Battle Of The Banana Breads – Does BEER Really Make It Better?

16 Jun

For a lot of men, adding beer/bacon/cheese/meat to something can instantly make it more appealing to them. I’ve made beer cake, Guinness cupcakes, bacon cookies, and bacon cupcakes – all of which were enthusiastically received by my husband. So when I recently found myself with some extra bananas on hand, I thought “why not add beer to banana bread?” I had already has one delicious success with adding chocolate chips to banana bread, so beer seemed like the next logical step.

Then I decided, why not make two batches of banana bread, since I had enough bananas and well, I really DO like banana bread, so that’s when I settled on the two recipes below, the first one being the beer version, with which we used Saranac Vanilla Stout, and the second version being a more “classic” banana bread

Classic on the Left vs. Beer on the right


My husband even helped mush the bananas (even though it grossed him out….and he complained about it)


Getting ready to bake off our breads!

Banana Beer Bread
(Recipe courtesy of CD Kitchen)
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 medium bananas, mashed
1/3 cup melted butter or margarine
1/4 cup beer

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 9 1/4-by-5 1/4-by 2 3/4-inch pan.

In a large bowl blend together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, walnuts, and salt. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs until foamy before beating in the bananas, butter and beer. Combine the two mixtures, blending until the two ingredients are moistened.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean and the top is golden. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes before removing the loaf from the pan.


Dole Classic Banana Bread
(Recipe courtesy of Dole Bananas)
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
• 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
• 2 eggs
• 2 medium, ripe DOLE® Bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
• 1/4 cup sour cream
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 cup chopped almonds

1. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in medium bowl; set aside.
2. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs. Blend in bananas, sour cream and vanilla until blended. Add in flour mixture; beat until just blended. Stir in nuts.
3. Pour into 9 x 5-inch baking pan sprayed with vegetable cooking spray.
4. Bake at 350°F, 55 to 65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes.


Ready to bake! Classic on the left, beer on the right


NOTES: the only change I made was to substitute the chopped almonds in the Dole recipe for chopped walnuts (why? Because almonds in banana bread sounded weird, honestly, and I think of walnuts as the ‘classic’ banana bread nut). If you don’t like almonds, walnuts, or any kind of nuts at all, feel free to leave them out of either recipe. I personally like to add them because I feel like it gives the bread more moistness and depth
As for baking times, it took a bit longer than state in the above recipes, I would say it took about 70 minutes in the oven for each loaf


The finished products


So how did they compare?

Well, both were delicious, but I have to say I prefer the classic banana bread to the beer bread. The beer bread had a slightly saltier, more crumbly texture which was interesting, but the dense/moister feel of the classic bread made it stand out in my book
My husband preferred the beer bread, of course, which I don’t blame him for – if I had only made the beer version I would have gobbled it up, but since I made two I would have to say my preference is for the classic version.


Cross section of the classic recipe


The Inside of the beer bread


But apparently you really CAN add beer to banana bread – with delicious results!


Banana Bread as French Toast

We even made it into super yummy French toast – which I highly recommend!


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