Neglected Bananas and Other Misdemeanors

Neglected Bananas Bread

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I’ve been testing recipes for a cookbook in North Carolina and have basically been tasting and not really eating much else other than what I need to test (gravies, BBQ sauces, and lots of fried birds). I had bought some bananas a few weeks ago—the perfectly freckled ones I love--but never got to them and as they started turning black and blue, instead of sticking them in the freezer (where they would surely be lost forever), I searched the larder.

I found some other neglected goods--plump Turkish dried apricots and chocolate chips--and decided to throw them all in together and see how they would get along. The result was moist and flavorful. I used vanilla fleur de sel, but I’ve listed vanilla extract and sea salt in this recipe below.


  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt (or vanilla fleur de sel)
  • 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup chopped dried apricots
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9x5x1/2inch loaf pan. Stir flour before measuring. Whisk flour and next 3 ingredients in a bowl to blend well.

Beat butter and sugar together in a large bowl until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat in mashed banana, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Beat in flour mixture until blended. Stir in chocolate chips and apricots.

Pour batter into pan and place pan in middle of oven. Bake for about 50 minutes or until tester inserted in center comes out clean. Remove bread from pan and place on wire rack. Try it plain or with a dollop of crème fraîche mixed with good quality apricot jam.

Date Published: September 27, 2009

All recipes have been tested by the Test Kitchens unless otherwise noted.

7 comments... read them below or add one


  1. September 28, 2009 10:18 am by Pierino Reply

    Very nice recipe, Miss Demeanor. And your sel vanille does combine well with various fruits.

  2. September 28, 2009 2:43 pm by Eleanor Hoh (Wokstar) Reply

    Amazing, I just made my first banana bread yesterday. Great minds think alike. I am a terrible baker (it’s more scientific based on measurements), I’m more a wok cook (creative and intuitive), so was quite pleased mine turned out. Texture was a bit dense but still delish. Your recipe is very close to what I used.

  3. September 28, 2009 2:46 pm by kim Reply

    Eleanor: I’m not a great baker either, but it’s so satisfying when something does bake up beautifully.

  4. September 29, 2009 9:43 am by Alejandra Reply

    Oh I’d been looking forward to seeing how this came out! Looks wonderful.

  5. June 12, 2010 1:36 pm by heather Reply

    my fav banana bread receipe:

    3 mashed ripe banas
    1/2 cup oil
    1 cup white sugar
    1 1/4 cup white flour
    1 tsp high quality vanilla extract
    1 tsp (fresh box) baking soda
    preheat oven 350 degrees, grease 9×5 loaf pan
    mash bananas, add oil, sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix flour and baking soda and combine w/wet ingredients. Bake about 55-60 min.
    loaf will last well for couple days

    • June 22, 2010 10:21 am by kim Reply

      Thanks, Heather. I have some ripe bananas here and will try your recipe!

  6. June 12, 2010 1:38 pm by heather Reply

    woops, forgot to mention add 2 fresh beaten eggs after oil in above receipe!

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