Banana Bread

By • March 14, 2011 • 88 Comments

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Author Notes: This is a family favorite that my mother used to make all the time when I was growing up. The recipe comes from an old community cookbook called Forum Feasts -- I've cut back on the sugar a little, but otherwise it remains the same. Tender, with a crisp, brown crust and really intense banana flavor, it's perfect for breakfast, or thickly buttered with a hot cup of tea.Merrill Stubbs

Makes one 2-pound loaf

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan
  • 3 large, ripe bananas
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F, and butter a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan.
  2. Peel the bananas and in a large mixing bowl, mash them well with a fork. Stir in the sugar and then the egg, mixing thoroughly. Stir in the butter.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Fold the dry ingredients gently into the wet, mixing just until you no longer see any streaks of raw flour. (Do not over-mix, or the banana bread will be tough!)
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean and the bread is just starting to come away from the sides of the pan.
  5. Cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes, and then turn out onto the rack to cool completely before slicing and serving. The bread has a lovely, crisp crust when it’s fresh; if you wrap the leftovers tightly in foil and eat them the next day, you’ll lose that crisp crust, but the texture and flavor will still be great -- if not even better.
Jump to Comments (88)

Tags: can be made ahead, freezes well, quick

Comments (88) Questions (6)

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3 days ago Harriet

Delicious, so moist inside and with a delightful crispiness outside! Yum!

Wrong_apple

about 1 month ago sevenfaces

A fantastically moist bread, I mustn't have overmixed or overbaked! Toasted and buttered, breakfast of champions.

Stringio

about 1 month ago Charl Uys

Wow!!! I'm truly amazed at this recipe. It is very forgiving. I used wholemeal flour instead of plain. I added cinnamon and I added a bit of Greek yoghurt (like Linda) and it turned out perfectly. Besides having it for a mid-morning snack, I plan to use it to make Banana French Toast on Sunday morning!!! MMMM.

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3 months ago linda

Best banana bread I have ever made! I had a little Greek yoghurt that I needed to use up so I added that in, folded in the dry ingredients per instructions and baked for minimum time. Beautifully moist. Thanks for my new go to banana bread recipe.

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4 months ago Darra Zankman

Great bread..added vanilla,cinnamon and used dark brown sugar. Very moist!

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4 months ago HollySasha

I have to say, after a couple of duds from this site, I was very pleased with this recipe. I added a bit of vanilla and a shake of cinnamon to the banana mixture but otherwise made it "as is". Made second batch tonite cause my 15 year old son devoured the first pan. Extremely solid recipe.

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6 months ago chefrockyrd

Great! Thanks for reminding me about the cookbook "Forum Feasts" from Ridgewood NJ. I got mine years ago when newly married. My husband was a student teacher at the Forum School and got me a copy. There are some wonderful old recipes in that book. Will drag mine out today and see what I can make from it.
From downeast ME.

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6 months ago Loredona

In case anyone wants to know Banana Maracuya is also referred to as banana passionfruit! Muy bien...

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6 months ago Loredona

My banana tree in my garden just produced a second batch of beautiful banana's...Once they are cut down, they start to rippen very fast. I turned to my favorite food-site and found Merrill's recipe and since I was making a several loaves at once, I needed something simple. This recipe did not disappoint... My bread came out looking just like the photo and tasted great. I also made muffins and they of course took less time. I still have about 40 bananas that I froze, and will use later with the same recipe. I made a double batch and used half white sugar and half brown. I really think the key is not over mixing and not overcooking. I had one of the muffins for breakfast this morning smeared with Banana Maracuya from the Yucatan, which is similar to a preserve with a bit of tartness. Yummy! Thanks Merrill!

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6 months ago Stephanie

I made a double batch of this recipe yesterday- one batch plain, the other with chocolate chips added- and they were/are both delicious! One of the best banana bread recipes I have yet to try. I didn't find it to be dry at all... Maybe people are either over-baking it, or over-mixing the batter once the dry ingredients are added. If you pay close attention to both the folding of the batter and the cook time, I don't see why your bread would turn out dry/tough. I will definitely be using this as my go-to banana bread recipe from now on! Thank you, Merrill!

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7 months ago vagregory

I definitely found this bread to be dry. It seems that the ratio of eggs and/or fat is much less than most recipes, so I would adjust if I decide to give it another try.

Merrill

7 months ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

I've never had a problem with dryness - you do need to be careful not to overtake.

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8 months ago Adelucchi

Thanks for the easy banana bread recipe! Made it last night to share at a neighborhood meeting this morning. My husband and I had some last night. He's not a banana guy but said it was different! Followed the recipe this time because I usually do before making changes, especially in baking. I did take the loaf out early because I wanted to avoid dryness. It was not dry but next time I'll leave it in the whole time because the beautiful dome fell as it cooled. When it cooled I sliced it thin and used cream cheese softened with some Casa Giuliani Sicilian orange marmalade as a spread. Put two slices together with the spread. Delicious! Will make again for sure and with some of the additions I have read here.

Merrill

8 months ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

That sounds like a fantastic way to serve this! I haven't thought about this for years, but your comment reminded me that when I was growing up we used to toast day-old slices of this bread and slather it with either salted butter or cream cheese -- will have to start doing that again!

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9 months ago kak10956

I made this yesterday and pretty much stuck to the recipe except for some chopped walnuts and vanilla. It was quick, in and out of the oven before breakfast and the flavor was good but next time I will take the advice of another commentator and add some yogurt,it was dry.

Merrill

9 months ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

I think yogurt would be a nice addition. And I find that if I overbake this even slightly it does tend to dry out, so next time you may want to pull it a couple minutes earlier.

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10 months ago CelliSean

Also almonds! I had a packet of slivered almonds waiting to be used. 1/2 cup.

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10 months ago CelliSean

In the oven now. Used 1t vanilla, 1c white and 1c whole wheat flours, 1t cinnamon, a packet of instant coffee (leftover from camping), and (when the batter seemed dry & there was still loose flour to mix in) a shot of whisky. Smells great at least.

As a side note, do bananas dry out as they age? I know citrus does and my bananas were brown brown brown.

Stringio

12 months ago Margaret Ollie Joseph

All your recipes from this website are awesome . So simple to put together . Thank"s

Stringio

12 months ago michelle_brown

I made this today because I had exactly three bananas that needed to be consumed. I do not like when people brag to be about changing my recipes and I usually try a recipe the first time as written. But, I am moving and needed to use up some white chocolate chips - I added half a cup - The bread is really nice - I could see adding chopped walnuts too - if you like Banana Nut Bread. I really appreciated the simplicity of the recipe and will be making it again.

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about 1 year ago Momoko

Just made them this morning. I instead made banana bread "muffins", put the batter into mini muffin tins. They came out wonderfully. Since I wanted my toddler to eat them, too, I cut down on sugar and used only 1/3 cup instead of 3/4 cup. I think it tastes plenty sweet this way, and you can really taste the sweetness of the ingredients. Thank you for sharing this recipe, Merrill!

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about 1 year ago Jolie Hunt

Good flavor, super easy but I found it a bit lacking. It definitely needs vanilla, nuts and a little more moisture.

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about 1 year ago jo

since bananas differ in size, about how much of the mashed bananas do you need for this recipe ? Thanks!

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about 1 year ago sue bishop

I've made a ton of banana bread (probably tried 10+ recipes over the years) and this is the best of them all, even with only 3 tbsp of fat. Made it as written and added walnuts.

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about 1 year ago mitchlund

I made these tonight as muffins. Moist and wonderful. This recipe might replace my several years favorite (sorry, Orangette!).
changes: 1C AP, 1C WW. Added 1t vanilla and 2T whole milk yogurt to wet mix. 1/2C chopped walnuts. Baked half the time.

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about 1 year ago Sarah Gillis

I made this last night, its so delicious! The texture is incredible and I kept the bananas a little chunky so there are bits of banana throughout. The bread wasn't tough at all, which I've experienced before from over beating the bananas. I used 75% whole wheat and the remaining pastry flour because that's what I had on hand. I also added a little madagascar vanilla and vietnamese cinnamon. SOOOOO scrumptious!
I love that this recipe requires so few utensils to mix up. It takes longer for the oven to heat up than it does for you to prep, mix, and clean up. Thank you!

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over 1 year ago karen

if i want to use whole wheat flour in combination with all-purpose flour, what is the right ratio so I don't get a dry banana bread? thank you.

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over 1 year ago graciousglutton

I used all whole wheat pastry flour (whole foods brand) and the bread came out great. I did add 2 tbsp of greek yogurt as well though.

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over 1 year ago Chelsey1818

I added dark chocolate chips and walnuts! Yummyyyy. Turned out perfect.

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over 1 year ago Panfusine

Waiting impatiently for the loaf to cool, not sure who is worse me or my 7 yr old who asked me to make it with a generous dollop of Nutella swirled in..Thank you Merrill, your recipes are always Fail-proof!

Merrill

over 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Nutella sounds like a great addition! Yum.

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over 1 year ago Panfusine

It gets better.. After the bread was finished & set out to cool on the rack, I discovered that the melted butter was still in the microwave.. Don't know if the nutella made up for the fat, but the bread was just as soft and delicious..

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over 1 year ago SADIEE

Oops and a dash of cinnamon too! :)

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over 1 year ago SADIEE

GREAT RECIPE, I USE MEXICAN VANILLA AND BANANA FLAVORING AND A STICK OF BUTTER AND NUTS....THIS RAISE THE ROOF ON FAB & AWESOME.

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over 1 year ago graciousglutton

Great recipe that is fun to play around with! I subbed canola oil for butter, used 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 1/8 cup white (cutting out the extra 1/8 cup called for in the recipe), added 1/2 t vanilla, and added 2 heaping tbsp of 2% greek yogurt for added moisture. Made these into muffins, so they only needed to bake for about 18 minutes. My family doesn't like things too sweet so next time I may cut the sugar down even further.

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over 1 year ago adamnsvetcooking

I added cinnamon to the recipe, it was yummie

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over 1 year ago Cena

Easy! And yes, the crust is crunchy, sweet and perfect!. My son went nuts for it. WIll make again and again!

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almost 2 years ago Andreakat

I'm making this as I type and it was very simple and quick. I think it's a little sweet for my tastes but I can reduce the sugar next time. One reason for me to reduce the sugar is I also baked this batter in muffin tins and filled with half of the batter then put cinnamon sugar then added rest of batter for a cinnamon swirl effect. I also sprinkled the top with cinnamon sugar for crunch. We'll see how it turns out! Thanks for the easy recipe.

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almost 2 years ago Ordinary Blogger (Rivki Locker)

I bookmarked this recipe three years ago and finally got around to trying it. (I have a tried-and-true banana bread and was hesitant to rock the boat.) This was SOOO easy and delicious, and I love that it has so little fat. I used the kitchen aid mixer for the first two steps - just threw in the bananas whole, added the sugar, egg, and oil, and mixed for a minute. Then I added the baking soda, powder and salt and mixed for a few seconds. Added the flour by hand so as not to overwork it.
The whole business took me five minutes (plus one more minute for cleanup) and the bread is awesome. Definitely a new favorite for us.

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almost 2 years ago muskrat

Just made this and I was shocked - SHOCKED, that my no-experience-in-baking-whatsoever-self could make something that actually tasted good. Love this banana bread recipe!

Merrill

almost 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

So glad to hear this!

Deborah_copaken_kogan_2

almost 2 years ago Deb

Love this recipe. Just made it again. It's perfect.

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almost 2 years ago vennie Naiker

Hi I would like to know if oil can take the place of butter.Thanks have a pleasant day.Vennie

Merrill

almost 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Yes, vegetable oil should work fine.

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almost 2 years ago mdm

delicious, thanks! I've also added chocolate chips in some batches -- big hit with the kiddos.

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almost 2 years ago Melissaiscooking

I had an extreme overabundance of bananas last night, so I made this and the family adored it! I did change a couple things: I substituted rye flour for half the AP flour, added 2 tsp. of vanilla, and sprinkled plenty of turbinado sugar on top of the loaves before they went in the oven. It was quite a hit! Thanks so much for sharing.

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almost 2 years ago chxmp

I'm going to make this with my girlfriend today! Sounds delish.

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almost 2 years ago shozgirl

Just made and was wonderful. On top I put a row of walnuts and choc chips, on edges of top placed banana slices. Sprinkled with raw sugar. All very very good.

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about 2 years ago Esther Gertrude

So good and so little butter compared to other banana breads. Thanks Merrill!

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about 2 years ago Jean Mason

I received my first copy of Forum Feasts when I was a newlywed 27 years ago. I have made this banana bread for years and It has always gotten rave reviews. Sometimes I add pecans to the recipe. My favorite Forum Feasts recipe is the Mocha Cake.

Merrill

about 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Will have to try that one!

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about 2 years ago heasue

I hardly ever bake, but I had some overly ripe organic bananas, so looked up this recipe. It was simple to put together and turned out absolutely delicious. I would not change one thing. The crust was a little crunchy, and the center flavorful and moist. I wish I had more bananas--I've eaten almost half the loaf!

Merrill

about 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

So glad you liked it!

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about 2 years ago Suedy

This is totally awesome. Some recipes leave left me with sticky messy bread. I even used egg substitute due to an egg allergy and it turned out perfect. I added walnuts too and I stirred it gently with a fork!

Merrill

about 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Walnuts are a great addition, and good to know you can use egg substitute!

Stringio

about 2 years ago vallygoil

I loved this recipe - I did add a Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar to make the banana flavor pop and a 1/2 tsp cardamom as well ... it was a real hit!

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about 2 years ago darksideofthespoon

I just made this, using brown sugar instead of white. I made 4 mini loafs, half of them with chocolate chips. I am so excited to devour these, they smell so good!

Karl

about 2 years ago Karl Rosaen

Karl is Food52's VP of Technology.

We made a double batch of this last week, swearing we would only eat a few pieces before giving the rest away. We at.. it.. all... practically subsisted on banana bread exclusively for 3 days, so good!

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over 2 years ago JulianaD

Easy and was great.

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over 2 years ago fhp

It was Too Easy and Too Great and now its gone and that is why I never bake. But it sure beats throwing out the old bananas.

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over 2 years ago TheLearningCook

I made two loaves of this today and added peanut butter to one of them. Yummy

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over 2 years ago Cassi Shindelbower

Loved this recipe, a simple classic. I used two parts white sugar and one part brown for a touch of extra moisture.

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over 2 years ago Kim Kim

I made this bread today. It is really easy and my family loved it. It is almost gone!

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over 2 years ago Jessie G

excellent classic. I used half whole wheat "white" flour (what IS that exactly? can someone pls tell me!) - and half white flour. turned out great ... and makes me feel like it's a little healthier ... and my kids LOVE It.

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over 2 years ago Jessie G

excellent classic. I used half whole wheat "white" flour (what IS that exactly? can someone pls tell me!) - and half white flour. turned out great ... and makes me feel like it's a little healthier ... and my kids LOVE It.

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almost 3 years ago BrooksRoast

I've made a lot of banana bread -- this is the best. Nice texture, caramelized on the outside, not too sweet, not too oily. The children approve, want to make some more immediately. Baked with four modifications: Four bananas instead of three, brown sugar instead of white, addition of toasted pecan pieces, and baked for 45 minutes and then left in the oven to cool.

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about 3 years ago Lottelenya

Made this with half spelt flour, half plain flour and that worked really well. I did cut down the sugar to 100 grams though ( i think that's about half a cup), but made dulce de leche to put on top the slices....delish!

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about 3 years ago Drew Lorenc

Quite tasty and much healthier than the variety I am used to making. In stead of a loaf I made muffins, but the only difference is in cook time. I used 6 medium bananas, mashed but not puree (chunks of banana give a bit more pow) and put in 1c brown sugar. Also threw in about 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate bits and sprinkled with sugar in the raw for a crunch on top. Delicious! Thank you so much for the base, I think I'll try adding some coconut to the next batch.

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about 3 years ago DebJ

Always on the lookout for a "better" banana bread recipe, I made this as soon as I saw it. It's become my early Sunday morning recipe. I use a little more banana and add walnuts and pecans.

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about 3 years ago Grandma Kathy

One more thing. The recipe calls for large bananas. It you are using smaller ones the dryness would be the result. Add an additional banana if yours are small and 1/2 banana if they are medium.

I had a few drops of butter left and poured them over the top, sprinkled a little turibano sugar on top of a bit of crunch.

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about 3 years ago Grandma Kathy

I'm just eating my first piece and it truly is delicious. I may be able to add some help with the dryness a few bakers noted. My husband has owned bakeries since 1970. Professional bakers use a canned banana puree when making banana bread. It is simply ripe bananas thoroughly mashed which causes them to be more liquid. Something half way between a hand mashed banana and baby food (which has water). If you take the time to really mash the bananas into a soft puree the bread may be moister.

Additionally you could use brown sugar instead of granulated. It contains a little more molasses but not enough to really change the flavor. Additionally it contains m ore water and might make the bread a bit moister too.

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about 3 years ago lisa.chick

I love the low fat content of this recipe, but found the result a little dry. Cook for less time? Add more butter?

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about 3 years ago SaratheCook

I abosolutley addore banana bread - try adding nuts if you like them. It's just delicious !

- sarahskitchenblog.wordpress.com

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over 3 years ago mayaeats

this was amazing! my first time making banana bread, and it came out perfect.

Merrill

over 3 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

So glad to hear it!

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over 3 years ago nogaga

I feel compelled to add another comment! I really think this is a recipe that keeps on giving... I have been trying to experiment with dairy-free and reduced wheat. I just made this recipe using four medium-sized bananas, coconut oil in the place of butter and using a cup and a half of whole spelt flour, one half cup organic AP white flour. Again, the bread is delicious indulgent, and my house smells divine. What can I say? Thanks for a great recipe.

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over 3 years ago FroggyFrog

I really liked this bread, but it wasn't as moist as I had expected to be - although, it's been a while since I'd made it, so I'm not sure if I'm remember how it's supposed to be.

I think next time I make this, I'm going to use 4 bananas instead of 3 - the banana flavor wasn't as strong as I thought it should be, even though the ones I used were very large.

All in all, a really good recipe!

Merrill

over 3 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Sorry you found it dry. Let me know how it works with 4 bananas!

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over 3 years ago nogaga

I had some rapidly browning bananas about ten days ago and stuck them in the freezer. I defrosted three of them today and made this recipe using whole wheat flour for half the amount. It is delicious, and like chez nana says, my house smells divine.

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over 3 years ago Mountain Mama

Excellent!!! Great taste. Not overly sweet. :>

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over 3 years ago ctgal

No brown sugar?? My mother's version, the same, always used brown sugar, which I've always loved. What's the difference, do you think?

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over 3 years ago Lew

This is just like my grandmother's (no doubt it's the small amount of butter), and though I was horrified at all those cooks who added chocolate chips (this is banana bread!) I threw in a handful of my cinnamon sugar as part of the sugar quota. Homey and delicious.

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over 3 years ago chelsgrant

Thanks for this recipe! I made a vegan version of it and it came out amazingly moist inside with a beautiful crispy exterior. This is my new staple recipe for banana bread. Thanks for the inspiration!

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over 3 years ago The Daily Palette

This is in the oven right now!

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over 3 years ago lacerise

Your photo really captures my feelings about banana bread. It's been a favorite in my family with my children. I long ago adapted a recipe similar to yours by adding a handful of chopped toasted pecans and a handful of coconut. So easy to whip up and so yummy!

Stringio

over 3 years ago Rembems

Absolutely lovely!

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over 3 years ago chez nana

I had three beautifully brown bananas (it's a sign, I say) screaming out to me to be made into this Bananal Bread. Easy, quick, and no nuts, thank you. My house smells divine and the bread is deliciously perfect. A keeper!!

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over 3 years ago Ordinary Blogger (Rivki Locker)

I love how this has just 3 tablespoons of butter. Not very much fat, and looks delicious.