My mom used to make banana bread when we were growing up. We’d smell it in the kitchen, and I’d request tastes right when it came out of the oven, when the bananas were soft, mushy and a little too hot. The memory alone makes me homesick for Michigan! Well, luckily, the fabulous Joy the Baker has agreed to share her #1 banana bread recipe with us today, and (record scratch) it includes bourbon and chocolate chunks. As she says, it’s “bonkers delicious.” Here’s the recipe…

The Best Banana Bread You’ll Ever Have (With Bourbon and Chocolate Chunks)
By Joy the Baker, from the new Joy the Baker Cookbook

I’m convinced this is the best banana bread to ever grace the world. I know this to be true because it’s the bread my grandmother has been making for the past 60 years. With 60 years of love and tweaking, it’s buttery and moist with plenty of ripe banana flavor–pretty much perfect. Slice by slice, I promise you’ll devour at least half of this loaf within hours of it coming out of the oven.

My grandmother’s recipe was only *close* to perfection because she hadn’t added my two favorite ingredients: bourbon and dark chocolate chunks. With a hint of booze and chocolate, this banana is transformed from great to unbeatable.

Recipe: The Best Banana Bread
Makes 1 loaf

You’ll need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups mashed ripe bananas (from about 3 bananas)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons bourbon
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chunks

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8×4-inch or 9×5-inch loaf pan. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute between each addition. Stop the mixer, scrape down sides of the bowl, and add bananas, lemon juice and bourbon. Beat until well incorporated.

Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture all at once. Beat until almost incorporated. Stop the mixer and remove the bowl. Add the walnuts and chocolate chips and incorporate the last of the ingredients with a spatula.

Batter will be thick. Spoon the mixture into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow loaf to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Serve with milky coffee and enjoy!

Banana bread will keep for up to 5 days, well wrapped, at room temperature.

Delicious! Thank you so much, Joy!

P.S. More best recipes

(Photos by Joy from Joy the Baker. Thanks to Shoko for her help with this series)