Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread

Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread

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You may have noticed a theme with the recipes I’ve blogged about recently. They’re  mostly bananas.

I’ve been stocking the house with more bananas than we can eat before they’re too ripe. That’s why I’ve made Chocolate Banana Bread, Banana Bread with Pecans and Dates, Chocolate Banana Cake, and Banana Sandwich Bread. Oh, and Banana Pancakes, even though that was over a month ago while I was still coming home on the weekends only.

I thought it was fate when a blog I follow posted a recipe for Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread. Here was something a little different that I could do with bananas.

Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread
Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread, with fresh brown sugar glaze

What’s different about this banana bread? Aside from olive oil and lemon zest, it takes half whole wheat flour, brown sugar, and a little yogurt. It also calls for chocolate pieces as additions. It’s topped with a glaze made with brown sugar, powdered sugar, and lemon juice. Once again, I did not weigh or measure my bananas – I just added 3 that I was ready to use. I used low-fat yogurt and the bread still turned out okay.

To make: mix together the dry ingredients and add the chocolate. Separately, mix together all wet ingredients, including bananas and lemon zest. Gently mix the wet ingredients into the dry, being careful not to over-mix. Pour into a greased 9x5in loaf pan and bake at 350F for 50 minutes. I used a toothpick to test for doneness, and I had to bake it an extra 7 minutes before a toothpick came out clean.

I made the glaze right before topping the cooled bread. I had to use more lemon juice than called for – at least 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and perhaps up to 3, to get the glaze to drizzle and be anything more than a thick paste.

Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread
Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread – just look at how tender and moist it is

Even though I had to bake it an extra 7 minutes, it was still moist and tender. It was no more dense than any other banana bread, in spite of the whole wheat flour. Perhaps I used more banana than the recipe called for, which helped keep it moist. The lemon zest brightened the cake itself, while the whole wheat flour and olive oil gave the bread an earthy flavor. The olive oil in particular made it taste distinctly like olive oil if you know what to look for. The glaze was definitely grainy when we first ate it, but not so much later on. I’ve heard that if you mix it earlier, that graininess might disappear.

The texture of this bread was great, but overall, I don’t think I’d make it again. It’s simply personal taste. I didn’t care for the combination of olive oil with these ingredients in this sweet bread. I may have enjoyed this more had I substituted walnuts for the chocolate – I would have rather had the chocolate in other things. Alex and I didn’t dislike the bread, but it didn’t really do anything special for us. If you think you’d like the richer flavor of an olive oil banana bread, please make this one because it has a great texture – it’s definitely a solid recipe. If you think you’d rather not mix your sweets (or chocolates) with earthy flavors, give it a pass.

Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread

adapted from 101 Cookbooks

Author: Leona Konkel
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (4.5 ounces)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (5 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar (4.5 ounces)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate, or chocolate chips (4 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (80 milliliters)
  • 2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (12 ounces/~3 bananas)
  • 1/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt (60ml)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the glaze:
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar (3 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (2 ounces)
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  1. Mix together flours, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Stir in chocolate pieces.

  2. Separately, mix together olive oil, eggs, banana, yogurt, lemon zest, and vanilla. Pour banana mixture into flour mixture and fold with a spatula until just combined. Scrape batter into greased 9x5-inch loaf pan.

  3. Bake at 350F for about 50 minutes, until golden brown. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn loaf out of the pan onto a cooling rack. Cool completely. 

  4. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn the loaf out of the pan to cool completely.
  5. Mix together brown sugar, powdered sugar, and lemon juice until mixture is smooth. Drizzle glazes over the top of the cooled cake. 

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