Thursday, June 20, 2013


This banana raisin oat bread tastes really good, but is it a cake or is it bread?  It tastes more like cake, but it's called bread. What's the deal here?  Well, actually, it's a quick bread.  It is so named because it doesn't use yeast as a leavening agent.  Yeast requires hours and optimal temperatures to cause breads to rise.  Baking powder, which contains baking soda (base pH) and cream of tartar (acid pH), acts quickly. The acid-base combination reacts when introduced to liquid, causing carbon dioxide to be formed. Consequently, the batter expands and increases in volume. When baked goods rise quickly, they are called quick breads. Cakes and muffins and scones are types of quick bread. Banana bread is a cake, and officially a quick bread, but it's referred to as banana bread because... I suppose it's faster to say banana bread than banana quick bread.  Fine.  That solves the mystery for me. I thought I would share the information with you.  I am not a know it all, I just found all this out. And I feel so much smarter now. And so should you.  I just hope I can remember all this a year from now.  But then I will always have this post to remind me. One thing I won't forget is how delicious this cake (quick bread) is.  I've already had requests for the recipe.  Here we go ladies, my post is finally ready.
What can you do with ripe bananas?  Some options: 1.  try to eat them as is.  2.  Throw them out because they cannot be eaten as is.  3.  Mix them in oatmeal.  4.  Take them back to the store and ask for a refund.  5.  Mail them to your former employer.  6.  Mash them up and make banana bread with them.  Numbers 3 and 6 are best (possibly 5 as well).
This recipe is based on one from Nigella Lawson. I made some changes:  I used a bunt pan rather than a loaf pan, i decorated the top of the cake, I added cinnamon, and I added some oats.  The oats give the cake a nice, somewhat crunchy texture.  Plus they are good for you.  Nigella calls for butter (melted) in the recipe, I guess that's why the cake is so luscious.  I wonder what it would taste like if made with vegetable oil.  I wonder... I am a curious person.  I've messed up quite a number of recipes by letting my curiosity get away with me.  However, for the time being, I will leave this particular recipe as is.  It's too good to tamper with.
This cake has a hole in it...  best thing to do when your cake has a hole in it is to put some roses in the hole... they do it in the certain movie in particular.  One certain Greek  themed movie...  I'm talking about "My Big Fat Greek Wedding,"  but of course you knew that already. The rose in the picture below is the grandiflora "cherry parfait" ( from my garden).  A wonderful, troublefree performer!

Making Banana Raisin Oat Bread

1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup of golden raisins
½ cup regular oats
½ cup unsalted butter, melted

½ cup sugar
2 large eggs
4 medium very ripe bananas, mashed

½ cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cinnamon
powdered sugar and cinnamon for dusting on top

Preheat the oven to 325ยบ F.  Grease a bunt pan and set it aside.
Into a bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder cinnamon and salt.  Stir well to combine. 
In the bowl of your mixer add the sugar and melted butter.  Beat until smooth.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. 
Add the bananas and vanilla extract and mix.
With a wooden spoon gently fold in the raisins, oats, and walnuts.
Add the flour mixture in three batches folding gently after each addition. 
Pour the batter into the prepared bunt pan and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
When ready, a knife inserted into the center of the quick bread should come out clean.

Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a rack to cool.  After about 20 minutes invert the pan onto a plate.  The banana bread should slide on the plate. 
Let cool another half hour.  Mix some powdered sugar with a little cinnamon and sift it on top of the banana bread to decorate.  Slice and enjoy a nice treat!   


  1. This is a great post. Recipe sounds delicious. My kind of treat, as I do not like really, really, sweet treats, usually I like the more savory ones. But oats and bananas work for me.

    Interesting tidbit about the quick bread method. And your roses are lovely, fresh out of your own garden, no doubt. Looks good enough for the queen to wear as a hat :)

  2. Thank you for the lovely comment LiLiKeKe. It's good banana bread. My mom polished the last of it off today. You are right, the roses will be nice for the queen's hat. She'll just have to come over and pick some. I have to practice my curtsey.

  3. Looks so good Ana. I like the idea of the oats in there. Bananas are the best in banana bread, lol!

  4. This looks delicious and absolutely beautiful! So pretty…I would have to serve it as a cake!! Have a great day!