I made this luscious spiced banana loaf a couple of days ago and it was gone in an instant. The bread is filled with a thick cinnamon-perfumed walnut ripple that is swirled into the spiced banana-walnut batter. While baking, the loaf oozes with irresistible aroma wafting invitingly through the air. The baked bread is rather moist and dense. Absolutely delicious. Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee, any time of the day.
This is a keeper. And it is extremely easy to put together. Try and see for yourself. Enjoy!
Spiced Banana-Walnut Loaf
Barely adapted from “Baking by Flavor” by Lisa Yockelson
I didn’t deviate much from the original recipe. My only changes were: 1) I greased the loaf pan with butter and not shortening as I don’t use shortening in cooking/baking; 2) The author suggests toasting the walnuts that go inside the batter (not the ripple) but I used raw walnuts and loved the results.
Makes one 9 x 5-inch (22 cm x 12 cm) loaf, creating about 12 slices
For the Cinnamon and Walnut Ripple:
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the Spiced Banana Batter:
2 cups unsifted bleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 pound (115 g /1 stick or 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 + 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas
1 + 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
Bakeware You’ll Need:
9 x 5 x 3-inch (22 x 12 x 7 cm) loaf pan
Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Lightly grease the loaf pan with butter, then dust the inside with all-purpose flour. Tap out any excess flour. Set aside.
Make the cinnamon and walnut ripple: Combine the walnuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
Make the spiced banana batter: Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves in a large mixing bowl. Whisk the melted butter, granulated sugar, eggs, mashed bananas, and vanilla extract in a medium-size mixing bowl. Pour the banana-egg mixture over the dry ingredients, add the walnuts, and using a rubber spatula, stir to form a batter, mixing until the particles of flour are absorbed. Take care to scrape the sides and the bottom of the mixing bowl well to break up any pockets of flour.
Spoon a little more than half the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Make a wide, but shallow (about 1/8 inch (3 mm) deep) trench down the center of the batter. Spoon the ripple mixture evenly over the surface and top with the remaining batter. Using a narrow knife, gently swirl the filling into the batter in five or six strokes, taking care not to scrape the bottom or sides of the loaf pan.
Bake the loaf for 55 minutes, or until risen, and a wooden pick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs. Cool the loaf in the pan on a rack for 5-8 minutes, remove carefully to another rack and cool completely. For best results, enclose the loaf completely in a large sheet of plastic wrap and allow it to ripen for at least 3 hours before slicing and serving. Use a serrated knife to cut the loaf neatly and cleanly. Store in an an airtight cake keeper. The loaf will keep fresh for 4 days.