This recipe for California Fig Banana Bread starts with a classic recipe, but has some unique and delicious additions. The end result is a moist quick bread that’s easy, with amazing flavor and texture. I’ve added a creamy lemon cream cheese frosting to swirl on top, but it’s totally optional (and very, very good.)
Seems like everyone has a favorite recipe for banana bread, and that’s the way it should be. What makes California Fig Banana Bread different – and by that I mean extra delicious – are the sweet chunks of dried figs and rich macadamia nuts that are folded into the flavorful batter. Let’s talk about it:
- You COULD eat this banana bread after it cools and be perfectly happy, BUT.
- Adding a luscious, swoony lemon cream cheese frosting on the top makes this recipe downright amazing.
- It also sort of turns this into dessert, but quick bread is largely a breakfast and brunch item, which means we can eat cake for breakfast. (See how I did that?) 🙂
- Extra banana bread is nice to have around – it’s really great as an afternoon snack.
- This bread stays fresh and flavorful for 2-3 days (if it lasts that long).
Ingredients You’ll Need For This Recipe:
- Bananas: Super ripe… mushy and brown is good for this recipe.
- Figs: Chopped, dried California Figs, which are moist and full of flavor.
- Eggs and Butter: Can’t do this without that.
- Sugar and Flour: See above.
- Macadamia Nuts: This gives our banana bread extra richness, texture and flavor.
- Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract is best.
- Yogurt: Plain Greek yogurt is what we want.
How to Prep Your Baking Pan
Here’s one of my favorite baking hacks to prep a baking pan:
- Spray the bottom and sides of the pan with non-stick baking spray, or a drizzle some olive oil and spread it around with your fingers.
- Line the baking pan with natural parchment paper, cut as best you can to fit the size of the pan, with several inches of overlap hanging off of each side.
- The parchment paper will stick inside the pan now, thanks to the spray or oil. Fold and tuck any big bits of the parchment paper that have gathered in the corners, and press them down as flat as possible. (It doesn’t have to be perfect.) Now add more baking spray on top of the parchment paper, then put the batter to the pan and bake as directed.
- Once the bread is cooled, grab the overlap of the parchment paper and lift it right out of the pan. Continue to cool the loaf on a cooling rack.
See how pretty this banana bread is when it comes out of the oven? Makes the house smell wonderful, too.
How to Make this Recipe
- Prep your baking pan
- Whisk the dry ingredients together
- Whisk the wet ingredients together in a separate, larger bowl
- Fold in the mashed bananas to the wet mixture
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients together, add the figs and macadamia nuts
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan
- Bake until golden brown
- Cool the loaf completely, then frost and enjoy!
Tips for Success
- Cool the banana bread completely before frosting, if using. If the bread is even a little warm, the frosting will MELT.
- If your cream cheese frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar and stir well to combine.
- Frosting the banana bread is optional! It’s very good sliced and toasted too.
- This bread stays fresh for several days when stored in an airtight container.
- If you want to decorate your frosted bread like I did above, use some icing pens or something similar
Did you know that a thick slice of banana bread is excellent toasted with butter and jam on top? Now you do. 🙂
To serve at brunch, cut thick (1 inch) slices, then place on a large serving platter with small bunches of fresh grapes or strawberries alongside.
More Recipes To Try:
If you’ve tried this California Fig Banana Bread, or any other recipe on Studio Delicious, I’d love for you to tell me about in the comments below!
California Fig Banana Bread
- Makes one 8 inch loaf
- 2 cups Flour, unbleached all-purpose 10 ounces
- 3/4 cup Sugar 5 1/4 ounces
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup California Figs, Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun Made. Stemmed and chopped in 1/4" pieces. 6 ounces
- 3 Bananas, mashed well to make 1 1/2 cups
- 6 tablespoons Butter, unsalted, melted and cooled
- 2 Eggs, large
- 1/4 cup Yogurt, plain
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 3/4 cup Macadamia nuts, chopped toasted
- For the LEMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 8 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup Butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 teaspoon Lemon Zest, freshly grated
- 3 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
- Heat oven to 350 degreesAdjust oven rack to lower middle position.
- Prep an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking/baking spray. See recipe notes.
- Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl, Add the dried figs and mix together with a large spoon.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk the mashed bananas, melted butter, eggs, yogurt, and vanilla together.
- Fold the banana mixture gently into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined (do not over mix) Fold in the macadamia nuts. The batter will look thick and chunky.
- Scrape the batter with a spatula into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Bake until golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, about 55 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking.
- Cool the loaf in the pan for ten (10) minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to let cool completely before frosting, about 2-3 hours.
- Make the LEMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- Combine the softened cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract and mix with a hand mixer in a medium sized bowl until smooth and completely combined, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the vanilla extract and lemon zest, continue to mix for another minute until combined.
- Add the powdered sugar in stages, starting at 2 cups, mixing in each addition until smooth and combined.
- TIP: You'll need at least 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar to make a fairly stiff frosting, and possibly a little more.
- If the cream cheese frosting is too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar and stir well to combine and remove any lumps.
- Line your baking tin with natural parchment paper for easy removal. Spray the bottom of the baking tin with cooking/baking spray, then the parchment paper so it sticks to the bottom and sides, then more baking spray before adding the batter.
- You don't have to frost this Banana Bread recipe with the cream cheese frosting, it's very good on its own, or toasted.
- Super important to read the whole recipe before you begin
- Pay attention to the ingredient list and photos for the recipe
- If possible, prep your ingredients a little before you start
- Always use a sharp knife for safety
- Use the size of pan called for in the recipe
- For savory recipes, taste and season as you go
- Buy fresh, organic ingredients, locally sourced whenever possible
Recipe adapted (and figs provided by) Valley Fig Growers. The ingredients for this recipe were updated May, 2020