Back when my site was a young baby, I blogged about one of the greatest classics in American cooking, the banana bread. I had no idea that a few months down the line, that recipe would be part of a fun quest to find the world’s best banana bread, and what’s even more amazing, it tied for first place! To me, that matter was solved. No need to even bother trying another recipe. Then, on a quiet Saturday morning, while checking FoodTV episodes taped during the previous week, I saw Giada cheerfully making a blueberry banana loaf. Blueberries and bananas, baked together until the blueberries get all soft and intensely sweet… I decided that my blog can handle a second take on a classic, especially one with a purple twist! 😉

(from Giada de Laurentiis)
Butter, for greasing the loaf pan
1 + 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting the loaf pan
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 3/4 cup of mashed banana)
1 cup (about 4 ounces) fresh blueberries

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9- by 5- by 3-inch loaf pan. Set aside. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until blended. Stir in the bananas and blueberries. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until blended.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool for 15 minutes. Remove the loaf from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 hours.
to print the recipe, click here

:  I decided to make this loaf around 9pm on a Monday night.  It was a dark and stormy night… ooops, no, that’s the beginning of a bad novel…   It was actually a nice and warm summer night, but one in which I had to be in the lab at midnight to get some bacteria growing for an experiment early next day.   I wanted to make sure I would  not fall asleep in the middle of a Law and Order episode, and baking definitely gets my adrenaline going.  Side benefit?  Taking banana bread to the department, to make the life of the early birds a little sweeter…    😉

This banana bread (or cake, or loaf, whatever you want to call it) is a breeze to make! I followed Giada’s advice and did not even use the electric mixer, was left with only a whisk plus two bowls to clean.  Awesome!

ONE YEAR AGO: Busy Times (one year since we moved our lab to KSU!)

TWO YEARS AGO: Oriental-Style Turkey Patties

THREE YEARS AGO: Sourdough English Muffins

FOUR YEARS AGO: Kaiser Rolls


    • Oh, my….. now I have a problem: cannot please Maureen because of the blueberries and cannot please you because of the bananas… that will give me nightmares for a while… what to do? what to do? 😉


      • I suppose I could … try it. 🙂 I throw bananas into smoothies and once every few years, I try making banana bread again. Just in case my tastes have changed. It’s mostly a texture thing for me.

        Perhaps Maureen could use raspberries?


        • 🙂 Good idea on the raspberries…. Or blackberries…. what the heck, maybe chocolate chips? 😉

          A texture thing, you say… interesting. I suppose that means the texture of the fruit itself? I can see that could be a problem. But, I am Brazilian, and we are born with intense love for that fruit. Although, I must say there are types of bananas I never learned to love – but you cannot find those outside Brazil. One is called (translating literally from Portuguese): apple-banana. I cannot stand it, there’s something about the tart taste and a strange texture… but the regular banana is one of my favorite fruits. It brings me sweet memories of my Dad…


  1. We may need another banana bread challenge now! You know we love our blueberries. 🙂 This looks delicious and I haven’t made a banana bread in ages. Your lab mates are lucky folks! I’d get up at midnight for work and a piece of this bread. 🙂


  2. Gotta love those early bird perks 😉 — the color on this bread is just gorgeous and blueberries continue to roll in at their prime. Perfect choice. (we have to connect our cable — missing cozying up to tv – especially with the aroma of banana bread surrounding us whilst watching :)).


    • I know what it’s like to move – so many details… can you believe it’s been one year we moved to Kansas and we still have not changed our license plates in the cars? It will come, but we decided to profit from the Oklahoma licensing laws that are a lot cheaper and simpler. That’s one thing that it took me a while to realize, how the different states in the US have completely different laws!

      I know it’s hard to move, but I can tell you are already enjoying the positive aspects of it 😉


  3. You did it! You took a winning recipe and made it better! Love the idea of blueberries in banana bread and you description of the combination has my mouth watering. One look at a slice and I was sold. Way to go, Sally!


    • John, don’t tell anyone but a friend of mine sent me a recipe for a banana bread that I will have to try – once I have a kitchen that is.. can you tell I’ve been counting the weeks?


  4. I was going to say the same thing John said! Love the idea of blueberries in banana bread, it’s a wonderful idea and I’ve never thought of adding addition fruits to banana bread and I can tell blueberries would be perfect. Love it.


    • that’s exactly Phil’s opinion, blueberries make everything better! I liked the way it added an element of surprise as you bite into the banana bread… a little tart, a little gooey. 😉


  5. I have some really over ripe bananas so I came here to see what you do with yours. This looks like what I want. I have in my mind that I would like some oats in it, too. Looked at some blueberry/banana/oat recipes on line. None of them trustworthy like you are. But from looking at them and the amount of flour and liquid, I’m thinking I can just add 1/2 cup of oats to this recipe. I’m going to do it this afternoon.


  6. This was REALLY good. The 1/2 cup oats worked great. Not having tried it without the oats I can’t say if it made the recipe better or not, but the oats added a little texture and heft. I added them into the dry ingredients and tossed the berries with the dry ingredients before stirring into the wet. You’re right. . . this comes together in a jiffy and mixing by hand is the way to go. Good and moist and even more so today. Simon, our African Gray parrot who hates both bananas and blueberries is out of his mind over it.


    • MADE MY DAY!!! (and trust me, I needed something good coming my way, it’s been a tough one… as far as lab is concerned…)

      Wonderful that Simon approved it too! Nothing better than making our best friends happy!


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