Ridiculously Easy Banana Bread
This is our favorite banana bread recipe! You’ll need ripe bananas (three of them), flour, butter, eggs, brown sugar, and spices. It’s so good, you’ll want to make two loaves. So many great reviews! Jump to the Easy Banana Bread Recipe
How to Make the Best Banana Bread
We’ve been making this classic, moist, and utterly delicious banana bread for years, and we knew we couldn’t miss the opportunity to share it with you. Our recipe has no surprises — you’ll need mashed bananas (3 medium bananas are perfect), flour, butter, brown sugar, eggs, baking soda, and spices.
We love banana nut bread, so we almost always add chopped and toasted walnuts. If you don’t like to add nuts, leave them out! It’s no problem.
Another option is to add chocolate chips and make chocolate chip banana bread. The chocolate banana combo is fantastic. If that excites you, you might also want to look at our banana chocolate chip muffins, packed with chocolate chips.
And since we’re on the subject of other banana recipes, if you are looking for something a little lighter? Check out our healthier banana bread. The recipe calls for lower sugar, olive oil instead of butter, and adds whole grains.
Okay, back to my favorite banana bread! We call this ridiculously easy because it is. If you can stir ingredients together in a bowl, you can make this quick bread. Watch our video below to see me do it.
For the best banana bread, use ripe bananas. There is no point in baking a batch of this bread unless you use ripe bananas. We want brown, speckled bananas. They can even have some soft spots. I don’t think bananas can be too ripe for this recipe.
So, if your bananas are still green, wait a day or two. You won’t regret it. But, if you need banana bread ASAP, here are a few tips for speeding up the ripening process:
How to Quickly Ripen Bananas
If you’re sitting there with unripe bananas and need to bake banana bread, there are a couple of tricks for speeding up the ripening process:
- Add to a paper bag. If you can wait a day or two, throw the bananas into a brown paper bag. Bananas release ethylene (a ripening hormone). If you can place the bag in a warmer area of your home, the process will go even quicker.
- Bake them. You can bake bananas in their peel to ripen them for a speedy option. This trick works best when the bananas aren’t entirely green and are already starting to ripen. To do it, line unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet and bake in a 300F oven until they look shiny and black (15 to 30 minutes). Don’t worry if some banana flesh or juices leak out while they bake.
The bananas make the bread deliciously moist, sweet, and flavorful. Once you’re ready with your bananas, the rest of the recipe comes together quickly.
Quick Review of the Ingredients
Other than ripe bananas, you need a few more simple ingredients to make banana bread (the full recipe is below):
- We use all-purpose flour, but you can use 100% whole wheat flour or a combination of whole wheat and all-purpose flour — we use whole wheat in this lightened up quick bread. A gluten-free flour blend also works. Just keep in mind that changing the flour from all-purpose will slightly affect the bread’s texture.
- Baking soda is our go-to leavener for banana bread. Since posting this recipe, quite a few of you have asked if you can make banana bread without baking soda and baking powder. While baking powder and baking soda are excellent leaveners in baking, they are not always interchangeable. While I don’t consider baking powder a perfect substitute in this case, if you are in a pinch, you can try substituting two teaspoons of baking powder for the one teaspoon of baking soda we call for in the recipe below. The bread may not brown as well, and the texture will be slightly different.
- Salt, vanilla extract, and cinnamon flavor the bread and make it taste amazing.
- Butter is my favorite fat when making banana bread since it adds a luscious, buttery flavor to the baked bread. Olive oil is an excellent substitute. Look at our healthier banana bread that calls for olive oil instead of butter.
- Brown sugar keeps the bread flavorful and moist. You can swap other sugars (white granulated sugar or coconut sugar, for example), but the texture of the bread will change slightly.
- Eggs provide structure and stability to the bread. We use two eggs. You can try using two flax eggs or aquafaba if you do not eat eggs.
How to Mash the Bananas
You don’t need a mixer to mash bananas — a fork works perfectly fine.
Mixing the Batter
You only need a whisk or spatula for the batter. Treat the bread batter like muffin or pancake batter and try not to over-mix. You’re only looking to mix everything until you no longer see streaks of flour. This way, the banana bread stays on the lighter, moister side instead of heavy and flat.
When baking banana bread, I expect it to come out perfectly (and I’m sure you do, too). So here are our best tips for baking quick bread:
- Grease the loaf pan and place the pan on an insulated baking sheet or two regular baking sheets stacked on top of the other. We picked this trick up years ago. The insulated sheet (or two baking sheets on top of each other) helps the bottom of the bread bake evenly.
- For glass pans, reduce the temperature. If using a glass loaf pan, reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
- How can I tell when banana bread is ready to come out of the oven? This bread needs 55 to 75 minutes in the oven. I use a cake tester, knife, or toothpick to test doneness. If you pierce it and it comes out clean, the bread is ready to come out of the oven.
- What if the bread is browning too quickly? If, during baking, the top of the bread looks like it is getting too brown, cover loosely with aluminum foil and continue to bake until done.
- Cool to room temperature. Since the loaf continues to cook as it cools, it is best to allow it to cool to room temperature. I cool the bread in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes before turning it onto a wire rack where it can cool completely.
Storing Banana Bread
Banana bread actually tastes better on day two — this is also the case with our easy spiced apple bread! Here are our tips for storing it:
- Store at room temperature for up to two days.
- Store, wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- Freeze tightly wrapped slices in freezer bags for two to three months.
What Our Readers are Saying
If you don’t believe that our recipe helps you achieve the perfect banana bread loaf at home, take a look at what our readers are saying about the recipe! More reviews are in the comments section below.
“Best banana bread I’ve ever had.” – Kalia
“I made this today. Definitely the BEST banana bread I’ve ever made and I’ve made a lot of it. I do a lot of baking, this is delicious!” – Diane
“Super-good! Moist, flavorful, baked in no time! This is my new favorite banana bread recipe” – Julie
“The best banana bread recipe I’ve used so far and I’ve used at least 10 different recipes. Moist, not too sweet, soft. Perfection!” – Eva
More Banana Recipes
- Since we love this recipe so much, we made another version with chocolate chips.
- We love these Banana Muffins that are made 100% from scratch. I love adding mini chocolate chips, but they are excellent plain or with nuts. Or take a look at our Healthier Banana Blueberry Muffins.
- Our Perfect Banana Pancakes made with buttermilk, mashed banana, and spices are such a treat!
- Use leftover bananas to make our Super Quick Banana Smoothie or this Easy Banana and Strawberry Baked Oatmeal.
Recipe updated, originally posted January 2014. Since posting this in 2014, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear and added a quick recipe video. – Adam and Joanne
Ridiculously Easy Banana Bread
Your bananas need to be ripe for the best, most flavorful homemade banana bread. It is even better if they are overripe, brown, and speckled.
A note on pan size: We use an 8 ½-inch by 4 ½-inch loaf pan; if you only have a 9-inch by 5-inch pan, check for doneness 5 to 10 minutes earlier.
Watch Us Make the Recipe
You Will Need
1 ½ cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 medium bananas, heavily speckled and brown bananas are best, about 1 ½ cups mashed
8 tablespoons (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup (150 grams) packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (50 grams) walnuts, toasted and chopped, optional
1/2 cup chocolate chips, optional
- Prepare Batter
- To Finish
Center a rack in the oven and heat to 350° Fahrenheit. Butter and flour an 8 ½-inch by 4 ½-inch loaf pan. Alternatively, grease the pan, and then line with a sheet of parchment paper (as shown in the video).
Place the pan on an insulated baking sheet or two regular baking sheets stacked on the other. This is optional but helps with even baking.
Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together, and set aside.
In the bottom of a medium bowl, mash bananas into a chunky paste.
Whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla into the bananas until well blended.
Switch to a large rubber spatula, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, and then add the dry ingredients in three parts, stirring until the flour disappears and the batter is smooth. Fold in the nuts and chocolate chips.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake 55 to 75 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
After 30 minutes in the oven, check the bread for color. If it looks like it is browning too quickly, loosely cover with aluminum foil.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Unmold the bread cool completely.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- It’s best to wrap the bread tightly and store it at room temperature overnight or in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- Vegan / egg-free banana bread: Use plant-based butter and replace the eggs with flax eggs or aquafaba. Here’s our recipe for flax eggs.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.