September 20, 2014 by Meg G.
About 10 years ago, a colleague shared a banana bread secret with me. Do you have a guess?
It’s a little thing called sour cream.
Banana bread always makes me think of my dad, who used to bake it often. It also makes me think of my twin brother, Matt, who hated bananas, but loved dad’s recipe. There’s a famous family story about Matt pretending to drop one of his bananas on the floor. My mother promptly made him eat it anyway. Ahhh those were the days!
I’m not entirely sure where this recipe came from, but it’s been my go-to for as long as I’ve had it. In fact, it was declared the best banana bread ever in the Banana Bread Bake-Off a few years back. I’ve tweaked it over the years, adding some cinnamon, swapping in some whole wheat flour, and, of course, using about 6 of the ripest, sweetest bananas I can find. But it’s the sour cream that really helps transform your typical cake-y bread into a dense, sweet, and moist loaf of banana deliciousness. I promised you this recipe almost two years ago. Better late than never, so here goes!
Meg’s Secret Ingredient Banana Bread – makes 2 loaves
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 4 eggs
- about 6 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 2 – 2.5 cups)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (sub in 1 cup whole wheat flour, if desired)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup sour cream
- Preheat the oven to 350F and prepare two loaf pans (or one loaf pan and one muffin tin).
- In a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar.
- Add vanilla extract, lemon juice, and eggs, one at a time and stir until combined.
- Mix in the bananas. The batter will be very wet; don’t be alarmed!
- Sift all dry ingredients and add to wet ingredients. Mix until combined and then stir in the sour cream with a spatula. Be sure all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Bake in two greased loaf pans at 350F for 50-60 minutes. If baking in muffin tins, check at about 40 minutes.
This bread has a lovely rise and a really nice golden-brown crust. Make one for yourself and one to share! (Or just eat both of them. I won’t tell.)