Donkey Kong Banana Bread! So easy, you don’t have to jump over barrels or fireballs for a slice.

Difficulty2Ah, Donkey Kong. A timeless favorite. One of the first video games I played as a child.

I suck at it.

Well, that’s not fair. I haven’t played in well over a decade since the last time I rage quit. I’m that bad. I do love it, though. What better way to commemorate a classic than baking a few loaves of banana bread with a cute DK vanilla icing tie?

We bought two bunches of bananas last week for our monthly shopping trip – one for eating, one exclusively for this bread. With 2-3 bananas per loaf, I ended up with three loaves. The first was for a birthday present for my dad (I love you, daddy) and the last two were set aside for our purposes. The bread itself is rather easy to make from odds and ends in your pantry and perfect for breakfast. Also, I get unnaturally proud of myself when I succeed at baking bread.

You’ll also notice that this recipe does not contain nuts. I could be nice and say I’m taking people with food allergies into consideration (well, sure, that’s part of it, I guess), but I just don’t believe in banana nut bread. It’s BANANA BREAD, yo.

Ready? Let’s go.

This recipe adapted from

Gamers, grab your mats:

Banana Bread

  • 2-3 bananas (these need to be very ripe – yellow skin with a lot of brown spots)
  • 1/3 cup butter – a bit over 6 tablespoons if your butter wrapper doesn’t include this measurement
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • (okay, fine. 1/2 cup whatever nuts used for banana nut bread OPTIONAL. if adding nuts, decrease sugar to 1/2 cup.)
  • (though 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips and 1/2 cup sugar for chocolate banana bread would be divine and a much better option than yucky nuts.)
USE ALL THE BANANAS! -flails wildly-

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and butter the bottom and inside edges of a 4×8 loaf pan.

Peel bananas (2 minimum; I recommend 3. because bananas.) and break bananas into thirds. Mash bananas with a fork in a medium bowl.

As I only eat yellow-green bananas, you can’t imagine how hard it was just letting the bananas get this ripe. Oi.

Melt butter in microwave, about 45 seconds, and stir into bananas.

Smells SO GOOD. Try not to eat the mixture at this stage.

Stir in 1 teaspoon of baking soda and a small pinch of salt.

Yes, I’m really using a fork for this. Don’t judge me.

Add 1 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and one beaten egg. Mix well.

Pre-mixing goodness.

Finally, thoroughly mix in 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour.

This felt weird. Looked weird for a minute, too. It evens out.

Transfer banana bread mixture to greased loaf pan and bake for about an hour to an hour and ten minutes.

I might’ve licked the extras from the mixing bowl. If eating raw eggs is taboo to you… oh well. It was yum.

Best check in at about the 50 minute mark and test the overall done-ness of your bread by sticking in a toothpick, skewer, or clean knife. If the test stick comes out clean, the bread is ready. My loaves took about an hour, each. Because I suck and only have one loaf pan. Three hours of baking, all for you. Feel loved.

Remove from oven and allow to cool before removing from pan. Once your bread is cool you can add your icing tie:


  • vanilla icing, prepackaged is okay.
  • red gel food coloring
  • yellow gel food coloring
  • black gel food coloring
The loaf is a little smaller on the left because it has one less banana than the loaf on the right. I promise it’s just as good, though

Spoon a portion of your icing into a small mixing container and mix together with your red food coloring. Your quantities will vary; just use whatever gets you a nice bright, red color.

I ended up having to add coloring three times before it was bright enough.

Once this is extremely well mixed, spoon into a sandwich baggie so the icing can be piped easily. Press icing to one corner, seal, twist upper baggie, and snip a small hole. You’re ready to go.

I got red and yellow icing all over me, apparently because I’m clumsy. Whoops.

Outline a tie shape with your red icing and start filling in. It is perfectly acceptable to use a butter knife to help spread.

Like so.

Once your ties are filled in nicely, mix up a small quantity (as in, maybe a couple tablespoons) of your original icing with the yellow food coloring. Bag the same as the red icing and go to work emblazoning a bright DK at the base of the tie.

Too late for me, but keep your hands up to avoid getting icing all over.

I found that double lines had a better, bolder look. Finish up with a small streak of black gel food coloring to visually separate the knot from the tie. Use a toothpick or skewer to help make the line even. You’re done!

Absolutely bananas for banana bread. I don’t even care about the pun, it’s so freaking good!

Donkey Kong would eat this. It. Tastes. Amazing. I would recommend slicing your bread up with a serrated bread knife to prevent the slices from going all crumbly. And a cup of milk. Or, if you’re like me, you like your coffee blacker than your metal. (Yes, I went there. No shame.) I really hope you enjoy this one; I think it’s one of the best yet.

One small announcement I’ll add here: Skill Up Skillet is now on Pinterest. You want link? I give you link: You follow me. I follow you. We be best buddies. Aaaaand I am knocking off the odd accent now. Ever notice how eccentric I am in the morning?

Feel free to like, subscribe, follow, whatever it is that you do. Why? If you’re here, you’re pretty cool in my book. I’d love to get your feedback. And I may have big plans in mind for the future that I’ll start implementing at certain fanbase milestones. Should you be excited? I think so. Til next week!



Up Next: Lemony Mario Star Sugar Cookies

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