Mark Bittman’s Banana Bread

Food Photography, Recipes

“This banana bread from Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything” is really something special. One-fourth of the flour is whole wheat, which contributes a kind of depth you’d miss if it weren’t there. There are walnuts — not unusual, but again, you’d miss them if they weren’t there, And the key, secret ingredient, is coconut. Which really puts the thing over the top.”

Banana Bread


  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, plus some for greasing the pan
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed with a fork until smooth
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • ½ cup grated dried unsweetened coconut


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan.
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients. With a hand mixer, a whisk, or in the food processor, cream the butter and beat in the eggs and bananas. Stir this mixture into the dry ingredients; stir just enough to combine (it’s okay if there are lumps). Gently stir in the vanilla, nuts, and coconut.
  3. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until nicely browned. A toothpick inserted into the center of the bread will come out fairly clean when it is done, but because of the bananas this bread will remain moister than most. Do not overcook. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes before removing from the pan.

~Mark Bittman


5 thoughts on “Mark Bittman’s Banana Bread

  1. Won’t be the first I’ve made this. It’s delicious and won’t be the last! Thanks to my daughter I’m able to make it again. Thanks Christina!


  2. I googled that I didn’t much like Banana bread, yet we had 6 small, ripe bananas. What to do?! 🙂

    And happily discovered that we really like THIS banana bread! Thank you!

    I made it as the recipe states, except that I used 1/2 a.p. flour and 1/2 w w flour. I pureed the bananas before adding them to the creamed butter. Not having enough walnuts, I chopped up some almonds to add in with the coconut. And not liking things too sweet, I reduced the sugar to 2/3 cup from 3/4. I calculated that my 6 small bananas would roughly equal 4.5 medium ones, so I made a 1-1/2 recipe and baked the batter in 2 buttered loaf tins. That worked fine.

    The next time, I might add some freshly ground nutmeg.

    Helen K, Burlington, ON, Canada.


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