Tag: creative recipe

Peanut Butter Bacon Banana Bread

This Elvis-inspired “Peanut Butter Bacon Banana Bread” is a divine creation that features sweet and salty elements and great texture contrasts. It bakes perfectly too, coming out tender, yet firm enough to put on a stick. Among the judge’s comments: “very clever idea, delicious, and so state fair like.” We 100% agree.

Divine Elvis on a Stick


This recipe won first place in the Blue Ribbon Banana Bread Contest at the 2021 Minnesota State Fair. Karen Cope created it for the competition, trying several variations and testing them on neighbors before settling on this entry.

Karen is a perennial winner who took home her first county fair blue ribbon when she was just 9 years old. She wins a $100 King Arthur Baking Company gift card.

Step By Step Recipe Overview

The toothsome treat is fun to make with kids and is easier than you think.

Bacon Cooked, Reserved Bacon Grease

First off, you fry up the bacon crisp. Or leave it out if you’re not a fan. We’ve tasted it both ways, and both are phenomenal. Next you chop the bacon into small bits and set it aside as one of the toppings.

Bacon chopped for Peanut Butter Bacon Banana Bread

Next, prep your pans (grease, line with parchment), measure out your ingredients and set the oven to pre-heat to 350°F.

I love my stand-up mixture as it does the “heavy lifting” so well, an in blending ingredients smooth.

In this pic, I’ve already blended the bacon grease, butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar. I’m about to mashed my bananas.

I wish my bananas were more ripe than ^these^ ones shown above, but sometimes that’s all the grocery store has.

Perfectly Ripe Bananas for Banana Bread

In my opinion, this is the ^ideal ripeness^ for banana bread. You could even go a bit more ripe. The aroma is very banana-y at this stage.

Mashed Bananas for Peanut Butter Bacon Banana Bread

On this test run, I ended up doing a banana puree with an immersion blender with mine to eliminate bigger lumps. Once you combine the bananas with the eggs, vanilla, salt, and baking soda, you only need to mix in the flour, and half your chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. (You are saving the other half for drizzling.)

Peanut Butter Bacon Banana Bread - Prepped IngredientsMix only until just combined. Divide mixture between the two prepared pans. Batter will be quite thick, so level it out in the pan.

Batter in Pan - Peanut Butter Bacon Banana Bread

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until light golden brown and edges start to pull away from the sides. Tip: if you only have 8-inch cake pans, use them, and bake about 10 minutes longer. A toothpick inserted into center should come out clean, without chocolate. Cool on wire rack.

Toppings for Peanut Butter Bacon Banana Bread

The last step is fun. You cut the bread into 16 servings, insert the wide, wooden sticks (3/4 inch wide is ideal), then do your toppings.

  • Melted peanut butter chips (with shortening)
  • Melted chocolate chips (with shortening)
  • Chopped peanuts (Planters, honey-roasted)
  • Chopped banana chips (Trader Joe’s)
  • Bacon pieces

Tah Dah!

Elvis on a Stick

Now you have the best-ever banana bread to enjoy: Peanut Butter Bacon Banana Bread, Elvis on a Stick!

Happy noshing!



Blue Ribbon “Boston Cream Pie” Pie

This Blue Ribbon “Boston Cream Pie” Pie is divine, plus it’s easy, fun to make, and epic in taste. You par-bake a pie crust and bake a chocolate layer on top of that. Then comes a creamy custard layer and cubed pound cake. You finish it with a chocolate drizzle. Wow! This may need to go into the “best dessert ever” category.

Before making this pie, I had only experienced Boston cream doughnuts and not the traditional dessert, Boston Cream Pie, which is actually a cake. Confused? Apparently, long ago, cakes and pies were baked in the same pan, so that’s how the Boston Cream Pie got its curious title.

Great for Birthdays, Special Occasions, or Any Time

I pulled this recipe from the Blue Ribbon Group archives when a good friend requested something like it for his birthday.  I wished I had sooner. This Blue Ribbon “Boston Cream Pie” Pie is an absolute winner!

Woodstock Fair Winner

Recipe credit goes to Vanessa Sullivan, who won 1st place for it at the Woodstock Fair in Connecticut (2011). It was for a pie baking championship supported by Pillsbury pie crusts.  Refrigerated and frozen pie crusts can be such time savers. For this Blue Ribbon Boston Cream Pie, you can use a pre-made pie crust or make your own crust. If homemade is your thing, search for our Best Pie Crust Recipe to find a favorite of ours.

When I made this Blue Ribbon “Boston Cream Pie” Pie for photographs, I used that Best Pie Crust Recipe of ours but replaced half the butter with coconut oil. That gave me a much more firm crust. This held up well against the chocolate layer baked on top of it, and the overall weight of the pie.

I made a few other modifications to Vanessa’s recipe also. I used whole milk and butter instead of heavy cream in the chocolate layer, and upped the chocolate ingredients in order to have more drizzle on top.

For the pound cake layer, I used a Japanese castella, a sponge cake from my nearby, favorite Asian grocery store, United Noodle. (Why stop at two stores when you can get it done with one.) A Sara Lee pound cake or Entenmann’s “all butter cake” would work nicely too. Those products are also more widely available.

You can make the crust, chocolate and custard ahead of time and do the pound cake layer and drizzle just before serving.

Or you can fully make it and refrigerate it.

Any way you go about it, this is a winner. I know I’ll be making this pie again and again. I hope you love it too.


More for Pie Lovers:

Dinner idea: Savory Butternut Squash Carrot Pie

Into fruit pies? Get this Raspberry Peach Pie in your oven!

Looking for a traditional Boston Cream Pie? Try this Betty Crocker version.