Sesame Buckwheat Banana Bread


Post by Anna

On the topic of Tupp Ups, there is no reason to stray from the most foundational recipe in the anthology: banana bread. You know the scenario—the once perfect yellow bananas begin to brown on the countertop, suddenly becoming too homely and ill-fitting for a solo snack (or to use in place of a spoon in yogurt for the last 30 years if you’re my dad). Personally, I’m very particular about my fruit—a mealy apple depresses me, banana strings haunt me in my dreams.

But like a good pho restaurant or a dive bar, the uglier the better with aging bananas. As they ripen, they release ethylene gas which increases the sugar content in the fruit and softens the flesh, making for the perfect baking ingredient. The effect is so powerful that it can cause stuff nearby to ripen quicker, which is a fun trick if you need to speed up the process.

The steadfast banana bread ranges from the healthy, made-with-yogurt version to buttery breads with a thick shmear of glaze. No matter—any way you cut it, it’s hard to screw up a cake you can disguise as breakfast food. Though a standard banana bread is a thing of beauty, I got weird with a version adapted from Heidi Swanson using tahini, walnuts, and both whole wheat + buckwheat flour. The result was earthy, nutty, and to employ my least favorite word in the dictionary, moist.


DSC_0226Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 40 minutes / Serves 6-12/ Adapted from 101 Cookbooks


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup + 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 3-4 mashed, very ripe bananas (if needed, throwing some yellow bananas in the oven for 10-15 minutes will do the trick)
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 5 tsp lemon juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Butter and flour a 9 x 5 loaf pan, or a banana bread pan, as they are called
  3. In a small bowl, mix bananas with eggs, yogurt, tahini, and sugar until well combined
  4. In a large saucepan over medium heat, toast sesame seeds, constantly stirring until well-browned. It only takes a few minutes, so be careful not to burn the seeds.
  5. Combine dry ingredients, including seeds and nuts, and form a well in the center
  6. Add banana mixture to the well, and fold until just combined
  7. Pour batter into pan, and bake for 45 minutes, or until a knife comes out dry (these flours are on the drier side, so I like to remove it a tad undercooked—the bread will continue to cook as it sits in the pan).
  8. While the bread cools, prepare glaze by mixing ingredients well in a bowl, and drizzling over the top.
  9. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup sesame seeds and wait for the glaze to form a crust. Or, just get in there.