Everyone makes banana bread. And most people love it. A good friend of mine always makes it with chocolate chips because her family will eat anything with chocolate in it. I grew up with my mother making banana bread with butter and pecans, and I thought it was very good until I accidentally created the world’s best banana bread a few years ago.

Here is a little background: Anyone who bakes knows there are butter cakes and oil cakes. I put butter in most of the cakes I bake, but my Grandmother’s Apple Cake is made with vegetable oil and is always the crowd favorite. So I decided to see how banana bread made with vegetable oil would taste versus my mother’s butter recipe.

I was visiting my sister in Houston, and her twin daughters wanted to bake with me. I passed out three bowls, one for each of my nieces, and one for me, and divided the recipe into three parts. Natalie mashed the bananas with most of the sugar and the vanilla, Olivia measured and whisked the flour and remaining sugar with the other dry ingredients, and I blended the eggs and the vegetable oil.

We added toasted walnuts for taste and texture. Of course, they smelled heavenly as they baked. But once the loaves were out and cooled enough to taste, it was a whole new world.

There was even caramelization all the way through the loaf which is significant because many banana bread loaves are darker on the bottom than the top.

Dry banana bread is also a common complaint and this was the opposite of dry. Best yet, the loaf stays moist and flavorful for days.

I love to toast a slice on day 3 or 4 and eat it with a thin spread of peanut butter on top.

Anyone who bakes is familiar with butter vs. oil cakes. We take that concept and apply it to banana bread.

THREE–BOWL BANANA BREAD

Use 8 x 4 x 2.5 -inch loaf pans. Disposable aluminum pans work well.

Makes 2 loaves, 10 generous slices in each

3 large and very ripe, “brown” bananas (you can use 4 small bananas)

11/2 cups granulated white sugar, divided

1 teaspoon vanilla

13/4 cup all-purpose flour

11/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

3 large eggs

3/4 cup all-vegetable oil

1-2 cups toasted walnut halves, coarsely chopped plus more halves for decorating

Flour and oil baking spray

Toast walnuts in the oven at 250 F for about 15-20 minutes. Remove and let cool. Set oven to 325 F.

Meanwhile, mash bananas with a fork and add all but 1/2 cup of the sugar. Mix and add vanilla. Continue mixing until the mixture is completely smooth.

In a separate large bowl, measure flour and stir with a whisk or fork to aerate. Place 1/2 cup of sugar in the bowl. Add baking soda, salt, cinnamon and whisk well.

In a third bowl, mix eggs and oil with a blending fork until emulsified.

Using a fork, mix eggs well with the flour mixture. Add banana mixture to the egg-flour mixture and stir with a fork until completely combined. Add chopped walnuts and pour batter into prepared loaf pans, using a baking spray so the bread doesn’t stick to the pan. Decorate top with walnut halves.

Bake for about 60 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let sit in the pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack. Served warm or cooled.