Banana Bread Recipe
This is my favorite banana bread recipe, one that I’ve cherished for years. It’s the recipe that comes to mind first when I have leftover spotty bananas on the counter and the bread that’s on constant rotation in my freezer stash. This is the best ever banana bread recipe and if you haven’t tried it yet, now’s the time.
I’ve tried many basic banana bread recipes and this one is my very favorite. Readers have fallen in love too! What makes this one so good? This banana bread has the most bananas out of any banana bread I’ve ever made before. 2 whole cups of mashed banana, which is about 4 large bananas. More banana adds more moisture and flavor to the finished product.
How to Mash Bananas
Did you know you can use your electric mixer to mash bananas? Break or slice the spotty bananas into large pieces and place in the bowl of your stand mixer– or use a regular mixing bowl and your hand mixer. Begin beating on low, then gradually increase to medium-high speed as the bananas break down into mashed banana. Transfer the bananas to another bowl and use the mixing bowl for the banana bread ingredients. (No need to clean it– some mashed banana remnants is fine.)
Other Banana Bread Ingredients
- Butter: Use softened butter for a soft texture and irresistible butter flavor.
- Brown Sugar: Use all brown sugar in this recipe. In the headnotes for this chocolate chip cookies recipe, I explain that brown sugar yields soft and moist cookies. Well brown sugar works that same magic in banana bread, too. It also adds wonderful flavor.
- Eggs: Eggs supply cakes, cupcakes, breads, doughs, and cookies their stability and structure, as well as a tender texture. You’ll need 2 large eggs in this banana bread recipe.
- Yogurt: Yogurt adds even more moisture to this banana bread. I like to use yogurt as much as possible when I’m baking. Sour cream is a wonderful substitution for plain yogurt. You can use the two interchangeably in most baking recipes.
For banana nut bread, add 3/4 cup of chopped nuts to the banana bread batter; I like using either pecans or walnuts. I absolutely adore their sweet, toasty, and slight crunch nestled inside the soft banana bread crumbs. Feel free to leave them out completely if you’re not a fan of banana nut bread!
How to Freeze Banana Bread
I’ve received a lot of questions about freezing banana bread since I published the recipe, so let me share what works. You can freeze banana bread using these instructions to preserve its fresh flavor and texture for months!
- Cool baked banana bread completely.
- Tightly wrap the loaf or slices (individually or grouped) in 2-3 layers of plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
- Place wrapped banana bread in a large freezer-friendly storage bag or reusable container.
- Date the bag and freeze for up to 3-4 months. Thaw wrapped or unwrapped in the refrigerator or at room temperature. All methods work like a charm!
I like to freeze banana bread in slices because the slices thaw much quicker– even by lunchtime!
Overall, this is a SUPER easy recipe for classic banana bread. The batter takes about 10 minutes to throw together, the bread stays moist for days, and nothing beats the smell of fresh banana bread in the oven.
With its super-moist texture, buttery banana and brown sugar flavors, and incredibly soft crumb, this is the best ever banana bread recipe. You’ll need 4 ripe bananas to begin.
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup (80g) plain yogurt or sour cream, at room temperature (I use Greek yogurt)
- 2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 large ripe bananas)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- optional: 3/4 cup (100g) chopped pecans or walnuts
- Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan or coat with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl.
- Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar together on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. On medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the yogurt, mashed bananas, and vanilla extract on medium speed until combined. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until no flour pockets remain. Do not overmix. Fold in the nuts, if using.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 60-65 minutes. Loosely cover the bread with aluminum foil after 30 minutes to help prevent the top and sides from getting too brown. A toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf will come out clean when the bread is done. Remove from the oven and allow the bread to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack.
- Cover and store banana bread at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Banana bread tastes best on day 2 after the flavors have settled together. See post above for freezing instructions.
- Butter: If needed, you can use salted butter in this recipe instead. Keep all the other ingredients the same.
- Cream Cheese Frosting: This banana bread also tastes fantastic with cream cheese frosting on top! To make it, beat 4 ounces (112g) of softened cream cheese and 1/4 cup (60g) of softened unsalted butter together on medium speed until smooth. Beat in 1 cup (120g) of confectioners sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt until combined. Spread on cooled loaf.
- Banana Bread Muffins: Use this banana bread recipe to make 2 dozen banana bread muffins. Pour the batter into a lined or greased muffin pan and bake for 5 minutes at 425°F (218°C) then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C). Bake for an additional 16-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The total bake time for the banana bread muffins is about 22-23 minutes. The initial burst of hot air helps those muffins rise nice and tall! Or try my quick & easy banana muffins.
- Brown Sugar: Feel free to substitute the same amount of regular white granulated sugar or coconut sugar. I do not recommend any liquid sweeteners.
- No Sour Cream or Yogurt? Feel free to use 1/3 cup mashed banana (in addition to the 2 cups), unsweetened applesauce, or even canned pumpkin puree.
- Frozen Bananas: You can use frozen bananas. Thaw them at room temperature and drain off any excess liquid before using in the recipe.
- Chocolate Chips: I love this bread with chocolate chips, too. Feel free to add 1 cup of your favorite chocolate chips (semi-sweet, dark chocolate, etc). No need to leave out the nuts if you add the chocolate chips. Chocolate chips and nuts are both optional.