Even though, like most of us, I’m concentrating on fresh healthy foods right now, January is a also a pretty big baking month for me. With weather this cold you cannot tell me that people are surviving on smoothies and no-bake energy balls — heck, I bake partly because I want to heat up the kitchen! And I guess partly it’s because this month I can focus on making what I want to eat…hearty breads like Sunday’s rolls, and simple breakfast-y treats like this Pineapple Banana Bread. I should have thrown coconut into that title, too, since there’s an equal portion of that in there. And a little almond extract and a palmful of poppy seeds just to make things interesting.
This cake/bread is everything I crave…it’s moist, with a loose, raggedly crumb, and lots of flavor (and substance) from the banana and pineapple. The glaze is made from the leftover pineapple juice and confectioner’s sugar and just tips it over into the sweets category; but for me it’s strictly a breakfast and coffee break luxury.
Bananas and canned pineapple make this a year round treat. I always seem to have half a bag of coconut in my cupboard, and you could even add some chopped pecans, if you like, but isn’t it true, there is nothing more intoxicating on a snowy day than realizing you have everything you need right in your kitchen to make something sweet and warm from the oven like this.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 Tbsp poppy seeds (optional)
- 1 ripe banana, well mashed
- 1/2 cup well drained crushed pineapple (reserve the juice!)
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- reserved pineapple juice
- Set oven to 350F
- Cream the butter and the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, or do it with electric beaters. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then the extract and poppy seeds.
- Blend in the drained pineapple, the mashed banana, and the coconut.
- Sift in the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and just mix on low speed until everything is blended.
- Spray or lightly butter a standard loaf pan and line it with parchment paper with long overhanging ends (this is optional) so you can lift it out for glazing.
- Spread the batter evenly into the pan and rap it against the counter once or twice to release any air bubbles.
- Bake for about 65-70 minutes, until risen, golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out without wet batter clinging to it.
- Cool on a rack before glazing.
- To make the glaze, mix the confectioner's sugar with enough of the reserved pineapple juice to make a spreadable glaze.,
recipe adapted from Taste of Home
I confess I’m a glaze-a-holic. At this point I feel like a quick bread is naked without one. I had leftover juice from draining the crushed pineapple, so it was a natural leap to make the glaze. But I did consider leaving it plain and eating it with a nice smear of whipped cream cheese. You make the call, either way will be good.