Banana Bread

Banana Bread


1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar, white or brown
1/4 cup sour cream or yogurt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon zest (optional)
1 cup mashed banana
1 ¾ cups + 2 Tbsp sifted flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
(1/4 tsp cinnamon - optional)
(1/8 tsp nutmeg - optional)

*Optional add-ins, up to 3/4 cup total: walnuts, pecans or other nuts, sunflower seeds, coconut, chocolate chips, 1 1/2 Tbsp cocoa powder (for swirling through batter at the end) or whatever the heck you like.

*Switch it up: Replace part or all of the mashed banana with apple, cherry, or blueberry pie filling, finely grated carrot, zucchini, crushed pineapple, grated apple. This is a basic quick bread recipe – let your imagination take flight. As long as it has approximately the same water content as mashed bananas, it will work.


Generously spray a 6-cup bundt pan, 6 or 7-inch cake, cheesecake pan or egg bite molds with cooking spray. If using a metal pan, toss in a spoonful of flour. Knock it around to coat the pan and bang the excess flour into the garbage. The flour isn't necessary in silicone pans or molds.

*ABSOLUTE MUST:  Sift the flour BEFORE measuring, NOT after. If you don’t sift it first, your bread will be heavy and dense.

Stir the baking powder, baking soda and salt into the sifted flour. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg, if using. Mash and measure the bananas, leaving some chunks if you like.

In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar until thoroughly combined. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition. Continue to beat until it is light and fluffy. Add the sour cream or yogurt, vanilla and lemon zest, if using. Add the mashed banana. The batter may look a little curdled after you add the banana; don't worry about this.

Add the dry ingredients and mix JUST until incorporated. Do this by hand for best results. Do not can make it tough or rubbery.

If you want to add some of the optional stuff, now's the time. Gently fold in any combination of the nuts, seeds, coconut and/or chocolate chips. You can also fold in streaks of cocoa powder for a nice marbled effect.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the batter to a flat surface. Spray a piece of tin foil with cooking spray and cover the pan with it, sprayed side down. (I have cooked it without the tinfoil and had great results but the top was a little damp when I removed it from the IP. I did like it, though.)

Place the trivet in the Instant Pot and add 1 1/2 cups water. Put the banana bread on the trivet, close the lid and make sure the valve is set to Sealing. Press the Pressure Cook (or Manual) button and adjust the time using the + and - buttons to get to 50 minutes for a bundt, ring pan or 7-inch round pan or 60 minutes for a 6-inch pan. For mini banana bread bites in the egg bite molds, cook for 16 minutes.

When the Instant Pot beeps that it's done, leave it for 15 minutes natural release. Then flip the valve from Sealing to Venting for a quick release of the remaining pressure. When the pin drops, remove the lid, take a whiff and enjoy the memories of Grandma's house.

Cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes and then flip it onto a rack or plate and tap the bottom (or thump it if necessary) to release the banana bread. Flip it right side up and serve warm with butter all melty and stuff.

*Mandatory: close your eyes when you take the first bite.