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Gift of the Magi Bread Recipe

Gift of the Magi Bread Recipe

"I make this extra-special banana bread only once a year to celebrate Christmas," says Sandra Bonow of Lewiston, Minnesota. "It's loaded with scrumptious ingredients such as coconut, mandarin oranges, dates, cherries, chocolate chips and almonds."
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 50 min. + cooling YIELD:32 servings


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium)
  • 1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup sliced almonds, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates


  • 1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with bananas. Stir in the oranges, coconut, chocolate chips, 1/2 cup almonds, cherries and dates.
  • 2. Pour into two greased 8x4-in. loaf pans. Sprinkle with remaining almonds. Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: 2 loaves.

Nutritional Facts

1 slice: 159 calories, 7g fat (4g saturated fat), 21mg cholesterol, 120mg sodium, 24g carbohydrate (16g sugars, 1g fiber), 2g protein.

Reviews for Gift of the Magi Bread

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2124arizona User ID: 845443 268347
Reviewed Jun. 24, 2017

"This quick bread is moist and flavorful. It is worthy to give as a gift during the holidays!!"

txsonja User ID: 4759421 239833
Reviewed Dec. 20, 2015

"I have made this several times since the recipe first came out in TOH to give as gifts. IT is so good. I use pecans in place of the almonds and mini chips instead of regular size. This is a favorite recipe!"

delowenstein User ID: 3766053 34722
Reviewed Jun. 1, 2013

"I had actually prepared this bread when it first came out for Taste of Home! Instead of dried cherries, I'd used 1/2 cup maraschino cherries, chopped. I also used 1/8 cup of flour to prevent the oranges, dates, dates, chocolate chips,cherries to prevent these ingredients from sinking to the bottom of the cake! Note: I'd greased and floured my pans-I found that even if the recipe doesn't specify to flour a loaf pan or a baking pan, I still flour it because it's easier to remove the bread or cake-I learned that quite some time back!

This trick has worked for me! This is an excellent bread to use for the holidays!
Dawn E. Lowenstein"

Mocorbin User ID: 506591 33536
Reviewed Oct. 30, 2012

"I make this in memory of my mom who made it at Christmas time. I believe she got the recipe from the a nun at the Catholic church we went to. She never put in the almonds or dates because her 9 children were very finicky. She would sometimes make 4 mini loaf breads so she could share with our wonderful neighbors in Detroit. My husband likes it without the chocolate chips but I think that's the best part. Enjoy!"

BubbasMama User ID: 4288028 104186
Reviewed Dec. 27, 2010

"I too make this yummy bread every Christmas - it is a family tradition. It is easy to make and has an excellent flavor. I do leave out the nuts as my husband doesn't like them and I have used regular milk chocolate chips which doesn't seem to change the good flavor :)"

MY REVIEW User ID: 469661 120309
Reviewed Dec. 5, 2009

"Have been making this for years and am always asked for it from friends at Christmas time. It has become the big favorite from all our friends."

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