Moist & Tender Orange Banana Bread
Updated: Jul 14
This super easy recipe incorporates a zesty twist on an old classic! A sweet, moist and tender, almost cake-like, banana bread infused with the refreshing and citrusy flavours of orange, and topped with a tangy orange cream cheese glaze - drooling yet?
It seems like, during the Covid-19 lockdown, the whole world and their dog started to bake banana bread, and quite honestly, I don't think I've ever seen so many different recipes for one variety of baked good flying about the internet at one time. I think I would go as far to say that there are probably as many banana bread recipes out there these, as there is pizza dough recipes, which, in case you didn't know, is a hell of a lot!!!
Of course, I jumped on the band-wagon. Especially since my partner accidentally ordered 12 bananas for the two of us on our online food delivery *palm-to-forehead*.
Whilst I do love a traditional banana bread, I wanted to try something a little different this time around and play around with flavours, whilst still keep things as simple as possible. And thus this recipe was born!
This banana bread is so quickly thrown together and uses such basic ingredients, yet despite its simplicity, has a wonderful and slightly complex flavour. And the texture - OH! The texture is divine. It has a beautiful stick-to-the-back-of-your-fork moistness, without being wet or at all heavy or dense. Instead it has a lovely, soft and tender crumb that just falls apart in your mouth; I would say it's almost a cross between a banana cake and banana bread.
Oh, and just to mention, I 'accidentally' dropped a scant 100g of semi-sweet chocolate chips into the batter for this loaf which melted nicely into the cake... but this sort of 'accident' is totally optional of course...
Spotty bananas - We pack 3 large bananas into this bread for a supremely bananary flavour. Be sure to use lovely, ripened spotty bananas for this recipe for the best flavour and texture!
Oil - Like my other favourite loaf cake, Zucchini Lemon Drizzle Loaf, I opt for oil in this recipe instead of butter, which I find helps towards a lighter, softer crumb. It also ensures moistness and prevents the cake from drying out as quickly as butter-based cakes.
Eggs - Provide structure, leavening and moisture to the loaf.
White sugar - Whilst I typically use a combination of brown and white sugars in my traditional banana breads, I wanted to try and keep the cake a bit lighter in flavour and focus on the subtle citrus notes that slightly masked by the caramel flavours of brown sugar.
Self-raising flour - I've used this purely out of convenience as it's what I have the most of in my cupboard. You can opt to use all purpose flour instead but will need to add baking powder to the recipe. I suggest 1/2 tsp per 100g of all purpose flour.
Baking soda - Needed for a little extra leavening to compensate for the heaviness of the banana-loaded batter.
Cinnamon - Just a pinch to round off the flavours of the banana and the orange
Orange zest - We pack the zest of 2 large oranges into the batter for the perfect balance of citrus
Orange juice - For further orange flavour! The acidity in the juice also reacts with the baking soda to assist with the leavening process.
I topped this decadent loaf with a tangy orange cream cheese glaze that pairs wonderfully with the loaf, offsetting the sweetness, and also creates a beautiful drip-effect that sets slightly firm.
Still have some left-over bananas? Try one of these tasty recipes:
Banana & Orange Bread with Orange Cream Cheese Glaze
Prep time: 7 mins
Cooking time: 60-65 minutes
2 Medium egg (Large US eggs)
3 Large ripe spotty bananas, mashed (approximately 300g)
1/2 tsp lemon juice
200g Caster sugar (fine granulated in the US)
120ml flavourless oil (canola, vegetable, sunflower)
250g Self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Juice of 1 orange (2 tbsp)
Finely grated zest of 2 large unwaxed oranges
100g (or more) Semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
3 Tbsp cream cheese
125g icing sugar
2 tsp orange juice
1 1/2 tsp finely grated orange zest
Preheat oven to 160C and line a 9x5" loaf pan with baking parchment (you can split this between two 1lb loaf pans - check for doneness at around 40 minutes in this case)
Make the loaf batter: Mix mashed banana with the lemon juice. Using a manual whisk, beat the eggs lightly in a large bowl. Add the mashed banana mixture, oil, orange zest and orange juice and mix together until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and sugar. Combine the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and bring together with the whisk, just until no flour streaks are visible. It is important not to over mix banana bread batter, or you will end up with a dense and rubbery loaf. If using chocolate chips, fold in gently.
Bake: Pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake at 160C for 60 minutes, or until a skewer can be inserted and removed clean from the loaf with no steaks of batter sticking. If you feel that your loaf is over browning over the 30 minute mark, cover loosely with tin foil.
Cool: Once baked, remove from the oven and place the loaf, in the tin, on a wire cooling rack for 10 minutes to let the batter settle. After 10 minutes remove loaf from the pan and allow to cool for a further 30 minutes or until at room temperature.
Make the glaze: Whisk the cream cheese until soft and creamy. Mix in the orange zest. Gradually add sifted icing sugar and whisk until thickened. Mix in the orange juice and whisk to a pouring consistency. Pour over the top of the loaf and use a knife to gently spread to the edges of the loaf to achieve a drip effect. Leave to set slightly before serving.