Quick breads are the perfect gift for neighbors and friends. I like to bake them in cute, little mini loaf pans so they’re easy to share.
Lorraine, Not Quite Nigella, sent me a fun new cookbook for Christmas this year, The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook. Lorraine is my virtually adopted Australian daughter. If you’re not visiting her blog, you’re missing out. She’s an excellent writer with a bubbly, magnetic, quirky personality. She loves great food, travel, Harry Potter, Halloween and all things American.
The recipes in The Back in The Day Bakery Cookbook, are the recipes they use at The Back in the Day Bakery, a popular neighborhood bakery in Savannah, Georgia. The cookbook has a fun intro section and a great method to the magic section with tips on successful baking.
Their version of banana bread is spiced up with mace and cinnamon. I didn’t have any mace, and we’re not nutmeg lovers, so I substitute pumpkin pie spice which is a combination of nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, and ginger. I also changed the amount of baking soda, sugar and sour cream to accommodate my higher altitude.
The recipe calls for toasted pecans. Toasting nuts before you use them helps to crisp them up and intensifies the flavor of the nuts. Be sure and measure the nuts before chopping and toasting. Spread them out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet to bake them; then put them on a plate to cool before adding them to your batter.
The cookbook includes a chocolate chip version of the Brown Sugar Banana Bread, but I decided it would be even better with both pecans and chocolate chips. I also added a few chocolate chips to the top of the loaves before baking, to dress up the loaves.
The addition of pumpkin pie spice and the cinnamon mellows out the banana flavor. The banana flavor isn’t as prominent. but the bananas still add a great sweetness and moist texture to the bread.
I baked the bread in mini loaf pans, including one adorable Christmas loaf pan my daughter gave me. I’m sure those on your gift giving list would love receiving these beautiful, tasty little loaves.
Brown Sugar Banana Bread with Pecans and Chocolate Chips
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups well-mashed very ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 2 large eggs
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped*
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with baking spray with flour. (I used four mini loaf pans – 5 3/4 x 3 1/4 x 2 1/4. Don’t fill more than 2/3 full.)
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the mashed bananas, brown sugar, sour cream, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla until well blended. Add flour mixture to banana mixture, mix just until moistened. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips.
Spoon batter into prepared pan. Top with additional chocolate chips if desired. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes (bake mini loaves for 30 minutes), or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.
*Toast pecans at 350° for 5 minutes stir and cook 5 minutes more.
Pumpkin Pie Spice Substitute: 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves for 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.
More banana bread recipes you might like:
Chunky Monkey Banana Bread, Barbara Bakes
Marbled Chocolate Banana Bread, Barbara Bakes
Banana Bread Pancakes, Chef in Training
Low-Sugar and Whole-Wheat Pumpkin Banana Bread Recipe, Kalyn’s Kitchen
Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze, Our Best Bites