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May 28, 2015

Toasted Banana Bread with Whipped Cream Cheese and Pineapple

Once bananas in our house reach a certain level of brownness, they will never be eaten in the traditional fashion. At that point, I peel them and throw them in a plastic bag in my freezer until I'm ready to make something out of them. Over the holiday weekend I decided to use up my bounty of frozen bananas by baking some banana bread. I tried a new recipe, which was pretty delicious on its own, but topping a toasted slice with cream cheese and pineapple takes it to another level.

I need to buy smaller loaf pans.That is the lesson I learned from baking Flour Bakery's banana bread. The recipe makes a little bit more batter than you need to fill a standard 9X5 loaf pan (all I have). A much better solution would be using two 8X5 or three 6X3 pans. The problem with the large loaf pan is that the bread takes longer to bake (1 hour 5 minutes in my oven), which means more time spent smelling the banana bread before you can eat it. If you are into that kind of torture (masochist) by all means use a large loaf pan. I warned you.

Flour Bakery Banana Bread (from Flour Bakery in Boston)


1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
3 1/2 bananas, very ripe, mashed (I used 4, which probably contributed to the extra baking time)
2 tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped


Set oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a loaf pan with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Beat sugar and eggs with a whisk until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Drizzle in oil. Add mashed bananas, crème fraîche, and vanilla. Fold in dry ingredients and nuts. Pour into a lined loaf pan and bake for about an hour. Remove from oven when a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean or with only a few crumbs. If you loaf is browning excessively on top, you can tent with foil. A sheet pan under your loaf pan in the oven will help prevent the bottom of your loaf from burning.

To make the toasted banana bread, melt half a tablespoon of butter in a small pan. Press a slice of banana bread into the melted butter, toasting for a few minutes on each side. Spread with cream cheese and top with pineapple. If you really like things sweet, you can add a drizzle of honey.

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