Go-To Banana Bread

Banana bread is a classic for a reason: it’s easy, it’s economical, and it’s delicious. I always have bananas on hand for my breakfast smoothie so I will regularly have surplus that get a little too ripe. I love using the over ripe bananas to make banana bread because I can throw the bread in my freezer and grab it when I need it. I’ve been using a very simple recipe and it’s always a crowd pleaser. I usually have 90% of the ingredients on hand, and I just have to remember to grab some walnuts when I’m at the store.

Banana Bread

Yields one 9 x 5 loaf or 3 mini loaves

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Coat the loaf pan(s) with non-stick spray.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Mash the bananas in a medium/large bowl, and whisk in the “wet” ingredients: sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla.batter uo\p
  4. Add the dry to the wet slowly, and fold in the chopped walnuts.
  5. Divide the batter equally amongst the pans, and bake at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes for a 9 x 5 loaf or 45-55 minutes for mini loaves. Use a toothpick to test. If it comes out clean then it’s ready!

ready for the oven Banana Bread, Yum!

Advertisements

Hummingbird Cupcakes

So I’ve been taking a little break from baking lately because I’ve been very busy trying to finish up my final few months of my Masters program. The end is near!  But, I got some really cute cupcake liners for Easter so I knew I needed to make some cupcakes ASAP.  Cupcakes and cakes, for that matter, seem like such a celebration type treat, so I don’t make them on a regular basis. Recently, I’ve seen Paula Deen make hummingbird cake a couple times, and I’ve seen it in various other places, but since I’ve never baked or eaten it, I thought I would give it a try.

Hummingbird cake seems to be a southern thing.  Based on the ingredients and the final product, I would say it’s in the same family as carrot cake and banana bread. It’s almost like an easier version of carrot cake because you don’t have to grate the carrots.  The other great thing about it is that they typical frosting choice is cream cheese.  Yum.

So I looked around at various recipes, and based on mainly ingredient choices I settled on a recipe from Bake or Break.  This blog has an endless amount of delicious baked goods. They always seem decadent, but refined. They’re not wrapping cookie dough around Oreos.  These people are real deal.

Anywho, the cupcakes turned out great!  They’re definitely a great way to mix up your cake repertoire!

Hummingbird Cupcakes

Yields supposedly 36, I got closer to 30, from Bake or Break

Ingredients

Cake

  • 3 cups  flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 cups chopped bananas
  • chopped pecans or sanding sugar, for garnish

Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 16 oz. powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350, and get the cupcake pans ready with the liners.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl.
  3. Add the eggs, oil and stir until mixture is uniform. Then add the vanilla, pineapple, banana, and pecans and mix until everything is relatively well distributed.
  4. Use an ice cream scoop or spoon to distribute batter into cupcake trays.  Each cupcake should be about 2/3’s full of batter.Batter up
  5. Bake about 25 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before you put the frosting on top!aren't the cupcake liners cute?
  6. To make frosting cream together the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer.  Once this mixture is light and fluffy, add the vanilla and the powdered sugar (add the sugar gradually).  Mix until frosting is uniform and fluffy.  Refrigerate for a few minutes before you put it on the cooled cupcakes.Frosted!

Muffins!

These Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins are a very distinct food memory for me.  I rowed crew in high school which is kind of a niche sport, especially when you’re in high school.  It’s a little bit of a hassle because you have to have a body of water, a boathouse, and of course boats.  Not the most popular high school sport.  Our regatta’s would typically be at the Schuykill or Cooper Rivers (Philly or Camden).  They would typically be weekend-long affairs.  While some of the weekend was spent actually on the water either warming up for a race or racing, there was always a significant amount of downtime that consisted of watching the other races and basically tailgating along the side of the river.

All of the parents of the kids on the team would pitch in to provide the snacks (lots, and lots of snacks).  And my mother would bring these muffins.  They always got raves from all of my teammates.  I love them too.  They seem like such a simple flavor combination: banana and chocolate chips, but some things never get old.Muffins!

I made them recently for some friends to munch on while we were volunteering for some local community service.  A perfect morning treat!

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Yields almost 24 regular size muffins (definitley 24 if you add walnuts)

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs  (room temp)
  • 2 cups mashed banana (ripe!)
  • 2 tsp baking soda dissolved in 2T hot water
  • 3 cups flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 and line the muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt), and set aside.
  3. Cream together butter and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time, and add vanilla extract to butter and sugar mixture.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet in a batches.  Try not to over mix.  Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts (if you want).batter up
  5. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins.  Fill them each about 2/3rds full.  Bake them for 20 minutes or until tester comes out clean and top is golden brown.

all done