Is there a more popular baked good than banana bread these days? With the ingredients already in your pantry, it seems everyone has a recipe they swear by.
If you’re looking for an elevated version of classic banana bread, look no further. This recipe is kid-friendly (have them mash the bananas!) with easy-to-follow steps. But, it also makes a great impression amongst adults for its unique dark brown hue, simple-yet-fancy banana cross-section, and perfectly moist center.
Best of all, our banana bread recipe incorporates a timeless Japanese condiment: silky black sesame paste.
Known asneri gomain Japanese, sesame paste is like tahini, but has a key difference. Tahini uses raw or lightly toasted hulled sesame seeds that result in a slightly bitter taste. Sesame paste, on the other hand, uses unhulled, deeply toasted seeds that grind into a richer spread that isn’t as sharp. Black sesame seeds have an even deeper, earthy flavor than white seeds, and pairs perfectly with the sweet and creamy bananas in this bread.
Coincidentally, banana bread is a great way to “mottainai” – a Japanese term to express regret over wasted goods and the collective effort to repurpose them. It’s no secret that the best banana bread is made with overripe bananas left on the countertop for too long, as they become sweeter, softer, and juicier. Instead of tossing them in the garbage can, simply remind yourself “mottainai!” and break out the loaf pan and this recipe.
- 2 medium, very ripened and 1 medium, just ripened bananas
- 50g granulated sugar
- 50g brown sugar
- 80ml canola oil
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 50g neri goma (black sesame paste)
- 240g all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp white sesame seeds
- Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C. Grease and line a large loaf pan with parchment paper.
- With a fork, mash the very ripened bananas.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine sugars, oil, the mashed bananas, vanilla extract, eggs, and neri goma (sesame paste). Mix well.
- In another bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir together and sift into the bowl of liquid ingredients.
- Gently fold the dry ingredients into the liquid batter until the ingredients are just incorporated (do not overmix).
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Mix together the black and white sesame seeds and sprinkle onto the top of the batter. Cut the remaining banana crosswise and lay the halves face up on top of the batter and sesame seeds.
- Bake in the oven approximately 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
- Let cool completely before slicing. Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Recipe available in our Baking: "Amai" Care Package
About the recipe creator and photographer: Yaz Gentry is a freelance recipe developer and food-lover based in Tokyo, Japan. Half-Japanese and half-American, she enjoys fusing together seasonal ingredients and dishes from both cultures as a reflection of her mixed heritage. You can follow her culinary adventures at www.meshibliss.com and @