Spiced banana bread


Grace Wiley

Spiced banana bread

By Opinions Editor

Until I was 15, I hated everything about bananas. But that changed on a 10-day volunteer trip to the Philippines when my friends and I hiked up mud-covered, tropical Mount Pinatubo to a remote village. When we crested the top of the mountain, one of my friends made a quick foray into a banana grove and returned with an armful of fresh, ripe bananas he pulled from a tree. I still can’t stand the oozing texture of bananas from American grocery stores, but after the bananas I had at the top of the mountain, I still crave the taste.

Now, I get creative with how I use bananas, and banana bread is a classic. My version is actually bread, so you can justify eating it with peanut butter or as a dessert with coffee.

To start, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and allspice in a large mixing bowl. For a healthier option, you can substitute the all-purpose flour with whole-wheat flour and add a little water to balance the texture. Combine the sugar, vanilla, eggs and milk in another bowl before mixing into the dry ingredients.

Set the mixture aside and turn to the main ingredient: the bananas. It’s better if they look disgustingly overripe on the outside because they will be easier to chop and puree. Peel and chop them into a food processor or blender and pulse for about 30 seconds or until smooth. Open the lid and drizzle in the olive oil to add a full flavor to the bananas and mellow out the intense sweetness. Pulse for another 10 seconds.

Pour the banana mixture into the bowl and mix well. If it’s a little watery, add another tablespoon of flour until pushing a spoon through the mixture leaves ridges in the batter. Pour into the prepared pan and make sure the batter is even on both sides. Sprinkle with spices.

Bake the bread for 35–40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean and the edges of the bread are light brown. Let it cool for 10 minutes before serving, and then enjoy the subtle taste of banana with spices. Some things are just better in bread.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 overripe bananas, pureed
  • 1 dash of nutmeg (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9-by-5-inch baking pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and allspice.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar, vanilla, eggs and milk. Fold into flour mixture
  4. In a food processor or blender, puree the bananas. Add olive oil and blend.
  5. Mix banana with batter. Pour into loaf pan and sprinkle with extra cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.
  6. Bake 35–40 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.