Orange-Spice Banana Bread

If you’re like me, you always have overripe bananas sitting on your counter top. I have good intentions to eat all the bananas, but there is always at least one or two that get brown spots before I can eat them. I usually make my favorite banana bread, the Ultimate Banana Bread, but I didn’t have quite enough ripe bananas to make a loaf this time. So I went searching for a different banana bread to try out on my family. I came across this Orange-Spiced Banana Bread and was intrigued. A citrus-infused banana bread? I was all over it! Packed full of mashed bananas, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg and crunchy toasted walnuts for a breakfast treat your whole family will enjoy. One bite of this delicious bread and you will look forward to the bananas on the counter turning soft and mushy. 😀

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Orange-Spice Banana Bread

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  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 1/4 cups toasted walnuts, chopped coarse (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
  • 3 very ripe bananas, soft, darkly speckled, mashed well (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 large eggs, beaten lightly
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom only of regular loaf pan (or grease and flour bottom and sides of nonstick loaf pan); set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange zest; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl mix mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla with wooden spoon. Lightly fold banana mixture into dry ingredients with rubber spatula until just combined and batter looks thick and chunky. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan; bake until loaf is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yields: 1 9-inch loaf
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 55 minutes

Source: Cook’s Illustrated, March 1998

13 Responses to “Orange-Spice Banana Bread”

  1. #
    thekalechronicles — January 15, 2012 @ 1:07 pm

    Wouldn’t it be good to put the juice from an orange in this? You could add a little more flour or reduce the yogurt or butter to compensate for the additional liquid.

  2. #
    Just A Smidgen — January 15, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

    I was going to make a blueberry lemon loaf for my meeting tomorrow… but I’ve just changed my mind;) This is perfect and I have all the ingredients!!

  3. #
    sprint2thetable — January 15, 2012 @ 4:46 pm

    Yum! I love the pop that citrus adds to baked goods. Grapefruit would be good too!

    Side note: do you ever freeze your bananas? That’s what I often do when I can’t eat them fast enough. They are great for smoothies or oatmeal!

  4. #
    Reem | Simply Reem — January 15, 2012 @ 10:23 pm

    Wow This looks real good…
    I make banana bread very often, I can bet addition of citrus will really enhance the flavors…
    Will try soon.

  5. #
    ChgoJohn — January 16, 2012 @ 1:26 am

    Well, Christina, you’ve done it again! Orange used in banana bread is totally new to me and something I cannot wait to try.

  6. #
    Chica Andaluza — January 16, 2012 @ 3:08 am

    What a great idea – and a good way for me to use up all the oranges we currently have here!

  7. #
    Desk Snacker — January 16, 2012 @ 8:12 am

    Have you tried experimenting with half white/half wheat flour…or the new “white” whole wheat? The change really ups the fiber content. I like this orange idea, gets me past the traditional cinnammon/nutmeg combo. Thanks for sharing!

    • Christina replied: — January 18th, 2012 @ 8:56 pm

      I do make many recipes using half white/half wheat flour, but I haven’t used the white whole wheat yet. I haven’t been able to find it in any of my local stores. I might have to go online! 🙂

  8. #
    Judy — January 16, 2012 @ 11:37 am

    Mmm, I could use a snack about now, and orange spice bread sounds lovely!

  9. #
    Mandy@Withmilkandflour — January 16, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

    This sounds so delicious and would never have thought to use orange in a banana loaf. I’m book marking this recipe now!

  10. #
    Chung-Ah @ Damn Delicious — January 16, 2012 @ 9:18 pm

    I always have overripe bananas on the counter. And then I buy more at the store. It’s a problem, really.

  11. #
    Erin — January 23, 2012 @ 8:00 am

    I have the opposite problem, i eat all my bananas even when I want to save them to make banana bread, etc. What I have to do is buy more than I could possibly eat several days before I want to bake something with them, otherwise none will make it.

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