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My thanks to novelist Catherine Wallace Hope for providing her family’s delightful banana bread with ginger butter recipe. I interviewed Catherine on my show The Blue and Yellow Kitchen, and truly enjoyed this special, elevated banana bread. Walnuts add a bit of crunch, brushing the top with maple syrup and bourbon added just a bit of sass, and the creamy ginger butter is so, so good.
I would describe Catherine’s novel Once Again as fiction informed by the latest scientific advancements in astrophysics. The novel, about a grieving couple each having an extraordinary day, takes place in Boulder ever-so-slightly in the future and the recent past. It deals with the very real challenge of grieving when a person tortures themselves with the question, “What if? What if I had noticed that? What if we had left a little later? What if we had stayed home that day?”
I found it compelling, gripping, and completely engaging as the characters explore what happens when time isn’t linear. The husband in the book, Zac, makes this banana bread with ginger butter for his family. Check out Once Again wherever books are sold, and watch the episode now.
Zac’s Banana Bread with Ginger Butter
- 1/4 cup butter (unsalted) grass-fed, softened, salted can be used
- 1/4 cup grapeseed oil (her recipe calls for peanut oil)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (organic)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 bananas mashed
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour (gluten-free) or 1 cup regular flour plus 1/2 cup cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 cup milk can use alternative milk
- 1/8 cup yogurt can use alternative milk in place of yogurt
- 3/4 cup walnuts chopped, divided use
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon bourbon
- 1/4 cup cream cheese softened
- 1/4 cup butter (unsalted) softened
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger (dried) taste, you may want to add a little more
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (dried) taste, you may want to add a little more
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Coat the inside of a loaf pan with butter, and set aside. Or line the pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with oil.
- Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together. Stir in half cup of the walnuts so they are coated with flour and don’t sink to the bottom.
- Cream butter, oil, and sugar until fluffy. Beat in honey, eggs, vanilla, and banana, milk, and yogurt until smooth.
- Gently stir in flour mixture just until there are no lumps.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan, smooth the top, then sprinkle remaining ¼ cup walnuts evenly across the top.
- Bake on lower shelf of oven for 60 minutes, or until top is golden, cracking, and a toothpick comes out very dry.
- Remove from oven and drizzle maple syrup evenly over top of bread. (If you’re feeling daring, combine the maple syrup with the bourbon before drizzling.)
- Let cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan. Slice and serve with ginger butter.
- For the ginger butter: Beat together cream cheese, butter, remaining 1 tablespoon honey, ginger, nutmeg, and vanilla with a hand mixer until fluffy and creamy.
- Spread onto warm banana bread.