Banana Bread + Waffles

banana bread waffles

The first time I used a waffle iron, I was a freshman in college. The dorm dining hall at my school had a designated table with an iron and a bowl of batter with a ladle in it, and one night when the tacos or chicken surprise on the menu didn’t particularly appeal to me, I walked over to it and, using that adult independence I had newly acquired, made myself buttermilk breakfast for dinner.

In the years between then and now, I’ve eaten homemade waffles in my friend Sue’s kitchen at a different college in a different state, telling her what a good mom she’d make someday as she handed me a plate (by the way, turns out I was right); I’ve had blueberry waffles and pecan waffles and waffles covered with berries and whipped cream and chocolate syrup; in October, my brother and I split a waffle at Sola that was topped with goat cheese and strawberry-rhubarb compote; but it wasn’t until recently that I had the kind of waffle I bring you today, one that defied any preconceptions or previous taste experiences, which works to combine what we know as the waffle with something else entirely, the moist, dense sweetness of a banana bread.


I read about these waffles at both Seven Spoons and Honey & Jam before I made them, and those ladies made the waffles look so good, I already expected I would like them—in fact, it was Hannah’s reminding Tweet that convinced me towards the kitchen one night, dropping everything I was doing to mix up some batter—but even so, my first bite the next morning was a delightful surprise.

It’s crazy how you can tell yourself in your mind what something will be like, be it meeting someone in person for the first time or starting a new job or visiting a city you’ve never been to, and then when you actually experience it, it can be so different. I expected these waffles to taste like banana bread and by that, I guess I mean I expected them to taste like bananas. But they really taste like banana bread, while also like waffles, it is so uncanny, and when I ate a plateful of them before work one morning, all I could think was Yes! Of course! at what was so different and yet exactly what I had expected.

banana bread waffles

I’m kind of glad life is like that, that I don’t always know what things will be like, that I get to be surprised, delighted, by what is unusual or new, be it Twitter/blog friends I’ve gotten to meet in person for the first time this year—janet, martin & rachel (I can’t find your blog address, guys – send it to me?), randy, kendall, whitney, Caitlin, allison, gabi, even Ree of Pioneer Woman from a distance with Jacqui, a practical neighbor who’s become a great friend through blogging—or things to eat, happy breakfasts, things like these wonderful banana bread waffles.

Banana Bread Yeasted Waffles
Adapted from Seven Spoons, as seen at Honey & Jam

One more thing I love about these waffles: because the yeast needs to rise overnight, these make a perfect prep-ahead breakfast. You do all the mixing of ingredients the night before and in the morning only need to scoop, pour and enjoy! (PS – You might want to have an extra banana or two around to slice up and lay on top of these or else, like me, you’ll be pulling out blueberries and confusing everything.)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of ground clove
2 eggs, beaten lightly
1 cup mashed ripe banana (this was two bananas for me)
2 tablespoons sour cream (or greek yogurt)

In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, milk and vanilla. Set aside; the mixture should be warm but not hot.

In a large mixing bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, brown sugar, yeast, salt and spices. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, whisking until smooth. Stir in the beaten eggs. Cover the bowl loosely with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, but up to 24. (I just refrigerated it for 12)

About 30 minutes before you want to make waffles, take the batter out of the refrigerator to come up to room temperature slightly. It should be doubled in size and the surface will be covered in bubbles. (I wouldn’t say mine was doubled in size, but it was larger.)

When ready to begin, stir the sour cream into the mashed bananas and then add this to the batter. It will deflate, but use a light, quick hand to thoroughly combine.

Heat your waffle iron and bake the waffles as per the manufacturer’s instruction.


  1. says

    I saw these on both those blogs and thought to myself “I know I would love those” but now, the urge to make them in overwhelming. Breakfast this weekend is in the bag.

    I buy Uncle Luke’s syrup too. Great stuff.

  2. says

    I saw these on seven spoons, too! Man, you ladies are sure making me crave some waffles. And I know exactly what you mean about expectations not being exactly met, but being inherently right! Makes life so much more interesting.

  3. says

    Yum! You have me thinking that a waffle iron is now a kitchen necessity! I’m going to need to get one asap!

  4. Elizabeth says

    I remember that griddle at Cathcart! Thanks to the fine chefs there, I learned one really can eat cereal or salad any time of day

  5. Elizabeth says

    Oh! and the waffles look really good. Have you tried peanut butter on banana waffles? Super yummy. I might make this for breakfast tomorrow–thanks for the recipe

  6. says

    I’m glad you liked them, Tara’s recipe is fantastic! Your right, they do taste more like banana bread than straight bananas. I need to make them again!

  7. Alicia says

    First of all, my dorm had a waffle iron too and I made waffles for dinner aaaaall the time when I didn’t want to eat the other nasty options. I miss that! Second, I haven’t stopped thinking about the banana bread french toast at Egg Harbor since we went, and now I have to look at this that looks even better! That’s it. It’s a sign. I have to make these.

  8. says

    Oh yum. I don’t particularly like plain waffles, so I can only have them if the actually batter has flavor… like these. Not sure what my problem is with that but… Oh well. These look delicious, even if you confused them w/ blueberries :)

  9. says

    Yay! So glad you liked the recipe. My brain did a similar dance when I tried them, something like “bread? waffles! bread waffles!” when I made them. They really are a true combination of the two.

    You and Hannah do make some fine-looking waffles.

  10. says

    Kate, It’s settled then – you must make these! And agreed about the syrup. I love any kind that is 100% real.

    Allyson, I love the way you said that – “not being exactly met, but being inherently right.” Yes.

    Kim, I know, right? Glad I could borrow my mom’s this time, but I was surprised at how much I liked using it/how easy it was!

    Elizabeth, Ha! So nice having someone who’s reading that knows exactly what I’m talking about. And you know, while I think I must have had PB on waffles at some point, I genuinely cannot remember, and clearly something needs to be done about that.

    Hannah, Thank YOU for making them look so yummy!

    Alicia, Oh, French toast! Banana bread makes so many good things!

    Antonietta, Right? nothing like homemade waffles!

    Whitney, We’ll have to do it again sometime when the darkness/winter ends. Plan on it!

    Niki, Seriously, what kind of crazy person puts blueberries all over her banana waffles? Whatever, it worked! Ha!

    Tara, Thanks so much for inspiring us with it! A truly brilliant combo.

    Dense, Maybe waffles are one of those foods that are good at any time of day – morning, afternoon, night; breakfast, dinner, dessert. Love that.

  11. Janet says

    Waffles sound so delicious especially on a crispy Saturday morning. I’m going to try these as pancakes (no waffle iron at my apartment sadly) and let you know how they turn out.

    It was so great to meet in Chicago earlier this year! Your words provided me with so much comfort and your stories about food woven with such detailed instructions and recipes are marvelous. I haven’t baked in almost a year and when I made those ginger cookies – they were so so good. I decided to save the first batch for myself. But I did divide them into little ziplock bags and carry them in my bag for work in case someone needed a sweet treat to brighten their day. And I doled them out to the homeless bums that semi-block the steps I take to walk home. They really liked them and it was a nice segue into getting home. I’m making a second batch to mail to a friend.

    I couldn’t believe how much fun and relaxing the art of baking can be sometimes. Your blog inspires me to have fun eating and making food and allow myself some dessert too!

    Super glad for surprises here too especially that lime chipotle marinade I won on your site!

  12. says

    gorgeous photos! i’m pretty delighted to have you as a blog friend and real-life friend, too. and love the story about waffles in dorm rooms — i was never a waffles-for-dinner gal, as the waffle iron at my dining hall was always crowded and, honestly, kind of confused me. BUT i did have the occasional 3 bowls of cinnamon toast crunch when the hall’s beef stroganaff just wasn’t doing it for me…

  13. says

    :) Oh, and we really really really need to meet up again. Were we talking Milwaukee or Madison? I can’t remember, but I think it was Milwaukee. Although if we do Madison, you guys could stay over in my apartment and I could make these waffles for breakfast the next morning…..

  14. says

    Leftoverist, I always hate make-ahead recipes while I’m making them (and not getting to eat them RIGHT AWAY) but love, love, love them when all I have to do is pull something out and poof! have something to eat. Delayed gratification is a hard value to appreciate. But yes! Thankful for these and life’s surprises.

    Janet, You’re so sweet. I’m glad we got to have pizza together and chat last spring, and I’m THRILLED that you’re finding joy in baking. It is very therapeutic. Glad to know you!

    Jacqui, I cannot tell you how much I am craving cinnamon toast crunch now. Like seriously. Contemplating going to the grocery store. (and lol at beef stroganoff – does every dining hall do that?!)

    Caitlin, OOOh I can’t speak for Jacqui but both of those options sound good to me. As long as I don’t have to drive in snow/blizzards, I am cool with anytime. Maybe after the holidays?

  15. says

    Ooh, those look really good, and I actually have all the ingredients! (I had planned to make a banana-egg nog smoothie today, but I’ll save the bananas for waffles instead.) If I can find our waffle iron, I’ll make these for Sunday lunch.

    Where did you see the Pioneer Woman? At a book signing?

  16. says

    Jennifer – Yes! At a book signing! We were total newbies to the whole famous-writer-signing-books thing, so we got there right when it started and would have been #293 or something if we’d waited in the INSANE line for her to sign our books. So instead we heard her speak, saw her husband and kids… and Jacqui said hi to her, which was basically our magic meeting. The rest of the night, we sat in the Barnes & Noble Starbucks and talked with each other, wondering where all these people came from! Definitely thought of you!

  17. says

    How fun! I wish she would come to my off-the-beaten-path area. What was it like seeing her and her husband and kids? Is he really that good-looking?? How did her quirkiness translate in person?

    I agree — where do all those people come from? I realize that she’s an internet celebrity, but so many people, really? If I hadn’t had a friend who made her roasted red pepper pasta for me one day, I would never have heard of Ree. Are they really all devoted readers of her blog? Wow.

    Anyway, I made these waffles today. Although, unfortunately, we couldn’t find the waffle iron. So I used the batter to make pancakes. Very good!

  18. says

    Jennifer, LOL! Glad to know the batter still works as pancakes – and I’m going to e-mail more details about seeing PW. :)

  19. says

    I saw these 2 posts too and thought about making the waffles, but I’m not really a banana fan. I am, however, a fan of banana bread. So I’ll try this out!

  20. says

    These have definitely been bookmarked! I don’t use my waffle press nearly enough and this is the perfect excuse!

  21. says

    Caitlin, Oh that’s right! OK. We’ll touch base in January and see what the weather’s like, what your and Jacqui’s schedules are like, etc. Looking forward to it!

    Kickpleat, Good! It is so uncanny how much they resemble banana bread and yet are clearly waffles. Will love hearing what you think!

    Sues, Right? Hope you enjoy them!

  22. says

    so one of the things I enjoy about flickr and your photostream is that I see these pictures of amazing food get uploaded and then I have a few days to wonder what the story will be:)

  23. says

    Your photos have my clawing at my computer screen. Must. Have. Waffles. Thank you for this post and reminding me the glory of a beautiful stack of fruit topped waffles. Yum.

  24. says

    Food Woolf, You are too kind. Thanks so much – and get yourself some waffles soon! Weekends are perfect for this sort of thing.


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