One Banana Bread to Rule Them All

Photo Courtesy of Bethany Fields
Photo Courtesy of Bethany Fields

The Most Excellent Banana Bread on the Planet

by Carrie Leigh Huckabay

When I was a new and blushing bride, way back in the dark ages of the late nineties, I received many shower gifts that weren’t on the registry. You’ve all been there, right? Someone went off book. Along with a personalized, ceramic, gold-leaf, hand painted planter from a third cousin, a fake birdhouse shaped like a church, and, inexplicably, a saloon mirror from my in-law’s friends, I also got a copy of Necessities and Temptations, The Cookbook of the Junior League of Austin, Texas. This book looks like those church cookbooks that have tried and true recipes, zero pictures and no pithy anecdotes to wade through (I don’t care how you had to forge through a river in Nepal, Karen, I just want the recipe for stir fry)! I’ve made dozens of recipes from that cookbook, but everyone’s favorite is the Banana Bread.  

I know what you’re thinking. Yawn. Turn the page. ‘I already have a favorite banana bread recipe.' Or ‘I don’t eat flour or sugar,’ or ‘I’m a sociopath and don’t like banana bread.’ Whatever your excuse is for not making this recipe, I’m telling you that it isn’t good enough. Dare I counter, it’s better than your favorite banana bread recipe, if you really feel you have to, you can try to substitute whatever your flour of choice happens to be, and this is the stuff for which getting fat is worth it. My husband, who loathes bananas like most people hate apartheid and racism, adores this banana bread. My sons, when confronted with other garden variety banana breads in the wild will whisper to me, “This isn’t banana bread, Mom. What is wrong with these people? Can you help them?”

So what I’m trying to impart to you, dear reader, is that this stuff is a cut above. Make it today, or when you have those bananas that you bought thinking, “I’m going to be healthy this week,” and instead they inevitably turn so brown that they’ll definitely get thrown out. Not that I know anything about that, personally.

Over the years, I’ve added ingredients and subtracted others, so this isn’t exactly what the Junior League put out all those years ago, but it’s certainly worth a try! Enjoy!



1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup butter flavored shortening 

2 eggs

4 ripe bananas, mashed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons buttermilk

2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt


6 tablespoons butter

10 tablespoons brown sugar

5 tablespoons milk or heavy cream

3/4 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Cream butter and sugar. Beat eggs and add to sugar mixture. Add bananas, buttermilk and vanilla.
  3. Sift together flour, soda and salt. Add to banana mixture. Beat well.
  4. Pour into two greased and floured 9 x 5 x 3 inch pans.
  5. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until bread pulls away from the sides of the pan. Cool.
  6. To prepare topping, melt butter in saucepan. Add sugar and milk. Cook until syrupy.
  7. Remove from heat and add chopped pecans. Pour over bread and place under the broiler, watching closely for 5 minutes or until browned.


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