Here we go. A moist and yummy banana bread with softened bits of banana and chocolatey swirls. This is the adorable “Banana Bread with Swirls of Nutella,” from our cookbook of 2022, Zoë Bakes Cakes.

First, allow me to discuss a few key elements. Namely, why is this yeast-free, moist and sweet delight called a “bread” rather than a “cake?” It seems this has been an ongoing topic of debate in the world of baking. It turns out, banana bread is a quick bread, which puts it in a certain category.

See the discussion from 2019 in food52. There, Alice Medrich announces, “… bread is predominantly flour and water and requires yeast and rising before baking. A few are sweet… but most are not. As such, … quick breads … are not true breads at all. And most of the sweet, rich loaves that we call breads … are actually cakes baked in loaf pans.

So that’s it. We’ve got a quick bread baked in a loaf pan. Definitely sliceable, but you can’t make a sandwich with this cake. Medrich also says, “Honestly, I don’t care if you call a loaf-shaped cake a bread; I only hope you don’t actually think it is one.

I always have bananas in my house. Don’t you? I always have Nocciolata in my house. Don’t you? See how I did that? I’ve swapped the Nutella for Nocciolata. Both include the same sugar, hazelnuts, and skimmed milk powder. Nutella has more palm oil than hazelnuts, and Nocciolata has more hazelnuts than sunflower oil. Nutella uses cocoa and Nocciolata has cocoa powder and cocoa butter. Nocciolata is organic, Nutella is not.

Mix all ingredients by hand (no mixer necessary). Bananas, brown sugar, butter, milk, eggs, and vanilla in one bowl. Flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in another bowl. Combine the two. Soften the Nocciolata in a heat-proof bowl at the back of the stove top, ready to swirl into the layers of batter.

How easy is that? Simply wash these few empty bowls and tools while the cake bakes in the oven for 45 minutes.

Smell the warm banana while it bakes. Smell the chocolatey Nocciolata.

After the baked cake is cooled, I take my first bite and enjoy that scent of banana as it gets closer to my face. Chew and realize, I taste and smell chocolate too. A surprisingly good pairing, the banana and Nocciolata.

Enjoy some cake, why don’t you.

Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through. This year it is Zoë Bakes Cakes by Zoē François. We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th - never before - we all post about our cake on our blogs. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes!

Follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. You can also click on the links below to take you to each of our cakes. If you have a blog and are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details.

The Cake Slice Bakers also have a new Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book.

It is a new year and a new book - Zoë Bakes Cakes - and our choices for March 2022 were ~

Banana Bread with Swirls of Nutella

Anna’s Hazelnut-Brown Butter Cake

Turtle Cake