21 April 2009

Banana Bread, Martha Stewart Style

I recently made banana bread for the first time. In "long time listener, first time caller" fashion, I've loved banana bread for an eternity, but never ventured out to make my own until a few weeks ago. I decided I would have to do it right, therefore I looked up Martha Stewart's banana bread recipe. I figured she would not steer me wrong. Turns out she even has a secret ingredient. Following is Martha's easy recipe to make your own banana bread. I customized mine by adding cranberries as well, you can certainly get creative:


(Makes 1 loaf)

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan (try this trick for softening butter quickly)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • Optional: cranberries, blueberries, chocolate chips... you get the idea, it is customizable.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, and beat to incorporate.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. Add bananas, sour cream, and vanilla; mix to combine. Stir in nuts, and pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.


  1. Wait, what's her secret ingredient?

    Also, interesting side note: Lots of bakeries don't even do banana bread--or zucchini bread--because so many home bakers are such loyalists to their own recipes. There must be a handful of dishes like this, where each person has his/her own peculiarities, to the extent that not even a professional cook can challenge those ideas about what makes for a banana bread (or whatever) ideal.

  2. her secret ingredient is the sour cream - try it out!



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