This Banana Bread is moist, sweet and full of rich banana flavor. It’s easy to make and perfect for breakfast or a snack.
Banana Bread Recipe
Who doesn’t love a slice of banana bread, with its soft, sweet interior and crisp, golden top? Along with these Banana Muffins, this banana bread recipe is one of my favorite ways to use up ripe bananas. It’s one of the easiest baking recipes, with just minutes required to mix the ingredients together before popping it in the oven.
The secret to the best banana bread is to use lots of mashed banana for moisture and flavor and just enough sugar to bring sweetness without overpowering the other flavors. This recipe uses both brown sugar and granulated sugar, which gives the banana bread a more nuanced flavor. The brown sugar brings notes of caramel to the bread, which is amazing paired with the banana, butter and cinnamon.
The hardest part of this banana bread recipe is waiting for the loaf to cool before slicing into it. The heavenly aroma of freshly baked banana bread is so enticing that I usually can’t resist slicing into the loaf while it’s still warm. If you can wait, the flavors are even better on the second day after they’ve had a chance to mingle and develop. Enjoy a slice with a cup of coffee or tea, or a cold glass of milk.
Banana Bread Recipe Ingredients
The ingredient list for this banana bread recipe is made up of simple ingredients that you likely have on hand in your kitchen.
- Flour: Use all-purpose flour. You can substitute all or half of the flour with whole wheat flour, if desired. Or try this Healthy Banana Bread recipe – it’s a reader favorite!
- Baking Soda: Helps the bread to rise.
- Salt: Salt is an essential baking ingredient. It enhances all of the flavors.
- Cinnamon: Complements the banana flavor.
- Butter: Brings rich, buttery flavor. Melting the butter makes it easy to incorporate it into the batter.
- Bananas: You’ll need 4-5 ripe bananas. The riper the bananas, the more sweetness they’ll bring to the bread.
- Brown Sugar and Granulated Sugar: I like to use more brown sugar than white sugar because I love the caramel flavor that the brown sugar brings to the bread. If you use dark brown sugar it will give you a richer caramel flavor. You can use all granulated sugar if you prefer a simpler classic banana bread flavor.
- Eggs: Eggs provide structure, flavor and help the bread to rise.
- Vanilla Extract: For an added touch of warm sweetness.
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How to Make Banana Bread
Here’s an overview of how to make this easy banana bread recipe. It’s so simple, and no mixer is required. Find the full recipe with ingredient amounts in the recipe card below.
- First, prepare your baking pan by greasing it with cooking spray or butter and lining it with parchment paper. Leave a little overhang of parchment paper – this makes it so easy to lift the bread out of the pan.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
- Then, whisk together the wet ingredients: melted butter, mashed banana, both sugars, eggs and vanilla.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and mix with a rubber spatula until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake at 350° F for 55-65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
- Use very ripe bananas for banana bread with the best sweet banana flavor. Brown spotted bananas mash easily and are nice and sweet.
- Adjust the sugar to your tastes. This recipe calls for 3/4 cup total sugar. Use 1/2 cup sugar for less sweet bread; use 1 cup of sugar for a sweeter bread.
- Don’t overmix the batter when combining the wet and dry ingredients. Use a gentle hand and mix just until you no longer see clumps or streaks of flour. This will ensure that your banana bread turns out soft and tender, not dense.
- Choose the right baking pan. A metal baking pan is best for making quick breads like banana bread. Metal pans are better at conducting heat, so you get a more evenly baked loaf. Note that a dark colored metal pan will cause the outside of the bread to brown more. You can use a glass pan for this recipe, just note that the bread may brown more and it may bake a little faster.
- Baking time: When I bake this bread in a light colored metal loaf pan, it takes the full 65 minutes to bake in my oven. If you use a glass pan the bread will bake a little faster, so be sure to start checking on it after 55 minutes.
- Let the bread cool before slicing. I recommend letting it cool for at least 30 minutes. If you slice it hot from the oven the bread will crumble.
Banana Bread Recipe Variations
- Banana Nut Bread: Fold in 1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans.
- Chocolate Chip Banana Bread: Stir in 1 cup of chocolate chips (reduce the amount to 2/3 cup if using mini chocolate chips).
- Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread: Try this Chocolate Banana Bread recipe.
- Add a Streusel Topping: Use the walnut-oat streusel from this Apple Bread recipe. Or, for a more indulgent topping, make the topping from this Cherry Crumble Pie (I recommend halving the pie topping recipe).
- Use Frozen Bananas: Let them thaw at room temperature and drain off all excess moisture before using.
Banana bread can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
To freeze banana bread: Once completely cool, wrap the loaf tightly with plastic wrap and then freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. To freeze slices of banana bread, separate the slices with pieces of parchment paper to keep them from sticking together.
More Banana Bread Recipes
Best Banana Bread Recipe
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 ¾ cups mashed ripe banana, 4-5 bananas
- ½ cup packed brown sugar, light or dark
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Optional: 1 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 4.5 x 8.5-inch (or 9×5-inch) loaf pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom and two long sides of the loaf pan with a piece of parchment paper, leaving a little overhang on the two long edges. This makes it easier to remove the bread from the pan.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, mashed banana, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs and vanilla. Whisk until well combined.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet. Mix with a rubber spatula until just combined, being careful to not overmix. If you want to add nuts or chocolate chips, add them when the flour is almost mixed in and gently stir to combine.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 55-65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Let bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then use the parchment paper overhang to remove it to a wire rack to finish cooling. It's best to let the bread cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing; if you slice it when it's hot it will crumble.
- For a less sweet banana bread, reduce the total sugar to 1/2 cup. For a sweeter bread, use 1 cup of total sugar (I recommend using half brown sugar and half granulated sugar).
- Banana bread can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Or, wrap tightly and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. To freeze slices of banana bread, separate the slices with a piece of parchment paper to prevent them from sticking together.