This recipe for banana bread is outstanding…olive oil, brown sugar, cinnamon plus a crunchy top of raw sugar…delicious!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Here’s a quick bread recipe that’s worth the hype – this banana bread without butter is absolutely scrumptious, and easy enough to make too. Here’s some good reasons to try it!
- The crunchy, luscious finish on this banana bread is from raw (turbinado) or demerara sugar – straight out of the Deb Perlman Smitten Kitchen playbook – that lends a wonderful crunch to the top of each slice.
- The inside is moist with full-on banana flavor.
- This is a cake (yep, it’s banana cake) that tastes even better on day two and three (if it lasts that long).
- No electric mixer needed for this easy recipe, this beauty is made in one bowl.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- All-purpose flour: Regular flour in this recipe.
- Brown sugar: For a deep, caramelized flavor.
- Granulated (white) sugar: Just a modest amount.
- Raw Sugar: Called turbinado sometimes, or use Demerara sugar, either will give you a nice crunchy top.
- Cinnamon & Nutmeg: For incredible added flavor.
- Salt, Baking Soda, Baking Powder: Essential seasonings!
- Eggs: Large are best for this recipe, room temperature.
- Overripe Bananas: Four brown bananas is what we need.
- Olive Oil: You don’t taste it, and it gives this recipe an incredible texture.
Step-By Step Instructions
- As quick breads go, this one is easy. First mash bananas with a fork on a regular plate. No need for a measuring cup.
2. In a large bowl, add the dry ingredients and whisk them together until combined.
3. Add in the wet ingredients – egg, vanilla, olive oil and also the two sugars, and whisk to combine. Then stir in the mashed bananas.
4. Transfer the batter to a greased loaf pan, sprinkle the top with raw sugar. Bake for 65-75 minutes (it took 75 minutes in my oven, but this can vary. To check for done-ness, stick a toothpick in the middle and if it comes out clean, it’s done.)
Tips and Possible Variations
- Leave the raw sugar off the top if you prefer, but it’s something extra that makes this recipe special.
- Use parchment paper to make a sling inside the baking pan, (plus a little baking spray) before adding the batter to the pan. This makes it much easier to lift out after it’s cooled.
- Check for doneness at 65 minutes. Use a toothpick to slide in the center, if it’s clean, it’s done. If gummy-looking crumbs are stuck on the toothpick, continue baking for another 8-10 minutes.
- Let the loaf cool completely before cutting into individual slices.
- You could add a half cup chocolate chips to the top of the loaf for the last 15 minutes of baking instead of raw sugar for variation.
- This is a recipe that tastes as good or better the day after you bake it, so it’s a great make-ahead, and would be perfect for brunch with a big, juicy frittata, some crispy bacon or turkey sausage, a really delicious green salad, and this incredible dairy-free hot chocolate.
- A thick slice of this is also fantastic with a plant based breakfast bowl.
- Use this on a dessert board with great cookies, like these Chocolate Snowflake Cookies.
- Use vegetable oil or canola oil instead of olive oil (or melted butter) if you’d like for this delicious banana bread.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Make it the day before, no problem.
The best method to preserve the crunchy topping is to keep the loaf in the baking pan and just drape it with a lightweight clean tea towel. When you cut a slice out of it, just press wax paper or foil against the cut side only, then drape the top with a clean tea towel. If you store the loaf in plastic wrap, foil, or an airtight container, you’ll lose the crunchy topping.
More Recipes to Try
- Fig Banana Bread: A fantastic, figgy loaf with optional creamy frosting. Video here.
- Banana Snack Cake: A wonderful, homespun dessert recipe.
- Sweet and Spicy Almonds: A delicious snack for parties.
- Easter Brunch Ideas: Some fun and delicious ideas for spring gatherings.
- Jam Pies: These little bites are cute, fun to make and so tasty.
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How To Make Banana Bread Without Butter
- 2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Nutmeg Optional
- ½ cup Olive Oil
- ½ cup Sugar
- ½ cup Brown Sugar, lightly packed
- 2 large Eggs
- 4 Ripe Bananas, mashed
- 1½ teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
- 2 tablespoons Raw or Demerara Sugar
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9x 5" loaf pan by spraying it lightly on the bottom with non-stick baking spray. Line it with a fitted piece of parchment paper, enough to let it hang over the two longer sides by three inches or so to make it easy to lift out of the pan when cool. Spray more non-stick spray over the top of the parchment paper and sides of the pan just before adding the batter and baking.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix it together using a whisk or a fork and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the olive oil, sugar, brown sugar and eggs. Whisk together until smooth, then add in the mashed bananas and the vanilla extract and combine. Add the flour mixture to the banana batter in three batches, stirring five or six times with each addition to combine.
- Add the batter to the loaf pan and sprinkle the demerara sugar over the top. Bake for 65-75 minutes until a toothpick in the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Cool completely before slicing. Store for up to four days in the baking pan with a tea towel over the top.
- You can leave the raw sugar off the top if you want to, but I’d strongly encourage it.
- The parchment paper sling is essential for getting the cake easily out of the pan. Wait until it’s cooled for about an hour before attempting to.
- Check for done-ness at 65 minutes. Use a toothpick, slide it in the center and if it comes out totally clean, it’s baked. If not, continue baking for another 8-10 minutes.
- 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