Ah, banana bread – everyone’s favourite tea time snack. It’s much tastier than an actual banana (and bread!), easy to make, and lasts ages. All in all, it’s the perfect thing to grab when you’re running out the door.
But which banana bread recipe – of the hundreds on the internet – is the best? We put the recipes of two celebrity chefs – Martha Stewart and Chrissy Teigen – to the test.
You might remember Chrissy Teigen AKA Mrs John Legend’s banana crowdsourcing from last September when she took to Twitter to barter her husband’s underwear, a signed copy of her cookbook, and a Becca palette for six brown bananas. One lucky Los Angeles resident made the trade, and Teigen later shared her recipe for banana bread on Instagram.
- 2 Cups Mashed Brown Bananas
- 4 Eggs
- ⅔ Cup Canola Oil
- 2 Cups Flour
- 2 Cups Sugar
- 1 Box of Vanilla Pudding Mix
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
- 1 Bar of Dark Chocolate, chopped
- Combine mashed bananas, eggs, and oil in a large bowl. Separately, combine the flour, sugar, pudding mix, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine.
- Fold in coconut and chocolate chunks. Pour into greased and floured bundt pan and bake at 160 degrees Celsius for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Cooking show host, and baking handbook author Martha Stewart has been dabbling with food since the 80s and is no stranger to banana bread – she says it’s “perfect for any occasion”. Stewart has a recipe for the tasty treat on her official website, alongside several variations, like adding a cream cheese frosting, chopped pecans, and even a vegan-friendly version.
- ½ Cup Butter
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1 ½ Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 Cup Mashed Bananas
- ½ Cup Sour Cream
- 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- ½ Cup Chopped Walnuts
- In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat to incorporate.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix until just combined. Add bananas, sour cream, and vanilla; mix to combine. Stir in nuts and pour into prepared pan.
- Bake in a preheated oven until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
Martha vs Chrissy
The recipes themselves are pretty similar – they both have the same basic ingredients – bananas, eggs, flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Teigen’s formula involves the addition of vanilla pudding mix, desiccated coconut and chocolate chips, while Stewart chooses to incorporate chopped walnuts and sour cream for a “tangy” flavour.
The initial steps were similar for both recipes and simple enough – combine dry and wet ingredients separately and then mix them together to form the batter. While Teigen’s recipe created a sticky, dense batter, Stewart’s was slightly more moist and runny. Here are some gifs to give you an idea of their consistencies.
Chrissy Teigen’s batter is thick, lumpy and viscous.
Martha Stewart’s recipe created a smoother, more even batter due to the use of lesser mashed bananas.
Afterwards, the recipes began to differ. Kind of. Both recipes called for the addition of unique ingredients. Walnuts, in the case of Martha Stewart, grated coconut and chocolate for Chrissy Teigen. While the base mixture was the same, the batter itself looked different. See below for more comparisons.
Adding coconut for Chrissy’s recipe
Adding walnuts for Martha’s recipe
The baking times for both recipes was pretty similar, with Martha Stewart’s batter needing more time in the oven. The temperature also differed by only 10 degrees Celsius. After an hour or so, both cakes looked like this.
Chrissy Teigen’s Recipe
Martha Stewart’s Recipe
Yum. Notice the brown spots on Teigen’s cake from the chocolate chips, as well as the darker colouring from the extra sugar.
Our own preliminary tastings found that Stewart’s recipe was denser and less sweet than Teigen’s. While we didn’t find Teigen’s cake cloying, we still preferred Stewart’s version itsit’s subtle sweetness and nutty flavour. But our taste tests alone weren’t enough, so we decided to use our colleagues as guinea pigs.
We set up two trays in the office with samples and baited hungry pantry raiders into sampling both recipes.
The general consensus was that Chrissy’s recipe was a fun take on the classic banana bread recipe, while Martha’s was closer to home, and less sweet.
So whose recipe won overall?
With an overwhelming majority of votes, Martha Stewart’s recipe had the most fans in the Chope office!