Nana’s Banana Bread

I love to create and share my own recipes, generally I never stick to another persons recipe, I always add my own spin…. but that doesn’t fly with Nana’s banana bread. I have made many, many loaves of banana bread trying to win my family over but, they are insistent that nana makes the best, and its not in anyone’s interest to change it. About a year ago my Gabe just asked his Nana to write the recipe down so his mom would stop messing it up.

One of the main reason that I have fought this recipe so long and so hard is the very first ingredient. I don’t know what it is about Crisco, but my brain just tells me it is bad and I should not use it. I don’t know if it is a generational thing, but I know that most of my girlfriends prefer using butter to Crisco. I fought, and I lost, this bread needs Crisco to have the right taste and consistency. You go ahead and fight, you try using butter and it will taste just fine, but it won’t be as good as Nana’s.

We start our recipe with smooshing (technical term) up the bananas. This brings me back to the days of making the kids first foods. I like to start with three or four bananas, the recipe calls for one cup, but I never measure, I just use however many bananas the kids left me.You could use a mixer for all of this, but since this recipe comes from my husbands great grandmother I like to go old school and just use my muscles for the mixing. I imagine myself in the days of old, akin to the women that churned their own butter, while listening to my dishwasher go about its business. I leave my daydreams and add the eggs which have been beaten

I used the same fork for both, not dirtying extra dishes brings me some weird joy that is probably not normal. Then we get the baking soda that has been dissolved in warm water. The game is, how long does it take you to fill up your measuring spoon in the sink? It just goes right out, there has to be an easier way to do this right? Anyway, once we get the water into the baking soda and stir that around in a little bowl, I pour that into the banana mixture. Then I add the dreaded Crisco and the sugar. The recipe calls for a scant cup of sugar, which just means don’t fill the cup all the way up, mostly full but not quite. I grab a whisk and stir all of the ingredients around. I am really just guessing at this process, if you notice the recipe card didn’t come with any instructions other than greasing and flouring the pan.

This doesn’t look appetizing, but this is what I have after about a minute of stirring. Next I add in some flour and just mix to combine.

I add this to the greased and floured pan, Just in case you have never done this before, basically you rub butter all over your pan and then add a tablespoon of flour and move the pan all around so the flour sticks to all of the butter. I tip the pan upside down after and hit it a few times to make sure I don’t have a ton of extra flour in the pan.

And into the oven we go for about an hour and twenty minutes. The recipe says an hour, but I think my mother in law is just quicker at baking than I am.

I use a cake tester after about seventy minutes to see if it is done, and it never is. A piece of spaghetti works as a great cake tester in a pinch. Now let it cool completely before you cut into it, or at least wait five minutes, just try not to burn yourself. The smell coming off of this bread will cause you to drool. I know I am odd but I love banana bread with a little bit of cream cheese spread on top.

Nana's Banana Bread

  • Servings: 1 Loaf
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1/2 Cup Shortning (Crisco)
  • 1 Cup Sugar (Scant)
  • 2 Eggs Well (beaten)
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda disolved in 3 tsps Warm Water
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Mashed Ripe Banana (3 or 4 Bananas)


  1. Preheat oven to º350 Grease and Flour a bread pan
  2. Combine all ingredents and mix well
  3. Bake for 60 – 90 Minutes, checking after about one hour. Test middle of bread with a toothpick or cake tester. Tester should come out clean for bread to be done.


  1. Lee Anne Sousa says:

    This recipe has been passed down for a couple generations. It was a real treat when my mother gave me a banana bread and butter sandwich for my school lunch😁


  2. I love your writing! Having met your Gabe ~ I can just picture the scenario where he asked his Nana to “please write down the recipe so his mom would stop messing it up!” I appreciate your battle with the crisco. Being a generation older ~ my battle used to be with (my stomach is turning as I anticipate typing the word) Lard. All of the recipes handed down from my mother and grandmother’s generation for the world’s best cookies started with Lard. Believe it or not, you can still buy it in the grocery store.


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