Recipe: Holiday Banana Bread

Banana bread on table with slice missing

Friends, I am squeezing one more recipe post in before I sign off for the year. I absolutely could NOT close 2019 without sharing this recipe with you, which is probably the only dessert I feel I can truly master.

Confession time: I consider myself an accomplished cook, but am not a very good baker. (Ahem, this is not the EASIEST confession given my recent foray into the food blogging world.)

This banana bread recipe is famous in my family. When I was growing up, my mom did not do much baking. This moist, delicious sweet bread was the exception, and I have very fond memories of having it especially around the holidays (for breakfast, naturally) but sometimes on other special occasions.

My mom also regularly proclaims her baking skills to be novice at best. Given that I learned everything I know about cooking from her, those baking skills (or lack thereof) did not fall very far from the proverbial matriarchal tree.

However, the bottom line is that if I can achieve the culinary feat of deliciousness that is mastering this awesome banana bread, ANYONE can do it.

A Word About the Ingredients

Bananas: For YEARS, I attempted this bread only to have it sink down or come out soggy in the middle. I have now discovered this was due to using overripe bananas. I was always told that when it comes to banana bread, the more ripe the bananas, the better. Well, I have now found that to be completely untrue. The bananas should be very ripe with brown splotches covering much of the yellow peel. Once they have moved into the stage where the entire peel is black and they are starting to liquefy, it is too late for those babies. As for the amount, use 6 bananas if they are small or if they are very large, you can use 4 or 5.

Flour: The original, old family recipe called for white flour, and my mother changed it to whole wheat flour. You can honestly make it with either but using whole wheat flour, in my opinion, is what makes this recipe so special. It results in an extremely dark and thick texture that I have never found in another banana bread.

Pecans: We have enough nuts in our family so I don’t normally put them in my food. No, really, I love nuts in many things but almost NEVER add them to this bread. However, many people like them and they do go nicely so I have them listed as optional.

Holiday Banana Bread

*Slightly adapted from the “famous” Folbre family banana bread recipe. Tastes like my childhood!


Holiday Banana Bread: The BEST Banana Bread Recipe!
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4-6 ripe bananas (4 large or 6 very small)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream shortening and sugar with electric mixer.
  3. Mash bananas until there are no lumps and add to shortening and sugar mixture.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
  5. Sift flour, salt and baking soda together and add to banana mixture.
  6. Add vanilla and pecans.
  7. Pour into sprayed or greased bundt ban or two 9x5x2 loaf pans, and bake for 45 minutes or until done (toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean).

Serves: 10

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