Tuesday, May 14, 2013

banana-pumpkin bread




As I stand in line at my local Starbuck's each morning waiting to announce my order, I always glance at the sweets case filled with breads, scones, and muffins, to see if they have anything new.  I have developed an excellent restraint from buying a treat with my non-fat latte; however, I stand there dreaming of ways I can develop some of their appetizing selections.






A couple months ago, I noticed the freshly piled platter of banana nut bread, sitting alongside the now year-round (smart move) pumpkin bread.  Adoring both of them, my mind started thinking of how delicious they would taste combined into one bread - a banana-pumpkin bread!

As I tend to do when I'm on a mission, came home and searched the internet for a recipe to adapt.  I found one from King Arthur Flour, a favorite source for recipes, and another from a delightful blogger friend, Kim, from Liv Life.  After creating the recipe twice, I took parts I liked from both, which came together into a very healthy, scrumptious Banana-Pumpkin Bread.






The bread is extremely moist, and full of delectable flavor!  It was suggested by KAF when completely cooled, to wrap in plastic wrap, and serve the following morning.  (I also refrigerated it.)  I didn't do this the first time, and it made such a difference in my second loaf.  The flavors blend together so nicely overnight.  I look forward to any do ahead recipes, so this definitely meets that criteria.

I was having a couple friends over for an afternoon coffee, and decided to play "dress-up"  with my banana-pumpkin bread for the occasion.  I used one of my classic stand-by cream cheese frosting recipes, and prior to my girlfriends arrival, liberally frosted the bread.  Down the center of the frosted bread, I piled cut banana slices from two bananas, and sprinkled chopped walnuts along the sides.  I completed it all with a colorful, fresh mint leaf stem.  The bread is totally delicious on its own, but the dressing up creates a beautiful specialty!

Until next time...mangia!  xox

Carol 






Banana-Pumpkin Bread
Yield:  1 loaf

Ingredients:

for the bread:
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
2 large eggs
1 cup pureed pumpkin (I used Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin)
1 cup ripe mashed banana, the riper the better
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour or premium whole wheat flour (I used KAF premium whole wheat)
3 tablespoons ground flax meal (optional)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 tablespoon turbinado (raw) sugar for sprinkling on top (or use frosting recipe)

for a cream cheese frosting topping:  (optional)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
chopped walnuts and sliced bananas for garnish (optional)
fresh mint leaf stem (optional)

Create the Banana-Pumpkin Bread:

1)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease or spray an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" bread pan.

2)  In a large bowl, beat together the oil, yogurt, sugar, honey, eggs, pumpkin, banana, orange juice, and vanilla.

3)  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ground flax meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Sprinkle the walnuts over the top, if using.  Fold the dry ingredients into the banana pumpkin mixture, and mix just until combined.

4)  Spoon the mixture into the prepared bread pan, sprinkle with the turbinado sugar (if not using frosting), and allow to rest for 15 minutes before placing in oven.

5)  Bake for 53 - 58 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  (The bread in my photos took 55 minutes.)  Remove from the oven and cool on rack in pan for 10 - 15 minutes.  Remove from the pan and continue cooling on rack.  When completely cooled, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator.  Best served the following day.

Create the Cream Cheese Frosting (if using):

In a stand mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Add confectioners sugar, and beat on low speed until combined, then on high speed until frosting is smooth. Spread over top of completely cooled bread.  Garnish with bananas, chopped nuts and fresh mint leaf stem, just before serving, if desired.

Carol's notes:
  • If you wish, in place of 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, you can use 1 cup of whole wheat flour, and 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour.
  • Frost and garnish the bread prior to serving.  I made the entire cream cheese recipe above, and had a small amount remaining.  If you don't want it as thick as I created it, you can easily cut the recipe in half.
  • The bread freezes very well, with or without the frosting.  For an individual serving, with a sharp knife, slice from the frozen loaf, and allow it to thaw at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Bread recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour and Liv Life.  The Cream Cheese Frosting is from A Cup Of Mascarpone's basic recipes.

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47 comments:

  1. You are killing me Carol! That is so GORGEOUS! Your photography is perfection! I need a slice of that cake. I can't tell you how much I love banana AND pumpkin.

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  2. This bread looks far more enticing than anything in a display case! Beautiful photos, fabulous recipe!

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  3. I love pumpkin, I love banana, I love Starbucks, and I love King Arthur Flour...how could I not make this? Your photos are gorgeous, and your styling is always the best. Those banana slices and walnuts look irresistible.

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  4. Absolutely STUNNING! It's almost too pretty to eat! Love your ingredients too :)

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  5. I love that you baked with pumpkin in May. It truly is a year-round ingredient! This bread looks delicious!

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  6. I think you would have to restrain me if you served this up anywhere near me, I might eat it all, it looks so good.

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  7. Carol, I also wrap banana breads about half an hour after they are out of the pan. My sister-in-law Lynn suggested that many years ago, and said that it helped create a very moist bread, and it does! I have always used foil and will try the plastic wrap next time! I also love, love, love pumpkin, so banana and pumpkin seem like a terrific pairing! Photos, as usual, are exceptional! Lovely recipe!

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  8. Carol, this is the prettiest banana bread I've ever seen and I love that you've merged two wonderful recipes!

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  9. This bread looks incredible, Carol! I love the cream cheese frosting!

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  10. Carol this looks gorgeous!! What a beautiful looking loaf!! Love the combination of the pumpkin and banana

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  11. oh my goodness carol, this looks INCREDIBLE! i'm a banana bread fiend, and i even made one this week too! that's it, i;m making a batch of your frosting for the rest of it, haha!

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  12. Oh mu God! Carol? you are a fairy...as you reaaly do fantastic things! Amazing!

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  13. I have never before seen beautiful banana bread! How wonderful to get an inspired baking idea and have it work out as deliciously as this!

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  14. What a stunning loaf. I love it!

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  15. Perfection...gorgeous photos and wonderful ingredients. Having friends for the weekend in June, and will be trying this one for breakfast. Thank you!!

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  16. Gorgeous! Love the combination, Carol!

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  17. oh my goodness, this is the most beautiful loaf of bread I have ever seen! I love the flavors here as well.

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  18. Love banana bread! And I especially love the idea of adding the cream cheese frosting to it! Genious. :)

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  19. What a SUPER gorgeous banana bread! Adding pumpkin is an extra treat for me because I love it. This can be a nice "pumpkin" dish in fall and great banana bread all year around. I wish I can make banana bread this beautiful. My is totally "home snack" kinda bread that I won't give it to anyone else.... LOL.

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  20. Can you believe I was ordering a coffee at starbucks yesterday and I remembered this post?! It looks superb, and the mix of flavors is perfect, especially here where pumpkins are in season.

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  21. This looks gorgeous! I love the way you've decorated it!

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  22. I wish I could find a slice of bread this beautiful and tempting at Starbucks!!! I would order it in a flash ;-)
    Beautiful bread Carol-love the sliced bananas on top ;-)

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  23. This is stunning Carol! Such a beauty and I love the combo of banana and pumpkin! We must be on similar wavelengths because I'm baking banana/carrot bread tomorrow! Hope it turns out as good as this.

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  24. Wow, could this bread be any prettier? And I love seeing pumpkin bread around this time of year!

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  25. Jeannette JordanMay 18, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    Great recipe. Like both ingredients. Will definately be trying this one.

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  26. Great to see pumpkin still around, I could eat it all the time!! Great cake :)

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  27. This looks so yum! Love pumpkin recipes especially during the fall, but I don't think I will be waiting that long. :)

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  28. I LOVE the presentation of this loaf, it is so beautiful! And of course the combination of banana and pumpkin sounds completely amazing, I haven't heard of it before but now that it's in my brain I need to try it. Especially since it combined my two favorite types of sweet loaves :)

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  29. This is the most gorgeous looking banana bread! I love that it has pumpkin in too and your cream cheese frosting looks divine!

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  30. You are such an artist with your food, Carol! I'm always smitten with your stylings and recipes, and this lovely bread is NO exception. Bravo!

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  31. What a fantastic way to make banana bread Carol! I'm always looking for new ways to use overripe bananas (as you'd see from my latest blog post, haha) and I love the idea of combining pumpkin and banana into a deliciously wholesome, nutritious loaf! I will DEFINITELY be making this. Very soon, as I have some overripe bananas on my kitchen counter right now! Thanks for sharing your recipe. Gorgeous photos, so excited to have found your beautiful blog x

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  32. Oh how I love the use of the word "liberally" here!! When combined with cream cheese, it sounds like perfection. I'm with you on the Pumpkin all year round, we actually stock pumpkin around Thanksgiving time and frequently enjoy Pumpkin Pancakes, or the Pumpkin Banana Bread you mentioned (thanks!), in the middle of summer. I remember seeing this picture flash by on Facebook and with Liv's love of bananas I had made a mental note to come and see the recipe. She will adore the bananas on top! Just beautiful, Carol!

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  33. I am the same way when we go there. My little one loves their lemon cake;) Your banana bread is just fabulous, Carol. That cream cheese frosting is so pretty and I'd love a slice now with a hot cup of tea!

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  34. I can totally relate to your Starbucks experience, lol! And I can honestly say I think this is the prettiest banana or pumpkin bread I've ever seen. That topping is just gorgeous, Carol!

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  35. Love that you're baking with pumpkin this time of year! Me too, just haven't blogged about it.

    And the cream cheese frosting is so nice and thick, love it.

    I made a banana-pumpkin bread last fall and loved it - yours looks stunning! Drop dead gorgeous pics. Pinned!

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  36. This looks ALMOST to good to eat.... notice the almost!

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  37. This looks delicious! It's in my oven now and smells yummy...BUT I made a mistake (new mommy brain!) and added the whole can of pumpkin :/ I hope it still tastes as good as it looks with maybe just more pumpkin flavor...? Thanks for the recipe!

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  38. This is one stunning cake! I have to say that Starbucks does have some tempting treats in the case. I most often fall for the petite vanilla scones that are shaped in small triangles. I have to imagine this cake was not around for long. Happy, Happy Friday!!!!

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  39. Banana and pumpkin? Yummers!! And the photos are stunning, my dear :)

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  40. This looks and sounds like such a great combination. I've never thought of pairing both of them together before. I actually have some old banana's to use and a can of pumpkin puree in the cupboard. I think I may have make this carol, it looks so delicious!

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  41. Ohmahgah!!! Mouthwatering! Good thing I always (it never fails) end up with a few cans of pumpkin puree after the holiday season... I still have a couple!! :)
    I never buy the Starbucks treats, but I'm with you, those desserts of theirs look so good!!

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  42. This is the prettiest banana bread I've ever seen. And I've seen a lot. You should win a prize for that first photo! I could look at it for days. xoxo Aya

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  43. Looks good-- I like to mix up two favorites, as well. Funny, my hubby-man works at Starby's, and I am most fond of the banana loaf, too.

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  44. I saw this on Facebook and had to come check it out. Pinning and on my to do list.

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  45. This looks yummy! I am pinning for future bake:D Thanks for sharing!

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  46. I love it! Absolutely beautiful!

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Hi! Thank you so much for stopping by a cup of mascarpone, and taking the time to leave a comment! I read, smile, and cherish each and every one of them! xox

Carol