Banana Bran Bread

An old notebook full of recipes.

I have no clue how old this recipe is, or who wrote it down in the tattered old Double Q Note Book it’s in.  The note book is filled with old recipes, written out in lovely old script, and this one caught my eye.  There are no clues as to the original owner, she didn’t put her own name in the book, but does indicate sometimes who she received a recipe from.  Esther L. gave her the recipe for Buckwheat Cakes, and a recipe for Oatmeal Cookies came from “your pal, Mary.”  I spend a fair bit of time leafing through it and pondering over the names included, and the ones excluded.

Some of the recipes, like Mrs. Smith’s Cheese Sauce perplex me.  Why is it cheese sauce if there isn’t any cheese?  It’s clearly a sweet sauce, since it contains a cup of sugar.  Is it a pudding sauce, maybe?  I’ll include the recipe for anyone who wants to try it and give us feedback.

20170129_111146-01.jpegCheese Sauce

1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 (or 1/3?) cup boiling water. 3 tablespoons flour.  Wet flour with a little cold water, set aside until cold.  Cream butter + sugar, add cold paste and beat until creamy.  Vanilla.

The instructions are vague, but I don’t think it would be hard to make… just what to do with it?  I don’t think it would be good on cauliflower!!  Mrs Smith also contributed Apricot Fritters, Creole Kisses and Prune Whip.

But, anyhow, I’m getting sidetracked.  This post is about the Banana Bran Bread.  I made it yesterday.  I had a few black bananas in my freezer, and I’ve been meaning to use them up, so this seemed like a good way to do it.  There is also a Banana Bread recipe, but I had some bran sitting in the cupboard, so I decided to try something new.

I was a little short on the bananas, but close enough, I figured.  Because the bananas were on the skimpy side, I hesitate to criticize the loaf too much.  It was slightly on the dry side, but I know that was due at least in part to not quite enough bananas, and even so, it’s not dry.  Just drier than my usual recipe, which I deliberately undercook so it’s downright gooey.  And a word of warning, I cooked the loaf for 30 minutes at 375, and that was long enough.  I cringe to think what might have happened if I’d done the whole hour and 15.

It does have a “healthy” bran flavour, but nothing wrong with that.  I did kind of miss the gooey, melty, raisiny mass that is my usual recipe, but this one is very good too.  Nice banana flavour, nice crunch from the pecans, and overall a decent loaf.  I’d make this again, but with more bananas, and I think next time, I’d use raisins rather than nuts, but that’s just personal preference.

Banana Bran Bread

Banana Bran Bread

1/4 cup shortening

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 cup bran

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cup flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup chopped nuts

2 tbsp water

1 1/2 cup mashed ripe bananas

1 tsp vanilla

Pour in a greased loaf tin and bake for 45 mins in 325° oven and finish 30 min in 375° oven.


  1. Bran actually sounds pretty good. I wouldn’t have even considered it. Your gooey one with raisins sounds yummy! I’m curious about her “cheese” sauce, too. 🙂


  2. sorry I was slow with your dad’s comments. He liked it (would like more so he can give you a more experience evaluation perhaps) but agreed it was a bit dry. Still, he gobbled it down and wants MORE!!!


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