Black Sesame Banana Bread

published Oct 8, 2023
Black Sesame Banana Bread Recipe

This is better banana bread, thanks to the addition of buckwheat flour and black sesame paste.

Serves8

Makes1 (9x5-inch) loaf

Prep25 minutes

Cook45 minutes

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Loaf of Black Sesame Banana Bread, partially cut into slices
Credit: Kelli Foster

Full disclosure: I’ve only tried my hand at a few banana bread recipes, but it was more than enough to make me realize that this quick bread tends to be a real snoozefest. I want salt! I want it to have a savory edge! And, I want there to be nutty sesame and loads of it! Enter the banana bread of my dreams: black sesame banana bread. 

Credit: Kelli Foster

This banana bread is banana-forward, yet not overly saccharine (as can be the case with other banana bread recipes). As a matter of fact, thanks to the high proportion of mellow flavoring agents, this loaf swings far more savory than sweet (which, in my mind, is hardly a bad thing). 

I’m in love with the toasty flavor and nourishing energy that buckwheat flour brings to this loaf. The pseudo-cereal (buckwheat is related to rhubarb and not to wheat) serves as the ideal backdrop for the real stars of the show: toasted sesame oil, black sesame paste (you can use black sesame butter or black tahini), and two types of roasted seeds — black and white. These are all ingredients you can easily scope out at your Asian grocery store. Once you have them, it won’t be long before you’re enjoying a slice of this better banana bread.

Credit: Kelli Foster

Black Sesame Banana Bread Recipe

This is better banana bread, thanks to the addition of buckwheat flour and black sesame paste.

Prep time 25 minutes

Cook time 45 minutes

Makes 1 (9x5-inch) loaf

Serves 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    large egg

  • Cooking spray

  • 2 large or 3 small

    ripe bananas

  • 1/4 cup

    black sesame paste, black sesame butter, or black tahini, well-stirred

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup

    buckwheat flour

  • 1 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 1/2 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons

    toasted sesame oil

  • 2 tablespoons

    vegetable oil

  • 2 teaspoons

    black or white sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Place 1 large egg in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Let sit until room temperature.

  2. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 375ºF. Coat a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom and 2 long sides of the pan with a sheet of parchment paper that extends past the sides by a few inches to form a sling.

  3. Peel 2 large or 3 small ripe bananas, place in a medium bowl, and mash with a fork or potato masher until mostly smooth (about 1 heaping cup). Make a well in the center of the bananas. Place 1/4 cup black sesame paste and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in the well and stir to combine.

  4. Place 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup buckwheat flour, and 1 teaspoon baking soda in a second medium bowl and whisk to combine.

  5. Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar to the bowl with the egg. Beat with the paddle attachment on low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium-low and beat for 1 minute. Increase the speed again to high and beat until the mixture is a pale pastel yellow color, 2 to 3 minutes more.

  6. Reduce the speed to low. Slowly pour in 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. The mixture will look curdled. Add the banana mixture and beat until you can no longer see lumps of banana, 30 to 60 seconds.

  7. Add half of the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until just a few streaks of flour are still visible. Remove the bowl from the stand mixture. Carefully fold with a flexible spatula just until no flour streaks remain.

  8. Transfer the batter into the loaf pan and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons black or white sesame seeds on top.

  9. Bake for 5 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325ºF. Continue to bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes more.

  10. Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool completely, about 2 1/2 hours. Grasp the excess parchment and lift the bread out of the pan onto a cutting board. Slice before serving.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. The bread can also be sliced, then wrapped tightly in aluminum foil and frozen for up to 3 months.