- Banana bread is decadent and delicious all on its own.
- But it’s easy to get tired of the same flavours over and over again.
- While chocolate is a surefire win, there are plenty of other goodies you can toss into your batter to make your loaf that much more exciting.
- Give your banana bread a swirl of peanut butter or cream cheese, or speckle it with chopped dried fruits like apricots or dates.
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On Instagram, many people are infusing their breakfast cake with matcha powder or chai spice, adding swirls of peanut butter and cream cheese, and folding all kinds of dried fruits into the batter. (Tip: Soaking dried fruit in milk before baking helps to plump and rehydrate it.)
The possibilities for banana bread greatness are seemingly endless. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next loaf, here are some creative additions to consider.
Peanut butter and banana is a classic combination, so it’s a given that it would be a great addition to banana bread.
Swirl peanut butter into the batter before baking and you’ve got yourself a salty and sweet loaf. Adding chocolate chips, too, just makes it that much more decadent.
Instagram blogger Marissashared a recipe that includes mixing creamy peanut butter right into the batter, while Plenty Sweet‘s brownie bread recipe will inspire you to spread it on top just before baking.
Similarly, Nutella and banana make for a beautiful flavour profile.
Adding it to the batter and drizzling it on top before baking will give the cake a hint of chocolaty hazelnut flavour while providing some visual beauty as well.
Cream cheese is not just for bagels.
Cream cheese acts as an acidic, sour dairy, which is great for baking. It can cut the sweetness of something like banana bread and make it feel a little bit savoury.
Adding shredded carrots to your loaf can give it a carrot cake flair.
Shredding carrots on a box grater and adding a few spices like cinnamon and nutmeg will make your cake taste like a cross between banana bread and carrot cake.
Adding old-fashioned rolled oats will provide a little more texture and help to keep you feeling more full after eating your sweet treat.
I’ve never regretted adding oats to my baked goods. Typically, they only affect the texture, not the flavour, so you get a little bit more of a bite to your bread or muffin than you would without the oats.
Oats also contain a lot of fibre, which can make you feel more full after eating them.
Baking with berries adds a burst of sweetness and acidity to banana bread.
The acidity from berries complements the sweetness from ripe bananas very well. Mix one or many of your favourite berries into your batter before baking and you’ll get a juicy burst of flavour.
Pineapple is another fruit that can offer a lot to a baked good like banana bread.
The sweet and tangy flavour of pineapple can add a tropical vibe to your banana bread.
In general, when baking with pineapple, I’ve found that it’s best to dice it or break it up into small bits. It doesn’t melt in the oven the same way raspberries or strawberries do so putting in that effort during prep will be worth it.
Topping and filling a loaf with seeds of any kind will add some texture to a moist bread.
I love to add seeds like flax and chia to batter when I’m baking. I also enjoy the added crunch that comes from topping a loaf with sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
Nuts of all kinds are great additions to banana bread.
Similar to seeds, nuts add texture. They can also beef up the nutrient level of your bread depending on which nuts you use.
I love using walnuts and pecans, but there are plenty of others to choose from. You can get some nutty inspiration just by scrolling through Instagram, where there are posts showing breads made with hazelnut and even pistachio.
Shredded or shaved coconut is another great option.
You can choose to just add coconut to your cake, or mix it with chocolate, or even pineapple for a piña colada flavour.
You can also use coconut oil and milk for the batter if you want the flavour to carry throughout.
Chopped dried fruit like apricots, cranberries, raisins, or dates is another way to add flavour and texture to your loaf.
Personally, I love baking with raisins and dried cranberries. I’ve recently started soaking my raisins in milk before adding them to a batter; the liquid plumps them up so they become a source of moisture and added sweetness in the finished product.
When it comes to larger dried fruit like apricots and dates, they can easily be diced and folded into banana bread mixture as well.
Food writer Hannah Freeman posted a photo of her banana loaf made with a mix of dried fruits on Instagram, while gluten-free blogger Sandi Gaertner shared a link for her banana cranberry bread on the social-media platform.
White chocolate adds a sweetness that regular chocolate does not.
Chocolate chips are a natural addition to banana bread, but it’s easy to forget that chocolate comes in different colours and flavours. To add a dose of sweetness you wouldn’t get from dark chocolate, consider adding some white chocolate chunks to your loaf.
Marbling with cocoa powder is fun.
You can make chocolate banana bread, and you can make regular banana bread. But combining the two offers a visually stunning masterpiece.
Adding cocoa powder can transform the look of your bread and add a hint of chocolaty goodness to the flavour profile.
You can also try using matcha powder.
Matcha has become a popular ingredient for baked goods including banana bread.
Chai latte mix is in the same family of tea-inspired banana bread ingredients.
You can purchase ready-made mixes for chai lattes online and add the powder to your batter. Or, if you’re just looking for the chai flavour, you can add some chai spice like the recipe from Matcha Konomi calls for.
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