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There are thousands of recipes for banana bread. This one, from Secrets of Jewish Baker, reflects the tuning and refining of a master baker. With thousands of customer to please, George Greenstein’s recipe here had to acquire a distinctive style while not become “too” different. Both brown and granulated sugar are used. Cake flour, not regular. A dash of rum, well 2 tablespoons of rum, and some toasted walnuts. The flavor shift is one you will immediately notice. And enjoy.

Give this recipe a try. It may very well become your “go-to” recipe when you have those blackening bananas on your kitchen counter and you don’t know what to do. Now, you do.

Banana Nut Bread

Yield: one 9-inch loaf cake


  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter or margarine
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 bananas)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum (optional)
  • ¼ cup milk or water
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts, preferably toasted


Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, lightly cream the sugars and butter. Add the banana and beat in the eggs one at a time. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, combine the vanilla, rum, and milk. Alternately add the milk mixture and the flour mixture to the sugar mixture until thoroughly combined. Dredge the nuts in a little flour, then fold into the batter. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan and a miniature loaf pan, then line them with parchment or waxed paper. Grease the bottoms again and dust them with flour. Turn out the batter into the prepared pans.

Bake until browned and the center feels firm when gently pressed with your fingertips (45 to 60 minutes). Let cool in the pans for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Source: Secrets of a Jewish Baker by George Greenstein [Ten Speed Press, 2007]

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/4 for 1/50th second at ISO‑1600