1940’s Banana Bread ~ The Settlement Cookbook

Over the weekend, I had at some really sad looking bananas on my counter and decided to make a vintage banana bread recipe. I chose a recipe from the Settlement Cookbook copyright – 1940:

Inside the cover of the book, was a bit of history of the book’s past. The book was initially given as a wedding gift. This is part of the reason I love collecting vintage and antique cookbooks. You just never know what you’re going to find.

The Recipe as written in the book:

1940 Banana Bread Recipe

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

This recipe turned out a bit different from my usual banana bread. Unlike the cake-like consistency of my regular bread, this recipe had a more bread-like texture, but still delicious.

Credit: The Settlement Cook Book, Author: Mrs. Simon Kandar (copyright date: 1940)


  • 2 medium ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour milk or buttermilk


  1. Sift together dry ingredients 3 times
  2. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time.
  3. Mash bananas well with a fork. Add milk and mix.
  4. Alternately, add dry ingredients and banana/milk mixture to butter mixture.
  5. Pour into a greased 9×5 loaf pan. (I used parchment paper)
  6. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes, or until lightly golden and knife comes out clean.

Final result and thoughts:

I always enjoy making vintage recipes. It is absolutely one of my passions. Part of the fun is not knowing how it will turn out. The recipe doesn’t indicate length of baking time, so I went by how long my own banana bread recipe bakes. I started checking at about 25 minutes. It ended up taking about 40 minutes.

The texture of the bread was a bit more dense than a typical banana bread recipe. I always try to follow recipes exactly as written. As I was making the batter, I wondered about alternating between banana/milk and dry ingredients. I felt like I was stirring more than necessary and thought the end result would reflect that, and it did. If I were to make this again, I’d add all the banana/milk mixture first, then all the dry ingredients. I feel like this would make for a lighter end result.

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