• Lauren Humphreys

Streusel Topped Banana Bread

I think just about everyone likes banana bread. It is a perfect sweet treat that can be eaten at breakfast, as a snack, or even dessert. Plus, it is a delicious way to use up those last few bananas that got too ripe sitting on the counter! Maybe that doesn’t happen at your house, but it does at ours all the time. In many cases, I end up freezing them to bake with or make smoothies with at a later date. Food waste really bothers me, so this is a win-win.

Another thing I love is streusel. It is buttery, sweet, crunchy, and embellishes desserts beautifully. As I was staring at some browning bananas on my counter, I had the genius idea to make streusel topped banana bread. This is truly a match made in heaven! Normally, my go-to banana bread recipe is the one passed down from my grandmother Elizabeth (Ebby). Her classic recipe made with butter can be accessed here.

However, I am running low on butter, and it's not worth going out for at the moment. I am finding myself being very resourceful with limited groceries in light of COVID-19. I searched through some recipe books until I found a banana recipe made with oil. I could have looked online, but I wanted to look through some old recipe books. I finally found a simple recipe in a book called “The Bread Bible” by Beth Hensperger. It sounded nice, but my science background got the better of me and I had to make a few changes. I made the following edits:

  • Decreased the sugar slightly by ¼ cup since I added a sweet streusel topping. It is possible to make things too sweet, and I did not want that to happen here. As you will see below, there is still a substantial amount of sugar in this recipe.

  • Added salt to the recipe. Salt enhances flavor, so this was an obvious addition.

  • Defined the amount of banana so it is in a common household measures. Bananas come in all different sizes, so I included the cup measurement and listed the approximate number of bananas.

  • Added a streusel I came up with to the top. I am still wondering why I didn’t think of this sooner…

This bread is amazing! I was fearful that it wouldn’t rise properly due to the added topping, but it did. One observation I noticed is that the bread was much paler in color compared to my normal banana bread. Rob actually preferred the lighter look because it “reminds him more of cake.” I guess he has a valid point…LOL.

I think the main reason for this was actually due to the bananas. Though the bananas had some brownness on the outside, they were deceptive. They still were not at the point of being overripe that is ideal for banana bread. I realized this as soon as I peeled them and tried to mash them. Just remember: the riper the bananas, the better the caramelization and flavor.

Nonetheless, this bread was moist, perfectly sweet, and quite delightful. Like all banana bread, it is best warm out of the oven served with a nice smear of melted butter. However, it is quite nice warmed for a few seconds in the microwave, too. As I suspected, the streusel was my favorite part. It was so good that I would recommend adding it to the top of any banana bread recipe, to be honest. It can be tossed together very quickly since it uses melted butter. I did not add nuts to my bread, but they would be an excellent addition too.

Streusel Topped Banana Bread

Recipe adapted from “The Bread Bible”

Bread Ingredients

¾ cup sugar

½ cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup mashed overripe bananas (2-3 bananas, depending on size)

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

Streusel Ingredients

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup old fashioned oats

2 Tbsp salted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350° F, and grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.

First prepare the streusel topping. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, and oats. Pour the melted butter over the dry ingredients and mix well until clumps form. Set the topping aside.

Next, prepare the banana bread batter. In a medium mixing bowl, add the sugar, vegetable oil, and eggs. Whisk until completely smooth and light yellow in color. Add the mashed bananas and vanilla. Mix well.

In separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Pour the dry ingredients into the banana mixture, and stir with a spatula just until the flour is incorporated. Do not overmix or it will toughen the bread.

Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan. Top the bread batter evenly with the streusel topping. Immediately place in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 50-55 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean in the center of the bread. Let cool slightly before removing from the pan. Slice and enjoy!

Perfect streusel that is nice and crumbly:

Batter & streusel:

Add even layer of streusel over the batter & immediately place in oven (so it doesn't start to sink):

Baked to perfection!

Slice it up:

And eat!

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