So, during this quarantine my husband has developed a weird, fringe benefit at his workplace: almost limitless bananas…? I know, I know. It’s pretty weird, but when he goes to work, more often than not he comes home with a large bunch of bananas. Sometimes they are perfectly ripe, sometimes still green, and sometimes starting to go brown and spotty. If the bananas don’t get taken home, he says, they go in the trash, regardless of their state of ripeness. A total crime, right!? As a result, I have piles of bananas at my disposal: smoothies, banana chips, and chocolate covered frozen banana slices abound! But what about when those bananas go too brown? Well, peanut butter banana bread. Duh.
Banana bread is one of those baking staples. It is many people’s first foray into the baking world because it is, on the whole, super simple. This recipe is no different! My peanut butter banana bread actually has a plain base, but features a thick, creamy peanut butter drizzle.
But Why PEANUT BUTTER Banana Bread?
To be honest, the purpose of beefing up my banana bread recipe is to finally prove to my perfect older brother once and for all that my banana bread reigns supreme. It’s the one recipe that we would go head to head on as kids. As the chef in the family, it has always irked me, just a little (okay, more than a little,) that he was the one that was known as the best banana bread maker in the family. I’m too competitive. I couldn’t take it. I still can’t. So here I go, beefing up my banana bread recipe in an effort to take the family banana bread crown. Take that, Vince!
(This is the sibling that also made a non vegan version of my vegan cauliflower wings. So, basically, he is a monster*)
The base of this bread recipe has only eight ingredients:
- baking soda
- canola oil
- brown sugar
So, the best thing about banana bread is how customizable it is. So we’re also going to talk about mix-ins and ways to make your banana bread exactly how you want it.
To get started, mash up your banana. Mash it well, but not too much. Leave a few lumps. Make sure your bananas are nice and brown and spotted. The browner, the better!
Mix all of the wet ingredients well in a large bowl with the mashed banana. Pro tip: Brown sugar counts as a wet ingredient because it contains molasses. So make sure that when you mix the wet ingredients together, you include that brown sugar!
Whisk together the dry ingredients into a separate bowl. Then gently mix it into your wet ingredients in small batches. Don’t overmix! Stir until the flower is just combined. Your batter will be lumpy, and this is exactly what we want.
When the batter is mixed, then stir in the mix-ins if your choice. I usually do nuts or chocolate chips. Or both. But in the case of my peanut butter banana bread, I often leave the interior plain and let the peanut butter glaze speak for itself. Because it is utterly divine. But then again, chocolate and peanut butter? Yeah, I’ll take it.
Next, transfer the batter into your prepared baking dish. What is a prepared baking dish? It’s a baking dish sprayed with a light coating of nonstick spray, then floured. It’s my go-to technique for breads like this for effortless pan removal and gorgeous slices.
Bake for 55-65 minutes at 350 degrees. Just to be on the safe side, start checking the bread (to see if a toothpick comes out clean) at around 50 minutes. But banana bread is one of those finicky things that can take way longer than you think it will.
Have I been late to parties and social gatherings because my banana bread too way too long to bake? Yes. Yes I have. But did my friends stay irritated with me once they had said bread? No. No they did not.
If the above picture is any indication, the for banana bread (especially peanut butter banana bread) is always, always worth it.
Add your peanut butter glaze once everything has cooled so you do not have a sticky, runny mess all over your bread. Granted, it will still be a tasty mess, but since we eat with our eyes, wait until things have cooled a bit before you add drizzle.
Easy, Vegan Banana Bread
- large mixing bowl
- medium mixing bowl
- 9×5" bread pan
- Potato/banana masher
- 240 grams all-purpose flour (~2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 medium bananas extra spotted/brown
- 140 grams brown sugar (~¾ cup)
- 95 grams canola oil (~½ cup)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup chopped walnuts optional
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips optional
Peanut Butter Glaze
- ½ cup confectioner's sugar
- 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter natural is preferred, but use whatever kind you have
- 2 tablespoons nondairy milk of your choice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼-½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat your oven to 350°
- Prepare your baking pan by spraying it with nonstick cooking spray and lightly coating with all-purpose flour.
- In the medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon until thoroughly combined and set aside.
- Peel the four bananas and place them into the large mixing bowl. Mash the bananas, either with a masher or a fork, until only small lumps remain.
- To the mashed bananas, add the brown sugar and canola oil and mix with a spatula until well combined. Stir in vanilla extract.
- In small batches, add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet. The key here is to mix only just until no flour visibly remains. Do not overmix!
- Once the batter has just come together, add in chocolate chips or nuts, if using.
- Pour the batter to your prepared baking pan and bake on the center rack of the oven for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
- Let cool in the pan for ten minutes before removing the bread from the pan and transferring to a wire cooling rack. Wait until the bread has cooled before drizzling with optional peanut butter glaze.
To Make The Peanut Butter Glaze
- If using the peanut butter glaze, you can prepare it while the bread is baking. Whisk all the glaze ingredients together in a small bowl with a fork until well combined. If you feel it is took thick, add a little more milk. If too thin, add a little more peanut butter. Don't be afraid to play with it until you achieve your preferred consistency.
What are your favorite banana bread toppings and fillings? Do you prefer to take your banana bread plain, or do you jazz it up with nuts or chocolate?
*Note: My brother is actually my best friend and not a monster. He will take this in stride (I hope.) Even if my banana bread is better.