I have at least three banana bread recipes in rotation but this is the one I use when Felix wants to help. It makes a really moist, dense loaf (or muffins) and can be done in one bowl with no electricity required (other than the oven). Perfect for a 3 year old, and easy for older kids.
The chocolate chips are optional (depending who you ask!) and you can add nuts, seeds or raisins instead.
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Start with three bananas. Ripe is best but whatever you have on hand. My son does the peeling.
Cut 3 tablespoons butter and let soften. Melting this will allow it to combine quicker.
Measure 3/4 cup brown sugar. I let Felix pack down the sugar with his fingers as we fill.
And then measure 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour. Whenever we use flour I show Felix how to be careful not to pack it down and demo for him how to sweep the top to even it out. Yes, it can get messy, but it’s a learning experience!
Set aside 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
And a pinch salt. An easy one for little hands.
You don’t have to pre-measure any of the ingredients unless you have the time and it is fun with your kids to do the “prep”.
You can just start with mashing the bananas-
Then add all the other ingredients into the bowl. If you want you can pre-mix the dry ingredients before adding them but this is guerrilla-style banana bread and always works if you combine well. Mix until you have a batter, some banana chunks are OK.
Add ½ cup chocolate chips. (Highly anticipated moment in our house.)
And then divide the batter between greased muffin molds (12) or a small, greased loaf tray.
Bake the muffins about 13-15 minutes, until they have firmed and a knife comes out clean. The loaf will take about 50-60 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.
One Bowl Banana Bread
3 bananas (mashed)
3 tbsp butter, room temperature (or melted)
¾ cup brown sugar
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup chocolate chips (optional)
1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl using a fork and/or a spatula.
2. Pour into a small, greased loaf pan (8 1/2” x 4 1/2 “) or regular muffin tins.
3. Bake for 13-15 minutes for the muffins. Bake 50-60 minutes for the loaf. Remove from oven when firming and a knife comes out clean from the centre.
4. Cool before slicing/eating.
Sue Riedl is a Toronto-based food writer with a passion for cheese who writes a column called The Spread for the Globe and Mail. She loves to push stinky cheese on her 3-year old.