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Upgrade Your Baking Game With These Banana Bread Add-ins

Upgrade Your Baking Game With These Banana Bread Add-ins

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It’s little wonder that banana bread is one of the most searched recipes in the United States. With simple ingredients, minimal baking time, and delicious flavor, it makes a perfect dessert for brunch, dinner, and breakfast.

Since banana bread is growing in popularity, people are always looking for creative ways to add different ingredients to complement their meals. It pairs well with various additions such as chocolate, nuts, chips, and peanut butter.

In this post, we’ll explore some of the most popular banana bread add-ins. So if you’re looking for a new recipe for your quick bread, read on!

What Can You Add to Banana Bread?

The moist texture and sweet flavor of banana bread make it a perfect base for several additions and twists.

Whether you want to boost the nutritional content, add some texture, or try something new, check out these add-ins to elevate your banana bread recipe.

1 – Chocolate Chips

If you want to make your banana bread a bit sweeter, chocolate chips are the way to go. You can opt for mainstay chocolate chips or add white chocolate chips, which are sweeter with a milkier flavor.

Note that you should lightly dust the chocolate chips with flour before adding them to the batter. This prevents the chips from falling to the bottom of the loaf.

Be generous and add a few extra chips on top of your loaf to make it extra tempting.

While chocolate chips make banana bread a bit unhealthy, your kids will love it as an occasional treat.

2 – Nuts

Nuts and bananas are a match made in heaven, and it’s easy to see why.

For instance, almonds add a heady marzipan aroma. On the other hand, pecans add a touch of sweetness and a southern flavor.

Hazelnuts and walnuts are also popular additions that go well with banana bread.

You can grind them into the flour for a rich nutty taste, or mix them in after chopping.

3 – Peanut Butter

If you want to improve your banana bread’s texture and density, look no further than nut butter. Peanut butter, for example, provides additional healthy fats and a denser texture.

Nut butters are also ideal alternatives to chopped nuts, providing a similar taste and crunchiness.

4 – Dried Fruits

Want to add a fruity twist to your banana bread? Dried fruits should do the trick.

Consider adding raisins, cranberries, apricots, or figs. These dried fruits add a chewy element to your recipe while providing extra natural sweetness.

Make sure to dust the fruits with flour before adding them to prevent them from settling to the bottom of your loaf.

Fresh fruits like strawberries or blueberries also make a great addition. Strawberries go well with yogurt if you want banana bread with a smoothie vibe.

5 – Maple Syrup

Looking to replace some or all of the sugar in your banana bread recipe? Maple syrup is an excellent alternative.

It goes well with banana bread just like with pancakes and waffles. You can add the sweet sticky maple syrup to the bread batter or drizzle it over the finished product.

6 – Spices

If you’re bored with traditional banana bread recipes, you can opt for several spices to alter the flavor of your loaf.

Warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice can add warmth and depth of flavor.

7 – Sour Cream

Adding sour cream and yogurt to your banana bread recipe provides extra moisture. This lets you control the fat content in your batter, without altering the texture.

We know that banana bread’s texture is already moist and soft, but adding an extra dose of smoothness and tartness won’t disappoint.

8 – Pumpkin

Looking to make a treat for the fall season? Pumpkin banana bread is the way to go. Mixing pumpkin puree into the banana bread batter provides a moist and rich loaf with a fall aroma.

9 – Coffee

Are you a coffeeholic craving banana bread?

Add a teaspoon or two of espresso to your banana bread recipe to create a subtle coffee flavor that complements the sweetness of bananas.

10 – Caramel

Adding caramel to your banana bread is a delicious way to enhance its flavor and sweetness. Caramel also adds a rich buttery element to the bread.

You can create a caramel swirl using store-bought or homemade caramel sauce. There are various ways to add caramel to your banana bread.

For instance, you can mix the caramel sauce directly into the batter, or drizzle it over the bread once it has cooled slightly.

11 – Coconut

If you’re craving some tropical flavor, consider adding shredded coconut to your banana bread batter.

Coconut adds a bit of texture and extra flavor, making your banana bread a perfect summer treat.

12 – Cocoa powder

For chocolate lovers, adding chocolate chips might not be enough. However, the cocoa powder provides the ideal chocolate twist to banana bread.

Add cacao powder or cocoa to your recipe to give your banana bread a rich chocolate flavor that pairs well with the bananas.

Note that most chocolate banana bread recipes involve adding baking soda, which is basic. So you want an acid/base reaction between the baking soda and the cocoa powder to provide optimal leavening and color.

That being said, it’s better to use natural cocoa powder instead of Dutch-process cocoa, as the latter is more alkaline.

13 – Zucchini

If you have some extra zucchini and are tired of making zoodles, consider adding zucchini to your banana bread. This combination adds moisture, texture, and nutritional value to your banana bread without significantly altering the taste.

Make sure to grate the zucchini instead of shredding it to provide extra moisture.

14 – Cream Cheese

Cream cheese provides an acidic twist that’s ideal to balance the sweetness of banana bread.

If you can’t tolerate the extra sweetness of banana bread and want to add a creamy texture, cream cheese is your perfect ingredient.

15 – Citrus

Want a bit of a tropical makeover to your banana bread? Adding citrus fruits like lemon, orange, or lime into your batter provides a bright zesty kick that pairs well with the sweet bananas.

Lemon banana bread recipes provide a citrusy aroma, making your banana bread a perfect summer and spring treat.

It’s worth noting that fruity banana bread recipes include wet and dry ingredients, so it’s best to mix them separately to avoid overmixing the batter. That way, you can make sure you don’t alter the texture of your banana bread.

Creative Banana Bread Recipes

Bored with your traditional banana bread recipe? Fortunately, banana bread is a very versatile dessert that goes well with various add-ins.

In this section, we’ll go through some innovative banana bread recipes to spice up your baking.

1 – Pina Colada Banana Bread

Pina Colada banana bread combines the tropical flavors of coconut and pineapple, and to add a delicious twist to classic banana bread.

If you don’t have enough time to wait for your bananas to roast, you can roast them in the oven on a baking sheet until dark brown. After that, let them cool before peeling and mashing.

Since we don’t want the pineapple and coconut to take over the banana flavor, it would be best to create a rough mash. Finely mashed bananas won’t be the best option here.

Furthermore, leave some pineapple or coconut on the side to sprinkle over the dough before baking. This provides a mouthwatering look to your banana bread and ensures the pineapple distributes evenly throughout the bread.

Finally, drizzling the glaze over the loaf while it’s still warm assures that it melts into the bread. If you wait for the bread to cool before glazing it, you’ll end up with frosted banana bread.

2 – Banana Bread Brownies

Banana bread brownies is a recipe that brings together the best of both worlds: the moist and tender texture of traditional banana bread and the chocolate-rich flavor of brownies.

Chocolate chips make an excellent addition to this recipe. Chopped pecans and walnuts can also amp up your chocolate mixture.

If you want your brownies more chunky, feel free to add a few spoonfuls of peanut butter to the brownie batter.

3 – Blueberry Banana Bread

Blueberry banana bread is a delightful combination of sweet ripe bananas and juicy blueberries. The blueberry banana bread recipe is similar to most traditional banana bread recipes with a few changes.

That includes adding fresh or frozen blueberries and yogurt to enhance moisture. You can also customize your loaf with additions such as almonds, coconut, and orange or lemon zest.

What to Serve With Banana Bread

Whether you’re serving banana bread for breakfast or as a dessert, several dishes complement it.

If you’re already taking the time and effort to make banana bread at home, you shouldn’t forget about the side dishes. Let’s see what you can serve with banana bread.

1 – Dark Chocolate

Are you serving chocolate lovers? You can’t go wrong with a combination of banana bread and dark chocolate.

You can either apply dark chocolate spread over the bread or keep it simple by serving slices of dark chocolate.

2 – Nuts

To add healthy fats and unique flavor to your banana bread, serve a handful of nuts as a side dish. Banana bread is often served with walnuts, but other nuts go well with banana bread, such as:

  • Pecans
  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Macadamia
  • Cashews
  • Brazilian nuts

3 – Fresh Fruits

For a burst of natural sweetness and a refreshing touch, top your banana bread with slices of fresh fruits such as orange, grapefruit, berries, or peaches.

This doesn’t only add a flavor boost but also a pop of color.

3 – Warm Beverages

Whether you’re serving banana bread for breakfast, lunch, or as a dessert, you can’t go wrong with a warm beverage.

Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate all complement banana bread and highlight its flavor.

4 – Jams

Compotes and jams amp up your banana bread’s sweetness and add a unique fresh flavor as well.

There are endless jam options to serve with banana bread, such as apple butter, blueberry, and raspberry.

Final Thoughts

Banana bread isn’t only a delicious, comforting, and easy-to-make treat, but it’s also a versatile one. Incorporating these unique banana bread add-ins and trying creative twists can elevate the experience of this classic recipe.

The possibilities are endless. From chocolate chips and nuts to cream cheese and citrus fruits, you can tailor your banana bread to your taste.

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