I like your standard, plain banana bread as much as the next person—which is to say, I could take it or leave it. What really floats my boat is banana bread with chocolate chips. There’s just something about banana and chocolate together—it’s one of those classic combinations. I almost feel guilty that I’ve been making this crazy good marbled chocolate banana bread for several years and have never shared it with you. Whenever I bake a loaf, its beauty is immediately destroyed as soon as it exits the oven because it’s almost impossible to resist a warm, fresh slice. It never lasts long enough for photos. But I made a point of preserving this loaf at least until it was fully cooled and photographed so I could finally, at long last, post the recipe.
What we have here is a pretty standard banana bread recipe. It’s lightened up with nonfat greek yogurt, and an egg plus some liquid egg whites. I’ve also used white whole wheat flour, which is camouflaged really well here. In banana bread, I find the mild nuttiness the whole wheat adds is welcome. To make the chocolate portion, you simply melt semisweet chocolate chips and mix them with a portion of the batter. Swirl the regular and chocolate batters together and bake. Just over an hour later, you’ll have a beautiful loaf of banana-and-chocolate deliciousness. For its incredibly moist crumb, perfectly crunchy crust, and rich chocolate swirl, this banana bread gets top honors from me.
Marbled Banana Bread
Adapted from Cooking Light
Makes 1 9×5″ loaf, 16 slices
2 cups white whole wheat flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
¼ cup butter, softened
1½ cups mashed ripe banana (about 3-4 bananas)
1 egg + ¼ cup liquid egg whites*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅓ cup plain nonfat greek yogurt
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
Place sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add banana, egg and egg whites, vanilla, and yogurt; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist.
Place chocolate chips in a medium microwave-safe bowl, and microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until almost melted, stirring until smooth. Cool slightly. Add 1 cup batter to chocolate, stirring until well combined. Spoon chocolate batter alternately with plain batter into an 9×5″ loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Swirl batters together using a knife. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Store in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to a week.
*Note: Alternately, you can use 2 eggs or ½ cup egg substitute.
ds are a divisive subject. You’re either a lemon person or an almond person. For most of my life, I’ve been staunchly pro-almond. I’ve only recently come around to citrus in general, but it took me longer still to come around to lemon-flavored sweets. I’d still pick an almond
poppy seed muffin over a lemon one almost any day, but I’ve learned to appreciate the sweet and sour alternative. I’m an equal-opportunity poppy seed eater now. If it has poppy seeds in it, I’m on board. Do poppy seeds serve any purpose other than providing a delicate “crunc
h” with every chew? And getting stuck in your teeth?
Even if they’re just for show, poppy seeds sure do make for delicious muffins, cakes, and quick breads. This one included! The base is a simple lemon quick bread lightened up with greek yogurt, and I topped it off with a lemon-vanilla bean glaze that’s made with a little cream cheese. The glaze is totally optional, of course, but its sweetness—combined with the slight tang of the cream cheese—is a perfect complement to the tart lemon flavor. The cake itself has a dense crumb but isn’t heavy, and it’s super moist. And the glaze keeps helps to keep it that way. The beauty of quick breads like this is that they’re satisfyingly sweet, but also light—so you can enjoy a slice as a snack, for breakfast, or dessert. I do love a triple threat.
Lemon Poppy Seed Bread
Adapted from Allyou Yields 1 9×5″ loaf, 12 slices
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
¼ cup nonfat greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
¼ cup 1% or skim milk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1½ tablespoons cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon lemon juice
⅓ cup sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Splash 1% or skim milk (as needed)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan with baking spray or line with parchment paper. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Using electric mixer, cream unsalted butter, sugar and lemon zest on medium-high speed until fluffy. Beat in greek yogurt until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in vanilla bean paste. Mix in dry ingredients alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in lemon juice and poppy seeds.
Pour batter into pan and bake in center of oven until a tester inserted in center of loaf comes out clean, 45-50 minutes. Let loaf cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning out onto rack. Cool completely.
For glaze, combine cream cheese, lemon juice, and vanilla bean paste in a small bowl and stir until combined. Whisk in powdered sugar until smooth. Stir in a splash of milk if glaze becomes too thick. Pour over cooled cake.
This week, I’ve been wallowing in my sickness and bachelorettehood (I have a cold and my boyfriend’s been out of town). However, I just had to pop in and share a quick recipe with you. Bad news: no step-by-step photos because obviously, that would interfere with my quality wallowing time. The good news is that this recipe is super easy. Oh—and sorry, boyfriend, but there is none of this bread left for you when you get home tomorrow. Oops! .
You know when you get a new issue of a food magazine, flipping through casually, and there’s always one recipe that stops you in your tracks and you say, “I have to make this right now“? This was that recipe when I downloaded the new issue of Cooking Light on my iPad this past weekend. They had a whole section on quick breads, and they all looked amazing, but I just had a feeling about this one. This bread is basically a loaf coffee cake, which means I’m 100% on board. It reminds me of my mom’s coffee cake, which is the best thing to be reminded of. As soon as I read the ingredient list, I literally stood up, took the iPad into the kitchen, and started baking.
Look at the carmelization on this streusel. It’s a beautiful thing. The base is light, delicately sweet, and spongey, and obviously streusel makes everything better. The walnut-oat streusel is a little unique and completely delicious. The top layer of walnut-cinnamon streusel creates a crunchy, crumbly crust on with a little bit of chew from the oats, and the middle layer of streusel creates sweet, moist swirls throughout the bread. Hit the jump for the recipe!