Many people are cooking more at home these days, but if your interests skew toward baking, you may have noticed a few common themes making the rounds: Sourdough. Elaborately decorated focaccia. Banana bread.
Why so much banana bread? Hard to say. Maybe it’s because it is a comforting, cozy and easy project, especially for entry-level bakers. Maybe it’s ideal for when your grocery order goes completely rogue — like that time I asked for 17 bananas and got 17 BUNCHES. (True story, thankfully I managed to donate most of them.)
There’s also a lot more variation in the genre than you might realize. Here are a few options from our archives to help you mix — and mash — things up.
Coffee-Spiked Banana Bread, above. After I made this recipe for the photo you see here, my family may have a new favorite. This supremely moist loaf from the popular “Moosewood Cookbook” has a gentle undercurrent of coffee that you might not even recognize. It will also make you appreciate how great milk chocolate chips can be in an otherwise semisweet or bittersweet world.
Naturally Sweet Banana Bread. There’s no added sugar in here thanks to dates pureed with yogurt, both of which give the crumb of this cake (that’s what banana “bread” really is, right?) an outstanding texture.
Banana Bread With Chocolate Drizzle. Using all whole-wheat flour and less sugar makes this recipe from Ellie Krieger not as over-the-top as some others.
Gluten-Free Hazelnut Banana Bread. In addition to a nutty, tender loaf, you’ll have leftovers of the grain-free flour blend you can use for another batch or a different recipe.
Sticky Banana Bread With Fresh Mango and Muscovado Cream. Mango and macadamias add some tropical flair to this recipe. The mango is served on the side, so you can best appreciate the interplay of flavors between the sweeter bread, tangy cream and bright fruit.
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