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The Best Banana Bread

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The batter for this easy-to-make banana bread is enriched with sour cream, which gives it a subtle tang and super moist texture.

  • Yield: Makes 1 loaf
banana bread with frosting

Photography: Joanna Garcia

Source: Martha Stewart Living, August 2004

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat to incorporate.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix until just combined. Add bananas, sour cream, and vanilla; mix to combine. Stir in nuts and pour into prepared pan.

  3. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.

Variations

To make the cream cheese frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together 6 ounces cream cheese, 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract until smooth. Frost top of cooled bread.

To make the cream cheese frosting-filled banana bread as featured on "The Martha Stewart Show," once the loaf is baked and cooled, halve horizontally. Using an offset spatula, spread frosting evenly over bottom half. Top with remaining half; slice and serve.

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