I know most of you are familiar with banana bread, but I refuse to call it that. It’s not bread folks. With butter, sour cream, eggs, sugar and more, it’s really cake. So why does everyone call it banana bread? And more irritating, why do I sometimes find it in the bread basket on restaurant tables, when what I really want with my steak dinner is a good baguette or crusty piece of Italian bread.
This recipe is from a website cooked Cookies and Cups and it’s referred to as “The Best Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Recipe.” While it’s pretty darn delicious, another pet peeve of mine is when recipes are referred to as “the best” or “world’s best.” I mean, come on, have you really tasted every single recipe for that particular dish that’s out there? But enough kvetching. I guess that class decades ago at Columbia Journalism School with Judith Crist critiquing (no, savaging) my work taught me and my classmates how to write without hyperbole. Moreover, years of working in a newsroom with editors breathing down your neck also forced me to write “just the facts, ma’am” (except the editors weren’t so kind in their comments.) But I digress.
What I can honestly say though, is this is the best chocolate chip banana bread/cake/loaf I’ve ever eaten. My decades-old version of this recipe is getting the heave-ho to make room for this one. And you may feel the same way if you give this a try.
It’s simple to make using just a bowl and a wooden spoon to mix. It contains both butter and sour cream, and in addition to the mashed bananas, it uses thinly sliced bananas, making for one moist cake. Make sure your bananas are really ripe — dark brown and ready-for-the-trash can ripe. You’ll get the most intense flavor that way.
After lining the pan with some parchment paper and pouring in the batter, sprinkle with some additional chocolate chips. And use the mini chips, since the large ones have a tendency to sink to the bottom.
Bake it for at least an hour (it took 65 minutes for mine to cook completely), slice and enjoy. It’s especially good when warm, but the next day it’s even better since the flavors have had time to meld.
You could omit the chocolate chips and the walnuts too, if you like, and you’ll still be left with one delicious banana bread, er, loaf, or cake or whatever. It may even be the world’s best. But I doubt you’ll hear that from me.
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- 3 medium bananas, divided
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips (and more to sprinkle on top)
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Spray a 9×5 loaf pan with nonstick spray. Line the bottom and up the short sides with a strip of parchment paper. Spray again with nonstick spray.
- Set aside.
- In a medium bowl mash 2 of the bananas with a fork, leaving them slightly lumpy.
- Slice the remaining banana thinly, and set aside.
- In a large bowl stir together the butter and sugar.
- Mix in the eggs and vanilla and stir until smooth. Add the sour cream, mashed bananas, baking soda, and salt, and stir until blended.
- Next mix in the flour until incorporated.
- Fold in the chocolate chips, walnuts, and sliced banana.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan - sprinkle with a few more chocolate chips -- and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (mine took 65 minutes to completely cook)
- Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, and then using the parchment paper as handles, carefully lift the banana bread out of the pan to cool on a wire rack.