“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” -Harriet Van Horne
Banana Bread with Fig Butter

Banana Bread with Fig Butter

When you have some extra-ripe bananas on hand, the only thing to do is make banana bread. It's perfect right out of the oven, and fig butter adds a surprising kick to the subtle banana-walnut flavors. 

YIELD: 1 large loaf or 2 small loaves
ACTIVE TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 4 hours


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 very ripe, soft bananas with big black splotches, mashed well (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten lightly
  • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/4 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped


  • 5 cups figs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup molasses
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice



Preheat oven to 350 F.

Butter and flour bottom and sides of 1 large (or two small) loaf pans.

Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt in a large bowl.

In bowl of electric mixer whip together bananas, eggs, buttermilk and butter. After blended, slowly add flour mixture, and continue mixing until well blended, light, and fluffy.  Gently fold in walnuts. 

Place batter into pan(s) and bake for 30-50 minutes, depending on size of pans .


*Note: If you plan on making banana bread for breakfast, you might want to make the fig butter the day before, as it can be a bit time consuming. 

Place figs in large pot and heat on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until very soft.

Place softened figs in food processor or blender and blend until turned int pulp (will be similar to the consistency of apple sauce).

Put figs back into pot and add sugar and spices. Cook uncovered over low heat for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. The fig butter will begin to thicken. Continue cooking until desired consistency. Remove from heat.

You may want to run this through the blender again to make it smoother. I like it a bit on the chunky side, so I leave it as-is.  

If processed and canned in boiling water into jars, this can be stored in the pantry. Otherwise, place into a jar, and keep in the fridge for up to two weeks. 

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