It's not like I haven't made banana bread before—and I've tried my hand, too, at a unique Vietnamese (or Japanese) banana cake. But now that I've found this recipe, I'm not sure I'll ever go to a different one.
Not only does it bake up a wonderfully moist loaf of banana bread, the recipe is based on ingredients that I usually have on hand: oil, flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, vanilla extract. As long as I have bananas and enough eggs—and typically I do—I can whip up a loaf or two without having to leave the house. The only tricky ingredient is the crème fraîche, but I've subbed in plain yogurt, vanilla yogurt, or milk on different occasions and the banana bread still bakes up beautifully. Taking after my dad, I usually cut down the amount of sugar in the recipe, and a few extra bananas never seems to hurt the loaves any, either.
Instead of walnuts, I've been adding in toffee bits that I purchased from Vern's Toffee before I left Fort Collins. The broken almond toffee kind of melts into the crumb, lending an overall richness and nuttiness to the banana bread rather than asserting itself in large chunks. The bits make a fine topping for muffins, too.
adapted from Flour Bakery
yields 2 loaves or 24 medium-sized muffins
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs at room temperature for 30 minutes
2 1/3 cups sugar [I typically cut this down to 1 3/4 cups]
1 cup vegetable oil [I typically cut this down to 3/4 cup]
3 cups coarsely mashed very ripe bananas [6 large, or more]
1/4 cup crème fraîche [I sub in plain yogurt; if using sweetened vanilla yogurt, I cut down the sugar by another few teaspoons]
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/3 cups walnuts (4 ounces), toasted and chopped [or, 1 1/2 cups toffee bits, chocolate chips, etc.]