Smell My Olive Pits

A blog dedicated to my love affair with all things food

Banana pecan muffins March 5, 2009

Filed under: Banana,Muffins,Nuts — smop @ 7:52 am

Sometime back in 2nd year uni, I developed a love for banana bread.  I used to consider things like carrot cake, banana bread, pumpkin bread, zucchini muffins a bit strange — I was so used to the usual chocolate chip / vanilla cupcakes.  But through a chance stumble at one of the campus centre shops, I was hooked onto it.  The ones that they sold were moist, full of banana flavour and light – essentially the perfect after uni snack.  Without an oven, the only way I could get my hands onto them was the store bought kind.  It was $2.20 that I was willing to part with.  Then when I got an oven, Cyclone Larry hit Queensland’s north coast and banana prices went shooting up the roof – paying $12 / kg for bananas didn’t seem to sink in that well.  When it finally came back down to $3 / kg, I went about searching for the banana bread recipe.

And I have found it.  The recipe from Simply Recipes I’ve made it again and again, without fail.  It creates a banana bread that’s just the right texture, and is full of banana flavour without using too many bananas.  There’s hardly any sugar, and it’s so versatile that you can add other things — nuts, coconut, chocolate chips, more fruit to it.  It’s really just perfect.

This time I made them into cupcakes, added some pecans to it and popped a pecan on top for decoration.

banana pecan muffin.jpg

Banana Pecan Muffins
Makes 12


  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas (skins brown and banana feels mushy), smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup of toasted pecans (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Mix butter with mushed bananas in large bowl.  Mix in sugar, egg and vanilla.
  3. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.
  4. Add the flour and pecans (if using).  Mix.
  5. Pour mixture into greased muffin pan and bake for 20-25 minutes (until cooked with skewer test).
  6. Cool on rack, remove from pan and serve with honey and ricotta or butter.

If you want to make it into a loaf, just put it in a greased loaf pan and bake for 40-50 minutes (in my pan, it takes about 40) – cool on a rack and serve.  To freeze, slice it up and wrap individually in baking paper then cling wrap.  Defrost in fridge.

Try eating banana bread it with ricotto and honey.  It is the bomb.


Banana and Pear Bread December 2, 2008

Filed under: Banana,Quickbread — smop @ 4:36 am
Tags: , ,

I had 2 pears on the verge of turning into mush and 2 bananas already too ripe for me to enjoy, and they all  begged to be used in a quickbread.  So I did.  I had a hunt around for recipes, and sort of did a mish mash of everything, hoping it’ll turn out OK.  Usually with baking I’m pretty anal about following the correct ratios of dry and wet ingredients (as it’s the chemistry of how the ingredients work together that produces the final product), but decided to give experimenting a go.  It tasted like banana bread (love the stuff) with pear chunks so it was a lovely combination of texture and tastes.

It was certainly a very quick, quickbread.  Minus the cooking time, it took me only 15 minutes to whip up.  (Which was perfect as I had to zip out to the labs in 20.  I left the timer on, and when I got back, I came home to a nice warm banana and pear bread ready to eat).

banana   pear bread

Banana & Pear Bread
Makes 1 loaf

  • 2 over-ripe bananas
  • 2 ripe pears, cut into ~1cm cubes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup olive / vegetable oil
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 170C (350F).  Mash bananas in big bowl, add in pear chunks.  Add sugars, oil, eggs, vanilla and mix well.  Combine flour, baking soda and cinnamon in another bowl then add it to the wet mixture.  Mix till just combined.  Pop in a lined 9X5 loaf pan (or I’m sure these can be placed in muffin trays).  Cook for 50 minutes or when it tests as done.  Cool, slice, eat and store.

I’ve devoured 3 slices already.  Thankfully the rest have been frozen (which means there’s a chance I’ll forget about them and not finish it all before the weekend is over).