It's highly ironic that I'm posting a recipe that features bananas and walnuts, two foods that don't normally find their way into my diet. Something about the smell of bananas makes me cringe, and something about the shape of walnuts makes me think I'm about to crack into tiny little monkey brains. Running on a somewhat regular basis helped me get over the smell of bananas -- I knew I needed to eat them for the potassium. And I've been trying really, really hard to give walnuts another shot ever since I included them on my list of pantry staples and committed to buying a bag of them to keep in the cabinet. So when I found myself with a slightly overripe banana and no desire to plug my nose and just eat the damn thing, I decided to bake banana walnut bread instead.
Since I lost my loaf pans in my move years ago, and since I still hadn't found a reason to use the silicone cake pans my grandparents gave me for Christmas, I figured using one of the cake pans for my banana walnut bread couldn't hurt. (Before you go chastising me for not baking more cakes, just think about how round I'd be if I started keeping layer cakes in my apartment with no one else around to share them with.) I remembered to place the cake pan on a baking sheet to stabilize it before pouring the batter in, and I think the bread turned out really well!
Waiting for the bread to cool was agonizing because the most amazing smell had filled my kitchen while it was baking and my stomach had started growling almost immediately after I pulled the pan out of the oven. Eventually, the idea of slathering rich, creamy butter onto a still-warm piece of bread was too much for me to bear, and I sliced into it before it had completed cooled. The texture was neither dense nor heavy, and I was pleased with how moist the bread was despite the fact I had baked it in a round cake pan rather than a loaf pan. Success!
Banana Walnut Bread
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large, ripe banana, peeled and mashed
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, mashed banana, vegetable oil, milk, honey, and vanilla.
- Fold in the flour mixture until well incorporated. Fold in the walnuts.
- Pour batter into a 9-inch silicone cake pan (or 9-inch cake pan that has been greased and floured). Bake for 1 hour.
- Remove the cake from the oven and cool on a wire rack before cutting and serving.
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