Best Banana Bread

Quick Summary

Best Banana Bread Recipe- 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 recipe!

banana bread on platter with knife.

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 and Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, but today we are talking about classic banana bread.

This recipe will remind you of your mom’s or your grandma’s recipe…but even better. The quick bread is butter, super moist, has an intense banana flavor, the perfect amount of sweetness, and it’s EASY to make!

It really is the BEST banana bread recipe. Enjoy a thick, warm slice with butter and you will be in banana bread heaven!

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! Every time I share it with friends and family, they want the recipe. I promise you will be baking this one all of the time!

Basic Ingredients

The ingredients are simple, but the end results are DELICIOUS!

  • Flour– use all-purpose flour. I always fluff, spoon, and level the flour when measuring.
  • Baking soda– make sure it is fresh!
  • Cinnamon– a little cinnamon compliments the bananas nicely. Don’t skip it.
  • Salt– always salt!
  • Brown bananas– you will need 3 large or 4 medium brown bananas.
  • Butter– use unsalted butter that has been melted and slightly cooled.
  • Oil– you can use vegetable oil, canola oil, or melted coconut oil.
  • Brown sugar– always pack your brown sugar.
  • Egg 1 large egg, at room temperature.
  • Vanilla extract– I highly recommend pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
  • Turbinado sugar for sprinkling on top of the loaf before it goes in the oven. It gives it a nice, sugary crunch!
bananas in bowl with fork to make banana bread.

What Kind of Bananas to Use

  • The ideal banana for banana bread is BROWN. 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 ½ cups mashed bananas, which is 3-4 bananas, it just depends on their size. Three large bananas or 4 medium bananas.
banana bread in pan on cooling rack.

Best Pan for Making Banana Bread

  • For this banana bread recipe, I recommend a 8 1/2- by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan so the bread rises up nice and tall.
  • You can use 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, but 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 always recommend checking the bread early if it’s your first time making the recipe.
  • 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 line the pan with parchment paper, with a little overhang, and spray it with cooking spray. This will make it easy to lift the bread out of the pan.
  • If you want to make smaller loaves, you certainly can, just reduce the baking time!
stack of banana bread slices with butter on top.

How to Make Banana Bread

Ok, it’s time to make some 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.
banana bread slices on platter.

Variations

This is a classic recipe, but if you want to mix it up, go for it! You can add in 1 cup of any of the following ingredients.

  • chocolate chips
  • chocolate chunks
  • chopped pecans
  • chopped walnuts
  • flaked coconut
  • blueberries
banana bread slices on plate with butter.

How to Store

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, but it might dry it out a little.

How to Freeze

  • You can also freeze banana bread. Banana bread freezes beautifully. To freeze banana bread, let it cool completely, wrap it in plastic wrap and foil. Write the date and banana bread on the bread. The bread can be frozen for up to 2 months.
  • To defrost frozen banana bread, simply thaw at room temperature before slicing and serving.
  • You can also freeze individual slices. Wrap thick slices in plastic wrap and foil. Place in a freezer bag. When ready to enjoy, remove from the freeze and pop in the toaster. You can also thaw the slices on the counter.
slice of banana bread.

FAQ

How do you keep the banana bread from browning on the top?

If your loaf is starting to get too dark on top, you can cover it loosely with aluminum foil. This will prevent the top from browning, but allow the center to keep baking.

Can you make banana muffins with this banana bread recipe?

Yes! Grease or line a muffin pan with paper liners and fill the muffin cups ¾ the way full. Bake for 18-22 minutes.

Can you make banana bread in an 8×8 pan?

Yes, if you want to make a banana bread snacking cake, you can spread the batter evenly in a 8×8-inch baking pan. Reduce the baking time. I recommend checking at 20 minutes. It might take a little longer, depending on your oven.

What makes banana bread moist?

Lots of bananas! I use 1 ½ cups mashed brown bananas for a super moist loaf. I also use a mixture of melted butter and oil, which keeps the bread moist. Also, make sure you don’t pack your flour when you measure and don’t over bake the bread.

Can banana bread be frozen?

Yes! Banana bread freezes beautifully. You can freeze an entire loaf or individual slices. Wrap the bread or slices in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze for up to 2 months.

More Banana Bread Recipes

Banana Bread

This moist banana bread recipe is full of banana flavor and so easy to make, you don't even need a mixer! Enjoy a warm slice of banana bread with butter!
4.84 from 324 votes

Ingredients
  

  • 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 vegetable oil, can use canola oil or melted coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup  packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling on top

Instructions
 

  • Heat your oven to 350°F. Grease a loaf pan (preferably 8×4) 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.

Notes

The 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 foil. Freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost before slicing. You can also freeze individual slices. 

Nutrition

Calories: 178kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 24mg, Sodium: 199mg, Potassium: 111mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 19g, Vitamin A: 150IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 20mg, Iron: 1mg
Keywords banana bread, quick bread

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Maria

I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. We love this recipe. We make these into 12 muffins, about 3/4 full. Bake 20 minutes at 350. My kids ask for them every time they see ripe bananas on the counter.

  2. 5 stars
    This has become my go-to recipe for banana bread. I reduce the sugar to 1/2 cup and add 1/2 cup applesauce. My kids ask for it almost every morning!

  3. Bananas are on the counter now defrosting, I got a bunch at the local health food market.they were giving them away as they were too ripe to sell!! I,put them in the freezer just for this occasion
    Yay, Maria’s Banana Bread coming up!

  4. 5 stars
    Your banana bread recipe is now my go-to recipe! Everyone loves it, no leftovers! Just wanted to let you know and say thank you!!

  5. 5 stars
    I enjoy making this bread! I have made it twice using maple syrup (the real stuff) and just use a little less than sugar that is called for in this recipe. Also, I put about about one cup chocolate chips, mixed with a little of the flour mixture before adding them to the batter. My sister in law does not like nuts, so she got the chocolate chips. I doubled the recipe this time, so far the batter tastes delicious! Can’t wait to dig in!

  6. I have just pulled my Banana Loaf out of the oven and our kitchen smells marvellous!
    I did add some chocolate chips as the person I am gifting this to loves chocolate!
    Looks wonderful and will definitely have to make another for my family try!!!!

  7. 5 stars
    After trying tons of recipes that were ok but not great I stumbled across this recipe. I have made this recipe at least 20 times over the past 5 years or so and it has come out perfect everytime!! I love it! Thank you also for all the tips along with the recipe. It really helped.

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