There may be nothing more luxurious than waking up on a saturday or sunday morning and baking something you intend to eat for breakfast. It feels like a holiday without all the fuss that holidays sometimes bring. It’s even better when the thing you plan on baking doesn’t involve any special ingredients, special mixing techniques, or reading and rereading the recipe 34 times to make sure you’re doing it right.
Banana bread is one of my favorite breakfast breads, any time of year. My one drawback always seems to be the sometimes-particular nature of many banana bread recipes. There are the separate bowls for wet and dry ingredients, the spices, and the nuts (which i almost always forget to buy). Then there is the wait time, somehow made longer by wondering if the bread will end up like it sometimes does; dark on the outside and slightly underdone on the inside.
I love this recipe because you don’t have any of that to worry about. as long as you purchased bananas and let them over-ripen on your countertop, you’re in good shape. You need exactly one bowl, the appropriate measuring tools, and something to mix it with. It’s so easy you can do it in your sleep (and indeed, I have) and it comes out fabulous every time.
This is a recipe taken from one of my top five favorite cookbooks of all time: Feast by Nigella Lawson. This is the first cookbook i purchased of hers years ago when i was first learning how to really cook, mainly because i fell totally and completely in love with her style of cooking via the Nigella Bites television series she did on the Style network. I wasn’t cooking as of yet, but that spawned an interest in it, although it would be awhile before i felt confident enough to actually purchase a cookbook and try it for myself. After many years, this is still the first book i think of when i feel like making something, and it has a special place in my heart because it taught me that making food wasn’t at all the scary, pressure-filled undertaking i thought it to be.
I have made this exactly as the original recipe exists, and several times, and I love it just as it is. but this time I had some extra sour cream in the fridge, and (having an affinity for sour cream-based cakes) I thought i’d add some here. I also added pecans, and I really liked the warmth they added, as well as a little bit of texture. However, it is also perfect without. Add them if you feel like it.
And as a side note: I took a few pieces of this cake to one of my best friends as a little gift just for her being her. and she told me, in one of my proudest blog moments thus far, it was of the same caliber as something her late grandmother would make. And that is a high compliment. I could have cried.
Adapted from Feast: Food that Celebrates Life by Nigella Lawson.
Banana Breakfast Ring
- 1 lb (3 medium) bananas, mashed gives 1 cup
- 1/4 cup corn oil or other oil
- 3 eggs (i use grade a large)
- zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350˚F and oil a 9 1/2 inch (6 cup) ring mold.
Mash the bananas, and add the oil, eggs, lemon juice and zest, vanilla, sugar and sour cream. Whisk everything together and then fold in the flour, baking powder and baking soda. If you are using pecans, fold them in at this point. Pour into the oiled pan and bake for 40-45 minutes. I check mine after around 35 minutes just to see how things are going.
Let the ring sit for about 5-10 minutes before turning it out.