A small bunch of bananas were ripening on the kitchen counter, waiting to be included in some wonderful baked good. Thank you to everyone who helped in providing suggestions! Ultimately, I decided to bake a marbled banana bread.
About this time last year, I was obsessed with the banana bread that I found at a local bakery. It was moist, filling, and absolutely delicious. The only problem (besides it being nearly $5 a slice) was that I could taste so much butter that I felt too guilty to enjoy it.
So I put it upon myself to create a healthier recipe, and this low-guilt, no-butter, no-oil banana bread was born. I regret not doing a better job of tracking the original recipe from which I adapted mine last year, but am glad that I was at least smart enough to write down the steps that I took in order to replicate them and share with you an improved version today, featuring whole wheat white flour and applesauce!
Being a lover of chocolate and inspired by this picture, I decided to add a top layer of chocolate marbling (instead of the typical chocolate chunks) to give the banana bread a bit more character and photogenic flair—isn’t it gorgeous?! And, of course, some chopped walnuts for extra texture and a complimentary nutty taste opposite the aromatic banana-ness.
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 2 c Whole Wheat White Flour
- 4 Ripe Bananas, well browned
- 2 eggs, large
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ½ tsp Cinnamon (optional)
- ½ tsp Salt
- ⅓ c Brown Sugar, light
- ½ c Sugar, granulated
- ½ c Applesauce, plain unsweetened
- 1 c Walnuts, chopped (optional)
- 6 oz Semi-sweet chocolate (optional)
- In a large bowl, mash together the ripened bananas; mix in granulated and brown sugar, and vanilla until well incorporated, let sit for ~10 mins.
- Pre-heat oven to 350° F, and prepare a full-sized (5x9in) baking loaf pan.
- In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon.
- Incrementally stir in dry ingredients, eggs (pre-wisked), applesauce to the banana-vanilla mixutre in the large bowl; continue stirring until well incorporated, then optionally add in chopped walnuts.
- Transfer mixture to the prepared loaf pan.
- In a small microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate. Start with 30 sec and mix, then repeating in 15 sec increments until completely melted. Be careful not to over microwave as chocolate will become burnt and crumbly.
- Drop melted chocolate in separated pools to top of batter in loaf pan. Use a butter knife or small icing spatula to create swirls. (I also pushed some of the melted chocolate down into the batter to penetrate deeper into the bread.)
- Bake for ~1hr or until an inserted toothpick/skewer comes out clean
- Remove from the oven and let it sit for ~10 minutes before transfering to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Slice and enjoy!
- This banana bread can be prepared completely by hand mixing, however I chose to use an electic mixer after each incorporation step (save for mixing in the walnuts) to ensure that all ingredients were adequately mixed.
- I prepared the loaf pan with parchment paper instead of butter and flour; easy removal, easy cleanup, and no butter.
- To better disperse chocolate throughout the loaf, marbling can occur in two steps (pour in half batter, add marbling, pour in remainder of batter, marble again). Alternatively, marbling can be skipped in favor of mixing in chocolate chunks in the batter.
As always, thank you for stopping by and please feel free to leave your thoughts (and critiques, there’s always room for improvement)!