Banana Bread

March 14, 2011

Test Kitchen-Approved

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
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 1 hrs


  • 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
In This Recipe


  1. Heat the oven to 350° 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 overmix, 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.

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Banana Bread|Bread|American|Fruit|Make Ahead|Breakfast|Dessert|Snack

Reviews (128) Questions (7)

128 Reviews

Martha F. September 8, 2018
The method for this banana bread is much simpler than others, and uses minimal utensils. I found it too dry and a bit flat tasting, however. I did add vanilla extract and a handful of chocolate chips; next time will increase butter to 4 tablespoons, use brown instead of white sugar, and perhaps toss in some espresso powder.
Megan July 15, 2018
It seems every time I make banana bread I use a different base recipe and make different tweaks. So I'm jotting my notes here more just so I don't forget what I did not because I recommend my modifications! I used 1 part brown sugar and 2 parts white, realizing only when I did the dishes that I had used the wrong measuring cup and actually put a full cup of sugar, total. I also used 4 bananas because I had 4 that desperately needed to be used up. I didn't have quite enough baking powder and I used salted butter. I baked them in muffin tins because I wanted to reduce the length of time my oven was on (hot today!). They came out very very good, if a bit on the sweet side. Next time I'll use the correct amount of sugar. This is such a nice, simple recipe that is clearly very forgiving.
Andrea A. June 7, 2018
This was disappointing. I was skeptical about the use of white sugar, and true enough, this banana bread lacked the depth of flavor that you get with brown sugar. Also, this definitely needed a bit more fat. I disliked how dry it was compared to my usual banana bread. The only good thing about this recipe is that it's easy.
ctgal June 7, 2018
It appears that I wrote the same thing, six years ago! My mother's recipe always had brown sugar. The more amazing thing was that I could eat gluten then, without getting really sick. And now, no way! I have been testing gluten free banana bread recipes for about 3 years and have not yet settled on one as a go-to recipe. I miss my mother's version and couldn't eat it even if it were sitting in front of me. Such is life.
Mary A. April 29, 2018
I’ve made this bread several times now only adding walnuts to the original recipe. The bread is so easy to make, I use only a fork, spoon and two mixing bowls to make the bread. Its virtually finished in a day or two with everyone saying when can you make it again?
Anthony March 11, 2018
This is next-level banana bread. Didn’t change a thing to the above recipe and the loaf turned out phenomenal. Will definitely be a regular for the kids (and adults) in this family. Thank you!
idoc February 10, 2018
Prepared the banana bread listed on the King Arthur Flour web site: "WHOLE-GRAIN BANANA BREAD: INTRODUCING OUR 2018 RECIPE OF THE YEAR." Made the recipe with only all-purpose flour and eliminated the walnuts, otherwise prepared exactly as directed. Got an absolutely great banana bread having all of the good qualities that could be expected.
Deeann K. February 4, 2018
O found out about this recipe from reading an article by Food 52's Sarah Jampel "I Made 6 Banana Bread recipes that all claimed to the 'Best". And this recipe actually came in second to one on Bon Appétit's but was waaay too fussy and complicated. I doubled everything in the recipe except for the sugar changing it to 3/4 c white & 1/2 c brown and only 3/4t salt as I was using salted butter. Good rise, nice cracks however was a little flat so maybe next time I'll add the full amount of sugar and salt. I know my oven temp is a little high so set to 335 and checked at 45 min and it still needed more time but to bake the inside, the edges over-baked. Any suggestions? Should I have it on a lower rack or maybe bake with a pan of water in the oven? Will TOTALLY make again however could use some feed-back.
CongaChile December 8, 2017
I've made this a few times in the last couple of weeks. I forgot to add the melted butter last time and it actually turned out great! Quick, simple and really good.
EC December 7, 2017
It's a "healthier" yet tasty banana bread. I added dark chocolate shavings to give it some richness. The bread is best slightly warmed up or even toasted. For those who like a dense, sweet, super moist banana bread this is not it. I prefer this recipe as it's less greasy and rich than the typical kind you usually get in-store (this one only has 3 tbsp of butter). It's a fragrant, a bit crumbly -a no-guilt yet satisfying snack.
mckenzie November 2, 2017
I've never commented on this recipe, I just realized, but it is one of my favorites! So perfect. The key, I've found, to any banana bread is to use extremely ripe bananas, and that's true here too.
Carrie S. October 16, 2017
loved it. perfect.
Gina August 17, 2017
I made my first banana bread today. I didn't use this recipe. But I will the next time I make this. There seems to be great reviews for it. The recipe I used called for baking soda. I didn't have baking soda,but I used a pinch of baking powder. I also used 11/2 c flower,1c sugar,2 eggs,1/4c butter. I wasn't sure how it was going to come out or taste. I think there was way too much sugar. It was super sweet. There wasn't enough banana flavor. The top snd edges were a bit hard. I was able to taste more than just banana. It wasn't disgusting,but wasn't OMG delicious either. FAR FROM IT. LOL. Today is my first day in this site and I'm trying to see where I can add a photo to show all of you.
Cali September 24, 2017
why are you commenting on this thread if you didn't make this banana bread? no one cares about this other recipe you used, gina. stick to the recipe at hand or don't comment please.
cookinalong November 8, 2017
A little harsh, don't you think?
Amanda T. November 13, 2017
Rude. She was excited, ok? Must be difficult for you, being so damn perfect.
CongaChile March 29, 2017
I've made this recipe a few times and it was great. I was just doing some research on baking soda and baking powder and was wondering why, since there is no acid in this recipe, is baking soda used? It rises nicely, but still, why both?
Lynnsy October 9, 2017
Bananas are a bit acidic, they just don't taste that way.<br />
Laura February 28, 2017
Could you do it with less sugar?
Bombay February 28, 2017
can this be made with stevia?
witloof September 2, 2016
Just made this! Simple and perfect!
joan August 31, 2016
I mixed in melted bittersweet chocolate in 1/2 cup of batter and marbled it. Delicious.
Sammy July 10, 2016
I just made these into 18 big muffins, doubling the recipe because I had 6 very ripe bananas and adding pecans because I like them! Baked 20 minutes. Can't wait for my husband/willing Guinea pig to come home and have one.
CanadaDan April 1, 2016
Amazing and super simple. Replaced half the sugar with maple syrup and added some vanilla and chocolate chips. Came out perfectly in 55 minutes. Thanks!
Tara Z. January 26, 2016
I subbed 3/4 cup of maple syrup instead of the sugar and it was great