Please don’t make these delicious trifles. I mean, please don’t make them unless you first make the best banana nut bread. I know-sounds like a big boast, but I’d like to share with you that in addition to being a frosting snob (frosting comes from your mixer bowl, not a can), I’m also somewhat of a banana nut bread
snob aficionado. I love the stuff, but it has to be the good stuff. Washed out-looking, barely tasting of bananas, overly dry, or undercooked and mushy. Let’s not go there.
These trifles are so simple to put together: cubed banana bread, fresh sweet pineapple, whipped coconut cream (or regular whipped cream) topped with coconut and a cherry. If you’ve never whipped coconut cream before here is a good tutorial for making it with with canned coconut milk or coconut cream. Add some coconut flavoring (instead of vanilla) to increase the tropical taste. Yogurt may be substituted if you’re eating this for breakfast.
Layer it in two dishes and serve. But first things first. We gotta whip up the best banana nut bread. This recipe is the only one ever made in my family. I grew up eating it, as did my children. It’s what I measure all other banana nut bread recipes by.
It’s dense, chock full of nuts (I always use pecans but you can use walnuts if you prefer), and bakes up a deep, dark brown on the outside. And it makes no pretense to being healthy unless you count the bananas. This is not skinny, super-model banana nut bread.
I like to mash the bananas first thing. I’m old-fashioned and use a potato masher, but a food processor works too, as long as you just pulse a few times and stop short of making baby food. Bananas that are getting black, mushy and yucky are best. No overripe bananas? Check out this post for ripening bananas in your oven. Super ripe bananas are the key to that intense flavor-and the number one reason I often reject other recipes. There’s something wrong if you have to tell me what kind of bread I’m eating.
Mix it all up, put it in your pans and go do some laundry, vacuum, wash the dog or whatever, because it takes close to an hour for this goodness to bake up. The center should be firm and a toothpick inserted slightly off center should come out clean (it may look a little sticky but should not have batter clinging to it) when the bread is done. I personally bake bread in metal pans; cooking times might have to be adjusted for glass pans.
This recipe makes two generous loaves and they freeze perfectly in case you’re not like me and can only finish off one loaf. Wrap in plastic wrap, then foil, or use freezer bags. I sometimes make this in mini bread pans-great to give as gifts or if you have a smaller family and like smaller loaves.
But be sure to keep enough for yourself to make these banana bread trifles. I give instructions to make two trifles, but obviously you can increase quantities and make as many as you like. When I bounced this idea off my husband he asked if I was making this for him in place of birthday cake! He thought I was making one big trifle (which you can totally do if you’re feeding a crowd) instead of individual ones. He was pretty excited and so was I-because he absolutely hates bananas! This banana nut bread recipe is the one and only thing he’ll eat with bananas in it. If that isn’t an endorsement, I don’t know what is.
Individual Banana Bread Trifles+The Best Banana Nut Bread
- FOR BANANA NUT BREAD:
- 4 c. flour
- 2 t. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 c. shortening
- 2 c. sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 c. mashed bananas
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 c. chopped nuts
- FOR BANANA BREAD TRIFLES:
- 2 slices banana bread, about ¾” thick, cubed
- 2 slices fresh pineapple (canned may be substituted, but drain well or trifle will be soggy)
- 2/3 c. whipped coconut cream, regular whipped cream, or yogurt
- 2 Tbs. coconut for sprinkling
- 2 maraschino cherries for garnish
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Step 2 Grease two 9”x5” loaf pans.
- Step 3 Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Step 4 In a large mixing bowl, beat shortening and sugar together.
- Step 5 Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well.
- Step 6 Add one half of the bananas and mix well.
- Step 7 Beat in one half of the flour mixture.
- Step 8 Beat in the remaining bananas and the vanilla.
- Step 9 Add the remaining flour mixture, beating just until combined.
- Step 10 Stir in the nuts.
- Step 11 Divide batter between loaf pans.
- Step 12 Bake 55-60 minutes, until center is firm.
- Step 13 Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
- Step 14 Store completely cooled loaves in plastic wrap or plastic bag at room temperature. Freezes well.
- Step 15 FOR TRIFLES:
- Step 16 Place half the banana nut bread cubes in two small glass dishes.
- Step 17 Sprinkle with half the pineapple, then half of the whipped coconut cream.
- Step 18 Repeat and then top with coconut and a cherry. Keep refrigerated if not eating immediately.