipe makes two 9×5” loaves.  I usually freeze one loaf or give it to friends, neighbors, or my grandmother.  I’ve had this bread as breakfast and dessert, but I think that its true place lies as an afternoon snack: a soft loaf with a crunchy top goes great with a hot drink.  It’s not surprising to find yourself cutting a larger-than-intended piece.  You can also make muffins with this recipe, but I think the loaf form is best.


Banana Bread

Makes two 9×5” loaves
By Two Red Suitcases


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt (optional)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon (optional)
  • 4 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Mix the sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl until light and fluffy.

3. Add the salt, baking soda, baking powder, flour, cinnamon, banana, and oil. Mix well

4. Put the mixture in a pan greased with butter, oil, or lined with parchment.

5. Put the pan in the oven and cook for 1 hour.  The bread should be golden brown with a crispy top.  Cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.  Bread lasts up to 2 weeks in an airtight container in the fridge.


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