- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or finely ground sea salt)
- 2 large eggs
- 3 very ripe bananas (slightly over-ripe is ideal)
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla (Mexican vanilla is great in this)
- optional: 3/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
preheat the oven to 350 °F (325 °F if using glass pans). butter a loaf pan or a 9 x 13 cake pan.
cream the butter, sugar and salt together thoroughly in a large mixing bowl; it should be light and fluffy when finished (a sturdy wooden spoon is perfect for this; switch to a sturdy whisk for the next step). add one egg, beat until fully incorporated, then add the other, and beat again until mixture is smooth and light.
peel the bananas and break up into chunks into a smaller bowl, then mash with the milk, cinnamon and vanilla. whisk banana mixture into the butter/sugar/egg mixture until smooth (small chunks of banana are not only fine, of course, but desirable). add pecans (if using).
add the flour, baking powder and baking soda to the banana mixture and whisk in carefully, until just combined. the batter will be fairly thick. using a spatula, transfer batter to baking dish and lightly smooth out the top. place in oven and bake ― 60-70 minutes for loaf pan; 45-55 minutes if using cake pan. banana bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out perfectly clean. place pan on cooling rack before cutting into serving pieces.