Banana Walnut Bread with Pistachios

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homemade banana bread
Banana bread is one of of my all-time favorite classics to bake. I upgraded a recipe I’ve used for nearly a decade by topping it with a creamy vanilla glaze and chopped pistachios. I love this recipe because it uses so much banana, and you can truly taste the natural banana flavor–something you certainly won’t taste if you buy banana bread that has been mass-produced and vacuum sealed.

Banana bread is one of those recipes where I buy a bunch of bananas, and impatiently wait to see if there are any left by the time they are super-ripe. (Most bananas end up in my morning smoothie.)  Fortunately, this morning, there was a nice-sized bunch of bananas that were perfectly ripe for banana bread.

Only use ripe bananas when baking. They should be covered in dark spots.

Plus, this recipe is easy! Like other quick breads, it’s simply a matter of combining ingredients and baking. This recipe is also on the healthier side since it replaces some of the flour with wheat flour, and because it uses so many bananas, there’s a decreased amount of butter.

To make this recipe, you will need to smash and measure your bananas. I used 4 small bananas, which yielded me the 1 and 1/3 cups (315 grams) of smashed banana I needed. I then measured the flour, wheat flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg into a large bowl. Lastly, I combined the eggs, melted butter, brown sugar, vanilla and milk into the bowl of my stand mixer. Once the ingredients in my bowl were combined, I added the flour and smashed banana, alternating in 3 additions.

square collage banana bread

I then stirred in the walnuts and poured the batter into a buttered and floured 9×5 inch loaf pan, and baked it in the oven at 350 F for approximately one hour. I tested to see if the loaf was done by sticking a toothpick in the center at the thickest part. If the toothpick comes out clean, your quick bread can be removed from the oven.

sq collage 2

I left the loaf in its pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes before removing the loaf to cool completely. Meanwhile, I made a creamy vanilla glaze by combining powdered sugar with cream and vanilla. I poured the glaze on top, and sprinkled chopped nuts on the loaf.

Remove the loaf from the pan after 5 minutes. Pour the creamy vanilla glaze on the loaf. Sprinkle with nuts and serve.
Banana Walnut Bread with Pistachios
Author: Vallery
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1 loaf
  • 4 small, ripe bananas (1 and 1/3 cups or 315 grams)
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (235 grams)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (75 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar (185 grams)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup chopped pistachios
  1. Prepare a 9×5 inch loaf pan by buttering and flouring the pan.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  3. In a small bowl, mash the bananas. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg. Set aside.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a separate large bowl), combine the eggs, brown sugar, milk, melted butter and 2 teaspoons of the vanilla extract. Beat on medium-low until just combined.
  6. Add the dry ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with the mashed bananas on low until just combined.
  7. Stir in the walnuts.
  8. Pour the patter into the prepared loaf pan and bake at 350 F for 55-60 minutes. The loaf is done when a toothpick inserted into the thickest part comes out clean.
  9. Remove the loaf from the oven and let it cool in the loaf pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes.
  10. While it’s cooling, prepare the glaze. Add 1 tablespoon of heavy cream and the remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the 1/3 cup powdered sugar. Stir to combine. If the glaze is too thick, add more cream until it reaches the right consistency.
  11. Drizzle the glaze over the loaf. Sprinkle the chopped pistachios on top.
  12. Once completely cool, store in an air tight container in the refrigerator or at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Recipe adapted from Williams Sonoma, Essentials of Baking.

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  • Karen Brooks SAYS | July 21, 2016

    I cannot wait to try your recipe. I have been using the same recipe since the kids were little. It is time for a new version. It looks delicious.

about vallery

I am a lawyer-turned-baker. 
I left my 9-5 office job because I wanted to create recipes, videos, and most of all—Bake! I won the Great American Baking Show, and my debut cookbook Life Is What You Bake It contains some of the winning recipes! My motto is simple: When life gives you lemons, make lemon curd. We have the power to turn tart situations into sweet ones, and it’s my mission to teach people how.



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