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When I first opened my shop on Fishers Island, I spent many hours in the kitchen trying to come up with really unique recipes, but what I found people were most drawn to were the simple standards; lasagna, great grinders (a sub like sandwich), lobster rolls, the simple and delicious pies and cookies that my ex-husband’s mother would bake, and basics like lemon and banana bread. Instead of reinventing the wheel, I focused on making a better version of everything I served.


This banana bread recipe has changed over time by adding and removing ingredients. Being the Mexican-Norwegian chick that I am, I like strong flavors that enhance but don’t overwhelm, so that is what I’ve tried to do with this bread.

Rum Raisin Banana Bread
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1⅓ cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 large bananas)
  • ¾ cup raisins
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons rum, plus 3 tablespoons to soak the raisins
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon double-acting baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ nutmeg
  • ¼ allspice
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Soak the raisins in just enough rum to cover them for 20 minutes or while you are mixing the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt together into a large bowl.
  4. In the bowl of a food processor, cream the butter with the sugars until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the rum, vanilla, eggs, banana, and sour cream and process until smooth.
  5. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix the batter with a wooden spoon until it is just combined.
  6. Drain the raisins and stir in the walnuts and raisins into the batter.
  7. Divide the batter among 5 well-buttered and floured 5¾L by 3¼W by 2H loaf pans and bake the breads in the middle of the oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.
  8. Remove the breads from the pans and let them cool on a rack.


I like the bread plain, as it is with a bit of butter, but if you prefer something a little sweeter…


…you can decorate it with this rum and vanilla icing.

Rum and Vanilla Icing
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1½ tablespoon rum
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  1. Place the powdered sugar in a small bowl.
  2. Add the rum and vanilla and whisk to a smooth consistency (add a few drops of water or milk if it appears to thick).
  3. Drizzle glaze over banana bread and allow to dry.



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