brown sugar banana bread

 You wont need any other banana bread recipe after this. A classic you'll want to save and make again and again. 

You wont need any other banana bread recipe after this. A classic you'll want to save and make again and again. 

John can usually tell when something’s wrong.

"I’m fine," I said, embarrassed he had noticed. We were getting ready for bed and I used the excuse of brushing my teeth for remaining quiet. When we got into bed he said,

“Come on, just tell me." He put his hand on my leg and asked, “What is up?” 

I burst into tears without warning. I even surprised myself, Lol. 

“It’s just so hard getting fat!” I cried. "It’s not like I’m a cute petite pregnant person that just has a cute little belly. You know those girls that look like they just stuffed a pillow under their shirt?! I'm not one of those! I mean I had padding before! I have broad shoulders and a big butt… I just, I just don’t feel pretty at all and none of my pants fit anymore. And I’m getting a double chin!” 

His eyes filled with sympathy but there was a smile there. 

“I don’t know how many times I have to explain this to you. You are not big and I love your butt. You are beautiful and growing a baby. Didn’t the doctor tell you you haven’t gained weight yet and that that was amazing? YOU told me that.” 

"Yes, well I haven’t gained weight because I was fat to begin with, and I HAVE gained weight since that last doctors visit.”

He laughed out loud. 

“Oh my gosh. You know what you need to do? You need to buy some new things that will make you feel pretty and that will fit. Go. Shopping.” Sometimes John says things that make me want to jump on top of him right then. 

I have, since my last “I’m so fat outburst" purchased one token grey dress from Madewell that gets me by right now. I mean I feel like I look like a tent in it, concealing my “no-one-can-tell-I’m-pregnant-yet-but-me-belly", but whatever, it’s comfortable and cute. 

When I look at the ultrasound pictures I remind myself I’m going through this for my son and how incredible it is that I get to grow a little new life inside of me. An incredible mama-friend texted me that our changing pregnant bodies are a good reminder that we will no longer be the center of our universe anymore, but a new little babe will.

Pregnancy grounds us in the most human way I can possibly think of. 

I’m still learning to be kind to myself. I get discouraged that I can't quite exercise the way I used to, namely because I have the worse sciatica, and too much pounding just sets it a-flame. And, as if my words thus far don't prove it, "dressing the bump" is not as fun as I imagined it would be. 

I truly think, being pregnant and/or wanting to be a mother, is the bravest, most selfless thing any woman could ever do, and I find myself getting hormonally teary and filled with awe at all of the women that chose to give birth or chose to be mothers. You really are putting everything on the line for the little one, and getting fat is just the beginning of it. Mom, thank you for getting fat for me.

I know this will all be worth it. xo

We have a secret in our culture, and it’s not that birth is painful. It’s that women are strong.
— Laura Stavoe Harm

brown sugar banana bread 

I most recently made this bread because another incredible mama-friend texted me asking if I had a good banana bread recipe. I told her I did and then realized I haven't put this one up on the blog yet. So. Here it is. This is one of the first recipes I ever "made up" about 10 years ago so it's special to me. It's one I hope will get passed on through the generations and hopefully, someday, be referred to as "Grandma Robyn's banana bread". ;) xo  

note: You don't need chocolate chips for this one, but they are good. What's non-negotiable is the turbinado sugar. Please sprinkle that on top as liberally as you wish. It gives the bread the best crispy crust on the outside while remaining perfectly moist on the inside. I love slices of this smeared with cream cheese when cooled - I learned the magic of banana bread and cream cheese from my mama. 


2 cups / 256g unbleached all purpose flour (preferably organic)

¾ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt (i prefer kosher)

1 cup / 201g muscovado sugar (if you can't find muscovado sugar, don't fret - dark brown sugar or just regular light brown sugar works too)  

½ cup / 113g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

2 large eggs (or 3 medium eggs)

1 ½ cups / 450g bananas, very ripe and mashed (about 3 medium sized bananas)

cup / 74g sour cream (or full fat greek yogurt)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground (optional) 

1 cup / 175g bittersweet chocolate chips (optional) 

Spoonfuls of Turbinado sugar for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 350° F / 180° C. Prepare a 8 ½" x 4 ½" (or 9 x 5 in / 23 x 13cm) loaf pan with butter and flour OR line with parchment paper. 

Sift dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and set aside.

Whip butter and brown sugar together in electric mixer until fluffy, about 5-7 minutes. Slowly add in the eggs, one at a time until incorporated. Next add vanilla, bananas and sour cream and mix. Batter will look curdled, don't worry. 

Add your dry ingredients, in small batches on lowest speed so you don't cover your face in flour. Mix until dry ingredients are incorporated. Do not over mix. Fold in chocolate chocolate chips with a spatula. 

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle turbinado sugar on top of the loaf and bake for 55-65 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. 

Cool bread in pan at least 15 minutes before slicing. Loaf keeps for a few days wrapped tightly at room temperature or for a week in the fridge.

creative tip: Serve sliced bread with cream cheese or special walnut cream cheese and a drizzle of fresh maple syrup.  Walnut cream cheese is just plain, store-bought cream cheese with your choice of roasted walnuts mashed in.  I probably use a scant ¼ cup / 30g of toasted nuts to 1 cup / 225g cream cheese, but by all means, go crazy.