The warm, rich spices blended with the creamy banana and melting chocolate, makes this bread a huge treat! In fact, it’s like cake, really. Chocolate chips or not, banana bread has always been, and always will be cake.
Sure, it’s shaped like bread, presented and sliced like bread, and well, perhaps we feel better having it for breakfast when we call it bread — but lest be real, it’s cake.
It’s soft, sweet and warm. Ummm? Yep, it’s cake.
It’s certainly not going in a toaster. Or being spread with a condiment of any sort. It’s a cake, after all.
In this banana bread, I used olive oil instead of butter. I did this, not to make it any healthier for us, (though it does that), but because I just love what it brings to the recipe, especially the extra crispy top!
Call it what you will, but I’m having it for dessert.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1½ teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups mashed banana from about 3 medium-sized bananas
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil plus a bit extra to grease the pan
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Great an (approximately 4 X 12-inch) loaf pan with a bit of extra virgin olive oil. Be sure all of the sides and bottom are very well coated and set it aside. (You can flour it as well for insurance, but I always seem to succeed with just the oil, and I like the additional crispness it adds to the crust.)
In a large bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, cardamom, baking soda and salt. Set it aside.
In a medium-sized bowl, mix the mashed banana with the sugar. Once it's nicely blended (it will still be a bit lumpy from the bananas), add the eggs and whisk until smooth. Then add the oil, buttermilk and vanilla, again, whisking until smooth.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. With a large spoon, mix everything together just until it's evenly blended and then fold in the chocolate chips. (Do not over mix!)
Pour the batter into prepared pan and place it in the preheated 350 degree F oven. Bake until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 1 hour.
Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool in the pan for at least 5 minutes. Run the back of a knife along the edges to loosen any stuck areas. Then invert it onto a baking rack, and let it cool for at least another 15 minutes.
Slice and serve!