I like to keep quick breads on hand. They are wonderful for unexpected guests, perfect with a cup of tea and they also make a lovely breakfast treat. I’m always on the lookout for new recipes.
Just before Christmas, Jenn of Bulldogs and Brown Sugar’s Banana Gingerbread with Cinnamon Icing caught my eye. Frankly she had me at Banana Gingerbread, and I couldn’t wait to give her recipe a try.
I am so very glad I did. The addition of the banana lends the gingerbread an extra special depth of flavour and moistness and the spices make the house smell amazing while it is baking. I did make a couple of changes, adjusting the spicing a little, adding an egg for flavour, richness and texture and replacing the milk with buttermilk. I also switched the cinnamon in the glaze with ginger to echo the ginger in the bread. While these flavours may be reminiscent of Christmas-time, this is a quick bread I will definitely make often, all year round. It keeps well for several days in a sealed container at room temperature and the flavour deepens beautifully as the days wear on.
Banana Gingerbread with Ginger Icing
Adapted from Bulldogs and Brown Sugar
Makes 1 loaf, approximately 12 slices
For the quick bread
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
½ cup molasses
½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
½ cup buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup mild olive oil
2 cups all purpose (plain) flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
For the glaze
½ cup icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
2 to 3 teaspoons water
½ teaspoon ginger
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour or line a 8½ by 4½ inch (2 lb) loaf pan.
Peel and mash the bananas. Stir in the molasses, sugar, buttermilk, egg and olive oil. Set aside.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, ground cloves and nutmeg together into a large bowl. Stir in the banana mixture until thoroughly combined, but do not over-mix.
Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the loaf comes out clean.
Let the loaf cool in the pan for about 15 minutes and then carefully remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the glaze, sift together the icing sugar and the ginger. Gradually add the water, a bit at a time, until a creamy, drizzle-able consistency is reached.
Place a sheet of baking parchment or waxed paper underneath the wire rack with the cooled cake on it. Drizzle the glaze over top. Allow the glaze to set for at least a half hour before slicing.