We are all going through different phases during our time in quarantine, and one of the most popular among Gen Z seems to be baking banana bread. So, as someone who considers herself the epitome of Gen Z, I had to give it a try. I was never one for baking, but what else would I do while staying at home? 


Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 55-75 min

Total Time: ~90 min


Makes 1 loaf of banana bread 

1 stick of unsalted butter

2 eggs

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract 

1 cup cassava flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp kosher salt

3 ripe bananas

1/4 cup sour cream

ground coffee beans

chocolate chunks or chips

Once I settled on making banana bread, I quickly searched for different recipes and stumbled upon the wide world of flour. The main ingredient, which seems so simple, showed me there is always more than meets the eye. I had heard of all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and even almond flour. However, after a couple of link clicks, I found myself looking into Cassava flour, which comes from the cassava root. It can often be a replacement for all-purpose flour and is a popular option among gluten-free bakers. I was instantly intrigued by its description of a nutty flavor and quickly ordered a bag on Amazon.

I was barely looking into the first ingredient and already felt like I had learned so much. I felt excited to play around with everything else. There was so much to think about, and I got excited to learn what the next steps in the process would bring about. So, once I figured out what ingredients to use, I had to start putting it together.


I started by softening a stick of butter in the microwave and hoping it wouldn't completely melt, or you can also soften your butter at room temperature ahead of time.

Isabella Villegas

Following that, I added two eggs, which I've always been taught should be cracked in a separate bowl just in case an egg is rotten and you can't tell from the outside. It might have been advice from my mother, or maybe something I picked up from the Food Network, but either way, I do it every time and then add them into the mixing bowl.

Isabella Villegas

After multiple attempts at the same banana bread recipe, I settled on using the least possible amount of sugar and sweetening the loaf with lots of bananas and semi-sweet chocolate chips. So for this final recipe, I settled on using 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar.

Isabella Villegas

Additionally, I added one teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Isabella Villegas

With the butter, eggs, vanilla, and sugar in a mixer, I turned it on to the lowest speed and start working on the dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, I threw in one cup of cassava flour, that in my opinion, really helps the loaf stay moist and soft for much longer.

Isabella Villegas

I added in one teaspoon of baking soda, one teaspoon of kosher salt, and whisked them together before slowly pouring it into the mixer to combine.

Isabella Villegas

Then I finally got to the main ingredient, bananas. The number of bananas is probably something that varies the most from recipe to recipe. After trying multiple combinations, I settled on three ripe bananas. Two and a half to chop and throw into the batter, and half a banana as a decorative addition on top of the loaf.

Isabella Villegas

When something varies so much, it is usually really hard for me to settle on something in particular, but this just showed me that practice makes perfect. Or at least perfect enough for me. 

#SpoonTip: When it comes to baking, add sour cream to keep the bread from drying out! This recipe is no exception. A dry loaf of banana bread is a huge pet peeve of mine, so I may overcorrect a little, but I really enjoy the end product. I mix in 1/4 cup of sour cream to make sure to avoid any dryness in my banana bread.

Isabella Villegas

Then for the last few touches, I add some ground espresso beans, partially because I've been told it helps bring out the flavors, but mostly because I enjoy incorporating coffee into anything and everything I do.

Isabella Villegas

For some sweetness, I threw in semi-sweet chocolate chips, but they are definitely optional. I'm not one to want chocolate often, so I only add about a handful of them, but this is probably the step that can be doubled, tripled, or completely eliminated. Yet, this is another reason why I have really enjoyed making banana bread over quarantine. I have been able to play around with the ingredients and really make it my own.

I poured the batter into a ceramic baking dish that I greased with butter, and to top it off, I added the last of the sliced banana on top as decoration. With the oven pre-heated at 350 degrees, I popped the loaf in and set the timer for 50 minutes. After the alarm goes off, I check on it every 5 minutes until it is done and cooked all the way through.

Isabella Villegas

This recipe took my completely inexperienced self about six or seven attempts to fully develop, and it was so much more fun than I initially expected. Back in March, I did not think that baking would be on the list of my quarantine activities, but the hundreds of Instagram stories about banana bread had me intrigued. I caved at some point along the way and just decided that it would be something fun to kill time and make a treat to have for breakfast the next day.

After a couple of failed attempts, one attempt that was too sweet, and one that oddly tasted too much like baking soda, I finally got to the recipe that I wanted to make. It's still far from perfect, but it makes me happy that I can finally bake something without someone else's recipe

Isabella Villegas

It's the perfect treat for breakfast or dessert after lunch. And now, it even gives me some nostalgia for the first months of quarantine when everything was so different.

For a lot of us, March seems like it was a completely different world from the one we live in now, and in many ways, it was. Even though the past year has been rough and time seems to have simultaneously stopped and gone way too fast, at least I can say I learned something new.

Keeping myself busy and working to get better at baking was a great way to get over the quarantine slump. Having a project to use as a creative outlet was a lot of fun and truly one of the best forms of self-care that I practiced during the last few months.