Bananas are always in season, and even better if they’ve hung around a bit, making any time the right time for this classic, unbelievably moist banana bread recipe that’s perfectly delicious every time.
You may be wondering if the Internet really needed another banana bread recipe, and I can assure you the answer is a resounding “yes!” Over the years I’ve shared several banana bread recipes here on the blog: Chocolate chip banana bread, German chocolate banana bread, and even banana bread pancakes. But never the recipe for my classic banana bread.
The inside of this banana bread is, dare I say, perfectly moist, thanks to creamy buttermilk or yogurt. I know, I know. So many of you hate the M-word, but if the banana fits…eat it! This quickbread recipe produces a tender interior with a perfectly golden and caramelized-crisped crust so good that while I love a banana-ey middle slice slathered with butter, the end slices might actually be my favorite part to eat. Best of all, you don’t need a stand mixer or hand mixer to make it and it’s full of sweet, fragrant banana flavor.
What’s in This Banana Bread
Every time I make this recipe I’m surprised at how quickly it comes together. Why am I not baking it every week? Quickbreads are famous for their basic ingredients and are the ultimate impulse-baking solution for times when you just need to get into the kitchen and bake up some comfort. So if you have a few bananas languishing on the counter, this bread is the perfect excuse to put them to work.
Here are the banana bread ingredients you’ll need:
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Kosher salt
- Melted butter
- Buttermilk or plain yogurt (you could also use Greek yogurt)
- Chopped nuts (I love using chopped walnuts, but pecans also work great)
If you’re craving a more caramelized sweet flavor, substitute light brown sugar for regular sugar.
How to Make Banana Bread
I love this easy banana bread recipe because it comes together quickly and easily (no mixer required). Here’s how to make it:
Sift your dry ingredients into a bowl. Combine the flour, baking powder, and kosher salt together in a bowl, and whisk.
Mix your wet ingredients. In a separate large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Stir in the sugar, egg, melted butter, buttermilk or plain yogurt, and vanilla, and mix well.
Fold and bake. Gently fold in the dry ingredients and nuts just until moistened. Pour the batter into a prepared loaf pan. Carefully slice the remaining banana in half lengthwise and place on top of the batter. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the sides of the bread pull away from the pan and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
The Best Bananas for Banana Bread
For the best flavor, take advantage of bananas’ natural sweetness by using bananas that are overly ripe. Purchase bananas a few days before baking and allow them to ripen on the counter until dark streaks appear in the peel, or are even darker. Not only will the bread be sweeter and moister, but the bananas will also be easier to mash.
If your bananas are far from being ripe enough to use in this quick bread, poke them all over with a fork and then bake them at 350°F for 15-20 minutes, or until browned. Let the bananas cool completely before peeling and adding to the batter.
How do You Keep Banana Bread Moist
Probably the number one request of a delicious banana bread recipe is that it tastes moist. Even if you hate the word “moist”, I’m betting you still crave the results: A tender crumb that isn’t dry.
Here’s how to keep your banana bread moist:
- Add more fat. Adding more butter or oil only results in banana bread that can taste oily. Try adding extra healthy fats instead. I add buttermilk or plain yogurt (whole fat regular or Greek both work well) to give an extra dose of moisture plus a bit of tang. Sour cream would work as well. Or, substitute the buttermilk or yogurt with an extra egg instead.
- Don’t over-mix. Over-mixing quickbreads can be the undoing of a good recipe. When adding the dry and wet ingredients together, gently fold just until combined, and do not over-mix.
- Don’t overbake. See the next section below.
How to Know When it’s Done
Depending on your oven temperature, quickbreads like this one should take about 45 minutes to 1 hour to bake at 350°F. For cakes and quickbreads, always test them before pulling them from the oven.
There are three things I take note of to determine when my banana bread is done:
- Bake the quick bread until it’s golden brown on top. If the bread seems to be getting too browned, lightly tent it with a piece of aluminum foil to protect it from the heat.
- Check out the sides. When the bread pulls away from the sides of the pan, that’s a sure sign it is baked through and done.
- Test the center of the bread. At the end of cooking time, insert a cake tester (I like this one), skewer, or toothpick into the center of the bread. If it comes out clean, the bread is done. If not, continue to bake in 5 to 10-minute increments.
- Let it cool. Although I love some warm banana bread, don’t slice into this loaf when it first comes out of the oven. Give the moist bread time to firm up and cool down a bit before slicing.
How to Store Banana Bread
Wrapped in foil or stored in a sealed container, this bread will last for a few days on your counter. If desired, you can rewarm the slices in the microwave, oven, or toaster oven. And it makes some seriously good french toast, too.
Can You Freeze Banana Bread?
Homemade banana bread freezes really well and can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. To freeze the whole loaf, let it come to room temperature before wrapping it in a few layers of plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil (this prevents the bread from developing freezer burn). When you’re ready to enjoy the frozen loaf, set it on your counter in its wrappings to thaw.
You can also slice and freeze the bread and keep it in a freezer bag, but I find that it dries out more quickly in the freezer if it’s pre-sliced.
If you’re craving an amped-up quick bread, consider adding these ingredients to power it up even more.
- Pumpkin pie spice adds the warming flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
- Coconut is a natural pairing with banana for a tropical flavor.
- Chocolate chips or chunks because who doesn’t love a bit of chocolate?
- Dried fruit like apricots, cranberries, or apples for more fruit-forward bread.
- Slather with cream cheese frosting if you want to turn this banana bread into more of a treat.
More Recipes With Banana
- The Best Banana Bread Pancakes
- Cherry Berry And Banana Overnight Oats
- Banana Bread Muffins With Toasted Coconut
- Slow Cooker Baked Oatmeal With Bananas And Nuts
- Banana And Chocolate Chip Baked French Toast
- Creamy Tropical Fruit Slushies
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
The BEST Banana Bread Recipe
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 ripe bananas , reserve one banana for the top of the bread
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons melted butter , cooled
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk or plain yogurt
- 1 ½ tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup chopped nuts
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease or butter a 5 X 9-inch loaf pan.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and kosher salt together in a bowl. In a separate large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Stir in the sugar, egg, melted butter, buttermilk or plain yogurt, and vanilla and mix well. Fold in the dry ingredients and nuts just until moistened. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Carefully slice the remaining banana in half lengthwise and place on top of the batter.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the sides of the bread pull away from the pan and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes then remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
More Quick Bread & Muffin Recipes
- German Chocolate Banana Bread
- Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- Gwyneth’s Blueberry Muffins Recipe
- Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
- Blueberry Oatmeal Quick Bread
- Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread
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