Espresso Banana Walnut Bread

My husband mildly hates bananas, but really, really hates coffee, so he can’t complain that I am trying to make him fat with this bread. I’m using my favorite banana bread recipe, making adjustments for the coffee. [Pause while I do the math.]

Turns out I didn’t need the math. I just added one teaspoon of instant espresso powder and 2 tablespoons of prepared espresso from my single-serve coffee machine, and waited to see how the batter looked. It looked a little too wet, so I threw in about 2-4 tablespoons more flour (without measuring) to get the thick batter that I like for a nut bread.

The bread smelled wonderfully toasty as it baked, not really like coffee, but smoky, I’d say. Since I’m the only one eating it, I’m doing what I prefer to do with nut bread—wrapping it tight and waiting until tomorrow to cut it. See you then.

I’m back and really surprised by this nut bread. I waited the overnight before cutting it, because nut bread flavors develop over time, probably because of the nuts and fruit, if using fruit. I thought, because of the baking smells that the espresso might predominate, but I don’t taste it at all in the finished bread. What I do taste is a heightened banana flavor. We all know that coffee heightens chocolate flavors in baked goods, but I didn’t think that it might do that with other flavors. This calls for more experimentation, right after I eat another piece of this bread with a big schmear of butter.


Espresso Banana Walnut Bread

  • Servings: makes one 9 x 5 loaf or two smaller ones
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Preheat oven to 350°; grease and flour one large or two small bread pans.

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 ripe bananas—mine were average sized bananas

2 eggs

2 tablespoons prepared espresso, slightly cooled

1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2-1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Break up bananas into pieces and beat into butter/sugar mixture until the bananas are pretty much mashed into the batter.
  3. Beat in eggs.
  4. Add the espressos and vanilla, beating on low until combined.
  5. Beat in dry ingredients, adding a little more flour if you think the batter is too thin. I added between 2-4 tablespoons more flour to compensate for the extra liquid of the prepared espresso. A nut bread batter, like a muffin batter, should be thick.
  6. Stir in walnuts until well distributed.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan or pans and bake for 45-50 minutes. I used the single large loaf pan and needed about 1 hour for it to be done in the center, but watch the edges for too much browning. I can’t stand a burnt crust on nut bread. I’d rather the center finished cooking on the counter than have a burnt crust.

Cool the bread in the baking pan on a rack for at least a half hour, before turning out to continue cooling. Wrap tightly in foil overnight before slicing.

Question: Can you eat a coffee bread with a cup of tea?

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