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Best-Ever Banana Bread

This isn’t your grandma’s banana bread, but you can eat it while you sip from her mug in honor of her passing on the family baking gene to you. This recipe took top honors out of 14 other banana bread recipes tasted by the Bon Appétit staff. They all agree that the dark brown sugar and yogurt gives it a sweet tenderness. Also walnuts and bittersweet chocolate are optional but we don’t recommend skipping either.

Recipe from Bon Appétit’s Best of Recipes

What You Need

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup mascarpone, plain whole-milk Greek yogurt, or sour cream
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 large very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1½ cups)
  • ½ cup chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (optional)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • How To Make It
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat 8½x4½” loaf pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a generous overhang on long sides. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

  2. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat brown sugar, mascarpone, and butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend after each addition and scraping down sides and bottom of bowl as needed.

  3. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture, and mix until just combined. Add bananas and mix just until combined. Fold in chocolate and/or walnuts, if using. Scrape batter into prepared pan; smooth top.

  4. Bake bread until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 60–65 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let bread cool in pan 1 hour. Turn out bread and let cool completely (if you can resist) before slicing.

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