whole wheat (partially) banana bread

This banana bread was good.  It is good!  Great even.  On par with my normal banana bread which you can find here.  I might like this a bit more because it is a bit less sweet and I do love the addition of white whole wheat flour.  It gives the bread a heartier taste and I like the darker color which is irrelevant I know.  

I found this in my new  King Arthur Baking Company’s All-purpose Baker’s Companion book (that is a mouthful).  The book was updated in March of this year and I’m excited to try out a lot of recipes.  This was my first as I had extra bananas and felt like a change.  

As mentioned the recipe includes white whole wheat flour and also a little cinnamon sugar coating on top which is particularly yummy.  I added chocolate chips to some of my loaves (I doubled the recipe) and that was obviously very good (if you like chocolate).  

Not much more to say – well, the recipe calls for a 9×5 loaf pan and I always find that my loaf cakes come out better if I don’t fill the entire pan with batter.  I might use a bunch of small loaf pans or a large and small – but basically I find my cake cooks  more evenly when not stuffed into the pan.  Then I don’t have to overbake the cake in order to make the middle less raw.  You can also use a muffin tin and make a muffin or two with the extra batter.  Or just bake as the recipe is stated and I’m sure it will be fine.  

Enjoy – 


  • 2 cups (454 g) mashed banana (about 4-5 medium bananas).  Weigh everything if you have a kitchen scale.  And if you don’t – buy one!
  • 1/2 cup veggie oil (99 g)
  • 1 cup (213 g) brown sugar 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (120g) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (113 g) white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (diamond crystal is best in my opinion)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 c (57g) chopped walnuts, toasted if desired (optional)
  • choc chips if desired
  • 1 tablespoon (13g) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  If using glass or stoneware, reduce the oven temp to 325.  Lightly grease the loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment.

In a large bowl, stir together the mashed banana, oil, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla

Mix together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and chopped walnuts and chocolate chips (if using) 

Combine the two and gently mix and fold until it is smooth.

Pour into prepared pan(s).

Combine the cinnamon and sugar for the topping and sprinkle all over the batter.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out just clean – with a few moist crumbs but no wet batter.

If the bread appears to be browning too quickly, tent the cake with aluminum foil.

Also, if using stoneware or glass pan, increase the baking time 15 m or so.

As you know – I don’t really believe in baking times.  The recipe in the book calls for 60 to 75 minutes.  As mentioned in the intro – I don’t like to stuff my loaf pans and bake for this long.  I find it better to put a little less batter into the loaf pan – and then bake the rest in a mini loaf pan or a muffin or two.

In that case I would check the bread after 30 minutes and just see what’s going on.  If it all is jiggly and wet – you know you have at least 10 m and likely more.  Keep resetting the timer until it is done.

Let cool for 15 m and then run a knife around the edges, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely.

Enjoy –

banana bread (gluten-free and DELICIOUS)

This banana bread is really very good.  Seriously good.  For real.  Andy was home from school today, studying in his room and started texting me…What are you making! Smells so good!  I informed him that I made the banana bread again, but in muffin form.  Down he came and quickly gobbled up two and oh, BTW, he isn’t even gluten-free (and is a harsh critic).  You will not miss the gluten in this recipe.  Full of banana flavor, a delicious rich tasting crumb – and some extra chocolate chips, well, good good good!  Found myself muttering the good, good good as I tasted and sampled over and over again.

This recipe is from the book Purely Elizabeth and I just LOVE it.  I really do.  Elizabeth promised that you wouldn’t miss your old banana bread, and she is correct.  You do need to get a few special items from your grocery store or from Amazon.  If you are gluten free, I assume you have most of this in the house.  And even if you are not – I urge you to try.

Also – the first time I made this I baked in a loaf pan and it was really delicious – but I felt I needed more control on how cooked the middle was and so tried in muffin tins.  I liked both.  Next time though, I think I would pour most of the batter into the loaf pan, but hold a little back and bake the remaining in a mini loaf tin or make a few muffin shapes on the side.  Cooking time will be affected with all of the different shapes.

Oh, you want to wait for your bananas to be overripe – with dark spots on the skin.

banana bread (from Purely Elizabeth by Elizabeth Stein):

cinnamon sugar (2 T of coconut sugar for every 1 tsp of cinnamon)
1 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 very ripe bananas
1/3 cup coconut oil (just melt this if in solid form)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup walnuts (I didn’t add because my family doesn’t love)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I added a cup!  I did, but do what you want)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Use and oil spray or coconut oil to grease the loaf pan.  Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar to coat the bottom and sides and set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the coconut sugar, almond flour, millet flour, brown rice flour, cinnamon, and baking soda.  In a separate bowl (or in electric mixer) beat together the bananas, oil, eggs and vanilla until smooth.

Pour the wet into the dry (or if using your mixer you can put the dry into the wet) and stir until combined.  Add the chocolate and walnuts (if using).  Pour into pans – loaf, muffin, mini…and bake until done.  If you put all the batter into a loaf pan, Elizabeth says 45-50 minutes.  If you make the loaf pan less full as I mentioned above, baking time will be lower.  And muffin tins, much lower.  You want the top to spring back gently when touched.

Yum.  Enjoy –



triple chocolate banana bread

Wowee.  This is delicious.  Rich in flavor and color and texture – you can’t  miss this one. I mean it.  Best chocolate banana bread ever.  As mentioned in the post from Liv for Cake (below) you can certainly skip the chips and ganache for a less chocolatey experience.  And/or add walnuts to cut some of the richness and sweetness.  But we loved as is.  These days when I bake the sweet often sits on our counter and eventually looks sad and dry (after several days of being ignored).  This dessert never had a chance to sit and kids argued over who got the last piece.  Yum.  I plan to make again this week.

I used half the ganache in the recipe fyi – but saved the rest and will use tomorrow when I make this again.

Here is the recipe...chocolate banana bread.

I followed almost exactly – but used natural Valrhona cocoa powder.  Oh, I also doubled the recipe but baked one cake in a larger loaf pan than in the recipe.   I find I don’t have to bake as long and I have more control with the overall moistness of the cake.  Muffin/cupcake shape would be great as well.  You can follow my lead or follow the recipe.  Also, remember to read my baking tips (esp measuring flour!) before you bake.

classic vanilla pound cake

For Andy’s birthday, I made three vanilla cakes.  A classic pound cake, a vanilla birthday cake and an updated (or fluffier) pound cake.  I loved them all.  All.  Andy liked the vanilla birthday cake which I’ll write about another time.  This pound cake though is classic in its dense crumb and solid mass.  Easy to make and great really for any occasion.  Dress it up with berries and whipped cream or serve it plain.  It is sure to delight.

classic vanilla pound cake (from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Cake Bible):

3 tablespoons room temp milk
half of a vanilla bean
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour (or 5.25 ounces if you have a scale)
3/4 cup sugar (or 5.25 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (use half if using table salt)
13 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 8×4 loaf pan with parchment and grease.  Or us a 6 cup tube or bundt pan – make sure you grease and flour.

Heat the milk with the seeds of the vanilla bean.  Scald.  Then let cool.

Combine the milk, eggs and vanilla extract.

In the mixer with paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients and mix for 30 seconds.

On the lowest speed, add the butter and half of the egg mixture…once the ingredients are moistened increase to medium and beat for about a minute.   Add the rest of the egg mixture in 2 batches and beat for 20 seconds after each addition.  Scrape down the bowl, and mix again.

Scoop batter into prepared pan and bake until done.  Toothpick should come out JUST clean.  This time will vary based on your pan but up to an hour – but please, as usual, check before and often.  After about 30 minutes, lay some tin foil on top of the cake to prevent a too brown cake.

It should split up the middle btw.  And if not, that is ok too!

I made a simple glaze by mixing confectioners sugar and milk and a dash of vanilla.  Yum.



chocolate chip sour cream coffee cake

Oh jeez.  This is not the kind of thing that I can have lying around.  Big chocolate chips, moist cake, cinnamon and sugar laced throughout – can’t blame me.  Luckily I was baking for a charity so I quickly sent most of it away.  Also gave some to Leslie at Andy’s school since she is always on the receiving end of my absence calls.  She gave me a play by play via email…I WILL GLADLY BE YOUR TASTE-TESTER!  Hang on – let me try it . . . OMG!!!  FABULOUS!!!!!  Her enthusiasm and quick feed back will be rewarded 🙂

Anyway, this is super easy to make and really good almost any time of day.

This recipe is from SmittenKitchen which I love.  Because Deb Perelman writes this recipe up so eloquently and because I’m way backed up with posts to write I’m just going to give you the link to her recipe.

sour cream chocolate chip coffee cake

The only change I made was to exchange 1 teaspoon of kosher salt for her 3/4 teaspoon of table salt.

You know I love that kosher salt!



grapefruit cake

More citrus tasting that grapefruit so please don’t shy away.

DELICIOUS!  Moist, flavorful, sweet and yummy.   So good.  Soo good.  Really.  Equally loved by me, Andy, Sylvie, Charlotte, and Danika.  Rave reviews from all and oh, Will and Jason too!  Melissa found them wrestling over what they thought was the last piece and became very popular when she pulled another bite out of her bag.  This cake has three little parts – but each part is easy so don’t get scared off.  And you do have to squeeze some grapefruits (or do you say grapefruit) but I imagine that isn’t a surprise!  It is such a great cake to serve now – as the sun is starting to shine, the snow is melting, the temp is rising (kind of)…and this bright little cake kind of says all of that.  It does.

I found this from the blog Unwritten Recipes and her photos are BEAUTIFUL.

1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated grapefruit zest
2 grapefruits
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temp
2 eggs, room temp
2 teaspoons grapfruit juice
1 1/3 allpurpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup buttermilk well shaken


1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice


1 tablespoon freshly squeezed grapefruit joice
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
pinch of salt

Prepare pans – grease then line the bottom of a 9×5 pan (other sizes will work, just adjust baking time) with parchment and grease again.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Zest the grapefruit (rem to wash and dry first) and just take the outside part of the skin.  The inner white layer is bitter.  Rub the zest into the sugar with your fingers to incorporate the flavor.

With paddle attachment, beat butter and the zested sugar on medium high for 3-5 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time.  Scrape down the bowl, mix in the vanilla and scrape again.

Combine whisk the dry ingredients.

With mixer running on lowest speed, add the 1/3rd of the flour mixture, follow it with half of the buttermilk.  And repeat, ending with the flour.  Do not over mix.  Remove from mixer and fold 2 or 3 times to make sure all butter is incorporated.

Pour into prepped pan.  Bake until toothpick comes out clean and the cake is nice and golden.

Let sit 10 minutes.  While it sits, make the syrup.  Bring grapefruit and sugar to a boil (mix to incorporate first) – boil for one minute.  Be careful as it is hot!

Poke many holes in the cake with a toothpick.  Brush the syrup all over the cake and continue as it gets absorbed.  Yum.

Let cool completely.  Invert and remove from pan.

Make the glaze by mixing the confectioners’ sugar and juice – and the tad of kosher salt.  Spread over the syrup soaked cake.  Delish.



marvelous marble cake

Terrible photo I’m aware.  But don’t let it deter you.  This cake is tasty and although simple, has an elegance to it.  Dress it up with whipped cream and berries and you have an even prettier dessert.  This is also a good cake to nibble on throughout the day (as we all did!)

Enjoy –

marble pound cake (from xxx by Lauren Chattman):

3 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 large eggs, room temp, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (use half if using table salt)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar

Preaheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan (other sizes fine too just adjust baking time).  Alternatively, grease the pan and line the bottom with parchment.

Place an inch of hot water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Then reduce to a simmer.  Place chocolate in a stainless bowl big enough to rest on top of the saucepan.  Please make sure the bowl does not tough the water.  (Or use a double boiler if you prefer.)  Don’t burn the chocolate, just melt it.  Once melted, remove from heat to cool.

Combine the eggs and vanilla and lightly beat.  In a small bowl, place the cake flour, baking powder, and salt.

With the paddle attachment of the mixer, bet the butter and sugar on medium high heat until lighter and fluffy.  5 m or so.  Scrape down sides and beat again to incorporate.

Turn speed to medium low and slowly pour the egg/vanilla mixture into the butter.  Scrape down the bowl and beat again.

On the lowest speed, add the flour mixture and mix until incorporated.

Scoop out half of the batter into another bowl and add the melted chocolate.  Stir until combined.

Scrape half of the yellow batter into the pan.  Then scrape half of the chocolate batter on top.  Repeat with other halves.

Run a knife through the batter to create marbling (if you like).

Bake until cake is golden and a toothpick comes out just clean.  Recipe says and hour and 15 m – but check before and after.  I recently learned that my oven temp is off – and many are, so follow your instincts and bake until your cake is done.  This will take practice but it is one of the most important factors in baking.

Let cake cool in pan for 10 m or so.  Then gently invert on rack to cool completely.



orange poppyseed pound cake

Yummy yum yum!  This was tasty.  Slightly dense, filled with poppy seeds – and covered in a delightful glaze – this was a winner.  Andy ate this up.  Said “I like this!”  And Sylvie kept taking slivers and announcing she was done each time.  I finally said, just take a piece and sit with it and be done!  (That’s what I try try to do.)

This is great for brunch – or for an afternoon snack.  I liked it because I don’t make enough goodies with oranges, so it was nice.  I hope the shelter liked it too!

orange poppyseed pound cake 

I went to write this up and I cannot find the recipe.

Ok, as soon as I find it you will get it asap!  So sorry but figured you will at least remember that I’m here.


chocolate chocolate tea cake (moist and good!)

Yum yum yum – everyone said this is good!  Especially me as I nibbled and nibbled.  So good in my ice cream the other night.  Really good!  This was an especially sweet success after many baking failures this month.  Sylvie said this was the best thing I’ve made in a long while.  (Which was of course good and bad to hear.)   This chocolate cake is light in texture yet very satisfying.  Moist.  Chocolate.  Delicate.  Those are the adjectives that come to mind.  The unmelted chocolate chunks and chips fell to the bottom a bit – creating a chewy chocolatey section on the bottom of the cake.  I LOVE that.  I do.  So does my family.  Enjoy this – I would double the recipe since it freezes so well.  (If you manage not to eat it all!)  This recipe is from my new book Huckleberry.  I really really adore this book.  It is filled with so many fresh takes and beautiful photos.  I’m excited to bake from it again and again.

The recipe includes weighted measurement so if you have a scale, use it.  Much more accurate!

Anyway, enjoy this one.  Perfect for fall.

chocolate tea cake (from Huckleberry by Zoe Nathan):

3/4 cup/100 grams pastry flour
6 tablespoons/45 grams all purpose flour
6 tablespoons/30 grams cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup/120 ml strong brewed coffee, cooled
1/2 cup/120 ml buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups/300 grams coarsely chopped dark chocolate, 60-70 percent cacao
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons/140 g unsalted butter, cubed at room temp
1 cup + 2 tablespoons/225 grams sugar
1/2 teaspoon, plus a dash, kosher salt
3 eggs, room temp
sugar for dusting/powdered sugar for presentation

Pull your eggs, butter, buttermilk to room temp.  Brew coffee.  Place 3/4 cup of the chopped chocolate (reserve a cup)  in a double boiler or in a bowl over barely simmering water to melt.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  You can use a 9×5 loaf pan, or divide this into smaller pans and shapes.  And if you double use two pans – or again, a mix of different sizes.  Just adjust baking time accordingly and check often for doneness.  Grease pans and I like to line the bottom with parchment to assure there is no chance of sticking.

Whisk together the pastry flour, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Combine cooled coffee, buttermilk, and vanilla extract.

Beat butter and sugar with paddle attachment on medium high until lighter and fluffy.  4-6 minutes.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Scrape bowl down and beat again to combine.

Stop the mixer.  Add the dry ingredients and mix on low for a a few seconds.  Add the buttermilk mixture on low, and mix until just combined.

Remove from mixer and finish by folding in the melted chocolate and the chopped chocolate.

Pour into prepped pans.  Do not overstuff pans – (if you double and use various sized pans).

Sprinkle with granulated sugar (this forms a yummy crust.

Bake until cake starts to pull away slightly from pan.  And/or when the top springs back gently if touched.  Or, when a toothpick comes out almost clean.  You really don’t want to over bake this one.

Set your timer for 30 minutes and peek – the 9×4 will likely take 50-60 m – but you really want to learn how to check for doneness without a book telling you the time.  Oven temps vary – outside temp varies – so the more comfy you get checking yourself is best.

If you do over bake – just make teacake parfait with whipped cream and ice cream layers.  Delicious.



cinnamon apple cake

“This is the best thing you’ve made in a long time mom” Sylvie said last night as she indulged in her second nibble of the evening.  She said she needed more, but we both agreed that the cake would be here today (and it is) and to just stop (which is hard).   Everyone agreed btw, Rob, Jason, Melissa, and Andy and well, Greg isn’t here! 🙁 but I know he would have loved this.   Cinnamon and apples are so welcome at the moment – leaves are turning, the air is cooler, and a good moist flavorful cake is necessary.

I used firm apples from the orchard – but if you don’t have good apples where you are (and I’m sorry for you!) then use Granny Smith since they hold up so well in baked desserts and their tartness is diminished when baking (and sugaring!)

Oh, and I doubled the recipe since I had a good feeling about it.  Glad I did!  It makes one 9×5 loaf or 2 if you double it!

cinnamon apple cake (verrry slightly modified and  from Allrecipes):

1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour (remember to look at baking tips to perfect your flour measurement)
1 3/4  teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 apples peeled and chopped fairly small
1/3 teaspoon kosher salt

Remember to pull the butter, eggs, and milk to come to room temp.  Peel and chop apples.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour 9×5 loaf pan – and/or place parchment on the bottom for easiest release.

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.

With the paddle attachment of your electric mixer, beat butter and white sugar until lighter and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time.  Mix thoroughly after each addition.  Add and mix in vanilla extract.

Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt and add to the creamed butter and stir.  Add the milk and fold together until nicely combined.

Scoop half of the batter into the prepped pan.  Add about 1/2 of the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture, then about half of the apples, pushing them slightly into the batter.  Follow with remaining batter, apples and finally brown sugar/cinnamon and spread with a pallet knife or back of a spoon.

Place in oven and bake until cake springs back slightly when touched.  When a toothpick comes out JUST clean.  And well, when you think it is done.  Try not to over bake.  If you do, simply serve with ice cream and whipped cream (you should anyway!)

Allrecipes said 30-40 m – but mine took 40-50.  So check yourself.  This is an important skill to figure out.

Let cool in pan, then invert onto rack.  Serve warm, cool, the next day and enjoy –