Does the world really need another Banana Bread recipe? I Googled Banana Bread recipes and came up with 8,330,000 results. So the answer, it would seem, is no. There are gluten free versions, some with chocolate chips and coconut, tropical versions with coconut and macadamias, some with pumpkin and streusel and those are just the ones on this site. But, when you’ve got a freezer full of overripe bananas, the excess demands creativity and sometimes the universe smiles on your efforts. It did for this Bourbon Brown Sugar Banana Bread.
I’ve been on a bourbon and brown sugar kick lately. There’s just something so right about this combination. It makes me want to kick back in a rocking chair on a wrap around porch in the Blue Ridge mountains and breathe in the crisp autumn air. Sipping an aged finger of bourbon and snacking on this remarkable bread. Ahhhh….
But, I live in sunny South Florida, not the Blue Ridge. So I’ll opt for a cloudy, breezy day and the promise of cooler weather to come. It’s the best I can do in the tropics…
I actually made several renditions of this bread, before I got it just right. The first time, I had it in two pans instead of three and it literally overflowed all over my oven like some kind of volcanic disaster movie.
So I worked with the leavening agents, scaling them back a bit and got out a third loaf pan (not going to risk another overflow) and this time everything stayed in its original container. It was also fab-dab-fabulous! The brown sugar and bourbon add a richness that goes beyond plain old banana bread and if you let it sit a day, the bourbon flavor becomes more pronounced— I’m just sayin’. And since this makes three generous loaves, its great for holiday entertaining, or gifting to friends and neighbors if you’re feeling charitable. It also freezes well if you’d rather keep it all for yourself!
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 sticks butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon ground mace
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar (equals 1 pound + 1 cup)
- 5 large eggs
- 3 over ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cups toasted pecans, chopped
- Adjust oven rack to one third up from the bottom. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray three loaf pans (8 1/4 x 4 1/2 x 2") with nonstick vegetable spray. Cut out two pieces of parchment paper to line the bottom of each pan and press into the pan. Spray the parchment with vegetable spray and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl or using a stand mixer, add the butter and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the mace and vanilla and mix in. Add the brown sugar a cup at a time until it's completely incorporated into the butter. Add eggs one at a time, beating until completely blended after each addition. Add the bananas and mix until well combined.
- In a 1 cup glass measuring cup measure out 3/4 cup milk and add 1/4 cup bourbon to equal one cup.
- On the lowest speed, alternate adding the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients in 3 additions, ending with the wet ingredients. Do not overmix, just until the ingredients are combined. Stir in the chopped toasted pecans.
- Divide the batter between the loaf pans.
- Place the loaf pans on a sheet pan and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out the loaves onto a wire baking rack to cool completely.
- Can be wrapped in plastic wrap or foil and kept refrigerated for 3-5 days or freeze (wrapped in freezer paper) for up to a month.