One-Bowl Banana-Zucchini Bread
This delicious recipe is a mash-up of two of my favorite simple baking projects: banana bread and zucchini bread. It’s a quick bread, meaning that there’s no yeast or kneading involved. And, unlike many similar recipes, it only requires one mixing bowl. This easy banana bread recipe has become one of my family’s go-to’s. I love that it gets extra tenderness and a little veggie power thanks to the zucchini. And, it’s versatile: we enjoy it for breakfast or a snack, as-is, or spread with a layer of almond butter or peanut butter. A little salty butter is also welcome (when isn’t it, really?).
If you have a copy of Baby-Led Feeding this recipe might look familiar, but it isn’t exactly the same as what’s in that book. I increased the sugar slightly for a little more sweetness, changed up the whole grain flour based on what I had on-hand, and played with a dramatic split banana topping…which is totally optional, by the way.
Tweaks and Swaps
Happily, this is a very forgiving bread! Here are some changes you can make, either for taste or based on ingredient availability.
- Bananas – Skip the fourth banana and just include three mashed in the bread.
- Sugar – This can be decreased to 1/2 cup. Obviously the bread won’t be as sweet, but it will still be tasty.
- Oil – Canola, coconut, vegetable, or even olive oil work. I don’t recommend melted butter, since the bread won’t stay as moist. But, if that’s all you have, go for it!
- Flour – Instead of white whole wheat flour, you can use spelt flour, rye flour, whole wheat pastry flour, or regular whole wheat flour. Or, just use 2 cups all-purpose flour.
- Zucchini – Don’t have it or don’t like it? Skip it.
- Make it muffins! Omit the banana on top and divide the batter into 12 greased muffin cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
- To make it more-ish, stir in 3/4 cup chocolate chips or 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts. Skip these if baking for a baby.
- Want a straight-up Zucchini Bread Recipe? Try this one. I make it every summer without fail.
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- Nonstick Cooking Spray
- 4 very ripe bananas, divided
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup canola or coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups grated zucchini
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment paper, so the long ends can act as handles.
2. Place 3 bananas in a large bowl, and mash with a fork. Add the eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth-ish. Add both flours, the cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine. Add the zucchini, and stir to combine.
3. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Peel the remaining banana and slice it length-wise. Place the banana slices, cut side up on the top of the unbaked loaf. Brush with the maple syrup. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely on the rack.
If you’re baking primarily for your baby: Omit the salt, reduce the sugar to 1/2 cup, and skip the split banana topping. Cut the bread into small pieces for self-feeding.
Makes 1 loaf