Best Banana Bread

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Best Banana Bread

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Say hello to your new favorite banana bread recipe! With its tender crumb, rich flavor, and irresistibly crisp crust, it’s simply the best!

Partially-sliced loaf of banana bread.

Are you on the hunt for the perfect banana bread recipe? Look no further—this is the one you’ve been searching for! Tender with a crisp crust, it’s absolutely phenomenal fresh out of the oven, and equally delicious when toasted up for breakfast the next day. You may be surprised to see an unusual ingredient in the recipe: lemon juice. It doesn’t give the bread a lemony flavor but rather enhances the banana flavor. Its acidity also interacts with the baking soda, helping the bread rise and giving it a golden color, toasty flavor, and light, fluffy texture.

My family loves this banana bread plain, but you can easily add nuts or chocolate chips to give it some extra oomph. If you’re looking for more variations, I’ve got you covered with an array of options, including marbled banana bread, chocolate banana bread, and chai-spiced banana bread. You can never have too many banana bread recipes!

“Best banana bread ever! And I have tried a lot of different recipes. I think the secret is the lemon juice!”

Doris

What You’ll Need To Make Banana Bread

ingredients for making banana bread.
  • All-purpose flour: Provides the structure for the bread.
  • Baking soda and baking powder: Act as leavening agents to help the banana bread rise and become fluffy.
  • Butter: Adds richness, moisture, and flavor to the bread, and helps create a tender crumb.
  • Sugar: Sweetens the bread and contributes to the golden-brown crust when baked.
  • Eggs: Bind the ingredients together, add structure, and contribute to the bread’s rise and fluffiness.
  • Mashed very ripe bananas: The star ingredient that provides moisture, sweetness, and distinct banana flavor to the bread. For a really moist, banana-forward 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. (See the FAQs below for tips on how to speed up ripening.)
  • Lemon juice: Enhances the banana flavor and reacts with the baking soda to aid in leavening and browning.
  • Vanilla extract: Enhances the overall flavor of the banana bread, adding depth and warmth.
  • Jump to the printable recipe for precise measurements

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.

Electric mixer in a bowl of 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I quickly ripen bananas?

If you’re in a hurry to ripen bananas for baking, there are a couple of methods you can try:

24-Hour Method: Place the bananas (still attached at the stem) in a loosely sealed brown paper bag and let them sit on the counter. Check them after 24 hours to see if they’ve ripened to your liking.

Quick Oven Ripening: If you need ripe bananas even faster, you can use your oven. Place the bananas, still in their peels, on a foil-lined baking sheet to catch any leakage. Bake them at a low temperature of 250°F for 15 to 20 minutes or until they develop a deep brown color. This method helps break down the starches in the bananas quickly, resulting in a softer texture and sweeter flavor.

Can I freeze banana bread?

Yes, banana bread can 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. Crisp up individual slices in the toaster for a fresh-baked effect.

How should banana bread be stored?

The bread should be stored at room temperature in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out. If properly stored, it will stay fresh for 2 to 3 days. If you’re not planning to eat it within that time frame, freeze for longer storage.

Can I freeze overripe bananas for later use in banana bread?

Absolutely! If you have overripe bananas and you’re not ready to bake, don’t let them go to waste. I typically freeze them in bags of 2 or 3, as mashed, they typically yield about 1 cup, which is what most banana recipes call for. Simply peel the bananas, place them in an airtight container or freezer bag, and freeze. When you’re ready to bake, thaw them in the bag and then mash.

Partially-sliced loaf of banana bread on parchment paper.

Banana Bread Video Tutorial

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Best Banana Bread

Say hello to your new favorite banana bread recipe! With its tender crumb, rich flavor, and irresistibly crisp crust, it’s simply the best!

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

  • Hi, Jenn!

    Went to Costco and of course have 3 pounds of bananas😃! I’m going to freeze some for future banana bread. Question—do I freeze them with the lemon juice so they don’t brown? And, second question, assuming I do not include the lemon juice, after thawing the bananas, do I drain the liquid/juice from the bananas before adding to the recipe?

    • — Terri on February 6, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Terri, I’ve never frozen mine with lemon juice. They do brown a bit but don’t impact the color of the bread. And yes, after thawing, I drain off excess liquid from the bananas before incorporating into the batter. 🙂

      • — Jenn on February 6, 2023
      • Reply
  • Mine came out a little uncooked in the middle- the middle also sunk once cooled. I made no adjustments. What did I do wrong?

    • — Leslie on January 28, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Leslie, It sounds like the bread was under-baked. I would leave it in a bit longer next time. You may also want to check your oven temperature to be sure it’s accurate.

      • — Jenn on January 28, 2023
      • Reply
  • Could I add nuts and if so will that alter the other ingredients?
    Thank you!

    • — Peggy on January 19, 2023
    • Reply
    • Yes, you can add nuts with no other modifications. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 19, 2023
      • Reply
      • Amazing! Best I’ve ever made

        • — R on January 25, 2023
        • Reply
  • I made this into (6) individual loaves and lessened the cooking time by about 9 minutes (my pan was a dark pan so I reduced the oven temp by 10 degrees). Although I feel I could’ve taken them out even sooner, as I think they were a tad overcooked. But flavor was great. I did add cinnamon to the batter and choc chips to a few and walnuts to a few. You do NOT notice the lemon at all for those that are concerned about the taste.

    • — Julia Blackstone on January 7, 2023
    • Reply
    • You don’t taste the lemon at all…I love lemon though!
      This is the best recipe I’ve made! Very light…made muffins..chopped walnuts and mini chocolate…less sugar.

      • — KAS on January 12, 2023
      • Reply
  • I’ve stopped my search for banana bread recipes. Will be using this one in future. So easy, quick and delicious! Thanks for sharing.

    • — Zelda on December 30, 2022
    • Reply
  • Great reviews so I printed this for when I happen to have over ripe-bananas, but I don’t keep lemons in. (Nor yogurt or sour cream and I bake on a whim). Do you know if those little plastic lemon shaped juices would work to get the acidity?. Or 2 tablespoons milk with a teaspoon of cream of tartar maybe?

    • — Beachhouse3 on November 26, 2022
    • Reply
    • I suspect that bottled lemon juice would work.

      • — Jenn on November 27, 2022
      • Reply
    • I used the lemon juice from one of those little plastic lemons and it worked great. Fantastic recipe!

      • — EyeFitU on January 9, 2023
      • Reply
  • I made this the only change I made is I added choped walnuts, it’s amazing.

    • — Jim on November 21, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen! Loved this recipe and bragged to a friend how simple, light and delish it was. She’s having a brunch on Sunday and asked if I’d make it for her, and of course I said “yes”.
    I’d like to dress it up a tad, to make it a bit more special, by sprinkling the top with a little course turbinado or sanding sugar. Your thoughts? Do I need to reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe? Originally I followed the recipe as written, and it was just the right amount of sweetness as written.

    • — Marcie on November 18, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Marcie, I think that sounds wonderful! I don’t think you’ll need more than 1 to 2 tablespoons of coarse sugar, which won’t alter the sweetness much. I’d probably leave it as is.

      • — Jenn on November 19, 2022
      • Reply
      • Thanks SO much for getting back to me(and so quickly!). I’m very appreciative.
        I’m just about to begin baking and will report back, if you like.
        Take care. : )

        • — Marcie on November 19, 2022
        • Reply
  • I made this bananna bread just yesterday and even tho I kind of screwed up it still came out just amazing. recipe only makes 1 loaf and believe me I should have made at least 2 loaves as this didn’t last very long.

    • — Jim on November 15, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is the best recipe for banana bread! It is the first time my bread has turned out this well. A definite keeper!

    • — Darlene E. on November 7, 2022
    • Reply
  • Delicious!!! This is the perfect banana bread. I used all purpose gluten free flour and I used 1.5 cups because the flour tends to absorb more liquid than wheat flour. I also subbed in half brown sugar to help caramelize the top.

    • — Mary on November 7, 2022
    • Reply
  • Excellent recipe! I was ready for a change from my sugarless “healthy” banana bread, and wanted a more cake-like version. I decreased the sugar to 2/3 cups and used 3/4 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup all-purpose white flour. I only have a glass pan, so that’s what I used. It turned out exactly right. I meant to just “taste” it right out of the oven, but ended up eating a couple of slices more. My husband also tried it, and loved it! I will make it again for sure. I note you have several other banana bread recipes, and now I want to try them all. Good thing I often have ripe bananas around!
    Thanks for another winner!

    • — Anne on October 27, 2022
    • Reply
    • I forgot salt and the lemon and it tasted eggy soapy (and yuk. Don’t be like me. You live you learn.

      • — Gina on December 19, 2023
      • Reply
  • Excellent recipe(as usual!)!!!
    The finished product was exceptionally light for banana bread and absolutely delicious!!!
    Thank you, Jenn, for another winner!!!

    • — Marcie on October 21, 2022
    • Reply
  • 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
    • Reply
  • Absolutely amazing. I add a bit of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice to mine also.

    • — Brooke M on August 15, 2022
    • Reply
  • 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
      • Hi Jenn – thank you for all your wonderful recipes.

        I have made this banana bread twice now and both times it did not rise in the middle like your picture. The top was flat. What am I doing wrong?

        Annie

        • — Annie Papazian on April 12, 2023
        • Reply
        • Hi Annie, I don’t think you did anything wrong – this particular banana bread doesn’t dome much in the middle, if at all. It has a tender, cake-like texture and bakes up more like a cake than a traditional bread. But if you want to get more rise in the center, you can increase the flour to 2 cups; the bread will just be a bit denser.

          • — Jenn on April 22, 2023
          • 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!!!

  • 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!

    • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!!

  • 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.

  • It’s a keeper ☺️

  • 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

    • 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.

    • Love this recipe! I do lightly tent mine after the allotted baking time is up and I still feel it made need a few more minutes. Comes out great!!

      • — Barbara on March 4, 2023
      • 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!

    • 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!

  • Hi Jenn,
    Can I use lemon juice in a bottle in place of fresh lemons.
    Thank you
    Lin

    • Sure, Lin, that will work. Enjoy!

      • When I use lemon juice in the bottle, do I use 2 tablespoons of the bottled lemon juice?
        Thank you
        Lin

        • Yes, you’d use the same amount.

  • 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.

  • I have made this recipe several times now and it is absolutely phenomenal every time! Thank you for this recipe!

    • No lemon juice on hand. Could I sub buttermilk for the lemon?

      • — Juliane McDavid on January 20, 2023
      • Reply
      • Hi Juliane, I wouldn’t use buttermilk here. You can make it without it, but the bread may be a little flatter. Other readers commented they didn’t have lemon juice and used orange juice or apple cider vinegar successfully. Hope that helps and that you enjoy!

        • — Jenn on January 20, 2023
        • 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!

    • 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.

  • 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
    • 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!

  • oh, btw….where’s the direction on oven baking temp? assuming 350?

    • 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!

  • Made this banana bread this morning. It is excellent! Thank you for the recipe.

  • Can I substitute almond flour instead of all purpose flour? Trying for a healthy substitute?

    • 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!

  • My family now demands banana bread weekly. Great recipe!! Thank you 😊

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • Hi Rachel, Glad you like this! I love these loaf pans. 🙂

  • Best Banana Bread indeed. Every recipe in this site is a safe bet. Thanks!

  • 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
    • 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.

  • I made this loaf and it was so so delicious!!! The next day it tasted even better. Love the texture and the flavour.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

    • 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!

      • Hi there! I wanted to make this recipe in 3 smaller size loaf pans. Do you think that’ll work?

        • 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!

  • 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!

  • Jenn,
    Is the baking soda absolutely necessary?
    Joy

    • Hi Joy, Yes it is.

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