On Saturday morning, I was browsing the internet and came across a banana bread recipe that caught my eye. Ironically, I had brown speckled bananas sitting on my counter…so I figured I would get my lazy behind into the kitchen and do something somewhat productive. Now, most of you that read my blog know I usually have to mess with a recipe in an effort to tweak it…what can I say…it’s another compulsion of mine. I decided to make 4 individual mini loaves using my new Wilton pans. Two of the loaves I kept plain and {{gasp}} according to the directions, but the other two I turned into Almond Joy Banana Loaves. I figured these loaves would be the perfect treat for a very special family member. Once I removed the batter for the plain loaves and tossed them into the oven I added some coconut, miniature chocolate chips, and toasted chopped slivered almonds to the rest of the batter.

Makes one 9″ loaf (I made four mini loaves)
Adapted from The New Best Recipe from the editors of CI
2 cups (10oz.) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting pan
1 1/4 C walnuts, chopped coarse (I omitted this)
3/4 C sugar
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
3 very ripe, soft, darkly speckled large bananas mashed well (about 1 1/2 C), mashed
1/4 c plain yogurt
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
6 T (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 t vanilla extract

1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan; dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
2. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant, 5-10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
3. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and walnuts together in a large bowl; set aside.
4. Mix the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla with a wooden spoon in a medium bowl. Lightly fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula until just combined and the batter looks thick and chunky. Scrape the butter into the prepared loaf pan.
5. Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a tooth-pick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. (the bread can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.)

My additions to 1/2 of the batter:
1/2 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup chopped slivered almonds

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