Banana Bread
Image Credit: LA Times

Neither dense nor fluffy, this deeply flavorful loaf has a just-right tenderness. Dark chocolate baked into the bread and crunchy peanuts on top make it extra tasty, but this banana bread is still great without them.

What you need

Nonstick cooking spray, for greasing the pan

½ cup lightly salted roasted peanuts, finely chopped

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

⅔ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 ¾ cups mashed very overripe bananas

½ cup vegetable oil or other neutral-flavored oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

⅔ cup mini chocolate chips or very finely chopped bittersweet chocolate


1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly coat a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray, line the bottom and two long sides with parchment with overhang on the long sides, then spray the parchment.

2. Combine the peanuts, olive oil, 2 tablespoons sugar and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Mix well and reserve.

3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Whisk the bananas and remaining ⅔ cup sugar in a large bowl until the bananas are completely broken down. Add the vegetable oil and vanilla and whisk until fully incorporated. Add the flour mixture and fold gently with the whisk until no traces of flour remain. Using a silicone spatula, fold in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed.

4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the peanut mixture evenly on top and press into the batter so that the nuts are immersed halfway.

5. Bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 ½ hours. Cool completely in the pan on a rack. Use the overhanging parchment to lift the loaf out of the pan, then discard the parchment.