A birthday without stolen dining hall cuisine is no birthday at all.

Last week, amidst the floods and frigid air, I found myself overcome with the urge to get my life together. Like a hibernating bear who read a lot of interior design magazines, I decided to prepare my apartment for the cold: repeatedly vacuuming the same piece of hair with my small, ineffective dorm vacuum, showering and rubbing oxi-clean on the walls at the same time, and manically hanging things with command strips.

Yet, after blowing dust around and swiffering suspicious stains, I was left unsatisfied. Not even a cinnamon broom from Trader Joe’s could fill the void (though it did conceal a gas leak with its delicious scent). There was only one thing left to do. It was time to bake banana bread.

Being a college student who is already stuck paying for off campus housing (thank you, Barnard transfer office) I knew there was no way I was going to pay for bananas too. So, on a Saturday library break, I made the trek to JJ’s. As I waited for my friends who were in the quesadilla line, I attempted to discreetly shove the strange, half-ripe bananas in my bag. After a long treacherous night of studying, my beaten bananas and my beaten self arrived home (I was still recovering from the dual-audiological trauma inflicted by Justin Bieber and JJ’s speaker). 

On Sunday night, as I pitched this very article, fellow Bwog member Tal handed me a browned, beaten banana from her bag. She wouldn’t use it, she assured me, she just took it from a dining hall because she could and now it was all gross and mushy from her tote bag. I accepted said banana, promising to bring it to justice.

A baking date was set: Tuesday, October 3rd, which is International Mean Girls day, International Boyfriend Day, and Internationally the day I was born. What a way to save money! I thought to myself. I can just eat bread as cake! I also had no specific plans for my party and am very lazy, so I figured I would do less work and actually bake the bread if I made other people help me. 

Tuesday arrived, the JJ’s bananas were still weirdly stiff, and I had no bread pan. Nevertheless, we baked! Apart from a run to go get baking powder and the dizziness I felt from the aforementioned gas leak, the process was seamless. I will now show you a visual chronicle of how the bread was baked and include the delicious recipe below so you too can utilize the fruit you hoard from the dining halls!



  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup white/granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Spices: 
  • 1½  teaspoons cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp nutmeg (optional, tastes better)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional, tastes better)


  • 2 eggs
  • 3-4 JJ’s Bananas, ripe and beaten
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, unsalted (if salted cut down on salt added)
  • 1 cup of milk (you won’t use all of it and will add it later by the tablespoon)

Kitchen Supplies:

  • Whisk
  • 1 big bowl, 2-3 smaller containers
  • Pan (loaf or 9 inch cake pan)
  • Parchment paper (very helpful to line pan but not necessary)
  • Spatula/spoon (to help transfer ingredients)
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring teaspoons
  • Oven

Preheat the oven to 325 F°. Mashed bananas are mixed with cinnamon and nutmeg. An unmashed JJ’s banana is visible in the background.

Tara Lohani (‘26) and Elia Min (‘26) measuring flour with a mug, because we couldn’t find our measuring cup.

Mixing wet mixture into dry mixture (flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt). Milk is added in, by the tbsp, until the mixture falls off the whisk (thicker than pancake batter, thinner than cookie dough).

Lohani, Min, and Caroline Arangio (‘26) take a break to sniff the Trader Joe’s cinnamon broom.

Natalie Boettle (‘26) and Min pour the bread mixture, now mixed with chocolate chips, into a 9-inch cake pan lined with parchment paper. This is covered for the first hour of baking.

8 master-baker Barnumbia baddies (6 Bwog members!) wait around 1 hour, check the bread, and leave it until the top is cooked and a knife comes out clean (1-1.5 hours).

Birthday Girl (me) enjoys the bread (which has been left to cool for about 15 minutes) while watching Twilight.

Banana Bread via Bwog Archives