This Easy Hack Promises Beautiful Banana Bread Every Time

And you only need one ingredient!

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As much as I’d like to think of myself as a grocery shopping pro, I always seem to make the same mistake over and over again: buying too many bananas.

When I’m shopping, I’ll convince myself that “of course I’ll eat all these bananas.” I’ll plot all the ways I’ll use the bananas, from topping my overnight oats to dipping them in peanut butter. Yet, when the time comes, it always slips my mind, so the bananas eventually go brown.

Since I’ve seen a lot (and I mean a lot) of brown bananas on my countertop, I’ve gotten pretty good at repurposing them for banana bread. Even though I love this buttery, toasty loaf of goodness, I do have one slight problem with it: banana bread always comes out of the oven looking like a brown brick of bleh.

Don’t get me wrong — it tastes amazing! However, compared to other baked goods, banana bread just isn’t visually appealing. Sure, you can try and amp it up with some nuts or chocolate chips, but in my opinion, it still looks like a crusty rectangular football.

Determined to transform my overripe bananas into something mouth-watering and breath-taking, I set off on a mission to beautify my banana bread. While scrolling through Instagram, I noticed that a number of bakers have found a way to make their loaves look absolutely gorgeous. The trick? Baking a sliced banana into the top of the bread.

With my trusty brown bananas in hand, I decided to give it a try. I whipped up my all-time favorite banana bread recipe, making sure to save an extra banana to add on top. I ended up having two bananas left over, so I decided to cut them both up and pick between which halves looked good enough to bake into the bread.

Photo by: Allison Underhill

Allison Underhill

Once my wet and dry ingredients were combined and poured into the loaf pan, I peeled my remaining bananas and carefully sliced each in half the long way. I picked the two best-looking halves out the four, turned them cut-side up and coated each in light brown sugar. This step is totally optional (you can just place the bananas straight into the pan without the sugar), but I’ll never say no to an added dash of sweetness. Then, I popped my bread into the oven, and after about an hour it was ready to go.

I pulled the loaf out of the oven and immediately marveled at how pretty the bread looked. The brown sugar gave the edges of the bananas a crisp, golden brown color, and the bananas themselves appeared to be marbled in the bread. Without a doubt, it was the most stunning loaf of banana bread I had ever baked.

Photo by: Allison Underhill

Allison Underhill

And hey, my banana creation didn’t taste too shabby either. Not only was the loaf perfectly nutty and moist (there’s a reason why this recipe is my favorite), but the sliced bananas on top added a fresh texture to every bite.

It’s safe to say that from here on out, my inevitably brown bananas will be put to good use — and look as good as they taste!

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