How to Make the Best Banana Bread
Tips for turning your brown bananas into the best banana bread EVER! This classic banana bread recipe is easy to make and a family favorite! It is guaranteed to be your go to banana bread recipe!
Our Favorite Banana Bread Recipe
I am super excited because we are talking ALL about Banana Bread. Yes, I get excited about banana bread because it is one of my favorite things to bake and eat. I am always asking myself, “What can I do with bananas that are going bad?” The answer is always BANANA BREAD! Who doesn’t love a warm slice of banana bread slathered in butter?
I have baked and eaten A LOT of banana bread in my days. I love making different versions, like my famous Chocolate Banana Bread, but today we are talking about classic banana bread. Banana bread that will remind you of your mom’s recipe or your grandma’s recipe…but even better. This moist banana bread has an intense banana flavor and the perfect amount of sweetness. It is our favorite quick bread!
Tips for Making the Best Banana Bread
I know there are a lot of banana bread recipes out there and today I am going to share with you my tips for making the best banana bread recipe. Don’t worry, it is easy! When we are done, you are going to be a banana bread expert!
What Kind of Bananas to Use for Banana Bread
- To make banana bread you need to start with bananas that are going bad…or if you ask me bananas that are turning GOOD! I LOVE it when my bananas turn brown because that means banana bread. The ideal banana for banana bread is yellow with lots of brown spots. You want them more brown than yellow. The bananas should be overripe. Brown bananas are what make banana bread sweet and moist.
- Can you make banana bread with fresh bananas? Overripe bananas are best, but if you are in a pinch, you can ripen the bananas by baking them in the oven. Place unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F until soft, about 15-20 minutes. Let the bananas cool. Peel, mash, and get baking!
- You can use frozen bananas if you are in a pinch, but I do prefer unfrozen bananas. To freeze bananas, peel them and put them in a freezer bag. I lay them in a single layer so they don’t stick together and press all of the air out of the bag. The bananas can be frozen for up to 6 months. When ready to use, let the bananas defrost on the counter for about an hour. You want them to be soft but not runny. You can also mash overripe bananas and freeze the mashed bananas. I like to freeze them in cup size portions in freezer bags. Make sure you write the date, cup amount, and frozen bananas on the bag so you know what is inside. Defrost before using.
- For this recipe, you will need 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas, which is 3-4 bananas, it just depends on their size. Three large bananas or 4 medium bananas.
What Size Pan Do You Use to Make Banana Bread?
For this banana bread recipe, you can use a 8 1/2- by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan or 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. I prefer the 8 1/2- by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan because the bread will bake up a little higher. If you use a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan your loaf will be a little shorter. If you use the smaller loaf pan, it will most likely take 5-10 minutes longer to bake. Both work well, the loaves will just be a little different in size, just make sure you watch the baking time.
I use a metal pan that isn’t too dark in color. If you are going to use a glass pan, decrease the oven temperature by 25 degrees. Make sure you grease the pan really well so the banana bread doesn’t stick in the pan. I like to use a nonstick cooking spray. You can also butter and flour the pan, if you wish.
If you want to make smaller loaves, you certainly can, just reduce the baking time! You can also make banana muffins with this banana bread recipe. Grease or line a muffin pan with paper liners and fill the muffin cups 3/4 the way full. Bake for 18-22 minutes.
How to Make Banana Bread
Ok, now that we know all about bananas, it is time to make some banana bread! I love this recipe because you don’t even need a mixer, you can make it by hand! It is so simple and the best banana bread you will ever eat!
- Whisk it up. For the dry ingredients, I whisk together all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, and a little cinnamon. You can leave the cinnamon out, but I love the hint of cinnamon. You can also add a pinch of nutmeg if you wish.
- Mash it up. Next, mash up those brown bananas. You can use a fork or a potato masher. You can also use a mixer to mash up bananas, but I like to keep it simple and not get the mixer involved for this recipe. I grab a fork and mash away!
- Banana bread with oil and butter. I use melted unsalted butter AND oil in this banana bread recipe. Using both brings out the best flavor and texture. The butter provides a rich, buttery flavor and the oil makes the banana bread super moist. You can use vegetable, canola, or melted coconut oil. They all work well.
- Brown sugar. This recipe uses ALL brown sugar to sweeten the banana bread. I love the hint of rich caramel flavor the brown sugar adds and it makes the banana bread extra moist.
- Don’t over mix. When you combine the dry ingredients and wet ingredients, don’t over mix the bread. Stir until just combined. If you over mix you will end up with a heavy and flat loaf.
- Bake it. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. To give the banana bread a sweet crunchy top, you can sprinkle the batter generously with turbinado sugar before going into the oven. Bake until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean after inserted into the center of the bread. If the bread gets too dark and the center isn’t done, you can drape the bread with a piece of aluminum foil to keep it from getting too dark.
- Cooling down. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Use a butter knife to loosen the bread and let it cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
This is a classic banana bread recipe, but if you want to mix it up, go for it! You can add in one cup of:
- chocolate chips
- chocolate chunks
- chopped pecans
- chopped walnuts
- flaked coconut
Our family loves chocolate chip banana bread, it is always an extra special treat! Some people prefer banana nut bread and pecans or walnuts can easily be stirred into this easy banana bread recipe!
If you have a lot of brown bananas to use up, you can double this recipe. Bake a loaf for you and a loaf for a friend! You can make one traditional loaf and one fun loaf!
How to Store Banana Bread
If you don’t eat the entire loaf after it comes out of the oven, here are some tips for storing banana bread.
- When the banana bread is completely cool, wrap it in plastic wrap and store on the counter for up to 3 days. I find if it sits any longer than that the bread gets too moist. Luckily, we never have a problem eating a loaf in 3 days:)
- If you live in a super humid climate, you can store your banana bread in the refrigerator.
- You can also freeze banana bread. Banana bread freezes beautifully. To freeze banana bread, let it cool completely, wrap it in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. Write the date and banana bread on the bag. The bread can be frozen for up to 2 months.
- To defrost frozen banana bread, simply thaw at room temperature before slicing and serving.
Ok, are you ready to bake some banana bread? I sure am! Your house is going to smell amazing while this bread is baking in the oven. Enjoy a thick, warm slice with butter and you will be in banana bread heaven!
If you like this banana bread recipe, make sure you try:
- Chocolate Banana Bread
- Buttermilk Banana Bread
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread
- Salted Caramel Cashew Banana Bread
- Zucchini Banana Bread
- Zucchini Bread
- Pumpkin Bread
The BEST banana bread recipe! This will be your GO TO!
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups mashed brown bananas you will need 3 large or 4 medium brown bananas
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled
- 1/4 cup canola vegetable oil, or melted coconut oil
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Turbinado sugar optional
Heat your oven to 350°F. Grease a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork. Add the melted butter and oil and stir until combined. Stir in the brown sugar, egg, and vanilla extract. Stir until smooth.
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, don’t over mix. If you over mix the bread will flatten and end up heavy.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar, if using. Bake for 50-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Check the bread at 50 minutes, just to be safe. Oven times vary.
Remove the pan from the oven and set on a wire cooling rack. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the bread and carefully remove from the pan. Let the bread cool on the wire cooling rack until slightly warm. Cut into slices and serve.
The banana bread will keep on the counter, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 3 days. This bread also freezes well. To freeze, cool the bread completely and wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost before slicing.