How to Make the Best Banana Bread

breakfast Recipe – last updated March 2023

Homemade banana bread is the ultimate comfort food that turns overripe bananas into a delicious and satisfying breakfast or snack. Whether you prefer your banana bread plain and simple or loaded with nuts, chocolate chips, or dried fruit, there’s a recipe for everyone. In this guide, I’ll share my top tips and tricks for making the best classic banana bread, along with some creative and tasty upgrade options to take your banana bread game to the next level. 

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Classic Banana Bread Recipe

Easy recipe for a delicious banana bread that can be made using basic ingredients and an electric mixer. It's a great way to use up overripe bananas and is sure to be a hit for breakfast or as a snack.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Resting time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs 10 mins
Course Breakfast
Servings 8


  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup (300g) mashed ripe bananas around 3 bananas
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) milk


  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Spray a 9×5-inch metal loaf pan with nonstick spray or oil.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the butter and brown sugar with your electric mixer. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition.
  • Mash bananas until they are completely smooth. Add the mashed bananas and vanilla extract to the butter and sugar mixture, and mix well.
  • Add the dry ingredients alternately with 1/4 cup of milk until they are just incorporated.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let the bread cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing it from the pan and placing it on a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Once cooled, slice and serve. Enjoy!

Tips and Tricks

  • Use ripe, spotty bananas that are soft to the touch.
  • Mash the bananas well.
  • Allow the bread to cool completely and slowly. After baking, leave the loaf in the oven with the door cracked for a few minutes before removing it to a wire rack. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

How to make banana bread?

To get started, you’ll need a hand mixer and a 9×5-inch loaf pan.  Now, it’s time to mash up those ripe bananas and mix them with some flour, sugar, eggs, and butter. You can also add some cinnamon or nutmeg to spice things up a bit. Then, pour the batter into the loaf pan and let it bake for an hour until it’s golden brown and smelling oh-so-good!

Wet ingredients

Bananas: First up, you’ll need 3 ripe bananas for that classic flavor. If you want to kick it up a notch, you can use 4 bananas for a stronger taste, or just 2 if you prefer a milder flavor. To get that smooth texture, you can use a fork, a pastry cutter, or even your trusty electric mixer to mash up the whole fruits.

If you have unripe bananas, see “How to ripen bananas quickly?” below. If you have an extra banana, try using it as a topping

Butter: To make the best banana bread, it’s important to use room temperature butter. But if you’re short on time, no worries! Just beat the butter for an extra two minutes with your electric mixer, and it’ll warm up nicely for a fluffy batter.

Eggs and milk: Try to use room temperature ones if you can. It’ll help with the overall texture of the bread. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try substituting the milk with sour cream or Greek yogurt in this recipe – check out the sour cream version below for more details.

Vanilla extract: This ingredient is optional, but if you’re a vanilla lover like me, go ahead and add some extra flavor to your loaf. On the other hand, if you don’t have any vanilla extract on hand, no worries – your banana bread will still be delicious without it.

Dry ingredients

Flour:  For the flour, the classic recipe calls for all-purpose, but you can mix it up and try whole wheat, almond, coconut, or even gluten-free flour if you prefer. If you want a lighter and softer bread, you can even use cake flour. Just keep in mind that bread flour is not recommended, as it can make your banana bread chewy. And don’t forget to mix in the baking powder for that perfect rise!

Sugar: For a golden brown color, brown sugar or coconut sugar are the way to go. But if you don’t mind a lighter bread, white sugar is a great option too. And if you want to use natural sugar, you can replace brown sugar with half the amount of honey or maple syrup. So for example, if your recipe calls for 3/4 cups of brown sugar, you can use 6 tablespoons of natural sugar instead.


Optional add-ins to make the best banana bread

 Let’s take your banana bread game to the next level with some fun variations. Check out the following options for some inspiration, and don’t forget to let us know in the comments which one is your favorite.

  • Nuts: We strongly recommend trying banana nut bread with walnuts or pecans (or both). An extra crunch from the nuts makes it a snack to love. Just fold in 3/4 cup of roughly chopped nuts with a spatula to the finished batter.
  • Chocolate chips: If you’re a chocolate lover, you can’t go wrong with chocolate chips. Just fold in 1 cup of chocolate chips – try white, milk, or dark chocolate, or even mix them together for the best of all worlds.
  • Fresh or dried fruits: For a super healthy loaf, try adding fresh or dried fruits! Fold in 3/4 cup of your favorite fruits, such as blueberries, other berries, dried dates, or even apricots.
  • Oatmeal: Try making oatmeal banana bread! Mix 1 cup of old-fashioned oats with the dry ingredients, and sprinkle about 1/3 cup over the loaf before cooking. You can also roast the oatmeal before adding it to the recipe for an extra boost of flavor – just place them in the oven at 350°F for 8 minutes.
  • Seeds: For some added texture, try adding seeds! Add 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or flaxseeds to the dry ingredients, or sprinkle some on top of the uncooked loaf.
  • Zest: For a sweet citrus taste, add a tablespoon of orange or lemon zest to the eggs.
  • Coconut: And for a tropical twist, mix 1/2 cup of shredded coconut with the dry ingredients, or spread shreds of coconut on the uncooked bread.
  • Spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger can be added with nuts or on their own. For example, adding 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon with chopped walnuts is a delicious combination.

Try a topping

Banana bread is always delicious on its own, but have you ever tried adding some toppings? Trust us, it takes it to a whole new level. Here are a few topping options to try out:

  • Icing: Once your banana bread has cooled down, top it off with some cream cheese icing. The extra sweetness makes it perfect for dessert. Slice your loaf and enjoy!
  • Banana halves: For a simple yet tasty option, try adding banana halves on top. Just cut the whole fruit lengthwise and gently lay the two sides (center upwards) on top of the batter. Not only does it add some texture and flavor, but it also makes for a pretty presentation.

How to make your banana bread cook in the middle?

Mash the bananas until they are completely smooth. Avoid any large lumps in the mixture, as they can cause gummy spots in the bread. If you’re having difficulty mashing the bananas by hand, an electric mixer can also be used.

If possible, do not open the oven. After placing the loaf in the oven, it’s important to avoid opening the oven door during cooking. Keeping the oven closed will help to maintain a steady temperature and preserve moisture. Any changes in temperature can cause the loaf to collapse, so it’s best to leave the oven door closed until the bread is fully cooked.

To determine when your banana bread is fully cooked, use the toothpick method. Simply insert a toothpick into the center of the loaf, and if it comes out clean, the bread is ready to be enjoyed.

Why is my banana bread white?

If your banana bread is coming out white, it may be due to the type of sugar used in the recipe. Brown sugar or coconut sugar is typically used to give banana bread its signature golden color, as the sugar caramelizes during baking and creates a beautiful hue. If white sugar is used, the bread may not have the same depth of flavor or color. 

Additionally, make sure that your bananas are fully ripe before using them in the recipe, as this can also affect the color of the final product. If you don’t have ripe bananas on hand, don’t worry. Here are 2 ways to ripen bananas quickly.

How to ripen bananas for banana bread?

Leave your bananas in a paper bag on the kitchen counter for a few days. The natural ethylene gas released by the bananas will be trapped in the bag and will speed up the ripening process. 

Bake the bananas in the oven. Simply put the unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet and bake them at 300°F for 15-20 minutes. After they cool down, peel the bananas and use them in your banana bread recipe. Don’t worry if the skin turns black during baking; it’s a normal part of the process.

Can this banana bread recipe be used for muffins?

To transform this banana bread recipe into delicious banana muffins, the process is simple. Just pour about 1/4 cup of the batter into each lined or buttered muffin tin. Bake the muffins at 350°F for around 15-20 minutes, depending on the specific heat of your oven. You can also add some extra ingredients like chocolate chips, nuts, or fruits to create a personalized twist on the classic recipe.

How to store banana bread?

To ensure that your banana bread stays fresh, it’s important to wait until it’s completely cooled down before wrapping it up with plastic wrap. Once it’s wrapped, you can store it on the counter for up to 4 days. If you want to keep it longer, you can store it in the fridge, where it will stay fresh for up to a week.

Can you freeze banana bread?

Certainly, for up to 3 months. For convenience, freeze individual slices and separate them with parchment paper before storing them in an airtight container. Warm up a slice in the microwave or let it thaw overnight in the fridge for a delicious breakfast.

Sour Cream Banana Bread Adaptation

If you’re searching for a sour cream banana bread recipe, you don’t need to look any further. This recipe can be easily adapted to include sour cream. Here are the changes you need to make to the original recipe. Note that you can also substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream if you prefer.

  1. Replace the milk with 1/3 cup of sour cream.
  2. Swap the baking powder with 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
  3. Continue as described in the classic recipe. 

Healthy Banana Bread Adaptation

  • Swap all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour or almond flour to increase the fiber and protein content of your bread.
  • Cut the sugar in half or replace it with natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup for a healthier option. This will also make your bread less sweet, so adjust accordingly.
  • Replace the butter with the same amount of unsweetened applesauce to reduce the fat content. Keep in mind that this may make the bread slightly denser and chewier.

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