This is how our family-favorite Banana Data Bread was born. My family loves Banana Bread - plain and simple, every day. I love old-fashioned Date Bread, but wish the recipes I've tried were a little bit moister. Combining the two is genius! Flavorful and moist, tried and true, tender and filled with tender dates that caramelize into a golden sweet bread. Dates are the perfect addition to our family-favorite Banana Bread!
This flavorful Banana Date Bread is one of those rare breads that actually tastes better the day AFTER you make it - if you can wait that long!
When I was growing up, my grandma would always make old-fashioned date bread for the holidays. My family has never been a big fan -- date nut bread always seemed too heavy and dry for their taste.
And then I had one of those eureka moments. We all love Banana Bread - it is always so moist and flavorful that my kiddos will eat it up warm from the oven. What if I mixed dates into the batter?
Traditional date bread recipes usually involve chopping up the dates and letting them sit in boiling water and baking soda before mixing into the batter. This also means that the softened dates will sink to the bottom of your date bread loaves.
I wanted to find a method that simplified the process and gave me soft dates throughout the loaves. The banana bread batter actually moistens the chopped dates perfectly without any extra steps. The small pieces of tender dates seem to melt right into the golden bread into caramel-like ribbons.
I sprinkle a few chopped date pieces on the top of the batter before popping it into the oven, and when it is baked up perfectly golden, I drizzle some pure maple syrup on top. This keeps the loaves so moist and flavorful - and the topping is simply out-of-this world wonderful!
The craziest thing about this Banana Date Bread recipe is that people don't even realize that there are dates in the sweet bread - they just know that they love it and want another piece!
Hope that you give this special recipe a try - it's a new tradition!
2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled, not scooped)
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) butter (room temperature)
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large ripe bananas (mashed)
½ cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1-1/2 cups chopped dates, plus additional for sprinkling on top
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
HOW I MAKE THIS:
YIELD: makes one 9x5 loaf, four 3x5 loaves or 10 mini-loaves
NOTES: For gift-giving, special occasions and holidays, I will glaze the banana date bread loaves by brushing with maple syrup immediately upon removing from the oven. This keeps the loaves incredibly moist and gives a shiny, delicious look and flavor to the bread.
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