July 19, 2024
The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

By Aaron Hutcherson

This classic banana bread recipe is wonderfully spiced with cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Be sure to use very ripe bananas whose peels are mostly or all black, which contribute significant sweetness and moisture. For chocolate lovers, unsweetened or dark chocolate adds a hint of bitterness that is welcome but not necessary. Enjoy a slice for breakfast, brunch, an afternoon snack or dessert.

Storage: Store tightly wrapped or in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

From Voraciously staff writer Aaron Hutcherson.


measuring cup

Servings: 1012 (makes one 9-by-5-inch loaf)


Time Icon
15 mins
Total: 1 hour 35 mins
  1. Step 1

    Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving at least 1 inch of overhang on the long sides.

  2. Step 2

    In a large bowl, mix together the bananas, eggs, butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until evenly combined. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and salt until combined.

  3. Step 3

    Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and stir just enough to incorporate, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula and stirring in any streaks. Fold in the chocolate pieces, if using.

  4. Step 4

    Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top. (If you want a split top, run a wet butter knife down the center of the loaf pan 1/2 to 1 inch deep.)

  5. Step 5

    Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out mostly clean with a few crumbs (wipe it off and retest if you encounter chocolate) and the top is browned.

  6. Step 6

    Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then use the parchment overhang to gently lift it out and transfer it to a wire rack or serving tray. Serve the slices warm or at room temperature.

Nutritional Facts

Per serving (1 slice), based on 12

  • Calories


  • Carbohydrates

    40 g

  • Cholesterol

    67 mg

  • Fat

    9 g

  • Fiber

    1 g

  • Protein

    4 g

  • Saturated Fat

    5 g

  • Sodium

    181 mg

  • Sugar

    21 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

From Voraciously staff writer Aaron Hutcherson.

Tested by Aaron Hutcherson.

Published September 30, 2023

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