Tutti Frutti Banana Bread

Here’s a special quick bread loaded with colorful fruits, nuts, and chips. It’s great for giving to friends or for enjoying on Christmas morning.

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup mashed ripe banana (2-3 medium)
1 11-oz. can mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup mini chocolate chips
2/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries
1/2 cup chopped dates

Preheat oven to 350º. Grease/spray two 8” x 4” loaf pans. Cream the butter and sugar, then beat in the eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour and baking soda and mix into the creamed mixture alternately with the bananas. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

Pour into the prepared pans and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from the pans to a wire rack to cool completely. Freezes well.

Kitchen Hint: I often bake this batter in mini bread loaves or muffin tins (adjust the baking time: about 12-15 minutes for muffins, about 20-25 minutes for mini loaves)—and I usually double the recipe so I can use the entire box of dates and jar of cherries.

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