When Only Banana Bread Will Do

School of Medicine

There is little in this world that is as comforting and splendid as a perfect morning ritual.

Wake up. Jump in the shower. Stand there for a few minutes in a fugue state. Snap out of it to realize you have been soaping the same armpit for two minutes. Quickly finish showering. Dry off. Do hair. Get half dressed.

Eat toast with a healthy coat of peanut butter. Drink water. Put toothbrush in mouth. Put laptop in bag. Brush. Put lunch in bag. Brush. Feed cat. Finish brushing teeth five minutes after starting. Put on rest of clothes. Walk to Bakesale Betty. Buy banana bread and small coffee. Bite. Sip. Repeat. Morning complete.

These rituals make a bad morning better and a good morning great. We all have them. We also all know the tragic injustice that is felt when your morning routine is forever changed because that café stops serving your pastry, decides to open an hour later, or God forbid — closes.

So when Bakesale Betty in Oakland stopped serving breakfast all together, you can just imagine how many fits I threw. Then the most glorious thing happened. I found the recipe for its banana bread online. It was then that I knew there was some good in this world.

The recipe originally fell a bit short of the mark. It was a bit light on the cinnamon sugar topping, so I say, make as much of it as you want and add it to taste. I personally like it when there is a nice coat over the entirety of the loaf. Eventually, I got it down. Resume routine.

Bakesale Betty Banana Bread

Adapted from Bakesale Betty


  • 1½  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 to 3 medium)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼  cup honey
  • ¼  cup water
  • 5 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Butter and flour 9 x 5 x 3-inch metal baking pan.
  • Whisk 1 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Whisk next five ingredients in a large bowl until smooth. Add dry ingredients to the bowl of liquid ingredients and stir to blend. Transfer batter to pan.
  • Mix 4 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon and brown sugar.
  • Sprinkle the mixture over entire top of batter. Don’t skimp on it!
  • Bake bread until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour.
  • Cool bread in pan 30 minutes. Turn pan on its side; slide out bread, being careful not to dislodge topping. Turn bread right side up and cool completely.