This moist tea bread is so deliciously addictive—try it sliced and toasted, with butter!—we suggest giving it as a gift with the recipe on a card. (It can be made up to two days ahead and can be frozen for up to one month.)

Adapted from The Christmas Table: Recipes and Crafts to Create Your Own Holiday Tradition, by Diane Morgan. Copyright © 2008 by Diane Morgan. With permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books.

This recipe is one of 13 easy-to-make treats from Stir! Mix! Bake! Give!
Servings: Makes 2 loaves
  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 11 Tbsp. (1 stick plus 3 Tbsp.) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 cups mashed ripe bananas (4 to 5 bananas)
  • 3/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1 cup finely chopped dried apricots , tossed with 1 Tbsp. flour to separate
  • 1/3 cup diced crystallized ginger
  • Directions
    Preheat oven to 350°. Spray bottom and sides of two 9" x 5" loaf pans with vegetable-oil cooking spray.

    In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in mashed bananas, scraping down sides of bowl once.

    With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients in 3 batches, beating just until flour disappears. Do not overmix. Using a rubber spatula, fold in walnuts, apricots, and ginger.

    Divide batter between the 2 prepared pans. Bake until nicely browned and puffed at center of loaves, about 45 minutes; a toothpick should come out clean when inserted into center of each loaf. Transfer pans to wire racks; let bread cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pans and cool completely on wire racks. Wrap loaves tightly with plastic wrap or place in resealable plastic bags with all air removed. For gift giving, wrap loaves in clear or decorative cellophane or wrapping paper and tie with a bow.


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