Best Banana Bread

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Best Banana Bread

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This banana bread is phenomenal right out of the oven and even better toasted the next day.

banana bread

If you’re anything like me, you need a few good banana bread recipes. I’ve never been able to accurately predict my family’s banana consumption: one week we go through ‘em all, and the next, they sit untouched, browning in the bowl. This tender banana bread with a crisp crust is my go-to basic banana bread recipe (if you’re looking for marbled, chocolate, chai-spiced, whole wheat, or coconut-flavored versions, click here). The bread is phenomenal right out of the oven and delicious all over again toasted for breakfast the next day. My family prefers it plain, but feel free to add nuts or chocolate chips, if you like.

What You’ll Need To Make Banana Bread

ingredients for making banana bread

For a really moist, banana-y banana bread, use very ripe bananas. The bananas should at least be dark yellow with plenty of brown spots, and it’s okay if the skin has turned completely brown.

If you’d like to make banana bread and your bananas are not quite ripe enough, you have a few options:

  • 24-Hour Method: Put the bananas (still attached at the stem) in a loosely sealed brown paper bag and let sit on the counter. The bananas give off ethylene gas which causes ripening, and trapping the gas in a bag speeds up this process.
  • Quick Oven Ripening: Place the bananas in their peels on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet (for easy clean-up in case they leak) and bake at 250˚F for 15 to 20 minutes or as long as it takes them to reach a deep brown color.

If you have overripe bananas and you’re not ready to bake, don’t let them go to waste – freeze them! I typically freeze them in bags of 2 or 3, as when mashed, they usually come out to about 1 cup (which is what most banana bread recipes call for). Simply peel the bananas and put them in an airtight container or freezer bag; when ready to use, thaw them in the bag and then mash.

Lemon juice may seem like an unusual ingredient in a banana bread recipe, but it works nicely without adding a lemony flavor to the bread. Similar to sour cream or buttermilk, it adds acidity to the batter that reacts with the baking soda to help the bread rise and give it a beautiful golden color, toasty flavor, and light, fluffy texture.

STEP-BY-STEP Instructions

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

dry ingredients in mixing bowl

Whisk to combine.

whisking dry ingredients in bowl

In the bowl of an electric hand mixer (or a stand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

creaming butter and sugar

Add the eggs one at a time.

adding eggs one at a time

Beat well after each addition.

eggs fully incorporated

Add the mashed bananas, lemon juice and vanilla extract.

adding the mashed bananas, lemon and vanilla

Mix well. It will look a little curdled at this point; that’s okay.

grainy batter

Add the dry ingredients.

adding dry ingredients to wet ingredients

Beat on low speed until just incorporated. Do not over mix.

finished banana bread batter

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.

banana bread batter in loaf pan ready to bake

Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes.

baked banana bread fresh out of the oven

Then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

banana bread cooling on rack

HOW TO STORE BANANA BREAD

Banana bread is best served fresh out of the oven, but it will keep for a few days, wrapped in foil and stored at room temperature. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months. After it is completely cooled, wrap it securely in aluminum foil or freezer wrap, or place it in a freezer bag. Thaw overnight on the countertop before serving.
banana bread

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Best Banana Bread

This banana bread is phenomenal right out of the oven and even better toasted the next day.

Servings: Makes one 9 x 5 inch loaf
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 5 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas, from 2-3 large bananas
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, from 1 lemon
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 9x5-inch metal loaf pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the mashed bananas, lemon juice and vanilla extract and mix well. It will look a little curdled at this point; that's okay.
  4. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Do not over mix. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The bread can be frozen for up to 3 months. After it is completely cooled, wrap it securely in aluminum foil, freezer wrap or place in a freezer bag. Thaw overnight on the countertop before serving.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (12 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 208
  • Fat: 9 g
  • Saturated fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 30 g
  • Sugar: 14 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Sodium: 394 mg
  • Cholesterol: 51 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • Made as recipe said, except I used salted butter since I didn’t have unsalted. Came out wonderful. Will use this recipe all the time!

    • — Renee on September 5, 2022
    • Reply
  • Best banana bread ever. I was doubting too, lemon juice? No cinnamon? But wow Yummy.

    • — Paula on September 2, 2022
    • Reply
  • Best banana bread I’ve ever made! Thank you!

    • — Monica on August 28, 2022
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  • Absolutely amazing. I add a bit of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice to mine also.

    • — Brooke M on August 15, 2022
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  • Update it came out amazing thank you.

    • — Chris Cox on August 9, 2022
    • Reply
  • I just made this but threw in some cinnamon cause I couldn’t help it and put them in a muffin pan with a sprinkle of raw sugar on top so well see how the turn out but the batter was good so I have faith.

    • — Chris Cox on August 9, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this and it turned out great. Love the taste and texture. It’s really moist. And very easy to make. I made another loaf the next day. Thanks Jenn .

    • — Nora Sacco on August 4, 2022
    • Reply
  • I have a question, what is the baking time if I want to make the same recipe but with mini loaf pans 5.75 x 3 in?

    • — Giselle on July 15, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Giselle, I’d start checking them at about 35 minutes. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on July 15, 2022
      • Reply
  • Not only is This Recipe and every recipe I’ve tried here wonderfully delicious, but cooking with you is such a joy, your presentations are just my happy place, thank you!!!

    • — Sami on June 26, 2022
    • Reply
    • 💗

      • — Jenn on June 27, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! Your cookbook and website are my go-tos whenever I’m looking for a recipe or menu inspiration. Thank you for years of delicious meals! I’ve made this bread dozens of times, but wondering if you have suggestions for making it healthier? For example, oatmeal or oat flour as sub for white flour? Thank you!

    • — Tess on June 26, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Tess, Thanks for your kind words — so glad you like them! If you’d like to use a healthier flour, I’d suggest white whole wheat. White whole wheat flour is lighter and milder tasting than regular whole wheat flour (yet just as nutritious). Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on June 27, 2022
      • Reply
  • Great recipe, I have now made these several times. I do them as muffins. Instead of making it as bread I cook them as muffins to eat and freeze for later. Recipe yields 18 muffins, 350° for 25 min, rest in pan for 10 just like bread then transition to a cooling rack.

    Thank you for an easy recipe that tastes great. I also add cranberries and crushed walnuts in mine.

    • — Ben on June 17, 2022
    • Reply
  • truly the best banana bread. the lemon, as an ingredient was surprising, added another layer. I also microwave my bananas, peel them and set them over a sieve, and press to remove the liquid, if the liquid is thick I fold the bananas back in, if the liquid to thin I will reduce the liquid to thicker constancy, cool and then fold back into the bananas, for me, helps deepen the flavor. I have tried several of your recipes, this is the first baking recipe. loved it!!

    • — lynne on June 16, 2022
    • Reply
  • I usually love the taste of lemon but not too fond of it in this recipe. Otherwise very good and easy to make once all ingredients are set out.

    • — Bekky Wood on June 5, 2022
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  • It’s a keeper ☺️

    • — Rex on June 2, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    Can I cover the top with foil to prevent the sides from getting too brown or can I put those strips that u wet around the pan?
    Thank you
    Lin

    • — Lin on May 17, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Lin, I wouldn’t keep it covered the whole time but if you find that the top is browning more than you’d like, you can loosely lay a piece of foil on top of the loaf pan.

      • — Jenn on May 18, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    I’ve made this recipe a couple of times now, and love it each time! Sometimes I also change it up by adding in 1 tsp of cinnamon and a cup of crushed almonds/walnuts for extra flavour and texture.
    A friend of mine can’t have butter. So I would like to ask if I am able to change up the butter in the recipe to a neutral oil like Canola oil? So for example, rather than creaming the butter and sugar, I will be whisking the eggs and sugar until it is light and fluffy, before adding in the other wet/dry ingredients in. And if so, should I replace the butter and oil in a 1:1 ratio? Thank you again!

    • — Patrick on May 17, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Patrick, so glad you like this! If you need a replacement for butter, I’d suggest (solidified) coconut oil. You really need to cream the sugar and the fat and solidified coconut oil will do the trick. And you should use the same amount, so ½ cup. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on May 17, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Can I use lemon juice in a bottle in place of fresh lemons.
    Thank you
    Lin

    • — Lin on May 12, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure, Lin, that will work. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 13, 2022
      • Reply
      • When I use lemon juice in the bottle, do I use 2 tablespoons of the bottled lemon juice?
        Thank you
        Lin

        • — Lin on May 13, 2022
        • Reply
        • Yes, you’d use the same amount.

          • — Jenn on May 14, 2022
          • Reply
  • This is a delicious banana bread. I also subbed lime juice for the lemon. I have 2 bananas that I will use to make another loaf tomorrow. My glass loaf pan is perfect.

    • — Susan on April 8, 2022
    • Reply
  • I have made this recipe several times now and it is absolutely phenomenal every time! Thank you for this recipe!

    • — Nicole on April 6, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    First of, THANKS so so much for all of your recipes, every recipe I try comes out great, even when I’m scared of the texture at the beginning!
    I was thinking of making a mango cake (have many that are ripe) and was wondering if I could use this recipe and substitute bananas for mango.
    Thanks!

    • — Ana on March 31, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Ana, glad you like the recipes! I don’t know how mango would work here. It may work, but it’s hard to say for sure without trying it myself. For the most predictable results, I’d suggest looking for a quick bread recipe intended for mangoes.

      • — Jenn on April 2, 2022
      • Reply
  • This is my second time making your recipe…because we have some lovely Tahitian lime trees on the property, I substituted lime for the lemon! And beause we live on Molokai, I also added 3/4 cup (approx) of macadamia nuts! So ONO!!!

    PS…the bananas were ALSO from our property! We have somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 banana trees, all told, and they tend to all ripen at the same time…which makes recipes like THIS almost MANDATORY! Mahalo!

    • — Glenn Habermann on March 29, 2022
    • Reply
  • This lasted approximately 15 minutes after it came out of the oven. It’s a simple and perfect banana bread. I’m always looking for recipes for my 9 month grandson. This one was loved by all!

    • — Angie on March 17, 2022
    • Reply
  • oh, btw….where’s the direction on oven baking temp? assuming 350?

    • — elliot on March 12, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Elliot, you can find it immediately under the Instructions heading in the full recipe. And you’re correct – the oven temp is 350°F. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 12, 2022
      • Reply
  • Made this banana bread this morning. It is excellent! Thank you for the recipe.

    • — Victoria on March 7, 2022
    • Reply
  • Can I substitute almond flour instead of all purpose flour? Trying for a healthy substitute?

    • — Elaine on March 4, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Elaine, I wouldn’t recommend almond flour here – sorry! If you’d like to make this a bit healthier, you could try using some whole wheat flour. I’d suggest starting by using half whole wheat and half all-purpose to make sure you like the texture. If you do like it, the next time you make this, you can up the ratio of whole wheat to white a bit more. Also, you may want to consider white whole wheat as it’s lighter and milder tasting than regular whole wheat flour (yet just as nutritious). I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on March 4, 2022
      • Reply
  • My family now demands banana bread weekly. Great recipe!! Thank you 😊

    • — Maureen on March 2, 2022
    • Reply
  • So good. Taste different from other banana breads I have made: but a very pleasant surprise. This is definitely going to be my banana bread recipe going forward.

    • — Nancy on February 27, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen, what a great recipe! I’ve made it a couple of times now. I’m wondering, do you have a particular loaf pan that you recommend? Thanks for all your work – love every recipe on your site.

    • — Rachel on February 27, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Rachel, Glad you like this! I love these loaf pans. 🙂

      • — Jenn on February 28, 2022
      • Reply
  • Best Banana Bread indeed. Every recipe in this site is a safe bet. Thanks!

    • — Josefina on February 22, 2022
    • Reply
  • Love this banana bread! It tastes divine- very tender on the inside. Not overpowered with spices- I did add a dash of cinnamon. I also love the pictures & explanations of the recipes. I have your cookbook- WEEKNIGHT/WEEKEND absolutely love the recipes in there. Also the recipes use ingredients that most of us have on hand is another plus!!

    • — Celeste Timberlake on February 19, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is the best banana bread I’ve ever made! Started eating right out of the oven… so light, moist,,and so much flavor! I might add chocolate chips next time.

    • — Mary McCool on February 18, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this loaf and it was so so delicious!!! The next day it tasted even better. Love the texture and the flavour.

    • — Helen on February 18, 2022
    • Reply
  • Such a delicate and fantastic banana bread with a cake-like consistency.
    The lemon juice really made a difference. This will be my new favorite recipe.

    • — Madelyn E on February 18, 2022
    • Reply
  • I just baked your banana bread and didn’t have a loaf pan so I used large muffin tins and they are THE best I’ve ever tasted!
    Moist, flavorful and love the lemon addition!

    • — Kathryn Hale on February 17, 2022
    • Reply
  • Bread sounds delicious! Do have one question….I see you are using dark coated pans to bake the bread. Do you recommend this type of pan over glass? Does bread bake differently?
    Thank you!

    • — Ame on February 17, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Ame, I prefer metal baking pans over glass, but you can bake this in a glass loaf pan. Just keep an eye on it and reduce the heat by 25°F if it looks like it’s starting to brown around the edges. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on February 17, 2022
      • Reply
      • Hi there! I wanted to make this recipe in 3 smaller size loaf pans. Do you think that’ll work?

        • — Erin on April 12, 2022
        • Reply
        • Hi Erin, I haven’t made this in mini loaf pans but I would guesstimate that you’d get either 2 or 3 loaves out of it. Hope that helps!

          • — Jenn on April 12, 2022
          • Reply
  • This recipe is phenomenal. I have celiac, so sub Bob’s Red Mill 1to1 Baking Flour. This results in great texture, incredible taste and looks exactly like the recipe photo. It’s my go-to Banana Bread Recipe also. Family Favorite!

    • — Nancy K. on February 17, 2022
    • Reply
  • Jenn,
    Is the baking soda absolutely necessary?
    Joy

    • — Joy on February 17, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Joy, Yes it is.

      • — Jenn on February 17, 2022
      • Reply

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