How to Bake Banana Bread Without Bananas

Even the best-stocked pantry may lack an ingredient from time to time, especially fruits that ripen quickly, such as bananas. Banana bread's emergence as a popular homemade dessert in the 1930s resulted from a marketing effort to convince customers to buy and use ripe and overripe bananas. Once you develop a love for banana bread, running out of bananas requires a little creative thought. Everything from other tropical fruits to liqueurs and even beer make excellent substitutes in banana bread.

A home-baked loaf of bread with various fruit chunks baked in. (Image: Creative-Family/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Try papaya first if you need a banana substitute. Peel ripe papaya and cut it into bite-size chunks. Puree the papaya and pour it into your banana bread batter.

Step 2

Cut open a ripe custard apple if you do not have papaya, and scoop out the white flesh. Pick out the seeds, saving them to plant later if you live in Queensland or New South Wales in Australia, the Philippines, Malaysia and China and India, Andalusia in Spain and in tropical South or Central America. Use a potato masher to beat the custard apple into a pulp and add it to your batter.

Step 3

Peel and slice four to six ripe kiwi fruit. Mash half the fruit and add it to the batter. Reserve 2/3 of the remaining sliced kiwi fruit to line the bottom of a bread pan before pouring the banana bread batter over them. Use the remaining 1/3 to garnish the top of your banana bread.

Step 4

Peel and chop ripe avocado, mango or pear. Add the chopped fruit to your batter for the closest texture to ripe bananas.

Step 5

Add 3 tbsp. banana extract, banana liqueur or banana beer to the batter to regain enough banana flavor to make a pleasant-tasting batter. Add more extract, liqueur or beer 1 tsp. at a time if 3 tbsp. does not provide the rich, banana taste you desire.

Step 6

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add the remaining ingredients from your favorite banana bread recipe and stir until well-blended. Fill a greased loaf pan 2/3 full with batter and bake it for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

Step 7

Flip the loaf pan over on a serving platter and cover it with a damp towel. Once the towel absorbs the heat from the pan, wet it and wring out out to cover the loaf pan again. Repeat this process twice.

Step 8

Tap all over the bottom of the towel-covered loaf pan with a wooden spoon. Remove the towel and lift the loaf pan off the banana bread. Replace the pan and repeat the damp towel and tapping until the loaf pan comes away from the banana bread without making a mess.

Things You'll Need

  • Papaya

  • Custard apples

  • Kiwi fruit

  • Avocado

  • Mango

  • Pears

  • Banana extract

  • Banana liqueur

  • Banana beer

  • Ingredients for your favorite banana bread recipe

  • Nonstick rectangular bread loaf pan

  • Butter or margarine

  • Kitchen towel

  • Wooden spoon

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