Is it Zucchiana Bread? Banini Bread? Whatever you want to call it, this amazingly moist zucchini-banana bread is the best of both worlds!
It seems like every mother’s child, grandmother, pappy, poppy and shirt-tail cousin remembers their favorite “best ever” quick bread, and the person who made it for them too. For me, it will always and forever be my mother’s banana bread – fresh out of the oven or cold from the fridge – it didn’t matter. It was always, every time, Perfect. The only way to make it any better was to slather a thin layer of fresh butter over the top of a thick slice and eat it slowly, savoring every bite like it was my last.
Try as I might, I’ve never been able to replicate mom’s banana bread. Something’s always missing. Maybe it’s the smell of our turquoise kitchen, or the slick yellow and chrome kitchen table I sat at to eat. Maybe it’s just my mom in her brown flour-covered apron. Whatever it is, her recipe is likely long lost, along with her fading memory, so unless I stumble on it tucked between the pages of one of her many hoarded cookbooks, it may well be gone forever. But I keep trying.
With zucchini season in high gear, my latest attempt took a turn away from straight banana bread. For this, I merged my banana and zucchini bread recipes into what turned out to be an amazingly tasty loaf. After making a number of batches, I attribute this bread’s soft texture and rich flavor to the fact that, for the first time in years, instead of subbing in yogurt as I usually do, I went with full-fat ingredients. If you are trying to cut fat, you can always sub it back in, but keep in mind that the relatively small amount of fat used is balanced by the fact that most of the moisture (and a lot of the sugar) in this bread comes from fruit and vegetable sources.
I like to sprinkle some raw sugar on the loaves just before I pop them in the oven. It gives the tops a thin glazed texture, and I think it makes the bite feel more interesting on the tongue. (For reference, the small loaf above on the right was sprinkled, and the loaf on the left was not.) Enjoy!
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup oil
- ½ cup white sugar
- ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 cups grated zucchini
- 3 ripe medium bananas, mashed (or two large)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3½ cups flour
- 1 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup raw sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Grease and flour two 8x4 bread loaf pans (or just spray them with nonstick cooking spray).*
- In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric mixture, beat eggs until they are light yellow and frothy. Add sour cream, oil, white and brown sugars, grated zucchini, bananas, and vanilla.
- Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly to combine. Do not over mix.
- Fold in walnuts.
- Divide batter evenly between loaf pans.
- Sprinkle loaves with raw sugar. (optional)
- Bake in preheated oven for about 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the loaf pans for 15 minutes on a wire rack before removing. Allow to cool completely.