There are a lot of good reasons to make banana bread: You have a pile of sad bananas on top of your fridge that have reached their life’s expectancy. You like things that are unquestionably delicious. It’s raining and you need something toasty and cake-like to go with your coffee. You’re into recipes you can make with one bowl, and feed a dozen. You’re going to be wildly busy this fall and are hoping to pack your freezer with all sorts of wonders that that can be warmed up whenever the craving strikes, even if you’re not around to enjoy them.
There are very few reasons, however, to reinvent banana bread, even when one’s original recipe is just shy of six years old, an eternity in blog years. I mean, is there anything new to add to banana bread? Even if there were, should banana bread be mussed with? The answers are, of course, no but due to a confluence of events — and yes, 24-hours-from-fruit-flies bananas were one of them; freezer-packing was another — I found myself making an updated banana bread last week and it was so lovely that it deserves a new mention.
A few months ago, my editor asked me if I had a recipe for a whole-grain breakfast-y banana bread and I snapped back “BUT YOU SAID THE BOOK WAS DOOOONE. You promised!” Just kidding! Kinda. Ahem, what I was actually about to say was, “haven’t you seen my jacked-up banana bread recipe? It’s so wonderful because it has…” And then I looked it up again and guys (gasp!), there’s bourbon in there. You’re welcome. But seriously, I may love bourbon enough to argue that it should be a food group but I just cannot pull off a bourbon-spiked cake for breakfast and still make it through the day. (Whiskey in my coffee, however, is apparently no bigs.) And you know, it’s full of white flour and refined sugar and melted butter and it’s absolutely, unquestionably wonderful but when it comes to breakfast, I like to pretend that that I’m not feeding us cake but something wholesome and that recipe makes it hard to pull off.
And so, I got to fussing. I always do. The white flour became whole-wheat flour. The butter became coconut oil in one batch, olive oil in another. The white sugar became maple syrup. The bourbon took a nap. But then I did something I’ve been wanting to do for so long, I wish I hadn’t waited because it’s not going to be the same again without it: I made it crackle.
When we talk about food, we often talk about texture: plush cakes, juicy roasts, caramelized onions that sigh against the walls of a quiche and peaches that melt into butter. But we so rarely talk about the crackle of a shattering lid of creme brulee or the edge of a thin, curly slice of bacon. A few months ago ate a muffin that crackled from what I learned was, get this, millet. Like the bird feed! (Not that I’ll ever share it with the birds again after trying it in breakfast cake.) In banana bread, the millet creates a texture as satisfying to eat as bubble wrap is to pop. So go on; you know what needs to be done.
One year ago: Apple Pie Cookies
Two years ago: Beef Chili + Cheddar-Sour Cream Biscuits
Three years ago: Snickerdoodles and Date Spice Loaf
Four years ago: Black-and-White Cookies and Summer’s Last Hurrah Panzanella
Five years ago: Chocolate Babka, Red Velvet Cake and Cream Cheese Noodle Kugel
Six years ago: Flower Cupcakes
Crackly Banana Bread
The crackle comes from uncooked millet, a seed that can be cooked like a grain in pilafs, but here is left crunchy. It’s sold in health food, speciality stores and many larger ones (found mine at Whole Foods). If you don’t have t and don’t want to seek it out, however, the recipe absolutely works without it and makes a delightful, wholesome spin on banana bread with no less deliciousness than the original.
I suspect a gluten-free flour mix would work well here, but didn’t test it out in my kitchen. If you’d like to play around a mix of whole-grain flours would make a lovely partial swap too (perhaps some rye, buckwheat or barley flours).
Miss the bourbon and butter? You might like my Jacked-Up Banana Bread too!
3 large ripe-to-over-ripe bananas
1 large egg
1/3 cup (80 ml) virgin coconut oil, warmed until it liquefies, or olive oil
1/3 cup (65 grams) light brown sugar
1/4 to 1/3 cup (60 to 80 ml) maple syrup (less for less sweetness, of course)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 1/2 cups (180 grams) white whole-wheat flour (or flour mixture of your choice, see Note up top)
1/4 cup (50 grams) uncooked millet
Preheat your oven to 350°F and butter a 9×5-inch loaf pan. In the bottom of a large bowl, mash bananas with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon until virtually smooth but a few tiny lumps remain. Whisk in egg, then oil, brown sugar, syrup and vanilla extract. Sprinkle baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves over mixture and stir until combined. Stir in flour until just combined, then millet.
Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake until a tester comes out clean, about 40 to 50 minutes. Cool loaf in pan on rack.
Do ahead: Loaves keep well in the freezer, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for a month or more. Ours kept at room temperature for a record week, becoming more moist each day.
486 comments on crackly banana bread
Millet? Millet! Genius.
I haven’t found my perfect banana bread yet. This looks awesome, I’ll try it soon!
Ok, there’s my Saturday morning project. I love banana bread and based on your other one there’s no stopping me.
oh, I forgot to mention that I made your sweet potato and sausage soup last night…amazing!
Glad you didn’t save this one for the book!
I love banana bread so this one I will definitely have to try.
I have a ginger banana bread recipe that I love, but my current sweetie is allergic to bananas so I can’t make any of these recipes. I’ve been trying to think of other fruits I could smash into pulp and use in sweet breads – any thoughts?
Thanks so much!
First thoughts on other things to put in your bread: strawberries, blueberries, cherries, apricot or peach puree, pumpkin and sweet potato. (I know, not a fruit, but it would work!)
My parents get persimmons from a neighbor and make a killer banana-ish bread recipe with that (they’re the smushy Hachiya persimmons). I’ve also made zucchini and pumpkin breads, subbing in for the requested amount of bananas in a recipe. Zucchini and other squashes are a little drier, so I also throw in a snack-sized (you know, those kid’s lunch cups) of applesauce for texture and moisture and that works great. Good luck!
I’m busying myself with recipes that freeze well; so glad to have another to add to the pile. Your raspberry whole wheat ricotta scones freeze up nicely, as does your chana masala. Next up are soups and stews.
Should the millet be rinsed and picked over? I’m relatively new to millet, but the one time I cooked it I didn’t rinse or pick it over and there were crunchy stony bits. Nowhere did it say to rinse/pick it over but a few web searches suggested it should be treated like quinoa or dried beans.
Cara — I’ve read that you should rinse it but there was nothing to be concerned about in my bag so I didn’t bother.
Oh, this is fun! I make us breakfast every Sunday for the week ahead, and try not to make things that are too cakelike. I’ll have to try these as muffins too, since that seems to be one of the easiest way for us to grab and go in the mornings.
I can never say no to a good banana bread. This one looks super delicious. I so want a piece right now. Happy weekend, Deb! xo
This look terrific, but I can’t pretend that I’ve minded the bourbon in your other banana bread in the morning :)
I was just hunting for a “more wholesome” banana bread/muffin recipe that I could pass for breakfast. While I created something I rather like using coconut oil & whole wheat flour, I’m excited to test out this millet version. Hmmm. Looks so good.
How did you KNOW I was hunting for a whole-wheat banana bread recipe?! Can’t wait to try this. And for the record, I eat the jacked-up banana bread for breakfast. An extra loaf always makes it to my workplace also, and it is a hit, keeping the bourbon hidden of course! ;)
Deb! I am going to try this with millet flour, sorghum, and tapioca starch to make it GF. I’m sure the extra millet flavor will give it an extra punch. I’ll let you know how it goes. This looks amazing! :D
You read my mind! I was thinking about banana bread when I was passing a shelf of bananas the other day at the grocery store. I didn’t buy them because I have 3 weeks worth of sweet tart dough in my freezer that I made and don’t have time to finish yet. I trust your recipes, so I will be putting this one on my to do list.
Millet. That’s one thing I never have in my cupboard. Maybe in the bird food bag, but not in my cupboard. I guess I’ll have to make a trip to the store for millet since I already have a kazillion overripe bananas calling my name!
I’m a newbie here – I stumbled upon this blog yesterday and now I can’t leave! I’m hooked! :)
This looks wonderful! Thank you for your willingness to reinvent the banana bread. I know just the bananas that are destined for this very purpose.
I make your jacked up version on a monthly basis. My coworkers especially like when I am heavy-handed with the bourbon, and have no problem with spiked breakfast treats. Will be hard to test something new when the old is so beloved, but I am very intrigued by the millet. Also STHOOS melts my heart.
This looks delicious…and healthy! I’ve tried to make my grandma’s banana bread recipe with healthier substitutions, but it never turns out just right — I can’t wait to try yours! Plus, I’ve never had millet before, so it will give me a chance to try something new!
I’ve tried similar banana breads and I dig them all. I literally go through about a dozen bananas a week on smoothies/juices alone (only $.19 a banana at my local Trader Joe’s), but inevitably some end up spoiling on me. Definitely need to start whipping up some banana bread more often.
Everyone loves banana bread, but everyone gets sick of the ‘same old banana bread’. So this is amazing – I can’t wait to try it!
Um. It’s raining. I have four VERY RIPE bananas. And, seriously, I have my old standby Williams-Somoma muffins and quick breads cookbook open to the whole wheat banana nut bread page. Just waiting for motivation to strike. GET OUT OF MY HEAD.
I have so many bananas that need to get used. They’re currently living in my freezer because defrosting them seems to mash them for me. I further jacked up your jacked up banana bread with brown butter and streusel, but this is definitely more breakfast appropriate. Although lack breakfast appropriateness has never stopped me before.
I’ve been totally obsessed with coconut oil for the last few months. Thanks for another way to use it!
I have to say I’d never dream that you need anything more than the Jacked-Up recipe! It’s the ONLY banana bread recipe I use (though I just double up on the vanilla and skip the bourbon). I have tried subbing in some whole weat flour for some of the white and it’s still good. It really is the best all-white though. Dang that’s an awesome recipe. So good I’m skeptical of anything new! But I’m sure this is great too.
An old roommate of mine would add millet to whole-grain pancakes for the same reason- crackle! Goes very nicely, especially if the pancakes are flavored with a bit of cinnamon/ginger.
Banana bread is my favorite non-chocolate dessert. I have made your jack-up version before, but with rum. It was fantastic!
it took me so long to find the magic link to the jacob photo that i was afraid there wasn’t one! found it! phew!
In its next life, this will become French Toast Banana Bread. Watch. Delicious.
I’m gluten free and as I was reading this I was so hoping that the crunch was going to be millet. Yeah! This is going to be so good g/f!
I have made this recipe at least fifty times and each time it turns out perfect! This evening I decided to make this recipe gluten free and vegan. I swapped the flour with Bob’s Redmill 1:1 Baking Flour and the egg with a flax egg. Since I’m out of Millet (I used the last of it making this recipe over the holidays), I used Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips. It’s perfect!
Can quinoa can be substituted for the millet?
Did you attempt this? I’m considering the same substitution.
I did the quinoa and it worked great!
I just baked this today with quinoa as well and the whole thing is delish!!
I love that you made it crackle! Ive been on SUCH a banana bread, cake, bars making bonanza. Every week for the last few months. Can’t get enough of it! Will be trying the crackle action next! And coconut oil. I bet this is dreamy!
I’d like to second SongBird’s question about an alternative to bananas–I’m allergic. Pumpkin? Zucchini? I usually skip over banana recipes because they’re so hard to substitute, but this looks so good!
@Songbird, try zucchini! My mother-in-law makes zucchini bread with the same recipe as her banana bread, and it’s incredible.
This looks amazing! I love millet crackily-ness in my baked goods.
Your banana bread has been my go-to for the past 3 years, and everyone swears I’m an incredible baker because of it. Ironically, I never rarely have butter on hand, so usually opt for coconut oil as a substitute. It adds beautiful moisture/texture to the bread that, I think will complement the whole wheat in this recipe.
Perhaps this will top my current go-to? At least I am not going to be cheating on you with another blogger :)
@Songbird Personally, I’d dump any sweetie that can’t handle banana…on another note…try pumpkin!
I love the crackle, brilliant!
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have stopped baking with butter and white flour, and therefore have been reading you less often.
I have all of the reasons to make banana bread EXCEPT the going-bad bananas. We just eat them too fast! But for this bread, I may have to start saving. Banana bread is amazing in most any manifestation, and this looks like no exception. I do, however, want to try the bourbon version as well…
Ooh, millet to banana bread; great idea! I make these millet muffins regularly, and like how toasting the millet makes them a little more fragrant and less chalky: http://www.girldetective.net/?p=3477 So consider toasting the millet while you’re preheating the oven.
“We so rarely talk about the crackle of a shattering lid of creme brulee or the edge of a thin, curly slice of bacon.”
Who’s “we” in this sentence? Because I pretty much talk about that stuff daily… :P
Excellent idea with the millet; I love crackling! Have filed this under “make this.”
that sounds so good. I’m definitely getting some millet when I’m back in the natural foods store next week.
Your jacked up banana bread is/has been my go-to banana bread recipe for YEARS but you got me with this crackle business. I’m in. I’ll take the bourbon on the side. Neat with an orange slice.
This looks delicious. I love banana bread! I’ve never used millet before, but what a fun and different addition….might have to give that a try.
Yum yum! So what was the consensus on coconut oil vs. olive oil?
Sari — I preferred the coconut oil and didn’t find the coconut flavor to be detectable (if you, like my husband, are coconut-averse). But both will work.
Banana alternatives — I am quite fond of my Zucchini Bread recipe, and also whole-grained it up this summer with no ill effects. You could probably substitute pumpkin puree for the banana but I’m not sure how much… maybe 1 cup? Or 1 1/4 cups?
Linda — I have never tried it so I cannot say what kind of texture it will impart uncooked in the bread. It can’t hurt to find out, I suppose.
Oh, banana bread is always so delicious. Yours looks great.
IMO, all banana breads require raisins (or some type of dried fruit) but otherwise, I’m sold!
I absolutely love the idea of adding millet to banana bread, it gives such a boost nutritionally.
Can’t wait to try this!
I love gooey banana bread! It’s the best fruit and grain combination (next to granola).
I love banana bread, this looks like such a great version!
Funny to see the old recipe mentioned, I just made it a short time ago. I will have to give this one a try.
Just made this with the olive oil – at first I found it very strange because of the strong olive flavor, but after a few bites it really grew on me. Next time, though, I think I would try the coconut oil or just use a neutral oil. It is the loveliest looking banana bread I’ve ever made, however, and I’ve tried just about every recipe out there. The texture is perfect – light without being cakey, hearty without being heavy.
I love millet – can’t wait to try this. And given the season, I think I’ll see what it tastes like with one of the winter squashes I can’t stop buying at the farmer’s market. Thanks for sharing!
I love the millet addition! And I’m all about the coconut oil. I will make this posthaste! And by posthaste I mean a month from now when I’m done with the stupid limit on gluten, sugar, and dairy. No fun.
Although this certainly looks interesting, I will never ever cheat on your Jacked Up Banana Bread recipe. Not even for the promise of a crackle!
I just went and put some bourbon in my coffee, thanks for the suggestion! It is Friday…
I was also wondering if you could sub quinoa for millet…?
Texture changes everything! Crackling bits is definitely a twist on traditional banana bread. I bet it’s fabulous! I love crackled and crunches.
I love my mom’s banana bread recipe, which I hand copied from her when I was in high school, but I’ll have to try this one soon!
Where’s Jacob? :0
I haven’t clicked through to pictures of your little guy in a while…when did he get so big?!? I guess I’ve been too self absorbed in my own kids’ astonishing rates of growth. Last time I clicked through, he was eating mushy baby stuff :)
Banana bread is always welcome by me! Even if I don’t have ripe bananas, I’m fully willing to put an unripe banana or two in banana bread (I know, I know…sinful!). Boozy banana bread sounds wonderful! I could definitely see bourbon going well in bread! Looks delicious as always!
This sounds amazing. Great pictures! Looks delicious.
My boyfriend is on vacation now with his family. I was planning on making banana bread as a little welcome home surprise. How could you possibly time this so well?!
A generous heap of orange peel makes a wonderful difference too. This week was still pumpkin bread, toasted with chevre and onion confit. Chevre cheese, the real chevre remained outside.
if you make this gluten free I want to know how it goes too!
Alas, I am- according to my father- A glu-tard :)
My favorite bakery in our food-ish town (Northampton, Mass.) serves the best muffin: Pear Sunflower. Large-diced pear with the skin still on + millet + sunflower seeds for crunch on top. Delicious, and I think it’s the millet that makes it!
I was wondering where the millet at Whole Foods went (I wanted to buy some for mushroom millet soup)…I kid. I kid. Thank you for another awesome recipe. I’m looking forward to your cookbook. It’ll be the first I’ll have purchased in a while.
I guess I get the whole grain option but what do you mean the bourbon banana bread isn’t for breakfast? I suppose I probably wasn’t suppose to serve it to the 1st graders when I was snack mom this week, either….hmmmm?
I love the last photo. Very nice.
I saw this recipe pop up in my Google Reader and roasted some non-speckled bananas in the oven so I could make this recipe ASAP. The millet is an amazing addition and I plan to try it out in other recipes. I did find the bread itself to be a little dry, but I plan to play around with adding more next time. And maybe some chocolate chips, just because. :) Thanks, Deb!
Looks great! I’ve got a favorite banana bread recipe already, but I’m always willing to give another recipe a try. Of course, I think that topping ANY banana bread with a drizzle of honey and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream is a must too.
I LOVE adding millet to my banana bread. It adds such a wonderful crunch! I’ll have to try your version with coconut oil — I’ve never made that substitution before. Sounds really good.
Good grief! For a minute I thought you put cracklin’s in your banana bread.
I haven’t had banana bread since I was a kid. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous and truly show off how wonderful this treat is! Can’t wait to try it.
I love the millet idea. I’ve made banana bread with teff grain, which is finer than millet and doesn’t provide crackle exactly, but adds a very pleasant texture and nutty flavor.
This sounds so great. I don’t really enjoy eating bananas as they are so a banana bread is always a good idea for me. Still, I think that bourbon version sounds more interesting :)
This looks delicious! I love banana bread and I already know this whole-grain version will become a staple in my kitchen! Plus I can’t wait to try what you called a “crackly” consistency :)
Thanks Deb for this healthy and yummy breakfast recipe, I’ll be surely making it soon!
Why is it that I want to make everything you post?! I’m so tired of my ol’ nana bread recipe. Can’t wait to try this one. Mahalo!
Can not wait to make this more wholesome version of banana bread tomorrow. I know it will change the texture, but I was wondering if I steamed the millet first would that be ok? I make millet all the time, first I lightly toast it in a cast iron skillet, that way when steamed it is even nuttier and with a great bite!
I’ve substituted pumpkin (or squash) for banana in banana bread many time, I think it’s about 1 to 1.5 cups per 3-4 bananas. If you add cinnamon/nutmeg/ginger/cloves as well it makes a lovely pumpkin spice bread.
This recipe makes me happy, but what makes me really smile is that photo of Jacob! He looks so grown up. And SUCH a cutie! He’s definitely going to be a heart breaker!
I don’t have maple syrup on hand and I can’t get millet (I live in Cambodia), so I ad-libbed a little here and just used some salted caramel sauce I had on hand! Plus, no whole wheat flour either. Yes, I pretty much made the antithesis of what you were going for here, but just tuck the salted caramel addition in your back pocket for another time!
Honestly, I think you have taken a wrong turn here. The bread looks anemic to me, and the millet looks nasty. I may be prejudiced regarding the millet, because hard little millet- type things are difficult to digest and cause pain for people such as myself, who have diverticulitis. The bread does have a nice sheen, however, presumably from the cocunut oil. But the bananas you photographed for mashing – they weren’t nearly ripe, or overly-ripe enough to flavor your bread! Fine for out of hand eating, but not baking. I am dead conservative when it comes to banana bread. My idea of a variation is substituting 1/4 cup of very strong and dark cocoa for 1/4 cup flour, which makes a lovely rich but not overtly chocolatey loaf. Variation number two would be to use half whole wheat flour for the white four.
That adds a delicious substance to the loaf. And I always enjoyed the James
Beard recipe where he added a couple of tablespoons of honey to the recipe. It
really intensified the banana sweetness of the bread in a very natural sort of way.
I hope Iam not causing offense. I love your blog and just wanted to share my opinion.
Ah.. uncooked millet… When I saw the first pics.. i thought it might have been something like poppy seeds … ths would also be healtheir… One can never get tired of banana bread and the various twists that people give it!!
Mmmm… I tried this today – wonderfu! Love the crackles.
Hope there’ll be some left by tomorrow when my friends come over to sample it!
Thx for all the inspiration you provide!
Overripe bananas & I don’t seem to get along, so I tend to dislike bland-nana loaves in principle. ::surreptitious sliding of said bananas to Susane::
…love millet in anything…and love the idea of teff, too.
…Though I would suggest RINSING QUINOA before using; it has a bitter coating…maybe want to dry it before adding to recipe by dry-roasting it a bit?
I am looking forward to trying your recipe. I think that I’ll substitute grape seed oil for the olive oil.
(caps are for quick reference, rather than shouting)
Looks fantastic! If you wanted to, how much honey would you think would substitute for the maple syrup?
A couple quick comments- this sounds wonderful for a variation on a theme! Millet sounds great, and I saw a reference above to quinoa, too. There is such a thing as prerinsed quinoa, and that is really convenient.
I was taken back to my childhood when I looked at the very first picture on your post, that is the same kind of bowl that my mom had and we used it for baking banana bread and lots of other things. I was a trip down memory lane. My mom’s place is being sold soon, and I ended up with the bowl. I think a batch of banana bread in it would be quite fitting. Thanks for a wonderful post.
I love the idea of millet in the bread for texture. Sounds perfect for this cool, rainy morning.
I’ll have to give this recipe a shot with gluten free flour. I’m über curious about that crunch factor!
That’s such a good point about remembering the texture of food. The millet is inspired–I can’t wait to try it. Who doesn’t want their breakfast with a side of bubble wrap fun?
“In banana bread … millet creates a texture as satisfying to eat as bubble wrap …”
–Smitten Kitchen, September 2012
>> How political ads are created. ;-)
Love the recipe – Thanks!
It’s hard to comment since I made a few changes, but… I roasted 4 bananas first with butter and brown sugar (amazing enough just to eat with yogurt!). I also added a streusel topping and skipped the millet (since I didnt have any). So… it was AWESOME!
This looks delicious and I wish I was smelling it baking right now. But I agree with Susane above, bananas need completely black skins to make the best banana bread.
I have JUST been tinkering with your jacked-up banana bread recipe to make it more whole grain-ish, so this is awesome to see your ideas for that!
Thank you so much for including gluten free suggestions for your wonderful recipes!
I just made this and the smells are amazing. One quick note, the recipe never said when to add the vanilla. I assumed it was meant to go in with the other liquids. Delicious :)
I can’t believe I am going to ask an annoying substitution question, but have you baked with agave nectar enough to know whether it would be a 1:1 substitution in this recipe? This bread looks awesome, but we just don’t buy maple syrup often (crazy, I know). I will buy syrup if I need to, but I have agave (and honey) on hand. I can also Google about that substitution, but I thought you might have baked with agave before.
this just came out of the oven 15 minutes ago. husband is currently standing at the stove shoving pieces into his mouth saying “really good banana bread” in between swallows. I added 1/4 c of unsweetened flaked coconut (we’re fans in this house) and dialed back the sugar even more. I don’t think this loaf will be around a half hour from now, even though i made it with my twin toddlers in mind. YUM!
I’m like to try this recipe as muffins. What do you think?
Banana bread is my weakness! I live they you used coconut oil, I bet it adds great flavor.
And while the banana bread is baking you can whiten your teeth by rubbing with the inside of the banana peel! Try it – it works!
Can I take a nap with the bourbon? Just kidding (kind of).
Perfect timing! I have three soft, speckly bananas on the counter that have had me dreaming of banana bread all week. I looove millet, too. For the crackle and the heartiness it adds. You are too good.
Millet is wonderful I put it in my breads and crackers and also have a millet pilaf recipe that is great served with roasted veg. Here is a tip about fruit flies; wash all veg and fruit as soon as you get it home from the store, and yes that includes bananas. I think we have had only 4 flies all summer with fruit and veg on the counter all the time.
Loved this. And your writing is a joy to read, I am always happy to see your posts in my inbox!
I print off a fair amount of the recipes that come through from this site and there’s only one things I’d love to see changed, that when we select the recipe for print mode that we have the option to include a picture of the finished product. Even after baking and cooking for over 40 years now I still like to see a picture of what my item it to look like. I’m not a big fan usually of banana bread, I give it more as gifts than I eat it myself but this one looks pretty good. I also like to do things like this in small loaves and give them as gifts to our residents at the retirement community we own. One thing they like is that it’s so freezable.
Do you think Amaranth can be used as a substitute for the millet? I have a bag in my pantry that I have yet to find a use for (and actually have ALL the other ingredients on hand miraculously…)
Replace the egg with 1Tbsp ground flaxseed and 1/4 cup water and its vegan!
Renee – Anytime I’ve substituted agave for maple syrup in baking recipes, it’s always been in equal amounts. And has always been equivalent in delicious-ness!
I think agave will have a slightly milder flavor, but contributing the same amount of sweetness/moisture to the bread.
Hope that helps!
^ bangs head against wall for having JUST tossed out 5 sad looking bananas. shame on me!
Oh no no no, do you know what you did now?! I will be putting millet in all sorts of baked goods from now on! Cakes, breads, muffins, cookies, brownies… Thank you so much for this idea!
Songbird – You can substitute an equal amount of mashed
mango for the banana and it makes a delicious bread.
this was SO GOOD. i will never make quick bread without millet again! i was half way through mashing the bananas when i realized that i only had regular whole wheat and a little homemade multigrain flour (rye, millet, buckwheat, oat, & corn mixture). made it with a combo of those two and while it came out a lot darker in color than yours it was still deliciously moist and not dense at all. added chocolate chips too.
This sounds absolutely wonderful!!!! So making this! Love millet! :-)
Oh my. That looks so delish! I love the use of coconut oil in this recipe.
@Songbird: When in season you can make a delicious quick bread with persimmons. Try substituting them for bananas in this recipe!
Just pulled our crackly banana bread out of the oven and it’s to die for! We *love* the millet too. Thank you for another wonderful recipe, Deb!
You are amazing! THIS is the banana bread I’ve dreamed of! And so great to read about while the escarole meatball soup simmers on my stove! Thank you!
I have never used coconut oil before, and I almost bought it at the store today to try this recipe, but I balked at the amount of saturated fat. Something like 12g in a single tablespoon–more than butter, and SIGNIFICANTLY more than olive oil. Am I missing something? I assume it’s delicious, but is it worth it?
I can’t wait to try this, esp as I have lots of coconut oil to put to good use.
Do you think I could substitute agave syrup for the maple syrup? Would you use the same amount? I have it on hand but I’d have to go out and buy maple.
This is a wonderful bread. Love the idea of crackle. I too love to use healthy substitutions while baking. I just cannot make myself use just plain flour or butter while baking. I have to healthify it :-) I use jaggery powder as a substitute for brown sugar and it works out just fine.
You read my mind… I literally logged on to find your banana bread recipe and here it was – staring me in the face on the first page! Now its off to the shops to find millet!
a lot of people are asking about substitutions – when it comes to syrup, I believe that agave syrup is slightly sweeter than maple, but it really would depend on the batch; so ymmv depending on how sweet you like things to be. To sub for cocoanut oil, if you can’t or don’t want to use cocoanut oil for whatever reason you could probably use whatever solid fat thing you like (e.g. Nature’s Balance spread) at a one-to-one substitution without any disasters, tho depending on the results you might decide to add a bit more or less the next time you make it. Subbing a liquid fat gets a bit more complicated but there are loads of online calculators for that. (all my experience with cocoanut oil has been with a solid product. If this is not the case here I apologise and would suggest that you use any nice oil that you know you can tolerate)
For people who are concerned about the health ramifications of cocoanut oil, as far as I am aware it just goes solid because of its nature, not because of processing (which makes it less health-problematic), but I could be totally off with that and if you’re really worried you should ask your health professional/the internet/a combination thereof.
Anyway, I love figuring out how to make recipes vegan/gluten free/whatever because I have loads of friends and family who have various dietary restrictions for health or ethical reasons and even though I’m pretty catholic in my tastes I really like being able to feed everyone. (c,f, I catered my own vegan- & gluten-free-friendly wedding reception even tho I am omnivorous and have no issues with gluten) So if anyone has more questions of this nature, feel free to ask me. My email should be linked to my username I think. If not, it is ellael (at) gmail (dot) com.
This looks so good; i don’t eat eggs however. How do I make this without eggs?
This bread is beautiful with the millet! Made it with a tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 cup homemade yogurt, 2/3 cup brown rice syrup, and double the spices. It was so easy to make too – a lovely and calming process.
@ Ami – if I could chip in – you could make the bread as is with about 2 – 4 tablespoons of yogurt to help with the leavening process. I haven’t found either flaxmeal or chia to be particularly necessary (:
Oooooh, I love the idea of a crackling banana bread. It’s so fun to tweak faithful recipes and yield delicious results. I am definitely going to give this a try! Thank you for the recipe. :)
Deb, this looks lovely! But what happened to metric measurements? I can’t bake this :(
Perfect timing! A beautiful confluence of events (missing a just-past summer vacation covered in Sun Bum, a sunscreen that smells like whipped banana heaven, and a bunch of lusciously overripe bananas on the counter) has made it clear that I must make and devour this recipe a.s.a.p.! It will be making a gluten-free appearance in my house before the end of day tomorrow. Thank you for sharing and inspiring! :)
I’m so looking forward to trying this. There is a (now closed) place in Berkeley that made amazing Millet muffins and I always wondered if they millet went in fully raw or what. There is definitely something about that crackle that makes the whole baked good feel virtuous, which is always a plus. Sounds like it might go well with a rainy afternoon and a hot toddy.
I love millet. Even though my tried and true banana bread is my favorite and hard to give up, I absolutely love this variation and am going to try it. Thanks! Amazing recipe!
Yay!! So timely! I have about a dozen bananas quickly browning and I needed this TODAY. I adore millet, too, so thanks!
Hi Deb, can’t wait to make this. I have one question, though. I don’t have white whole wheat flour – what would be a good substitute? I was thinking half white flour and half whole wheat. What are your thoughts?
Faith — I’m getting you an answer and will respond in a bit. Sorry for the trouble.
Ilona — I am sure that combination would work great.
Kate — Now added. Just ask! I’m adding metrics to recipes as requested. I usually get it done faster.
basketpam — I don’t include the photo because I know a lot of people don’t like it, it uses a lot of toner, etc. However! You just reminded me that I have a new tech guy and I should ask him if he can implement a “print with photo” or without checkbox option before you print. :)
Renee — Agave would be fine. It’s technically a tad sweeter than sugar, so you probably will only want to use the 1/4 cup amount.
debio — Thank you for sharing. I inherited the bowl, too but it’s becoming a favorite! I have other wide, large ceramic/glass bowls but they’re very heavy, especially the stoneware. This is far more enjoyable to lift and scrape. The spouts are great.
Susanne — Wow! I am reading comments backwards so I just got to yours but I’m surprised that you’d leave such a long, negative comment on what you’d imagine the bread would taste like just based on the photo, and not trying it. I don’t expect anyone to like every recipe; most and not for many people; this doesn’t bother me. But I kind of think of this comment section as living room, a place where we can enjoy each others company and where I’d hope politeness trumps presumptions.
So, being away, this is a bit of torture as I can’t bake but I am eager to try this especially as I have a jar of coconut oil I have been longing to put to use!
My go to recipe for Banana bread for 3 decades was from the Joy of Cooking book, which frankly is quite decent- includes whole wheat flout and wheat germ- but a girl’s fancy turns to other recipes and it has been a while for be and banana bread…
This looks like just the thing to kick it back up the list!! Thanks!
Hi Deb, Have made a gazillion versions of bana bread and always something missing to me… You have solved the problem. finally a banana bread I dont get bored with after the second slice! I cut this in slices and wrapped in parchment paper and then froze all wrapped slices in a freexer zip bag. Individual slices for breakfast, a snack or a sent to school snack. Only one problem…all the kids in the class want a slice!
Love to see you come to Madison Wi on your book promo. Downtown Madison (State Street area) very very hip and so many great restaurants from unique countries around the world. Madison would be so SMITTEN with you for sure!
Im originally from NJ (the shore ) and moved here abt year and half ago..Love it! Oh and by the way, lived in Aruba for a year after vacationing there 4 times a year for years…Im sure you get the “Aruba” madness thing! Thank you for your efforts, you have brought joy to our home at least once a week!! (Usually more!)
Yum! I just wish I wasn’t allergic to bananas. I really miss them.
I imagine amaranth seeds would also work well in there; they pop like popcorn when toasted. I may have to give it a try.
My son (just a few months younger than Jacob) requests banana bread with frightening frequency. I’m excited to try this recipe as a break from my usual Joy of Cooking recipe! My only problem with this (and every other banana bread) recipe is the lack of specificity about banana quantity. What’s a “large” banana? Do you have perhaps a cup measurement for the mashed bananas? We end up with a crazy variety of sizes, based on where/when we got the bananas, and they’re almost always frozen before being put to use in bread. A volume measurement would be deeply appreciated.
No-banana people: What about applesauce?
This looks yummy! I have tried few banana recipes. Thank you for sharing
I don’t know – the Jacked-Up Banana Bread recipe is one of my favorites from your site! It’s going to be hard to actually make a different banana bread. But the crackle top does sound hard to resist. I might just have to give it a try. :-)
So I went ahead and made the banana bread without white whole wheat flour – I used 1 cup white and 1/2 cup whole wheat. It’s in the oven right now, so I will let you know how it turns out when it’s ready. I did want to let you know, Deb, that you forgot to include adding vanilla in the instructions – no harm, I added it in with the liquid ingredients, but I just thought you might want to update the recipe.
millet is my favorite thing to add to a recipe that just needs something extra. It is super fun when added to crusty dinner rolls :)
I’ve been obsessed with millet in quick breads for years! Starbucks had a date bran muffin with it. Now, Heidi (101 cookbooks) had a lemon yogurt muffin with millet. It’s all delicious! I can’t wait to try your version! :)
This was amazing! I made a couple substitutions –I filled the 1/3 cup up half way with maple syrup first, then the other half of the way with honey; I used 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup unflavored protein isolate powder; I substituted quinoa for the millet. It was AMAZING! Not too sweet, a nice texture, and then an added crunch from the quinoa (and protein!!!). Definitely making again! Thanks for the recipe!
This is such a cool idea! Love it!
Yum! I have enough bananas to make my traditional version + this one, so… off I go! Plus I was trying to find something to do with that baggie of millet I cannot recall purchasing. Thanks for your help.
I love your blog. Can you try banana bread with ginger sometime? I had it at a coffee shop and it was delicious!
Hi Deb – Looks amazing as always!!!!! I have three bananas on the counter nearing that sweet spot. I wonder, since I don’t have any millet on hand, do you think quinoa might work?? Thanks!
This baked up nice and moist and not too sweet ( with the lower amount of syrup). I like the fact that it was all whole wheat but wasn’t heavy at all. I didn’t have coconut oil so used canola to keep the flavor neutral. I was happy to try something with millet, since I’d never cooked with it before, but I can’t say that I liked the crackle. I will definitely make this again but will get my crunch from nuts.
Okay, I’m totally on board with the millet, but right now, I just received a huge box of sesame seeds from amazon that I subscribed to and forgot to unsubscribe. I have sesame seeds out my ears…do you think I could use those and get the same crackle? What do you think about the taste difference?
What an absolutely gorgeous loaf of bread!!!! I have literally 30 pounds of bananas downstairs that need to used. You are a life saver. :)
I just made this gluten free to rave reviews, especially from my gf MIL. It was incredibly tender and without the sticky or gritty texture that some GF baked goods can get. I used 1 cup of Cup4Cup flour, 1/2 cup gf oats, and subbed flaxseed meal for the millet, because it was what I had.
My instinct was to grind the oats, but I’m glad I didn’t, because they didn’t cook through all the way, and everyone liked the texture they gave the bread. So there’s your crackle. :)
One question. I had coconut oil in the house, but had never used it before. It says nothing on the jar about refrigerating after opening. Do you know if it’s ok to leave out, or does it need to go in the fridge?
Just made this, and it was awesome – it got rave reviews from some tough critics. I loved the texture of the millet. I used one cup white and half a cup whole wheat flour because I didn’t have any white whole wheat flour.
I noticed some people asking about the volume of bananas to use in this recipe. It seems to be quite flexible – I didn’t classify my bananas as “large”, so I used four of them, and the results were delicious. I dialed down the maple syrup to compensate for the added sweetness and moisture.
Thank you, Deb, for another hit!
I love the crunch of adding millet to baked goods! It’s also very good in zucchini muffins! Love your blog, too! I always find great things to make. Can’t wait to receive the cookbook. By the way, I have an even tinier kitchen (live in Tokyo) that makes yours look palatial!
Deb! you’ve inspired me to make this bread not just super healthy but truly indigenous, packed with locally sourced, locally grown ingredients: for the flour i used whole wheat, sorghum (indian name: jowar), pearl millet (indian name: bajra), finger millet (indian name: ragi). Instead of maple syrup, i poured in hill honey sourced from my neighbour’s rubber plantation in Kerala; the bananas were grown on our farm and the brown sugar was replaced with powdered jaggery (unrefined cane sugar)…i added some orange rind and left out the cinnamon…
the outcome? a deliciously browned, fabulously crackly, flavourful banana bread…
thanks so much!
This was so delicious, love the crunch of the millet!! I made this into muffins because I wanted to bake them up quickly before everyone got out the door this morning. I don’t usually make changes to your recipes, but I used a cup of oat flour, and coconut sugar. It was still really delicious! Thanks, Deb!
I adore banana bread, and I just bought a jar of coconut oil in the hope of making my fat use in baking slightly more acceptable… In short – you read my mind! I’ve never used millet in baking before, but the promise of a ‘crackle’ is too much to resist!
This bread is wonderful – not too sweet but it still feels a little bit naughty. We didn’t have millet, but it worked beautifully without it.
This looks WONDERFUL! And I will eventually make it, but, there is no better crowd-pleaser than your Jacked-Up Banana Bread. Seriously. It has become a thing of legend among my family and friends. Especially when jacked-up with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey!
Hi Deb, I love your website, but you know what would be great for this and all cooking blogs? A comment section that separated true suggestions (ie:”I tried this gluten free, and found almond meal is a good substitute”) from uncooked enthusiasm. I find your reader feedback and your responses very helpful in my cooking, but I’m too impatient to wade through the praise to get to the useful stuff (“I think it looks delicious, too! That’s why I want to try this cake!”).
Thanks for all your amazing recipes and writing.
Do you think uncooked quinoa would work in place of millet?
I made this last night and we really liked it. Will definitely make again – glad to have a healthy banana bread. I loved the texture of the millet in the bread. I made it with regular whole wheat flour and olive oil (instead of coconut oil).
this is by far the best banana bread i’ve made so far! added a handful of nuts and a 1/4 cup of flaxseed, and it was a huge hit! super moist and delicious!
I used to have the problem of one mushy banana left in the fruit bowl omn a pretty regular basis. Not good to eat, but not enough to make banana bread with. Now I just put the whole thing in the freezer until I have three of them and then it is banana bread time. Or I leave all three in the freezer until I feel like making the banana bread. After freezing the texture breaks down so you barely have to mash them, but the end product is just as good.
Nice to see some great suggestions for maple syrup subs in the comments. I LOVE banana bread and this recipe looks great, but maple syrup is CRAZY expensive in the UK – as a consequence we almost never use it for anything and 1/3 cup sounds like it would have quite a heavy effect on the flavour of the bread, at least for my not-accustomed-to-maple palate.
I might try a very British substitution over the weekend – golden syrup – and will post on here if it turns out well. Definitely like the sound of adding millet – I love adding different grains to my breads!
I find plain millet in (regular) bread to be too crunchy for my taste. I pour boiling water on it first and drain it after it’s soaked for a while. It’s not cooked, but it softens it. Great idea to add it to banana bread!
I made this last night – except I made muffins since my husband thinks it too much work to slice a loaf, lol – and it was DELISH!!!! Love, love, love the texture added by the millet. Oh, and I added walnuts too. Mmmm.
Deb, what makes the coconut oil virgin?
I’m a long time follower of your blog, and have used your recipe for banana bread (with some personal tweaks) for years. I’m now a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal, and biked 30km today to visit a city with a stove and oven (luxurious!) to do some work and good-for-the-soul cooking. I came back from market today with a giant bunch of bananas. Hoping to find another banana recipe on your site I paid a visit… the timing couldn’t be better. My host family in village and everyone in Senegal is harvesting millet right now. I’ll have to work around some ingredients (no whole wheat flour or coconut oil here) but man you made my day. Jamm rekk (Peace Only!)
Erin — That is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing.
Dainapen — Virgin coconut oil has a delicate flavor and is wonderful for baking. Regular coconut oil is chemical treated and partially hydrogenated — this process creates trans fats. They won’t kill you, but the virgin stuff is consider much lovelier and healthier for baking.
Quinoa — I am not sure if it is has the same crunch when uncooked in baked goods because I haven’t tried it. I’d love to hear back from anyone who has.
JenSCooks — Great question about the virgin coconut oil. My jar says “no need to refrigerate” but at room temperature, and my apartment is always warm, it is liquid. So, I put it in the fridge (figure there’s no harm) but then it is suuuuper difficult to scoop when chilled. I have to run it under warm water. In short: I’d say do as the jar says and store it in a cool, dim place.
M.C. — Sesame seeds could be delicious here. You might even amp up the sesame flavor intentionally, adding toasted sesame oil or a spoonful of tahini paste to the batter.
That bread looks amazing!! I will have to make that this week! The best part is that being on a diet that won’t break my bank at breakfast :) I can still enjoy a sliver of that bread along with my morning fullbar I will still be able to lose my needed weight, and I know with the combination of both I will stay full until my lunch and not have to worry about snacking during the morning.
This really does sound like a lighter and healthier (yet still delicious) banana bread. I wonder if you could use quinoa and get similar results?
Psst. Your twitter has been hacked.
I made a loaf of this yesterday, but only after spilling half the bag of millet all over the kitchen floor. It was all cleaned up before the cats could make their way over to the interesting little balls all over the floor.
I love the healthier take- I’m a runner so I’m always overbuying (then having the freeze) bananas.
re: the pic of Jacob. He’s going to be such a ladykiller!!!
I’m happy I found this – I love trying reinvented recipes of the “classics.” Your description of the crackle on the bread is brilliant. While I was reading it, I could hear what you meant perfectly. Thanks for sharing!
I had to laugh because I was on to your recipe of carnitas before I even got to the recipe at the bottom. This is perfect, I’m on a new coconut oil kick and I have dozens of bananas in the freezer. Thanks for sharing!!!
Millet! And coconut oil! I’m in love. This whole recipe just blew my mind. To have millet be a poppy crunch in banana bread… genius.
Hi Deb, I had a question about your book tour. I called the Mid-Manhattan Library about your December 17th date, but they have no record of it. Do you have more information about it? Is there a registration and required book purchase? I’d love more info if possible! Thank you!!
This looks absolutely delicious. I’ve always associated banana bread with comfort food. Whenever I’ve come home from a trip overseas, my Mom makes this for me :)
Delish! I’ve been craving banana bread, but I don’t have an oven here in Korea, which is a shame since I always notice over ripe bananas in the supermarket. I feel so deprived of baked goods!
Beautiful, as usual. Wondering what you think about omitting the egg to make it vegan? I am hosting a brunch this weekend & have some special needs guests. & since I’m commenting a may as well say that this is my most favorite food blog I read. I love the recipes but I also enjoy reading everything you have to say about them. You are an excellent cook & a superb writer. Can’t wait for the cookbook! xo
this absolutely works GLUTEN FREE! I subbed a whole-grain all-purpose gluten free blend and it turned out so good. I used coconut sugar and sprinkled some on top before popping it in the oven. thank you for a wonderful recipe, Deb.
Just made the banana bread and i have a question for you. You have vanilla in your list of ingredients but no mention of it in the recipe directions, should it be included or not? Thank you.
I made this bread for a co-ed Bible study yesterday. The guys were extremely skeptical of the millet and I worked hard to convince them it was just a healthy crunch (they insisted millet was used in cow feed :). I also added about a half a cup of chocolate chips. It was a hit! I did not take home any bread; it was all gone by the end of the night! THanks for a delicious recipe.
Perfect, a lot of baking with too much white flour/processed sugar etc doesn’t do it for me. No millet, so used chia seeds – nice crackle too!
I made this on sunday morning, absolutely amazing. So tasty and the millet PERFECT. Now I can’t imagine banana bread without that crunch! Thanks again Deb!!!
I have been making your ‘jacked up’ banana bread for forever and nothing would make me try another – except maybe this – change is good (or so we tell ourselves) thanks am def going to try this :)
This banana bread looks gorgeous! The crunchy texture sounds so good, it must make this banana bread even more addictive!
If anyone tries it with amaranth, please come back and post a comment. I, too, have amaranth and have found that I don’t really like it as porridge so I’m looking for other uses. It seems like it would work, but I’d love to hear other people’s experiences.
I use Bob’s Red Mill 10-grain cereal to make wholesome foods crackle. I put it in breakfast cookies, pancakes and muffins. It gives a satisfying crunch and a wonderful blend of flavors. I got the idea from America’s Test Kitchen Multigrain bread, but I don’t bother soaking/cooking it beforehand. It’s in my latest recipe! http://purpleclosetbeauty.blogspot.com/2012/09/fruit-and-sprice-breakfast-cookies.html
I just made this as a batch of 12-muffins. 25 minutes at the same temperature. They taste awesome! considering a peanut butter icing…
Deb, this recipe is delicious! I’m trying to drop some lbs, but I can’t resist making a healthy(er) treat like this. The millet is awesome, you’re right it’s totally akin to bubble wrap in the best way! Now I’m looking for recipes to use up the rest of the millet I bought (since at Whole Foods I couldn’t remember how much your recipe required so I just got a whole bunch). Any suggestions?
Carrie — I would toss a couple spoonfuls into any muffin or quickbread you like. A couple commenters have mentioned that it’s nice in bread and rolls — outside? inside? Not sure, but either sound like they have potential. I have made a millet pilaf before. I didn’t care for it. I’m sure it was me, and not the millet but I found that the bits glued so tightly to each other it was like eating tough polenta, not a pilaf. I am sure there are more promising ways to use it as a pilaf, however.
Thanks so much for the recipe! I veganized it and used a flax egg instead of a regular chicken egg and it still turned out great. I also swapped the oil for applesauce because I try to cut back wherever I can. So for those looking to save a few calories, the bread still turned out moist even without the oil! Thanks again for a perfect new banana bread recipe Deb!
I just made this recipe as mini muffins. I’m going to take them to my friend in Germany when I fly out to see her tomorrow. The crunch of the millet really makes these special. Thanks for the recipe, Deb.
Hey Deb, the bread looks delicious and I bet it tastes as good as it looks. My problem is keeping the bananas long enough to get “fruit-fly” ripe. Regardless of how often I buy them, they seem to evaporate into thin air before I can make bread out of them. My two daughters seem to be as perplexed as I am.
Richard — Many commenters over the years have suggested to me that you freeze them just before then. I think it’s done while they’re still in the peel. They’re supposed to look absolutely revolting when you defrost them, but are totally ready to use when you want banana bread.
Btw, the store that figures out how package bananas so that you can buy 5 at a time, one fully green, one just about freckled, and the other three a range in-between so that you can have a perfectly ripe banana each morning (rather than none ripe then all overripe at once!) will make a fortune.
This looks great! I love how you healthified it. Delish!
I made this gluten free and as muffins rather than bread. After we each tasted one I decided I’d better get back in the kitchen and make another batch right away as the first was gone almost instantly. I used 3/4 c. teff flour, 1/2 c. sorghum, and 1/4 cup arrowroot powder and the texture was perfect. Soft, but not gummy with a beautiful crumb. So good. The millet adds the perfect crackle without being a full blown crunch. Yum.
Uncooked millet? You so crazy.
made this tonight but it wasn’t as spectacular as i was hoping (note: i’m still eating it!). the crackle is fun but the flavor balance is a little off. i substituted pumpkin (1.5 cups) for the banana but it wasn’t very pumpkin-y. also, the spices seemed a bit subtle to me.
i’m posting this mostly to help those who are thinking about trying a pumpkin substitution–i think there need to be more tweaking (or, you know, just try one of the great actual pumpkin recipes on here!).
This version looks fantastic. I love the crackle!
I love banana bread/cake with walnuts and will surely try this with quinoa instead because that’s what I have.
If it is not much trouble, could you please include the number of the comment with the name while answering? It will make it easier to see what the query is that you are answering. thank you and I am big fan of your blog and writing style.
I always love trying new banana bread recipes and I love millet. I never would have thought to put millet in banana bread though, I’m excited to try this out! Thanks for the recipe.
the crackle looks delish. do you think I could substitute in quinoa? this weekend’s project is chili and cornbread, but as soon as my green bananas ripen – you know what’s coming!
I have made this twice in two days! The first day, as written, with bananas. The second day (because that first loaf really didn’t last long), with pears that were about to liquefy in my fruit bowl (I omitted the cinnamon, but kept the nutmeg and clove). Both delicious, though the coconut oil kind of overpowers the pears. I will use vegetable oil today (I have more pears, and I’m sure the bread I baked yesterday won’t last past noon). The millet is genius – I love the texture. Thanks for another great recipe!
this was gooood!! The crackle really was a pleasant crackle addition. I was fearing more of a ‘mini popcorn hull’ texture – but it’s not at all – it’s a pleasant crackly crunch. And oddly enough I had briefly looked for a healthy breakfast banana bread on your site and discounted the jacked-up version for all the reasons you stated…I abandoned the search and then you posted this. You and/or your editor are so smart!!
I had all the ingredients on hand except for the millet, so I used 3 TBS. poppy seeds instead. Delish, and pretty, too. Sorry that I did not think about quinoa — which I also had — until I came back to post this and read what others’ did. Next time Great recipe. I used equal amounts white whole wheat flour, almond flour and Red Mill non-gluten flour substitute. Worked fine.
Made this with quinoa instead of millet. Worked great and gave it that crunch.
Delicious! I didn’t have the millet on hand so I decided to take a tropical take on this by adding a little chopped candied pineapple, toasted macadamia nuts, and a handful of un-sweetened coconut…vacation in a baked good! So good…thanks for the recipe!
My favorite fruit is banana like to it this bread , happy to serve in my hotel sweet dishes also.
I’m curious — how do bakeries make their banana bread with those dark brown specks of banana inside? No banana bread I have ever made has come out with those super dark specks, even though I always use very ripe bananas. Is it because I substitute coconut oil for butter? Thanks!
Emily — They come from the bananas; the seeds down the centers of the bananas are blackish. Leaving a few little lumps of banana also give a darker impression.
Sounds awesome, it’s rainy, and like everyone else, I have some ripe bananas on the table screaming to be used. A friend gave me a Liberian Banana Rice Bread recipe years ago that uses Cream of Rice and is baked in a cake tin like corn bread. It has a GREAT texture – it’s been all I’ve used since then. But I do miss the familiar, comfy loaf, so I can’t WAIT to give this recipe a try. :)
“Crackly” is EXACTLY what I always think banana bread is missing! Thank you thank you thank you! I love me some banana bread, but “crackly” is … well, it’s what my life has been without for so long.
I’ve done this exact same thing, except with a gluten free banana bread. I love the contrasting texture of the millet. So yummy!
@Songbird – try using roasted butternut squash or sweet potatoes instead. I bet that would be delicious!
@Deb – do you measure the coconut oil before or after melting? I usually measure before, but I’ve been wondering…
mimi — Usually I do it before but this time I’d had the coconut oil in the fridge and it was rock hard and I literally couldn’t chip off the right amount. So, liquid. :)
SLZ — Whoops! Will add. Sorry about that.
just made this, but I realized I forgot the vanilla extract because it wasn’t referred to in the instructions! Still turned out fine. I made it vegan using egg-replacer and I couldn’t find white whole wheat flour so I used 1 cup white, 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour. My only issue with it is the coconut flavor is almost too present for my liking. Other than that, great success. millet was a great idea!
This looks amazing – can’t wait to try it!
Thanks to this website (and your piece in the Times article), I’ve started using a kitchen scale – and yes, it’s so much fun and so easy. But there’s one piece I haven’t figured out – my scale offers grams and ounces, but where do milliliters fit in?
I just made this and it’s great!! Not too sweet – I used half maple syrup/half agave, and the millet gives it a nice crunch! this will be great with peanut butter on it for breakfast!
Lovely idea, I think I might try it with quinoa since I have no millet.
This looks so good, I will have to try it.
Thank you so much for posting this! I just baked a loaf, and it is just as amazing as I was expecting.
I was able to find Bob’s Mill Millet Grits at the supermarket. Is that the same thing?
Judi — I’m unfamiliar with them but I’m thinking it might be different? Sorry I cannot be more help. I’ll look for them next time I’m at a store that sells Bob’s products and report back.
Did it yesterday with some changes as in Venezuela is hard to find some ingredients. Used regular white flour, vegetable oil (wasnt sure about trying with olive), used honey instead of maple, no millet here.
Still it turned out fantastic and best of all is pareve (a plus for me! I am also lactose intolerant). Poppy seeds would work great, also will try some day with chocoate chips.
Thank you very much for the recipe its great and very easy to put together.
Tomorrow morning I am making this, only I’m turning it into crackly pumpkin cranberry loaf. Fingers crossed!
Looking forward to seeing you in Toronto!
I haven’t made banana bread in years because it just wasn’t that good. I made mine from frozen bananas (I froze for smoothies) and this was the best ever banana bread.
I just made a gluten-free batch of banana blueberry muffins! I followed the recipe to the letter but substituted 1/2 cup of tapioca starch, 1/4 cup millet flour, 1/4 cup teff flour, and 1/2 cup brown rice flour. I then stirred in about a half cup of frozen blueberries. I just pulled it out of the oven and they smell and taste DELICIOUS. Thanks :)
Deb, I made this with one third barley flour and was delicious. It’s particularly good when you spread cream cheese over it to give it a bit of tang. Thanks for the recipe, I’m enjoying it in bed on Sunday morning.
So, so good! Salt is listed twice in the ingredients – am I missing a second application? Mine came out great with rinsed quinoa replacing the millet and I omitted the brown sugar altogether. 1/3c maple syrup plus the bananas was sweet enough for me. I’m an odd one. :)
Delicious idea, Deb! Joy the Baker made a (banana?) bread quite some time ago and suggested millet instead of walnuts for that crunchy/crackly texture at a fraction of the cost. I tried it and was hooked for a while but had somehow forgotten all about it until now. Thanks again!
Hey Deb, can I use AP flour? I have whole wheat flour in the house. But not
White Whole Wheat.
Lila — Of course. It will be just fine.
I just made this this afternoon without the millet–I didn’t have any on hand and too many DC sports this afternoon to head to Whole Foods (though it’s likely empty!), and I don’t have enough wheat flour, so it was about 2/3 what, 1/3 unlbleached white. I don’t comment much on your recipes, but I am stunned by how light and delicious this turned out. I haven’t baked with coconut oil before, but will for sure experiment now. Thanks for healthy-fying this super comfort food.
I just made this and I can’t believe how good it is.
I’m thinking the next time around, I might sub in some pumpkin or persimmon puree for the banana.
I have that very same bowl – actually I have 2 of them. I love those bowls!!!
My cat’s name is Millet (for real! Millie for short), so I keep a running list of millet recipes. These days, it lives on Pinterest. I now have two pins for banana bread on there, and have yet to try either! Time to get cracklin’.
I looooooove banana bread, especially in maui, where its almost fudgey its so denseand moist, and where they usually add in macademia nuts, pineapple, coconut, or a combo….. Since most recipes i make are never banana-y enough, i doubled the bananas, used greek yogurt insteaf of oil, used all brown sugar to sweeten (figured all that banana moisture didnt need syrup moisture) and instead of millet added 2 handfuls of coconut, 1 handful of oats, and a handful of sesame seeds – still not quite maui, but best ive ever made!
Today was the THIRD time I have made this banana bread since you first posted it, and everyone just devours it each time. Each time I have made it, I’ve added a couple tablespoons of flax, and 1/2 cup of chocolate cups for some chocolately decadence. It is SO moist and delicious…and yet, I have absolutely no guilt eating or serving it to my fam since it’s made with so many good-for-you ingredients. Thanks for another awesome recipe, Deb.
This is amazing. I made it tonight with 1/2 cup wheat, 1/2 cup white, 1/2 cup rye. Delicious. Thanks for posting! I’ve been making a pumpkin millet muffin recipe (from wholefoods) for a few years, and am happy to have another baked good with the *crackle*.
I made this bread this morning and it is so simple and delicious! I pretty much try every banana bread recipe I find – and this one is my new favorite. Best of all, it’s healthy. Also – I love the millet – who would’of thought!?
I think banana bread is one of the healthier breads that we can make. it looks awesome!
I am making this asap!!…Question…Do you think poppy seeds would work for the “Crunch Factor” if I do not have millet…or better to go with quinoa?….I love the crunch idea and want to honor it!
Deb, I’ve been coming to your site for years. I’ve yet to try a “fail” recipe, this banana bread is fantastic! Can’t wait for your book, maybe I’ll get lucky and see you at the signing in Seattle – keep up the good work :)
This came out amazing. I LOVED the millet. And I did sub in agave for the maple syrup (used 1/4 measure) and it tasted perfect to me. Next time I might sub the agave for the maple syrup AND the brown sugar. Thanks for this lovely recipe!
Oh man– my house smells like fall! Love this recipe. I didn’t have an appropriately ripe bananas, so I swapped 1 cup of pumpkin puree for the bananas. Then I did 1 cup AP flour, 1/4 C whole wheat, 1/4 C rye, added some ginger, chopped dates and pecans. Amazing! I’ve already had two slices :) You are totally right about the millet- so much fun!
“When we talk about food, we often talk about texture: plush cakes, juicy roasts, caramelized onions that sigh against the walls of a quiche and peaches that melt into butter.”
What to say about this sentence? Poetry. You don’t have to move to a different country, your world is already filled with such romance! Love it. Love you!
I just baked the second of these wonderful loaves. The first went in a day! (unusual when we are talking about so little sugar!!). My 13 year-old went for the batter like a bee to flowers. Upon his first taste of the cake he said “liked the batter better”… but later in the day came back to devour more and more… (even though there were sweeter things around…).
Thanks again Deb!! Love that this was whole wheat and low sugar!! Just the kind of recipe I love!!
just made it the other day and it was great! used 1 c regular flour, .5 c whole wheat. i think i’ll try putting millet in some other baked items!
Second time making this – great go-to banana bread recipe. My only substitution was 1/2 cup rye flour, plus some chopped bittersweet chocolate in today’s loaf per a friend’s request. Oh, and I guess I didn’t add the clove only because I didn’t have any. Great recipe. Both times my loaves have been golden brown and deeply flavored with banana. The millet adds that unique something that makes those who try this say, “What a great idea!” And I LOVE that this is a one-bowl baking project.
My new face banana bread – thanks deb. made a few changes – butter instead of oil, added some roLled oats and used extra brown sugar instead of syrup – all great additions :))
I tried this with amaranth this morning, after letting the amaranth soak overnight. It was decent, but I think it’s smaller size compared to millet made it less crackly. For my taste and my husband’s, I would leave out the millet/amaranth and just go back to including walnuts. We really like banana bread with walnuts. Otherwise, this is a really good banana bread recipe.
wow!!! as soon as I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it. I’m obsessed with Metropolitan Bakery’s (in Philly) Millet Muffin… so this is basically perfect. love that it’s not too heavy, yet super moist and the perfect amount of sweetness! thank you thank you! Might even try it with a bit extra millet next time, love that crackle :)
Just made it and it was great! Not as sweet as the jacked up version, but it I’m happy to know that I can make something that is yummy, healthy and give me energy to go get things done. Thanks!
This is a new favorite. Second time around, I skipped the the spices and added chopped bittersweet chocolate. Heaven. I also used a combination of white and spelt flours, and second time around white and whole wheat. Both delicious.
I love this recipe. I am totally new to millet but as one person said earlier, I will never make banana bread without it again! And I agree that the bananas need to be almost spoiled—I made it with “new” bananas and it just didn’t have that good flavor. I used spelt in place of the whole wheat and really liked that too. Thanks for such a great recipe!
Love your blog :0)
I have wanted to make this since you posted it and I finally got around to it tonight! I made mine gluten-free and used silan date syrup since I didn’t have any maple syrup. I also threw in a pinch of cardamom. Such a hit!! I cannot believe that I never thought to add millet to baked goods! I’ll definitely be making this again soon–thank you!!
P.S. can’t wait to see you in DC!!
I love using coconut oil in baking. Nice to see it in this banana bread recipe. The addition of crackly millet is genius! Love the added texture.
I just made these (with gluten free flour mix) and the millet doesn’t quite seem to “crackle.” More of a hard chalkiness, I’d say. I’m not sure if this is because of the reduced cooking time (about 20 min) needed for muffins? Or if one lady’s pop is another lady’s chalkiness!
Baked this recipe this morning using spelt for the flour, omitted the brown sugar and used the full amount of maple syrup. Absolutely Delicious!! It was plenty sweet and even my husband (who usually shy’s away from anything that’s reduced sugar) loved it. Thanks so much for the post – loved trying out millet for the first time….now I’m onto researching more recipes to use up the remaining bag.
Just made, added pumpkin and made muffins instead.
Any tips on adjusting cooking time to make muffins?
Made this tonight and it was absolutely perfect — not greasy, but very moist, perfect texture, not too sweet… With or without the millet, this is a great recipe!
Deb – I made this recipe tonight with brown rice flour. So yummy and moist! Will definitely be making this recipe again and again. Thank you for continuing to inspire me to cook/bake!
I (amazingly) had almost everything on hand; I subbed dark brown sugar for light. The bread was moist, crunchy, and had my husband and I arguing over who was going to take it to work tomorrow. Definitely a keeper – next time I’ll do muffins to freeze!
Amazing! I added a touch of ground coriander to the mix, as well, since I love that flavor. I was out of vanilla extract, so I took a note from the “jacked up” recipe and just dumped in a little whiskey instead :)
Made these with sesame oil, dried cherries, and white flour in muffin form! DELICIOUS!
Made this tonight to help me survive Sandy, the storm of the century! Nothing beats the comfort of banana bread. I made as directed with the exception of the millett. Delicious. BB – NYC
I made this today–the best banana bread I have ever tasted–and I’m a banana bread lover. Great recipe. Love the addition of millet.
This is officially my new favourite baked good. I just made it for the third time to take on a roadtrip tomorrow. The millet is amazing, and I will definitely plan on incorporating it into future baking.
This looks so amazing…i would have to add chocolate chunks, though!
We love this banana bread! My daughters, who are 4 and 8, request it over and over. I add extra crunch by including toasted walnuts, and then coating the buttered pan with sesame seeds. Delicious! Thank you!
Hmm what if I sub pureed pumpkin for the mashed bananas? I have some leftover pumpkin and was thinking of making pumpkin bread. :)
1) Love the cookbook!
2) Love the blog!
3) You need to come to Pittsburgh – we are your biggest fans!
4) Today is our daughter’s first birthday. For her party yesterday we made a three layer harvest cake based on this banana bread recipe. We used 2 parts white flour, one part whole wheat. We didn’t use the millet and substituted for the banana and spices. One layer was beet/orange/vanilla, another layer was zucchini/apple/cinnamon, and the third layer was pumpkin/carrot/ginger/cardamom. We made a apple cider maple cream cheese icing adapted from the Edible Cookbook. IT WAS DELICIOUS!!!! Would be happy to send pictures if you’re interested.
I have a variation in the oven. I am now allergic to bananas and had roasted sugar pumpkin in the fridge I used…it didn’t have the same liquid quality as ripe bananas so I added coconut milk to get a similar consistency. Btw, from when I did use bananas, frozen in their skins they do look off when they come out to defrost…and they seemed to have more liquid volume…just in case someone uses those for the first time.
Most importantly, I want to say…. Thank you for publishing the weights…it makes substitutions for gluten-free flours much easier.
This morning, while my 8 year-old was munching a piece of this amazing banana bread, she told me “Mom, for my birthday, instead of birthday cake could you make banana bread?”
I just wanted to let you know that I made this for muffin mondays here at the all-girls dorm at MIT, and they LOVED it. “It’s like it has sprinkles!” So, job well done! :)
Just made these with quinoa in place of millet and they came out great! I rinsed and then toasted it before adding it to the batter, but it was still a bit crunchy and nicely integrated. I also used 1/2 almond flour and I think that worked great as well. Made as mini muffins, with a few mini chocolate chips on the top, my preschool girls loved them. Thanks! Always looking for ways to use quinoa.
Made this for a second time this morning (requested by hubby). This time I toasted the millet prior to adding in and I have to say the result was grand. The toasted millet provided a bit more texture making the bread more substantial. Toasting the millet also brought out a slightly nuttier flavor element. Again as before I used spelt and omitted the brown sugar, using the full amount of maple syrup. Delicious! Great recipe!
Yes! I’ve been looking for a healthier alternative of banana bread… and bonus, I’m living in Kenya, which has an abundance of both bananas and millet… however, the maple syrup and whole wheat flour will be making its way over from Vermont.
How did I miss this in September? I have some banana’s that are screaming to be made in to bread this afternoon!
Hi! Was searching to buy millet and there is a hulled and unhulled version…which is the one you used or does it not matter? thanks deb!
Superb recipe! This was my first time cooking with both millet and coconut oil; however I was confident it would work simply because it was a Smitten Kitchen recipe. I didn’t have maple syrup, so I substituted it with 1/4 cup treacle and a couple extra tablespoons of brown sugar. It was a hit!
Just made this banana bread without the millet (didn’t have any on hand). It was delicious! Not too sweet, loved the use of coconut oil, not oily. Definitely will make again. Thanks!
I stuck pretty closely to the original recipe: (a) used 1 cup white flour + 1/2 cup whole wheat (b) used 1/4 cup agave instead of the maple syrup and cut the brown sugar to 1/4 cup.
Absolutely loved the result, but decided it was a tad too sweet for a “healthy bread” (even with cutting total sweetener to 1/2 cup. But note I use REALLY overripe bananas that I freeze and then thaw) and it was also a tad too rich. I also think I could have upped the whole wheat: white ratio because it wasn’t dense at all.
I figured I would follow the above recipe with less sweetener, olive oil and more whole wheat in the flour mix. Unfortunately I found myself making it for a second time at my mother’s house, and had some limitations on ingredients: no agave, only maple syrup; no millet (though strangely enough millet flour!); no whole wheat flour.
After reviewing the posts I thought about using quinoa for the crackle, but then I found some Wheatena on hand, which oddly enough had a recipe for “crackle cookies” on the back. So….
– I cut the olive oil to 1/4 cup.
– I used only 1/4 cup of maple syrup, no brown sugar (I tasted the batter and it seemed sweet enough, but in hindsight I definitely cut the sugar a bit too much)
– Used 1 cup white flour + 1/2 cup millet flour
– I subbed 1/4 cup dry Wheatena cereal for the millet.
– I sprinkled some dry quinoa on top of one of the mini loaves.
(I know, WAY too many variables changed!)
1) Neither the wheatena nor the quinoa had the same “crackle” effect as the millet, although they added a nice texture compared to regular banana bread. IMHO they were pretty poor subs.
2) As I mentioned above, cutting the sugar to only 1/4 C maple syrup, left the bread just slightly undersweatened. Although if you plan on eating the bread with some butter or jam, this is probably a great level of sweetness.
3) Huge difference between using 1/3 cup olive oil (“healthy” tasting) vs 1/4 cup (“decadent” tasting). Not really sure how that is possible but will probably try again with 5 TBSP.
4) The flour ratio again yielded a really light bread
Take 2 has ~500 calories less than take 1 (for the entire recipe). Probably the difference between justifying it as a breakfast bread vs. a dessert.
Sorry for the long post, but I am rather passionate about this recipe!
I just made this today (snow day!), and I’m munching it now. Delicious!
I only had two bananas, so I added about 3 tbsp of milk to loosen the batter up. I also forgot to add the vanilla, and left it in the oven two minutes too long :) Even with all of that, it’s still wonderful. I can’t wait to get more bananas and make it properly.
Made it – loved it – delicious crakly goodness!! Ran out of millet the next time I had some bananas to use up so used some Chia seeds instead – delicious!! Ran out of maple syrup the third time so used Agave – yep – delicious!! Just made some this morning with millet, chia & agave – munching it down still warm with my morning coffee – still delicious!! Love your work Deb – what an inspired take on a classic!!
I just veganized this by using egg replacer (only adjustment necessary) and it rose beautifully and tastes delicious!
The millet creates such a fantastic texture. I think this will officially be my go to banana bread recipe (there have been many but this one just crackled its way to the top spot)!
Yum. These were perfect for a cold wintry evening. I hope some make it to breakfast.
Hi Deb- I just made this with a few changes: I sub’d butter for coconut oil and used all brown sugar because I didn’t have maple syrup. I used 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup regular flour, and I added a little less than 1/4 cup flax seed. I LOVE the millet crunch and since you’ve posted this, I’ve added millet to lots of other baking recipes. It’s nice because it doesn’t seem to take up too much “room,” meaning I keep the dry ingredient amounts the same and add the millet in addition. Thanks for the great recipes!
I was craving banana bread and I am so glad I found it…and you! :)
Just baked this and Wow. I subsituted the Whole wheat flour for Oatmeal flour and Wonderful. (equal parts).
I had to make this vegan and I just took the egg out and didn’t replace it with anything (banana is such a great binder) and it was just as good without egg. There is literally no difference at all. I also replaced the brown sugar with raw honey (1:1), also just as good.
Yummy!!! Just made a double batch, one loaf + 12 muffins, with sprouted wheat and a little extra millet. I love the combo of bananas, brown sugar, and maple syrup. I was also afraid the cinnamon was going to be overwhelming, but it gives a perfect subtle note of warmth. Thanks!!
I have made this banana bread and it’s absolutely wonderful :)
Just made this bread…YUM! Was looking for something different than our regular banana muffins. I had millet in the pantry so this was perfect. I used Spelt Flour, about 1/4 cup maple syrup and coconut oil. I couldn’t find my vanilla (seriously, how does that go missing!?) so I just didn’t use it, still tastes awesome.
Wonderful recipe ideas. I really enjoy reading the posts/comments of others who “have baked” the recipe. That makes a huge impact on whether or not to try out a new recipe. I had extra millet on the counter and after a quick internet search I found your recipe. With a few modifications (as per my gluten free lifestyle, and love of all things natural) the bread is in the oven filling the house with whisps of sweet decadent memories. Thank you for your baking knowledge and passion for food!
My mods to the recipe:
Coconut palm sugar vs. Brown sugar
Extra cinnamon and allspice
GF flour mixture of (rice, tapioca, Sorhgum, millet, rice bran)
Toasted and freshly ground flax seeds! Mmmmmmm
And a splash of freshly juiced ginger and a TBSP of quality Rum
They’ve turned out perfectly gorgeous, wonderfully tasty and slightly healthy :)
I didn’t have white whole wheat, so I made it with two cups spelt flour and one cup white flour (I doubled the recipe). It worked really well; it’s one of the best loaves of banana bread I’ve ever tasted.
I also made the jacked up banana bread (I had so many frozen bananas) and did a taste off, and I enjoyed the “healthy” version as much as the jacked up one. I’d recommend making it.
Late to the party here – but I made this tonight. Millet is not a staple in my pantry, so I was going to go without the crunch factor, but on a last-minute whim added the Ezekiel 4:9 sprouted grain cereal I did have to the batter instead. (I used cinnamon rasin, because that’s what I had.) Just tried it out – delicious and just crunchy enough.
Would chia seeds be an acceptable substitute for millet seeds? It would be great to know the nutrition info. as well since I’m following weight watcher’s. Love your recipes!
Okay I just made this – as mini-muffins – and they came out delish! Let me also say that I generally hate banana bread so if you love banana bread you will probably adore this recipe. (I had bananas going bad and the millet was intriguing, I’ll give the muffins away, you know how it goes…) I used 1:3 whole wheat to all purpose flour and olive oil, and baked for 15 min. I have a second batch in now into which I threw some cocoa for the heck of it – I’ll let you know how that went ;). Deb, I love your blog and I LOVE LOVE LOVE your book – it was on backorder over Xmas so I finally got my three copies (two for presents) last week. It is a really beautiful creation – wasn’t sure anything could match up to the beauty of your blog but it does! The ONLY “problem” with the book – just like your blog – is that whatever recipe I open to, I want to make RIGHT NOW. No kidding. Thanks as always for your work.. Cheers, Liese
This sounds wonderful. I don’t have any millet right now, but I do have some amaranth seed. Think that might work okay?
I made it with gf flour (a mostly rice based blend) and subbed amaranth. I also used two eggs and a half cup of milk and no oil. Delicious! And the first palatable use of amaranth I’ve found :)
Just wanted to echo ESullins and Claudia above that rinsed (and not dried) quinoi worked great as a replacement for millet. I love this recipe!
I really liked the the way u wrote.I will try to make it,and buy the book.
Gluten free mixture of 40% millet flour, 40% quinoa flour, 10% coconut flour. Add to that the millet seeds for crunch.
Instead of sugar I dice a ripe sweet pear. It gets along very well with bananas!
I finally found my favorite banana bread recipe! Thank you so much. I did make some awesome swaps though:
Coconut palm sugar for the brown sugar
Honey for the maple syrup
and chia seeds for the millet, which actually added a lot of “crackle” too!
mmmmm thanks for the recipe! I used mostly barley flour and it was perfect. I also added chia because I didn’t have millet, but I’ll definitely be trying millet in the future.
oh yes! I love this loaf, love it! it’s got such a great texture. I used agave nectar as I was out of maple syrup and the family demolished it. Made another one last night to keep up with demand.
This is fabulous! This is at least my eighth time making it – currently in oven in mini-muffin form for kids lunches. Also perfect paired with a smoothie in the morning. Thank you for such a great recipe!
Cool recipe. Very original. It took me a long time to find millet but it was definitely worth it. There are tons of variations on classic banana bread and this is one of the best.
Yet another of your cake recipes that worked perfectly for you – had to improvise a little bit as the shops weren’t open, so I substituted half of the bananas for (very ripe) kiwis and left out the cloves and the millet. I made 1.5 times the amount in a bundt form, using olive oil and whole wheat flour – very easy to make, moist and tasty! Will definitely make this again, have to try it with the millet…
Made the bread and didn’t like the crunch – don’t worry, I think it is just my personal taste. In my second round, I didn’t add any sugar or syrup, added dark chocolate pieces (about 3/4 cup) instead, only 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon instead of 1 teaspoon and baked muffins. Liked it better :)
I made this recipe this morning and it is amazing!! I love the combination of coconut oil, maple syrup and millet! I must admit that I have never cooked with millet before but will be looking for more recipes to use the rest of it! Thanks for always posting reliably delicious recipes, Deb!!
I tried adding the millet in your zucchini bread recipe and it is delicious and crackly as well! YUM!!! I actually tried toasting the millet first…. but i’m not sure if it really makes that big of a difference. Thank you!
This is the best banana bread recipe ever! I’m making this for the second time this week. I’ve substituted spelt for the millet since I couldn’t find millet in the supermarket, and the spelt gives a nice texture. I’ve also added some cardamom to the recipe and it tastes great!
Yum! Substituted a couple things for what I did/did not have – vegetable oil for the coconut, an equal mix of AP, 10 grain & rye flours, knocked the maple syrup to 1/4 cup, and added a 1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips. Definitely a keeper.
This is a dense banana bread, which is my favourite! This had a great texture.
This is wonderful breakfast sweet. I made this before when you first printed the recipe and followed the recipe as it was.
I made it again today into 24 mini muffins (baked for 7 mins) and 10 regular-sized muffins (baked for 18.5 mins) with some minor changes: added an extra banana , used a mix of half dark buckwheat flour and half white whole wheat flour; decreased brown sugar to 1/4 cup (it was all I had); and used 1/4 cup of maple syrup.
I gave this a try today. It was good. I didn’t have millet, so I used an equal amount of amaranth. Also, couldn’t find the nutmeg. I know I have nutmeg in that #$@# cabinet somewhere! I also had the help of a toddler. She’s a very enthusiastic mixer. It turned out great. My partner was a little freaked out by the amaranth, but pronounced the flavor delicious. I love the coconut oil in this.
I added about 1/3 cup plain yogurt, used closer to 1/2 cup coconut oil, about 1 cup unpacked brown sugar, and just a little drizzle of maple syrup. I omitted the millet because I didn’t have any. It was still wonderful!
I’ve made this recipe twice as a loaf and love it, and just now I made it as muffins. It took about 23 minutes and made 15 muffins, FYI.
I’ve made this a number of times now, it is the best banana bread my family has ever had. And I have tried making a lot of different recipes. We love the millet! My son does a happy dance every time I make this recipe. I just blogged about your recipe, and how I have added millet to chocolate chip granola bars as well.
I loved this recipe. I have always used Helen Corbitt’s recipe and it is quite good but I wanted something a little healthier. I used rye flour and a little toasted wheat germ instead of millet. I also used mace instead of cinnamon. Our family always uses mace in banana bread. I think it enhances the banana flavor. also made this substitution in your monkey cake this past weekend. very fun to make and a big hit. thank you
another winning recipe from Deb! this banana bread was the best I’ve ever had–and with such healthy substitutions from the norm. thank you!
Just made this with 1/2 coconut flour, 1/2 whole wheat, just maple syrup (no brown sugar), and quinoa instead of millet. Amazing.
Wow! How did I miss this recipe when you posted it nearly last year? I made (well actually the nearly 9-year old did). And we made it pretty much as described with olive oil–I’ve been baking everything with olive oil the past few months for pretty much no reason whatsoever. However, I did get the bourbon kick because I started making my own vanilla extract about a year ago with–yeah you guessed it–bourbon. there is no going back. Just one question about coconut oil. I know it is all the rage now, but I don’t know why. Any one got any info? Can’t wait to get the Smitten Kitchen cookbook–it’s on my birthday wish list!
I finally found my banana bread nirvana! I think I’ve made close to 10 different recipes in the last 6 months hoping to find the right balance of feeling like I’m eating cake for breakfast, without actually eating cake for breakfast. I’d tried the uncooked millet before in a different recipe, so I knew I’d love that part of it. This was seriously delicious and so quick to make. Thank you for another foolproof recipe!
Coconut oil is a very healthy fat to add to one’s diet. It’s made up of medium chain fatty acids which help stimulate metabolism and it’s also antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial. It also has lauric acid which helps to support proper thyroid function. Be sure to select virgin coconut oil if you do buy some.
I got this info from Angela at ohsheglows.com who is very learned in the health benefits of foods. I suggest you also do your own research to know if it’s right for you and your diet!
This banana bread is amazing (and I’m not usually a fan of bananas!). I made this with summer campers in a cooking camp last week after reading Ed’s comment about having an abundance of millet and bananas in Kenya (the camp theme was international cooking with kids – Cookbooks & Passports!). I’m gluten-free, but we made the recipe with regular wheat flour – the kids loved it so much I had to try it myself! I posted my adaption and a write-up about how the campers liked the bread on my blog. Thanks for such an awesome recipe!
P.S. This is late but I noticed in the comments from last year that some folks are looking for a banana alternative. I recommend pawpaw pulp, if you can find it! It’s a fruit native to the Eastern US, the pulp tastes like a tropical vanilla-mango custard. You could forage for it or possibly find it at a farmers’ market. Integration Acres in Athens, Ohio is selling the pulp too!
I asked my husband what millet was, and he joked it was a kind of chocolate chip. ;) So we skipped the millet, and added chocolate chips (just over 1/2 cup), and Jules’ gluten free flour mix. It turned out fabulous…. moist and delicious… and is not going to last long. Debated adding a little rum (instead of bourbon) like your other recipe, but decided against it. Maybe next time.
Love your recipes! Keep up the good work! :)
Deb, thank you so much for this recipe!!! It is definitely one of my new favorite banana bread recipes. I love the crunch from the millet and even my husband (normally wary of unusual grains) liked it.
My family loves this recipe so much that I always make a double batch. I make muffins instead of bread, and they take about 15 minutes to bake. I use half store bought gluten free flour and half almond meal and they turn our to delicious. Sometimes chocolate chips find their way in to the muffins as well. Thanks for a great recipe!
My sister passed on this recipe to me and I’ve made it numerous times while living in New York. I’m now living on a small car-less island in Greece called Hydra, and since everything has to be brought by ship, our ingredients are limited. I wanted to make this bread for my boyfriend and his family and decided to substitute the maple syrup with honey (true Greek style- as well as the famous Greek olive oil) and I had to use walnuts instead of millet. I was unsure of how this would turn out- but it was a delicious success! An easy, delicious, and HEALTHY recipe. I love it (and have to make a new one tomorrow because the first one lasted less than 24 hours)!
I have been looking for a healthy banana bread recipe for a while now – thank you so much for sharing!
Loved this recipe thank u for sharing keep up the great work!
A friend and I made this together this Wednesday. So good I’m making it again today. The millet is genius. We subbed bourbon for the vanilla (Ok, so we put in a lot more than the amount of vanilla it called for).
This should be illegal!!!! So good. Baked at 9000 feet with a few tablespoons extra flour, an extra egg and at 375 degrees. It was perfect. And it’s all gone.
My daughter is allergic to coconut, and I’m trying to cut back the oil anyway. Any thoughts on maybe subbing in applesauce for the oil? What impact would that have on the amount of maple to use (if any)? All thoughts appreciated!!
I haven’t done it, but others have. See commenter #201.
I turn to this recipe as soon as I notice a few bananas getting more and more ripe. But I alter it by omitting the millet, thus it’s not really “crackly”. But with quinoa flour it makes for an amazing gluten-free bread! As well as muffins. Loved by adults and the pickiest of children alike :)
I feel ridiculous to ask for such a tiny detail for such a magnificent recipe, but I’ve got a huge mound of ripened bananas already peeled and mashed…so, what would you approximate as the weight of the 3 bananas? Then I’ll multiply the recipe from there. Thank you so much!
Bella — I’ve never weighed them, sadly. I should next time. I just read online that 1/3 cup mashed = 1 average banana, but that sounds a touch low to me. Nevertheless, several sites suggest that.
THIS RECIPE IS AMAZING!
Used agave instead of maple syrup and replaced the whole wheat flour with half regular, half ground quinoa. My only regret is not doubling it! I’m going to slice up this loaf and freeze it for breakfasts.
Thank you, Deb!
This is my go-to recipe for baby muffins for my four-year old. I leave out the millet (I know, I know, the millet is the whole thing about this recipe) b/c it’s a bit more of a tiny-stones-in-my-muffin than crackly effect (to me and my fam at least)
Is it possible that the 10-minute baking time for a baby muffin just isn’t enough for the millet to get that bubble wrap appeal?
Seems like you were more than a bit “inspired” by Joy the Baker’s recipe: http://joythebaker.com/2011/08/whole-wheat-and-millet-banana-bread/
Hi E — I wasn’t inspired by Joy the Baker’s recipe (which is quite different, aside from the banana and millet). Although she is a friend of mine and we are very fond of each other’s work, I hadn’t come across her recipe before making this or I’d have referenced it. I always do; I have nothing to gain by stealing anyone’s work. What I actually did to come up with this recipe is take my standard banana bread and replace the white flour with whole wheat and added millet, an idea I got after having it in a delicious muffin over the summer.
yo I made these as gluten free muffins with ground flaxseed , arrowroot powde,r psyllium husk, and rice flour . soooo good with evaporated cane juice crystals sprinkled = caramelized on top
I love banana bread and I think millet is seriously underused in cooking, so thank you. It was delicious.
excellent banana bread. Used Kim Boyce’s multi-grain flour mix for most of the flour. First time using coconut oil, didn’t realize it hardens so quickly so had to re-melt it a couple times but other than that really liked the flavor it gives the bread.
I just made a version of this, using whatever I had in the kitchen. I only had two bananas so I used fresh pineapple to make up for the third, quinoa in place of millet (as someone else here suggested) and for the flour I used white flour and oat bran. My goodness it’s delicious. It’s slightly undercooked and under-risen, which may be due to either the amount of quinoa or the oatbran?? I don’t know but I’m sure we’ll scoff the lot by tomorrow morning.
I take that back, once it cooled down it wasn’t overlooked at all, it was perfect.
I made this banana bread and brought a loaf into work with me this morning. It was gone in about 20 minutes.
I am adding amaranth!
I feel ridiculous to ask for such a tiny detail for such a magnificent recipe, but I’ve got a huge mound of ripened bananas already peeled and mashed…so, what would you approximate as the weight of the 3 bananas? Then I’ll multiply the recipe from there. Thank you so much!
Made mine with a mix of whole wheat flour(a super course one I bought at my farmer’s market, so I left out the millet–still super crackly)and buckwheat flour. I’d also bought some maple sugar from the Vermont Sail Freight Project(check this out–it’s amazing! vermontsailfreightproject.com), so I substituted the maple sugar for the brown sugar. Always use homemade vanilla extract. The result was pretty incredible–a super dark bread, but light and fluffy texture, and not overly moist like banana bread can be. Thanks so much for the inspiration to try different combos–this one is a keeper!
I love this recipe and keep baking it, often in the form of muffins, especially as it’s a huge favourite with my two-year-old. Last time I veganized it by substituting the egg with an additional banana; I also used mostly whole flour and added some shredded coconut. It still had great texture and flavour, and it freezes very well (I baked a double batch, which was quickly decimated by the toddler).
This is an awesome recipe. Just made it, adapted it due to my cupboard’s requirements and my preferences (I love butter). Thought I’d share it here in case someone else wants to try with butter too.
Swapped butter equally (read somewhere that you should scale it but I couldn’t be bothered) and it worked a treat. Swapped the flour for 2/3 wholegrain spelt and 1/3 coconut flour (reduced the amount to compensate for coconut flour’s swelling). Added chopped walnuts because I have to have them in my banana bread.
See my version here http://nordicbaker.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/best-banana-bread/
Thanks for another great recipe Deb!
This makes such a delightful breakfast-on-the-go, especially on days that I have to get out of the house earlier than I would like. Since it’s fall, I found myself wondering if these could be easily converted to a crackly pumpkin spice muffin. I finally had time to give it a try tonight and was really pleased with the result. Here’s what I changed: I used a 15-oz can of pumpkin (not pie filling – just pumpkin puree) in place of the bananas; I swapped out the spices for about 1 tsp each of cinnamon and ginger, and mixed those in with the pumpkin first; I opted for the larger volume of maple syrup from the original recipe, as the pumpkin wouldn’t contribute sweetness the way the bananas do; I baked the batter as a dozen standard muffins, which took about 20 minutes at 350. If you like your muffins sweet, you’ll probably want a little more sugar or syrup, but this was just perfect for me.
Do you think i can replace regular whole-wheat flour with self rasing one and exclude the baking powder?
Elina — Theoretically, it should work, or work well enough, but I haven’t actually tried this kind of swap. Still, I’m about 75% sure it will be fine, so go for it. :)
I tried it but i finally put some extra baking powder and it came out great. I think without it wouldnt be right. Thank you for your divine recipes which ALWAYS come out great!
Hot from the oven, smelling wonderfully and tasting deeelicious!
Having just 2 ripe bananas at hand, I added a tiny apple (the old, sweet sort), grated – wouldn’t taste it if I didn’t know. Used millet and spelt wholegrain flour, a tad more since I left out the sugar completely, but poured in 80 ml of maple syrup. Used regular and peanut oil (great for flavour), otherwise according to recipe. Mmmmm …
I was in a bit of a dilemma first, since we get millet in two variants: in a husk and without it, but without it, there would be no crackely texture, so that sorted it. Great idea, especially if baking for people with nut-andaseed allergies but you want that “something extra” texture to it.
Thanks and keep on the good work! :)
This is a favorite in our house for the last two years! My two-year-old insists upon calling it “banana cake” though. I tell him, “but it is whole wheat flour!” and he doesn’t listen. :-)
But I could like to make it for a celiac friend this weekend, so for those you saying you used a gluten-free mix, do you have a recommendation for a particular one/brand?
I added chocolate chips and it was delicious!
What could I use as a replacement for eggs? Thinking of making this for people who don’t eat eggs. Also, can you eliminate sugar and maple syrup from this recipe altogether and have it still taste great – perhaps just increase the number of over-ripe bananas for sweetness? Please help with advice on this! I’m trying to eat things with no added sugar / honey / maple syrup at the moment – want to see if this recipe works that way. Thanks!
A bunch of commenters have used a flax egg replacement, see #114, 132 and 201. I am not sure how this would work without the sugar because I haven’t tested it; you might want to use more bananas to compensate for the lost sweetness and moisture.
I just recently discovered millet and knew I had to make this! I’m 7 months pregnant and at the stage where I’m constantly hungry but have little room to spare, so a tasty but not entirely decadent snack was just the ticket! I subbed canola oil for the coconut, and used half wheat and half all purpose flour, and made this into 12 muffins (350 for 22 minutes) and OMG. I may never make another banana bread again, Deb, and I ADORE your “jacked up” version.
For lack of millet I tried Bulgar wheat. Success!!
Deb, thanks so much for sharing this recipe! I have been trying to bake healthier options for my family members, and this recipe is really great!
I made a few changes:
-added a bit of lemon juice to the mashed bananas
-used 1 cup coconut flour + 1/2 cup AP flour
-I had a bunch of egg whites left over from making pastry cream, so in a 1 cup measure, I cracked the egg and filled the cup with egg whites.
-I didn’t have much honey left (only a couple tablespoons) and didn’t have maple syrup at the house, so I filled the rest of the 1/3 cup with dark molasses
I baked it in a 9 inch square cake pan (couldn’t find my bread pan) for about 25-30 minutes, and the result was amazing! It will be my go-to recipe when I have extra bananas and egg whites from now on!
Just made this and it was great! I used regular whole wheat (not white) and amaranth instead of millet and it is great. I only used 1/4 cup of maple syrup as I don’t like too sweet, but will try a little more next time. Next time I will also add a bit more salt. Thanks Deb!!
I’ve made this at least 20 times, it’s my go to snack for long bike rides. I’ve always wondered why salt is listed twice. Do you sprinkle some salt on top before baking? That could be awesome actually.
I made this last night, used 2vcupd of flour instead of millet. Dont have millet. It turned out really good. Used like 1/2 cup of syrup, I like sweet. It was very moist and very good. Thanks for this recipe. Oh and I threw some brown sugar on top it made it nice n crispy.
Just made this on this cold, drizzly day and it was perfect – dense, moist, not overly sweet (used < 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1/4 maple syrup, but added a 4th banana since mine were small). Didn't have millet so substituted chia seeds which added a nice crackle. I used 3/4 cup whole wheat flour and 3/4 cup AP flour, and added a pinch of ground cardamom which is a natural pairing with cloves in my mind. Really great recipe.
I’ve now made this 3 times. The spices were a little funky for me – I didn’t realize that I had opinions about banana bread. I generally like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, but apparently not in banana bread. The third time, I used all brown sugar (2/3 cup), butter and no spices – LOVED it with the fun millet. The maple syrup and coconut oil were good the first 2 times I made the recipe. I just was being lazy the 3rd time.
Just made this recipe with my kiddo as mini-muffins, sans millet. Delicious!! Love the addition of the maple syrup! We used 1/4 cup and they are plenty sweet…although our bananas were on the riper end of the spectrum! Thanks for another great recipe!
I loved this! The millet is such a fun (and nutritious) addition. Deb, every time you create a recipe with whole grains it makes it such a fun discovery. I want to suggest a label of “whole grains” for these recipes. Your one pot farro is another one that I love. Thanks!
Excellent recipe! Made today with one cup AP flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour. Baked in two smaller loaf pans for 35 min. Loved the crunch of the millet.
Love this recipe! Looks amazing! Looking to try with a substitute for bananas for my stepdaughter who is allergic….my idea is sweet potatoes!! SONGBIRD commented with the question of a substitute! Here ya go!
Awesome! One of the best banana breads (without chocolate) I’ve ever eaten. Millet is so good. I baked pumpkin muffins with millet and chocolate some time ago and they were also delicious. Great recipe!
I love this recipe and made it so many times! Instead of millet, I use 1/4 cup of chia seeds, 1/4 cup of flax seeds, 1/2 cup of walnuts, and 1/2 ish cup of mini-chocolate chips. The last ingredient is not healthy, but it’s super tasty!
I just made this recipe as muffins, with a few alterations because I was too busy to go to the grocery store.
Didn’t have light brown sugar, so subbed dark brown.
Didn’t have white whole wheat flour, so subbed regular whole wheat flour.
Didn’t have vanilla extract, so subbed spiced rum.
Didn’t have nutmeg or cloves, so subbed garam masala for both.
Toasted the millet.
Went for 1/3 cup of maple syrup.
And finally, I threw in 75g of 70% dark chocolate, chopped unevenly, just because.
Baked at 350 for about 20 minutes.
The muffins turned out great. They’re very moist with a nice chew from the whole wheat, but most of all they’re deeply flavorful from the spice, the syrup and the chocolate. Even so, somehow the banana holds its own, not getting even a little bit lost in there.
Is it possible for a muffin to be “complex,” and if so, is this a good thing? Well, this time at least, it was a good thing.
I have just one question: How can one be too busy to go to the grocery store, but not too busy for recreational muffin-baking?
I’d just like to share that this has been one of my go-to recipes for years. It’s delicious and guilt-free, and I often make it the night before for a quick breakfast when we have house guests. I store my millet in the refrigerator so that it lasts longer, and I have it on -hand whenever I’m making this recipe!
I’ve made this many, many times. It’s absolutely my favorite banana bread recipe.
For those wondering about quinoa:
I have always made it with the millet and absolute adore the crunch. Today I was out so I used quinoa. It certainly works (as in, it doesn’t ruin the recipe and tastes great), but it doesn’t give the same wonderful, sparkly crunch that the millet does. If you want the extra health factor, go for the quinoa. Otherwise, do yourself a favor and get some millet!
Made it just now with canola oil and oat bran (instead of the millet).
excellent and 1/4 of the sugar to my old, old recipe. This one is plenty sweet enough.
Took 55 minutes to bake through on this humid summer day in Ontario.
The inclusion of millet in this recipe inspired me to try adding some to my first (but definitely not last!) batch of your chewy oatmeal cookies. The crackle texture is rocking my Friday afternoon. Thank you!
This is my go-to banana bread recipe. Tried many others, but I still come back to this. I always use up frozen bananas with it. I have made it as written, varied the flours used, and subbed chia seeds for millet (or skipped it altogether). I’ve made it in big loaf tins and small silicone loaf pans. Thank you for this recipe!
This is a favorite in our house…I think the only SK recipe I make more often is “my favorite brownies.” We add chocolate chips and make as muffins (~18 minutes baking time) for easy freezing. Yum!!
Deb, I made this with 3 cups of carrots instead of bananas and 1/3 of a cup honey in place of the sugar. Worked well as a barely sweet breakfast loaf!
I made this with quinoa instead of millet and it came out great! I also added walnuts…added a nice additional crunch.
I’ve made this banana bread so many times (probably upwards of 30 times) over the years, and it never fails to disappoint. I’ve added nuts and chocolate chips at different points in time, and had so many overripe bananas this time that I made a second batch as muffins and added PB2 in place of some of the flour (yum!).
At this point, any banana bread that ISN’T crackly is kind of a disappointment. No additions or substitutions are needed, although when I don’t have coconut oil, I’ve used regular canola oil and butter and both have worked fine.
I’ve ALWAYS loved banana bread, and I’ve made many, but this one trumps all. I made it almost a week ago, and I just finished the last slice – still SO moist and just as good as fresh-baked.
Two days ago, my husband asked me, “What DID you do to this to make it so moist?!”
I added just a smidgen less of the millet, just for the sake of calories (yes, I know… shame on me for making a banana bread when I’m worried about calories) and it was still plenty crackly.
Will make again. And again.
Hi Deb – I just saw this post today for the first time via your FB and Twitter. I am so excited to make this. (Yay for all things banana and crunchy!) I cook so many things from your site. Is there a new cookbook in the works?
Thank you! And yes, one is. I hope to have more news very soon, we’re just sorting out a cover and a few details, eeee. Very close!
I’ve made this before with millet and loved it. Didn’t have millet this time, so subbed amaranth, which was also deliciously crackly!
Super lovely recipe. I particularly like the crunch that the millet provides. This will be my go to banana bread recipe from here on out!
Super yummy… we put in some chia seeds instead of millet (since we didn’t have any on hand) and it was delish. Crispy crust and warm, moist center — my favorite!
Made this today!
The dark and sticky flavours of maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg means I’ll be making it ready for when I’m caught out in the rain during the winter months.
I love this bread. I’ve made it….an untold number of times. What I love about it is how flexible it is. You can leave out the egg (I added an extra 1/2 tsp of baking powder to compensate), which is handy when your kid is allergic. You can add blueberries, nuts, mini chocolate chips. You can use different sweeteners, add an extra banana and omit MOST of the extra sweeteners….
It’s amazing. I love it. And I always make sure I have extra bananas on hand so I have an excuse to keep making it!
Just made this again using a flax egg and Trader Joe’s ancient seed blend for a sailing trip. So easy and delicious! I used frozen bananas and chopped them in my mini food processor and added chocolate chips-highly recommended.
Could you do these as muffins and reduce the cooking time?
I made a bastardized version of this (combining several different recipes), and for anyone interested, I cut the sugar all the way down to 1/2 cup total (1/4 cup white, 1/4 cup brown), and it still tasted nice and sweet. I also cut the fat to 3 tablespoons of melted browned butter (adding 1/2 applesauce to make up for moisture loss), and it was moist and tender. It was nice to see how much you can play around with the proportions of fat and sugar in these quick breads!
A great way to reduce on sugar, use good fats, and add fiber! I had quinoa on hand so used that, only had 2 bananas, so added a couple spoonfuls of peanut butter and did half maple syrup and half honey. It needs a little longer to bake because it was dense. I threw a handful of chocolate chips in on a well followed impulse. I personally liked the texture, my 2 year old scarfed it down, but my husband didn’t like the way the quinoa stuck in his teeth. Wondering if the unckooked millet acts the same way.
I made this yesterday in Melbourne, Australia, and I’m eating it right now, toasted, for breakfast. It’s good! I used chia instead of millet (gives good crackle), honey instead of maple syrup and omitted the brown sugar and it worked really well. Really nice!
These were absolutely delicious. I made the recipe as written (with lower syrup amount) but baked them as mini muffins. I loved the texture and flavor; my preschooler gobbled them up, too. I will definitely be returning to this recipe again and again! Thank you for being my go-to source for good recipes, Deb.
This sounds excruciatingly delicious! I Hate BANANAS …unless I find them in banana bread ,or, doubtfully, good old banana Popsicles! Being a born and bred Southern girl, maple syrup is foreign to me. Do you think that I might use the golden cane syrup that I grew up on to make this dish?
It should be fine here, but I haven’t used it in baking much so I cannot say for absolutely certain.
This is a wonderful recipe. The interior was moist, the flavors well balanced, and the texture was excellent. Properly stored, this should last at least a week on the counter (although it will likely be gone by then). And don’t skip on the millet — it’s a revelation!
What millets do you use. We have several indigenous varieties in india. Can you post a picture of the millets for clarity.
I will make this. Long ago I made a greens/cheese/eggs morning tart with cornmeal-millet crust. The crunchy millet crust was a revelation that I intended to use in other recipes. I’m always trying new recipes and forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder. I’m sure millet here is equally wonderful. BTW, Whole Foods sells millet in bulk section. I think My Organic Market does too.
Quick question… this sounds delicious but was wondering if I could substitute quinoa for the millet? Have you ever tried this, Deb?
I was wondering the same thing!
I haven’t, but I believe others here have.
I love this recipe!!! I do however approach it as a guide and make a ton of replacements depending on what I have on hand or where the mood takes me. It still comes out great every time! Among things I change on occasion are:
– Olive oil instead of coconut oil
– Honey instead of maple syrup
– Replacing some of the flour with chickpea flour
– I never tried the millet actually but have instead always added pumpkin seeds which complement the babana marvelously
– I always cut down on the sugar in half (I generally do so in recipes) and I dislike cloves so no.
Thanks for a very versatile and dependable recipe Deb! It’s one of those you can have in your “arsenal” in that it can be made in a jiffy, doesn’t demand additonal shopping, can satisfy a craving and can feed unexpected company with little effort.
Any suggestions on a substitution for the egg if I want to make this vegan?
I made this over the weekend and it is delish! My millet didn’t get crispy though. It was hard and chewy. Is that normal?
No, mine is usually a bit crackly in here, not sure if there are different varieties or causes…
Made these as muffins with poppy seeds instead of millet. I filled the muffin cups about 3/4 full and ended up with 11 (~25 minute bake time). They didn’t rise as prettily as normal muffins–they’re flat on top–but they’re very moist and have a good subtle sweetness. Not bad for a healthier option!
I made this with 1 to 1 Gluten free four and it was great. I made it in to large muffins so I can quickly grab it in the morning. Also added pecans and covered them with a layer of batter as I find that pecans easily burn in the oven. The millet texture is really pleasant and fun. I just started baking with GF flour and I’m not entirely used the texture of GF baked stuff so I did feel there was a little more substitute-y feeling but it was still really really good, I am definitely making this again. I can imagine that it would so amazing if made with plain flour.
Delicious! Couldn’t stop eating it. The millet makes it so good.
Went to make this this morning and realized I was out of millet so used chia seeds instead – not the same crackle but still really good. Great recipe all around.
I didn’t get to try the “crackly” part of this recipe, and I changed it up a fair bit just to adjust for what I had, but the recipe still turned out very good. Here is what I did: 1/2 white flour and 1/2 dark rye flour; brown sugar and maple syrup, coconut oil, and I only had 2 bananas so I added about 1/2 cup of apple sauce to replace the third banana. I did not have any millet, so I omitted that. I baked them in mini-loaf pans, so more like muffins.
My thoughts on what I did – the flours worked great, the banana flavor is light, but still present and the bread turned out very moist, though it tastes really rich – I could probably have used less than the full amount of oil and been just fine. I do wish I had cut back on the sweetener a little bit. Maybe because of the extra sugar from the apple sauce? In any case, I think I could have halved the sweetener and been just fine (though my kids are not complaining at all – they LOVE it!). At least it has the rye flour, right? That makes it healthy, right? Right? :)
How long did you bake in the mini loaf pan? Thanks! :)
Made it with turbinado sugar instead of brown, and molasses in place of part of the maple syrup; swapped in some wheat bran in place of some of the whole wheat flour. So good. Barely sweet! And will add more millet next time.
New ALL TIME FAVE for the whole family. Just cut slices for lunchboxes for tomorrow. Have made 5ish times – no fail so far. Last batch I substituted a weird combo of maple syrup, agave and honey for the syrup and it came out beautifully.
Forgiving + yummy = perfect combo*
*plus bonus points for the “crackly”
I made this yesterday and it came together really easily, the addition of millet was a fun touch, but I felt like it had too much cinnamon, to me it overwhelmed the banana flavour. My husband loved it as it was though, so I think it is just personal preference!
A great simple way to use up *those* bananas, usually once they get to that stage I peel them and stick them in the freezer in a bag for future cake making (once defrosted no mashing is needed as the freezing has destroyed all structural integrity) as I don’t always have time to do anything with them, but this recipe was so quick to throw together – even with a toddler!
I’d like to make this for my 1 year old, who isn’t entirely proficient at chewing hard textures. I don’t have millet at home, but I do have quinoa, chia, and hemp hearts (seeds). I see that some commenters have used quinoa and chia; I don’t know if anyone has tried hemp. Any idea which would be easiest for my baby to chew?
PS I’ve made and love the jacked-up and chocolate banana bread recipes on this site, but my judgment is telling me I should hide those from my little guy for just a bit longer ;)
For all those wondering, I ending up making the bread with hemp hearts and it worked beautifully! Baby approved!
I’m making this five days ahead of time. It’s very hot and humid where I am. Should I freeze?
(I was planning to but all the comments are making me doubt myself)
You can freeze it for best flavor and texture.
Deb, I’ve made this recipe about a million times. It’s my go-to banana bread recipe by far. Like others have said, I love how quick the recipe is and the wiggle room you’ve written in for experimental types. I’ve even skipped the millet and served it drizzled with raw honey, topped with cacao nibs and coconut flakes. Dressed up this way it becomes an indulgent but not overwhelming dessert for casual dinners. No one would know it’s a “healthified” banana bread :) Thank you for an excellent recipe!
For anyone who skimmed the recipe too briefly before commencing and used cooked quinoa instead of uncooked millet….still delicious but definitely missing the point of the recipe! They had a decidedly healthy tasty to them, but the heft from the cooked gran (and protein from the quinoa) renders this a nice breakfast option. I made one batch as written (with the quinoa sub) and one batch with strawberries (took an extra 5 minutes to cook).
Just made this banana bread and it’s so delicious — great flavor!
My only question is that mine didn’t rise as much as I would have liked…it was more of a narrow loaf. I definitely put in 1 tsp of baking soda. Wondering what else could have caused this – any suggestions?
I was wondering the same! Just made it and it’s delicious but wish it had risen more.
Hi! Can you recommend a substitute for maple syrup or ok to omit? I made a mistake and put baking powder instead 😭
Wait, you used baking powder for maple syrup?
I was inspired by this recipe to put millet in my favorite bran muffin recipe. It’s perfect and I’m never looking back. Can’t wait to use it in this recipe!
I’ve just finished working my way through all sorts of variations between this recipe and the Jacked Up banana bread recipe and I’ve found that:
Millet is so much better than not millet! Wow! Regardless of the recipe, just adding the millet is worth it. Next up, I’m adding it to Deb’s pumpkin bread recipe. On the other hand, my five year old does not like them, but that’s why ther are tiny loaf pans so I can scoop out pre-millet batter for him.
Adding the tablespoon of bourbon is better than leaving it out regardless of the recipe. I won’t forget it next time like I did last night. It’s still really good, but with the bourbon … whoa.
As a person who knows whole grains are better but is still sometimes working on loving them, this recipe is awesome because no one in my house of picky eaters noticed the difference. Winning!
There are not enough ripe bananas in my house. Both my husband and I bought banana bread worthy bananas AND STILL there are not enough. On the other hand, that might be good because I may have gained some weight from the last two week’s of banana bread. Thank you, Deb. I’ve been searching for years for a banana bread recipe I love and I’ve finally found it thanks to you.
Deb, this is my go-to banana bread recipe and has been for years now. I find it infinitely adaptable, as it works with more or fewer bananas, different fats, different amounts of sweeteners, etc. But I need your help on this one! Recently when I’ve been making it (double batches, usually) my bread has turned out very unevenly browned – like, blond mostly but with dark brown splotches here and there. The first time I thought one of my kids added way too much baking soda, but it has happened to me twice more since then. Is there something about having too much baking soda after doubling the recipe? A bad batch of baking soda, maybe? I know there’s some baking chemistry mystery going on here, but Google has been no help to me. Have you seen this before? Any ideas?
I sometimes get dark brown splotches from banana chunks or from brown sugar that stayed lumpy. But I’m not sure what else. Sadly, very much not a cooking chemist.
I made this with 1/3 buckwheat flour and 2/3 regular AP and olive oil. It’s incredibly moist, which makes that crunch from the millet even better. I like that this one tastes more like a nutritious bread and less like cake masquerading as breakfast.
This bread rocks, but it is slightly too sweet for my Austrian taste buds. I omitted the sugar entirely and just added a splash of maple syrup. Perfect degree of sweetness, but the bread’s consistency turned to very moist and less crumbly, more spongey. Would you recommend 1) reducing milk and water, or 2) adding more flour and millet?
Oh dear, I just realized I had confused two recipes when writing that comment. Of course I haven’t added milk or water. I finally found a good balance by reducing the amount of sugar to 30 grams and adding 70 grams of millet. Still crumbly but not overly sweet.
Just made it – very quick to put together and a huge success!
Can I substitute quinoa for
Made this tonight to start off our covid-lockdown. I used 1/3rd ratio of each oat, buckwheat, and white flour, and used quinoa instead of millet. It took 60 minutes to cook. Super good! Breakfast taken care of for this week!
This was great! I used a combo of white, whole wheat, and rye flour and it turned out moist and delicious. The color, texture and even taste was reminiscent of ginger bread. I also really liked the crunch of the millet. This is a keeper!
I just have to say I have made this a million times usually as muffins and occasionally as mini muffins for school birthday treats. They are always always amazing. But since social distancing, my kids have been helping me make them at least once a week if not more — their one bowl-ness makes them such a good kid recipe, and the mashing of bananas is very satisfying. We have also been adding chocolate chips just for fun and it takes them to a whole other level. Thanks for all your incredible recipes, they are helping us through this crazy time!
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I’ve made all the banana bread recipes on this blog. This was the last I tried. I love them all, but wow, I LOOOOOVE this!!! I usually bake a loaf of banana bread, have a slice, and call it a day – letting my partner (the real b-bread fiend in our house) finish the rest. I had a slice of this last night and before I knew it I had eaten half the loaf. I hid the other half from my partner. I shall never speak of its existence to him.
My bananas were small so I used 4 instead of 3. Reduced brown sugar to 1/4c and used 1/4 c maple syrup. I think I could reduce the sweetener even further. The millet is insane… I was doubtful and even resentful of having to buy a whole bag at my overpriced rural grocery store just to try this, but man, I am glad I did. Lots of this banana bread in my – and only my – future! ;)
Thanks for another banger recipe, Deb!
Regular & GF: I love the crunch in this, and people who can’t have nuts can still have them! (Of course, those who for some inexplicable reason don’t like crunchy nuts in their baked goods will probably not be amused…) I was happy to find I could order millet online when getting a few other things recently, and the loaf came out wonderfully. I mixed up another bowl of batter at the same time using a mix of 66% white rice flour, 22% corn starch, and 12% tapioca starch/flour in place of the all-purpose. I let it sit for an hour so the rice flour would be less grainy (because somehow that’s not as fun in baked goods as crunchy millet). The GF muffins turned out just as good as the wheat ones!
Oh yes, and I used dark brown sugar and a mix of date syrup and molasses in place of maple syrup. Extra delicious!
This has been my go-to recipe for years and it never disappoints!! My 4 yo daughter now bakes with me and this is her most-requested recipe.
I have been making it with gluten free flour for at least two years (Namaste all purpose) with a direct cup-for-cup sub.
I have found that increasing the amount of liquid (coconut oil by 1/8 cup) and going with the higher amount of syrup leads to the best results with GF flour.
I go heavy on the spices, especially cloves, and it adds such a warm, fall feeling to the bread. And, of course, loads of dark chocolate chips.
Thank you for such an amazing recipe!! <3
I made this today, with the coconut oil and barley / buckwheat flours and quinoa for millet. It is very tasty, but mine didn’t rise as much as Deb’s in the photo. Did I do anything wrong?
I made this today, with the coconut oil and barley / buckwheat flours and quinoa for millet. It is very tasty, but mine didn’t rise as much as Deb’s in the photo and despite the comments raving on its moistness, it’s really dry?. Did I do anything wrong? It’s just not that good, but I’m baffled as the comments were so glowing…
This has been our go to banana bread recipe since you published it. After years of trying different recipes, our family was hooked on this one instantly! The only modification I’ve made over the years is adding 1 tsp of almond extract in addition to the vanilla extract. I often make it into muffins (makes a perfect dozen) for grab and go snacks. And banana bread without millet makes our kids question what’s wrong with it, lol. You’ve ruined us – thank you! :)
Oh MAN. Millet, who knew?!? Sooooo good. Will now be adding uncooked Miller to tons of other baked goods for that little bit of CRONCH.
I’m making this recipe today for something like the 5th time. I love this banana bread! Thank you very much!
Made this today as I wanted to try the millet in the loaf. Moist and delicious with the spices with lovely crunch from the millet.
Hands down, this is THE BEST banana bread recipe I’ve ever made! The millet is awesome. It is so delicious! I also added about 1/3-1/2 bittersweet chocolate chips.
Thank you for this recipe. We make it as muffins with no other adjustments. The small child in my house calls millet “sprinkles” and insists that we add them to all muffins.
Well, I’ll definitely give it a try this weekend! Keep sharing such snackies!!
Hmm! I like banana beads a lot. BTW your work is appreciated you saved me much time as I was thinking of watching this recipe on Youtube and Google gave me this article.
I made two adjustments to the recipe: I reduced the maple syrup and cinnamon by half for various reasons. I loved how it came out.
I was skeptical of the millet on top, but I did it anyway and the texture knocked my socks off.
Thank you for the recipe, Deb.
sarah, did you sprinkle it only on top? i think the recipe calls for it to be mixed in after the flour but i was thinking it would get toasty on top! i’m buying millet tomorrow b/c i have to try this. my kids already die for the ultimate banana bread and i have to make a triple batch everytime because all their friends beg for a bite so now i make them all their own mini loaf! but this one sounds amazing too…
I want to make these into muffins for easy grab and go from the freezer. Any estimates on roughly how many muffins this recipe would make or how long to bake them? Probably 20-25min or so?
Exactly. I think it makes 10 to 12 muffins.
This is my favorite banana bread recipe! The first time I made it, I forgot to add the sugar and only added a 1/4 c maple syrup. It was sweet enough for my taste so I’ve never added the sugar since. I made some this morning and subbed tahini for the coconut oil and added hemp hearts as well. So good! Thank you, Deb!!
Just came to say I made this distracted and forgot to add the melted oil, and the loaf is still delicious! A bit gummy texture but I add chocolate chips anyway which basically ensures deliciousness. I have made this recipe many times over the years, the crackle of millet is an absolute favorite.
I think I’ve commented before on how much I love this recipe and how often we make it at home. But I had to comment again to say that last night, my kid and I made it yet again but reduced the flour to 1 cup and added 1/4 cup cocoa powder (and omitted the millet). It came out of the oven at 7:30pm last night and is 3/4 of the way gone already just between the two of us. Beyond fabulous!
I love all types of bread, especially charcoal-cooked bread. I love banana bread, so I will definitely try this one.