Banana Luncheon Bread

Banana Luncheon Bread

A Recipe from 100 Prize-Winning Recipes from Pillsbury’s 2nd Grand National $100,000 Recipe and Baking Contest (1951)

About the Recipe

Okay – I know the last thing everyone needs at this point is yet *another* banana bread recipe, but hear me out! For the 2nd Grand National Contest, Pillsbury allowed junior contestants for the first time. So when I selected a recipe, it had to be a junior winner.

To top it off – this is actually really superb banana bread recipe. Even though it’s on the more complicated side of the quick breads equation, it’s extremely forgiving. A little too much banana? No problem. A little too much baking powder? It’ll do fine. A little longer than necessary in the mixer? You’ll still get a nice, crumbly quick bread.

The long, slow baking time allows for some of that give and take. It also makes the entire house smell so yummy that you can hardly wait to take it out of the oven. Sorry, junior winner Gracy Zeppenfield – we cut it before it cooled!

For more recipes in the Pillsbury Challenge, click here!

About the book

As my grandmother would say – the best laid plans never seem to work out. This book came to me slightly later than the rest of the books in the challenge, so we’re going a little bit out of order here. I’m sure you’ll forgive me.

This book came from the wonderful Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks in the East Village, Manhattan. To keep curious cooks busy during the pandemic, she’s doing mystery boxes that she’s shipping all over the country. I was fortunate enough to have this gem hidden inside.

As an early book, there a tons of basics in this one, including obviously the banana bread. If you can get your hands on it, I highly recommend it!

About the glassware

This Fire King Anchor Hocking loaf pan came from an antiques mall in North Caroline where I was visiting a friend. It’s one of many little treasures that I grabbed that day and every time I use it I think of day. The pattern is Meadow Green, I believe from the 1970’s. Certainly the avocado hue seems to fit that time.

The Recipe!


2 cups flour
1 t double-acting baking powder
1/2 t soda
1 t salt
1/2 c shortening
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 c mashed banana (about 2 medium bananas)
1/2 c chopped nuts


Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt.

Cream shortening. Add sugar gradually, creaming well.

Blend in 2 eggs, one at a time. Beat well.

Add mashed banana. Mix well.

Blend in sifted dry ingredients. Fold in chopped nuts.

Pour into greased 9x5x3-inch pan. Push batter up into corners of pan, leaving the center slightly hollowed. For well-rounded loaf, allow to stand 20 minutes before baking.

Bake in moderate oven (350* F) 60-70 minutes. Cool thoroughly before slicing.