Recently, I saw a Pinterest recipe where a woman made banana bread in mason jars. Often with the recipe section of Pinterest, things are marketed very well. I find a lot of clickbait on the site, and this time I went for it because the recipe was portrayed as being easy, beautiful, and a wonderful holiday gift. I didn’t have much to lose and I thought I would put this pin to the test for the holiday season.
You can find the post and recipe here, however for the sake of time, skill level, and price I personally used a boxed banana bread mix. I set out to the grocery store to buy my ingredients and to my local Goodwill for the jars. I purchased two tapered neck mason jars, and two canning style mason jars. My total came out to $4.00 after tax for the jars, and $2.65 for the box of banana bread mix.
Thus far, the test was scoring high in affordability.
The box recipes called for 2 eggs each and 3/4 a cup of oil, which I personally had at home. I think that eggs and oil are a staple in most houses, but even if you did not have these ingredients I cannot see your total at the grocery store being very high. I also added two bananas I had, which the box did not call for. If you’re going to make a box mix I would advise you to add some bananas as well, it gives it a more handmade taste. I spent under $10.00 total, even buying the jars, so this recipe gets a 10/10 in affordability for me.
Next, I followed the instructions on my box and mixed everything together. The instructions and ingredients included in the original post are as follows.
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 1 dozen half pint jars
2/3 cup shortening
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups mashed bananas (approx. 4 bananas)
2/3 cup water
3 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2/3 cups crushed pecans (optional)
12 half pint (8 ounce jars) mason jars
First, preheat the oven to 325 degrees and use a non-stick spray to grease the insides of your jars. Using an electric mixer, beat shortening and sugar together. Then add eggs, bananas and water; the mixture should become light and soft. In another bowl mix together the remaining dry ingredients, and once finished add the wet mixture. Fill mason jars halfway with batter and clean up the sides and rim. Place jars on a baking sheet and cook for 40-45 minutes. If you would like for the jars to seal, put on the lids while the jars are hot, you will hear a popping or dinging sound as the heat and air-pressure seals the jar.
The bread will keep in the fridge for a week, or about three months in the freezer.
I give it a 5/10 for easiness.
When it comes to how easy the original recipe is, I would say it’s simple for someone who is experienced with baking from scratch, but not for a beginner. However if you are like me and just want to use a boxed mix, it was incredibly simple and took less than five minutes. I would rank the boxed mix version a 10/10 for easiness.
Our last ranking will be for the turn out. Did it look the way it did in the beautiful Pinterest photos? Were the slices actually perfectly round? Did it make an aesthetically pleasing gift? Well, see for yourself. For a first attempt I think they came out nicely, and for a DIY gift nobody is going to care that they aren’t perfect. However, they are very difficult to slice and do not turn out perfectly round no matter how hard you try. You can see my slices below.
Therefore, I rank the turn out at an 8/10.
Additionally, I found one oversight in the original recipe. They do not specify that you need canning style jars, the kind without a tapered neck. In all of my excitement I bought two different kinds of jars because I didn’t know what kind to use. I was excited, so it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t be able to get my bread out of the tapered neck jars! My family had to eat the bread with a spoon, unfortunately. Oops.
All in all this was an incredibly fun test and I was truly surprised that the turn out was as nice as it was for how easy the entire task was. I really had an enjoyable time, and the smiles on my friend’s and family’s faces when I surprised them with the bread was certainly worth the hour I spent on it and the almost seven dollars. I would really recommend this recipe to anyone who is planning a brunch or holiday breakfast!