Best Friend Banana Bread

One of my best girlfriends gave me this recipe years ago. We met when we were young adults, traveling Europe and finding ourselves. We became pen pals and exchanged all kinds of stories and secrets – including our favourite recipes. This one is indicative of my friend: straight-forward and yet full of surprises. She also appreciates decadence, and I think of that when I eat this for breakfast!

1/2 cup / 125 mL butter

3/4 cup / 375 mL sugar

1/2 cup / 125 mL honey or agave syrup

2-3 ripe bananas

2 eggs

2 cups / 500 g flour

1/2 tsp / 3 mL baking powder

1/2 tsp / 3 g ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp / 3 mL baking soda

1/2 tsp / 3 mL vanilla extract

3/4 cup / 185 mL milk

optional: 1 cup chopped nuts and/or 1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 F/ 190 C. Grease a loaf pan or bunt pan.

Sift flour and mix with baking powder and cinnamon. Mix in nuts and/or chocolate chips if you are using them.

Cream sugar, honey and butter in a mixer or large bowl. Beat in mashed bananas and eggs until well blended. Add in dry ingredients at low speed and mix just until smooth. Add vanilla and baking soda to milk in measuring cup, then mix gradually with batter.

Pour batter into pan and bake on middle rack for 1 hour, turning halfway through. Loaf is done when a knife inserted in centre comes out clean.

Loosen loaf from pan with a spatula and turn out on wire rack to cool.

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