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banana bread and cornbread

I have this masa corn meal stuff, my old roommate left it, can I use it just like normal cornmeal? I had this recipe for cornbread that had a lot of onion in it, but I lost it. it was kinda like a hushpuppy muffin. I'm going to try to work through it again.

Also, I have three bananas sitting in my freezer taking up space, and some walnuts in the pantry. What are your favorite recipes for banana bread?

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  1. You will probably have to adjust the liquids a bit for masa harina, but I've successfully made cornbread using it instead of regular corn meal. You'll need to adjust by "feel" because it's finer than corn meal, and will soak up more liquid.

    2 Replies
    1. re: shanagain

      Did using the masa harina change the texture of the cornbread at all? Was it a softer cornbread?

      1. re: peachblossom

        Yes, definitely. I've heard masa harina described recently as corn flour, so I guess that explains a lot.

        It's hard for me to describe - not necessarily softer, but definitely less coarse. More dense & a bit more moist, definitely.


      2-3 ripe bananas, mashed
      1 ½ cups sugar
      1 ¾ cups flour
      2 eggs
      1 tsp baking soda
      1 tsp vanilla extract
      ½ tsp salt
      ¼ cup buttermilk
      ½ cup vegetable oil
      ½ cup chopped walnuts, optional

      Combine all ingredients in medium bow. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes and after toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

      1. My fave recipe for banana bread is the one in JOY of COOKING -- nothing outre about it. But one thing it has that I've never seen, and that really adds to the whole is grated lemon zest. You could add that to any recipe for banana bread including the one HillJ provided.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Dorothy

          Interesting Dorothy! I have replaced vanilla with orange extract or orange juice but never tried using lemon zest. I'll have to give that a go!

        2. I made an excellent banana bread last week, out of the King Arthur Flour cookbook. It was so moist and delicious. What made it a little different was the addition of cinnamon and nutmeg. It just added a little something extra - the flavors were not obvious... I'll post the recipe if anyone wants it.

          3 Replies
          1. re: akp

            I'd like that too please! I have several frozen bananas myself. I like the idea of cinnamon and nutmeg. Do you like a lot of things from the KAF book?

            1. re: eamcd

              Here you go... To be honest, I think this is the first recipe that I've tried out of KAF, but there are many delicious looking things - I'm just not a huge baker... But this was a nice little success.

              2 large eggs
              1 cup sugar
              1/3 cup vegetable oil
              1 cup mashed banana (2-3 very ripe large bananas)
              2 t. vanilla extract
              1 t. baking soda
              1 t. baking powder
              1 t. salt
              1 t. cinnamon
              1/2 t. nutmeg
              2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
              1 cup yogurt, buttermilk, or sour cream (I used low-fat plain yogurt)
              1 cup chopped walnuts (I subsituted chocolate chips)

              Preheat oven to 350.

              In a medium sized bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, and oil. Blend
              in the mashed banana and vanilla. Whish together and then sift (It is
              important for everything to be thoroughly combined (Note - I just
              mixed it very well, did not sift)) the baking soda, baking powder,
              salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and flour. Add all at once to the banana
              mixture. Mix quickly but thoroughly, then stir in the yogurt, mixing
              until just combined.

              Pour the batter into a buttered and floured 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Bake
              the bread for about 1 hour, until a cake tester inserted in the center
              comes out clean. If the bread begins to brown too quickly, tent it
              with aluminum foil after 40 minutes in the oven. (Mine took about 1 hour 10 minutes to bake, and I did tent with foil after 40 minutes)

          2. I make the most moist and yummy banana bread- The secret is sour cream in the batter..... Keeps it really moist and yummy- Try it trust me! :)

            1 Reply
            1. re: gastronomy

              The inclusion of buttermilk in the recipe I posted also imparts a moistness to the bread. Look like any creamy dairy will work well. Thanks akp for sharing yours!

            2. i know there were quite a few posts about banana bread awhile ago... i posted my favorite recipe there....

              1 Reply
              1. re: Mel

                It would be good to have a frequently asked recipes section. I posted the Cooks Illustrated banana bread a few months back but have seen it repeated quite a few times.

              2. Cooking light has some great banana bread recipes. My fav is the chocolate swirl banana bread. Check their website.
                I have the same big bag of masa in my cupboard! I don't know what to do with it.

                1 Reply
                1. re: bolivianita

                  My fav Cooking Light Banana Bread recipe has oatmeal in it. June 1999

                2. Re-The bag of masa harina: Make tortillas. Easy. Add water enough so that it makes a dough and you form balls in the palms of your hands, flatten masa ball between 2 sheets of plastic wrap (the easy way). Remove from wrap, cook in a heated ungreased pan. Enjoy.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: morebubbles

                    should it be a stiff dough? or a softer one?

                    1. re: bolivianita

                      There should be instructions on the bag of masa harina how to make tortillas.

                  2. Reply to bolivianita (forgot to link, sorry)
                    Softer. Stiff will have a tendency to crumble easily. Try using lukewarm water. I cook my tortillas in a cast iron flat pan (which serves as my 'comal' ) but any heavy pan should give good results.

                    1. Here's a good banana bread recipe. It's a bit non-traditional, but probably the best I've ever made. Also, my trick that I learned from my mom. Let bananas that get too ripe (that you were planning on eating) get way too ripe and then throw them in the freezer. When you have a big enough collection, thaw them and use them in banana bread. It makes a huge difference.

                      Banana Man’s Banana Bread
                      1/3 cup pecans
                      1/3 cup cashews
                      2 cups all-purpose flour
                      1/8 teaspoon salt
                      1 teaspoon baking soda
                      1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
                      1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
                      2 extra-large eggs
                      1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
                      3 tablespoons amber or dark rum
                      2 cups mashed ripe banana (4 to 5 medium bananas)
                      1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
                      1/4 teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg
                      1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
                      3 tablespoons buttermilk
                      2 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped, or 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

                      Toast the pecans and then the cashews in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they begin to darken and turn fragrant. Immediately transfer to a small bowl; let cool, then chop coarsely. Set aside.

                      Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 81/2-by-41/2-inch loaf pan.

                      In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. In a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Add the extract. Add the rum, bananas, cinnamon, mace and cloves; beat until blended. (The batter may look as if it is separating; this is normal.)

                      Alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beating until fully incorporated. Fold in the chocolate and nuts..

                      Spoon the batter into the pan; bake 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 300 degrees; bake 70 minutes until the bread pulls away slightly from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

                      Let the bread cool in the pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Invert the loaf onto the rack, remove pan, then turn loaf right side up to cool completely. Slice and serve. Makes 1 loaf cake; 10 servings.