Friday, November 14, 2008

Tropical Bannana Bread

Take one plain, uninspired, but solid recipe for banana bread, substitute some molasses for some of the sugar (while thinking of how the molasses / sugar trade was one leg of a terrible triangle in the early years of our country...the other legs being rum and slaves, or so I've been told). Bananas and vanilla are certainly tropical enough, but let's add some dates (thinking of desert palms and midnight at the oasis). Pecans grow in the south, not necessarily tropical, but warm, anyway. Let's throw some in, along with coconut (think Hawaii and Pohnepei where Sweetie spent time while in the Peace Corps, and island breezes). Now we have a tropical banana bread that is sure to please my Sweetie.

The fragrance that fills the house as it cooks is alluring. It was so hard to wait a bit after it came out of the oven to let it cool...well at least a little...although it was still warm.

What a mouthful! The flavors of coconut and banana are followed by the date and pecan and molasses goodness. It is flavorful from the whole wheat flour I used, super moist and hard to resist.

The next day, chilled and sliced thin, spread with cream cheese and cut into fingers, it's also an elegant accompaniment to a nice cup of hot tea. This might be the best banana bread I've ever made. Next time I might make some rum flavored syrup to pour over while it's hot. That would be perfection.

Tropical Banana Bread

based on my mom's banana bread in Family Food, June 1994
makes one loaf

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup molasses, dark is best
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3 ripe bananas (or 2 large), mashed
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.

Beat butter, molasses and sugar together until fluffy. It's OK if it looks curdled.

Add eggs and banana pulp and beat well.

Add sifted dry ingredient's, vanilla, and buttermilk. Mix just until dry ingredients are incorporated. Stir in nuts, dates, and coconut.

Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake about 1 hour. Test for doneness with a toothpick in center. When done, toothpick comes out clean or with a few crumbs on it. Cool well. Store overnight before cutting...if you can wait that long. A serrated knife makes cutting easier.


  1. Oh wow sound amazing. I love dates and nuts in banana bread too but it never occured to me to try adding treacle - im longing to try it now

  2. yum, banana bread. Haven't made that for ages, but I've got 3 sorry looking bananas lying around, so I know just what to do with them.

  3. Wow, I've added a little ginger and coconut, but dates and pecans and molasses and rum sauce, whoo, fancy!

  4. Sounds yummy, I am going to make this for my mom, she loves dates.

  5. Katie, golden syrup would be a fun thing to try instead of the treacle, too.

    Inne, Sometimes I even buy the older bananas at the store just so I can bake banana bread.

    Tadmack, ginger and rum sauce! Wow....that sounds even better.

    Peabody, If she loves dates, add can't hurt.