Banana Bread

By • March 14, 2011 93 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.

Tags: can be made ahead, freezes well, quick

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Comments (93) Questions (6)

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6 days ago Kris

I made this with a few tweaks since I had only white whole wheat flour at home but it turned out great.
Here's what I did
1.5 cups white whole wheat flour
3 tbsp oil instead of butter
1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup Honey instead of 3/4 cup sugar.

The result was moist and mildly sweet.

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17 days ago Emily

Normally I would say I'm not that into banana bread but I just tried this because I trust Merrill. As usual, she came through. This banana bread was moist and delicious. I loved it.

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28 days ago Maria Petri

It turned out absolutely delicious and moist -- but also a little too sweet, so if you're not into total sweetness, lose some sugar!

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2 months ago sjlongin

I have no idea what possessed me to bake banana bread when it's ninety degrees outside (except a load of bananas turning black from the unexpected heat!), but I just did and boy am I glad. Finally a recipe that tastes like the banana bread of my childhood! I've tried so many and even the good ones have been somehow disappointing. But this one did the trick and made me realize what was wrong with the others. They just weren't banana-ey enough. It also didn't hurt that this was the easiest of them all. I followed the recipe with the exception of adding one extra banana, using brown instead of white sugar and cutting the amount to a 1/2 cup, and adding half a bag of mini chocolate chips. I was going to add yogurt like some commenters suggested, but forgot. No matter because the end result is delicious and super moist. This one's a keeper!

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5 months ago Ursula | LilVienna.com

I tried the recipe yesterday, but I only had 2 overripe bananas to use. The dough batter seemed very dry so I added 1/2 cup milk. When baking it in the oven, I realized that I had forgotten the egg..... The bread turned out perfect - even without egg and only 2 bananas!! Thanks for the recipe.

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7 months ago Harriet Lobegeiger

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

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9 months ago sevenfaces

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

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9 months 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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10 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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11 months ago Darra Zankman

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

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11 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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about 1 year 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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about 1 year ago Loredona

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

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about 1 year 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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about 1 year 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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about 1 year 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.

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about 1 year 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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about 1 year 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.

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about 1 year 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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over 1 year 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.

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over 1 year 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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over 1 year ago CelliSean

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

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over 1 year 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.