Open Jars: Shae’s Banana Berry-Jam Bread

November 18, 2010(updated on October 14, 2021)

Banana-Berry Jam Bread (photos courtesy of Shae Irving)

If you’re an avid canner, you’ve probably already discovered that quick breads are a friend to all those fruits and jams you put up during the warmer months. I often use them as a good way to finish up open jars of applesauce, fruit butters or even canned fruit. Shae Irving, she of the blog Hitchhiking to Heaven and the eBook that I recently had the privilege of giving away, has devised a new recipe that uses both blackening bananas and several generous dollops of jam. Here’s what she has to say,

If bananas are a staple at your house, as they are at mine, it’s inevitable that some of them are going to get away from you. They’re going to turn speckled brown and soft, and they’re going to beg you to turn them into banana bread.This is good news for folks who have a lot of jam, because it’s incredibly easy to enhance banana bread with a layer of a luscious preserve.

I chose olallieberry jam for this post, so that’s how the bread got its name. But you can pick any jam that looks irresistible to you — or that you need to use up fast. Apricot was also calling me.

I like this simple banana bread recipe because it contains a bit of lemon zest. Of course the zest is optional, as are the nuts. I added both and dressed the top of the bread with some candied lemon peel that I’d made earlier this year. Banana bread is forgiving, so you can experiment with your own add-ins.

Thanks, Marisa, for letting me visit and offer a post on your wonderful blog. It’s an honor to contribute, and I can’t wait to learn more ways to use my open jars!

Shae’s recipe is after the jump. Personally, I’m hoping to find the time to make up a batch sometime this weekend, as I’ve got plenty of open jars of jam that need to be used. I’m also going to leave you with one final photo. This is of Shae’s jam cabinet. I do love seeing all those glowing jars all stacked and lined up. Thanks again, Shae!

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Shae’s Banana Berry-Jam Bread


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup mashed bananas 2 large
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • zest of one small lemon grated or minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 4 ounces of your favorite jam


  • Preheat your oven to 350F and grease an 8x4x2-inch loaf pan. Open your jam and place it in a small saucepan on the lowest heat. You just want to gently warm it so it’s pourable.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, combine the sugar, egg, bananas, vegetable oil, and lemon peel.
  • Add the egg mixture to the dry mixture all at once and mix it together only until it is thoroughly moistened. The batter will and should be lumpy.
  • Fold in the pecans.
  • Spoon 1/2 of the batter into the greased loaf pan. Pour the warm jam over the top of this and carefully spread it around so that it covers most of the surface of the batter. Then pour the rest of the batter on top, doing what you can to spread it over the jam so that it forms an even top layer. If you have candied citrus peel or any such interesting thing, now is the time to dress the top of the bread. (You can make a mash of it if you want. There’s no technical reason to create a separate layer with the jam. If you like, you can fold it right into the batter. I prefer the layered look, however — because don’t you want to see that beautiful stuff you made?)
  • Bake your bread for 50 to 55 minutes or until a wooden toothpick or sharp knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let the pan cool for 10 minutes, then remove the loaf and let it thoroughly cool on a wire rack. Wrap the loaf in plastic wrap and set it aside overnight before you eat it up.

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19 thoughts on "Open Jars: Shae’s Banana Berry-Jam Bread"

  • Ooooh I love recipes for what to do with your fruit preserves. I’ll definitely try this one. These kind of recipes are perfect ways for me to use up the batch of marionberry jam that didn’t set: I don’t have to heat it up to make it pourable!

  • Interesting… I have some ground cherry jam that set way too hard, and I keep thinking it would make a good filling for some kind of pastry (it’s sweet as candy thanks to being overcooked) but I haven’t figured out what just yet.

  • After I finished reading this post I got up from the couch and made a loaf. Yum! I replaced the wheat flour with 1 cup brown rice flour and 1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour and it came out just fine. I used some strawbeery jam that set up a little soft. Perfect.

  • I’ve made this a few times and it is brilliant! It makes breakfast a little more special (and easier!) when the jam is already inside!

  • This is great. Although, I am not the cook or baker in our household I am one of the canners…and we do end up with a lot of open jars in the fridge. In fact, at any given time we probably have more than 8 jars of jam open…and that is just the jam. This is a great way to use up these open jars and I am passing this info on to my husband as I write. Thanks!

  • Wow! So Organized! Beautiful shelving! The bread looks delish! Thanks for the ideas! Gonna make that the next time my bananas get away from me!

  • i have serious envy for the bookshelves full of jam. beautiful photo.

    think i’ll try adding a jam swirl to zucchini bread, as we are a banana-hating household. what a great idea.

  • I’ve got some really banana bread ready bananas in the refrig and I’ll be making this for the weekend! Open jam does not last long at my house once open, so I’ll have to pick a special one for this and I’m thinking the Wild Turkey Raspberry I made last weekend will be splendid this way. LOVE Shae’s shelves!

  • Ooooh, I’m about to make this. Though my only issue is that I have to set it aside overnight… not sure I have the patience to wait that long for something that must smell and taste so good!

  • Your jam shelf is an inspiration to me! love the concept And the banana berry jam bread was a hit in my home! Thanks a lot.
    I’m also into making jams, more particularly banana jams and you can check me out on my website. 🙂