On Being Cozy and Banana Bread

The Danes got it right. Apart from exceptionally designed mid-century furniture, cities built for bicycles, and remarkable rye bread, they have truly mastered the art of coziness.

In Denmark, this pursuit is know as “hygge”, and it applies to just about every facet of life. From crispy autumn afternoon strolls to family dinners, hand-knit sweaters to petting the cat, hygge is everywhere and the ultimate reason for doing anything.
There is no doubt that cozy for me means yummy food, and there is something especially comforting about baking. It could be the domesticity of it all, or the incredible smell that fills the house, or the sweet satisfaction of slicing into the thick crust of a dense piece of carbohydrate heaven…who cares? It’s hygge – and that is reason enough for me.

I have been making this particular banana bread recipe for years now because it is so delicious and makes me want to curl up on Sunday morning with an instructional book about macramé plant hangers or an old Woody Allen film (aren’t you just dying to come over?). It hails from one of my all-time favorite cookbooks Enlightened Eating by Caroline Dupont. I suppose there’s really nothing exceptional about the ingredients, but the final product is so much more than the sum of its parts. Not to sweet, delectably moist, and rich despite it’s whole food ingredients. I usually make mine vegan and people never believe how delicious it is – baking without animal products gives great results, I promise! In fact, this would be a great recipe to try out if you’re a skeptic.

I don’t think I am going to add any “health tips” in this post – I’ll just give you permission to take a break, put the kettle on, and bake this delicious, no-fail, hygge-making banana bread. It’s cold out there after all, and the cozy is calling your name…

Coziest Banana Bread

¼ cup milk of your choice (almond, hemp, cow, goat, soy…)
6 Tbsp. olive oil, butter, ghee, coconut oil
6 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups mashed ripe bananas (approximately 5 medium bananas)
2 cups flour (I used equal parts light + whole spelt)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. sea salt
1 cup chopped nuts + seeds (I used walnuts, pecans, and pumpkin seeds)
¾ cup chopped dark chocolate (1 standard 100 g bar) – optional

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Line an 8” x 8” cake pan or loaf pan with baking paper, or lightly oil and dust with flour, shaking out excess.
3. Put the milk, oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and bananas in a blender and blend until smooth.
4. In a large bowl combine dry ingredients. Add banana mixture and combine using as few stroked as possible. Fold in nuts and chocolate.
5. Pour into a cake pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (time varies greatly according to oven – mine takes about an hour, but this recipe suggests only 30 minutes. Check periodically after the half hour mark.)

Happy cozy-ing everyone. The Danes would be so proud.

Copyright 2012 My New Roots at mynewroots.blogspot.com


  1. Jeanne from Maine

    Hi Sarah, This is by far the best banana bread I have ever made! I substituted organic unsweetened applesauce for the oil, used organic whole grain spelt flour, omitted the chocolate and cooked it for 45 minutes. Today was the second time I made this recipe and it came out beautifully! In response to the varying cooking times, my suggestion is to check the dates on all your ingredients for freshness and take into account any substitutions that may influence the consistency of the final product. The more liquid the final preparation, the longer the cooking time and vice versa.

  2. Shellipp

    OH WOW!
    Made this according to recipe and was blown away by the texture – afer many vegan cake failures, this really restored my faith in what is possible. The subtle sweetness was lovely and the flavour fantastic. Used a cupcake tray and shiotened the baking time until toothpick came out clean. They popped out of the molds effortlessly. Thank you!!

  3. Trudi

    I just made this and it is divine! The texture is light but moist, the flavours are beautifully balanced…this is the best banana bread I have ever made! Thank you.

  4. Grace

    I made this gluten free with one cup oat flour and one cup brown rice flour. It took one hour and 28 minutes to get the loaf cooked through. I think the milk prolongs the cooking time.

  5. Judith Nicastro

    I have made this bread two times and my husband and I just love, love, love it. It comes together very easy. I also adore your recipes and have tried quite a few of the recipes more than once or twice. Morning Glories are one of my all time favs.

  6. Allison

    This recipe looks amazing and I am looking forward to making it tomorrow! I think that we need to keep things positive here… none of Sarah’s recipes have ever turned out poorly in my kitchen; in fact, they are some of the best recipes that I’ve ever tried! Maybe the previous commenter forgot to use baking soda or baking powder?

  7. EOC

    Here to vent, apologies in advance. I really enjoy your blog but this is a truly awful recipe. After an hour in the oven – i should have read the comments – it is a dense cement-like mess. Not alone has it not risen, it hasnt even moved from the exact shape that went in the oven. I basically have the raw mix just hotter. Which wouldnt be so bad if it weren’t a lot of very expensive ingredients.

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    • Lesley

      Coconut, buckwheat or brown rice flours are all gluten free, this is an amazing, heavenly banana bread you absolutely must try it xx

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  12. Aly

    This was soooo good! I used 1 cup of oat flour and 1 cup of buckwheat. I also subbed the oil, milk and maple syrup with applesauce and it was soooo good. Except, it was a little gooey because that’s what oat flour does, but I like mine that way 🙂 Great recipe Sarah! Love your blog! xoxox

  13. Lambie

    This is so delicious. I never usually comment but everyone should give this a go! I used half spelt and half regular self raising flour as I didn’t have plain but worked perfectly. Was in the oven for about 50mins.

  14. Amy

    I have a go-to banana bread recipe that I believe has just been supplanted! While pulling together the ingredients, I noticed there are no eggs in it, which is nice because we have a possible egg allergy at my house. Having never included milk when making banana bread, it was fun to use milk fresh from the goat for this one. I baked the batter in a 10-inch iron skillet for 20 minutes and it came out perfectly! So moist, but not gummy! And no sunken middle! And, because I love chocolate, I glazed the top with melted chocolate then sprinkled on mini chocolate chips. Yum! Thanks for the recipe!

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  16. beth

    this is easy and delicious but as usual for me with banana bread the center wasn’t done. The top split, knife came out clean but cut in half and not done. I used a glass 9 x5. Any suggestions? ?

  17. Laura

    Hi! So I make this recipe ALL the time! My friends and boyfriend ask for it on perhaps a weekly basis. I usually use a loaf pan or 8×8 dish but I thought I would try making muffins for a change. Any suggestions for how this would effect the baking time and/or temperature? Thanks a bunch 🙂

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  21. Maria

    Just sliced into this one hot from the oven and it is spectacular! I used goat milk and honey instead of maple syrup and added a tsp of cinnamon. Baked at 350F for one hour (tried it at 45 minutes and tooth pick came out wet). Amazing! Will definitely be making this one again.

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  27. Rebecca G

    Mine turned out wonderfully. It’s a real beauty! And smells oh-so-good.
    Mine took about 45 mins… then I had to take it out ’cause the edges started to get black.
    I can’t wait to bite into it. Who says one can’t get cosy in 100°F weather! 🙂 Thanks, Sarah!

  28. Nicole

    Making this for the third or fourth time today. This recipe has become my go to banana bread and will definitely be passed down.

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  41. Jessica

    I made this in an 8×8 ceramic dish and it baked for 40 min. I had 6 kids in my house today (schools closed in Cleveland OH due to extremely low temps) who devoured it.

    I used coconut oil and yogurt instead of milk. It was moist, sweet (not overly) and earthy.

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  43. Oonagh Fitzpatrick

    Making this tomorrow! Love a good banana bread. I think chocolate in a recipe makes it extra wet and can give an uncooked appearance to the inside of the cake when really it’s just melted yumminess.

  44. Sarah B

    Hi Hanna!

    Not sure what went wrong – it seems like others have had good results. It could be as simple as your oven being off by some degrees, or the type of flour you are using. I think the easiest solution would be to add a little more flour than you normally do, or some rolled oats, to absorb the liquid. Or you can cut back on the milk, or omit it. Try that! Hope it works – it really is a yummy recipes 🙂

    All my best,
    Sarah B

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  46. HANNA

    hi 🙂

    I tried this bread twice now and every single time comes out quiet wet inside almost uncooked…………I kept it longer in the oven till the top almost burned and it made no difference :((

  47. erin

    hi sarah! i’d love to make this recipe, but i need a gluten free recommendation. i feel that whenever i sub GF flours (all purpose, oat or a combo of the two), the cooking time is hugely increased and the end result is still pretty wet.
    do you have any tips?
    thank you! erin (ps-i LOVE your raw brownies.)

  48. Dauphine

    Wonderful recipe by the looks of it. Just one question, what is the flours you used? I don’t understand the reference to light and spelt? Can you clarify please.

  49. alpen

    This bread is amazing…. my family has our own secret banana bread recipe that is incredibly rich and divine but contains quite a bit of sugar, eggs, etc. I made this for them yesterday and they (picky banana bread elitists) loved it. Green & Blacks 70% dark chocolate bar is an awesome one for this. I used all walnuts and threw in about 3/4 a cup of oats because I love oats in a bread, and also sprinkled cinnamon and the leftover walnut bits on top while it baked. Took much longer than 30 mins, almost an hour. The trick to keeping breads like this moist is to take it out of the oven and right away take it out of the pan, wrap it in saran wrap, and pop it in the fridge for a while.

  50. Abbie

    I made this last night. It’s really yummy, and will be my breakfast (and guest’s) and all week. I used almonds and pecans, which added a nice crunch. I also did the chocolate, of course; no regrets about that. I do regret that I used once less T of maple syrup than was called for, and that my husband ate one of the five frozen bananas that I had squirreled away for this recipe, as I believe the cake could have used the extra bit of sweetness.

  51. Lu

    (I’m currently learning Swedish and) I just tried this recipe and I love it instantly. A perfect bananabread. THE perfect bananabread. I did a vegan version with rice milk and it went well!

  52. Marta

    Thank you for such a perfect recipe. So moist and delicious! I made a wheat free version using 1 1/2 cups rice flour and 1/2 cup rye flour and used date syrup instead of maple syrup and it turned out brilliantly. What a winner!

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  56. Amy

    yum, yum, yum! ….It did take bout 70 mins in the oven and even then it came out a little gooey. Nothing toasting won’t fix! Thanks Sarah : )

  57. yoko

    i wanted to make your banana bread pancakes but was too lazy to fry each pancake up..so instead i made this with 1 cup oat flour and 1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour. It was fantastic! Way better than any banana cake/bread/muffin i’ve ever had. The only downside was that it was slightly gummy in texture..could that be because i used oat flour?

  58. Anat

    I made this bread last night and it came out amazing! The only thing I changed was to substitute half the oil with apple sauce.
    Delicious, thank you!

  59. Emily Dishman

    Wow this bread is FANTASTIC!!! I added pecans, dark chocolate chips and some flax seed and left big chunks of banana the baked in muffin papers… perfect for the chilly weather and family day inside. Love that it had no eggs or regular sugar and the texture was wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

  60. RajaAlexandra

    I made this with very high hopes, and it came out looking incredible. However the consistency was very spongy and dense and was pretty bland [I did not over stir].

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  62. Petunia

    Last night, was the 2nd time I made this banana bread. It is by far, the best I’ve ever made and the best I ever tasted! I can’t believe there is no sugar in it. Each night, I would cut a slice and stick it in the toaster oven to crisp up the crust and dance around the apartment until the toasted bell went off. COZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  63. alessia

    Just made this and turn out too gooey inside after 70 minutes in the oven 🙁
    I had to substitute spelt flour (which I didn’t have available in my kitchen today) with half self raising and half whole flour..could this be the reason? thanks Sarah I looove your blog

  64. yogue

    hi sarah b, just discovered your blog, great recipes, thank you!!! it took me almost an hour to bake this banana bread! guess our oven is similar to yours. i was a bit obsessive about checking whether it was done. i used a blend of different whole grains, freshly milled including some spelt. it turned out really well, crusty on the top but really nice and moist inside. Thank you!

  65. amygdala

    This is a *great* recipe! I used a few tablespoons of heavy greek yoghurt and water instead of of milk, and added hemp hearts and sunflower seeds…SO DELICIOUS!!! My old recipe never tasted strongly enough of banana 🙂

    This made about 2 dozen muffins…we are feeling so cozy today even cutting a loaf seemed like too much work! Thank you for the wonderful ideas! We love your blog!

  66. Kyra

    I’m the worst cook, but this recipe turned out great!! I love your blog, and I’m by no means a blog addict, in fact, this is the first time i’ve commented on somebody’s blog saying that ‘I love your blog’

    keep up the good work!

    (p.s. i added fresh cranberry’s and crushed roasted almonds to this, and used yogourt instead of milk, maybe it got a bit busy, but I loved it) (can you tell why I’m the worst cook? I never colour in the lines!)

  67. Laura Roberts

    Made this recipe yesterday and it was beyond yummy: my new go-to banana bread recipe for sure!
    Thanks so much for sharing this and all these other recipes that are so dang scrumptious.
    You make healthy delicious! 🙂

  68. Kim - Affairs of Living

    I adore the concept of hygge, and love that you mentioned it in regards to banana bread. Your blog is so fabulous, and I love your spirit and sense of humor, and of course, your cooking style. Thanks for sharing it with us!

    I would love to chat with you by email, if you’re willing, about your education at the INstitute of Holistic Nutrition. I’m looking at that school as an option for myself, and would love to hear about your experience there. If you’re interested in sharing, please email me at eatingfreely@gmail.com. Thanks! You might enjoy my blog – http://www.affairsofliving.com

    Best! Kim

  69. Luise

    I’m dying to come over og hygge!!! And the next time we’re staying at a place with an oven i’m definitely making this, thanks! -beautiflu pics!

  70. Teri [a foodie stays fit]

    oh wow, this sounds amazing. I love that there isn’t a ton of added sugar in it and that the sugar used is maple syrup. I have to give this a try.

    I also love your picture showing all the nuts. I used to hate nuts in sweet breads and now I can’t have banana bread without it! 🙂

  71. Shavartzski

    The Germans have a great word for this kind of thing too: they’d call it “gemütlich.”

    It’s too bad English sucks so bad.

  72. Anna

    I do love cozy and have gradually discovered that it is hugely important to my life. I am glad that other people try hard to achieve this, too!

  73. Camryn

    Hygge rocks! It’s at the top of my list of things to help a person fall in love with Denmark. Great recipe for banana bread – I look forward to trying it. And your blog is so wonderful — my Danish colleague sent me your link. I will definitely turn up again. And how the heck do you stay vegan in this country?! That’s even harder than keeping kosher here. Take cara, Sarah.

    Camryn from California

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