Make Ahead

Banana Bread

March 12, 2021
24 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
Author Notes

My mother used to make banana bread all the time when I was growing up, and it was one of the treats we most looked forward to. Tender, with a crisp, brown crust and an intense banana flavor, it was just the thing for breakfast, or toasted and thickly buttered with a hot cup of tea.

She got the recipe from an old community cookbook called Forum Feasts (see my post on a recipe for chocolate cake with orange icing from the same book)–I've cut back on the sugar a little, but otherwise it remains the same. It keeps well for a few days, and if you wrap it tightly in foil and plastic wrap, you can freeze it for several weeks with no side effects. —Merrill Stubbs

  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Makes One 2-pound loaf
Ingredients
  • 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
Directions
  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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kathryn Nelson
    Kathryn Nelson
  • farmgirl
    farmgirl
  • neonkitty
    neonkitty
  • julia samersova
    julia samersova
  • Kevin Stradinger
    Kevin Stradinger

148 Reviews

Mary A. February 9, 2021
I last wrote a review on this bread in 2018. Since then this bread has remained a steadfast favorite. I must make it at least once or twice a month. The only changes I’ve made are to decrease the sugar to about a quarter cup (sometimes a little less if the bananas are really sweet) and I add walnuts. Lately after I have the batter in the pan I’ll cut a semi ripe banana in half and then place the the halves cut side down on top of the loaf The bananas slightly sink into the batter and become caramelized during baking taking this loaf to another level. Thank you for sharing this recipe with us.
 
vrinda October 27, 2020
GRRRReat recipe ! EASY !!!!
I thought 2 cups flour may have been too much but it wasn't .
I think I'll try a 1/4 c less flour next time just because less flour is always better in my mind
 
Kathryn N. October 22, 2020
Really solid recipe. Delicious, simple, produces moist flavorful bread. I've substituted gluten free ap flour, added coconut and chocolate ... each time turns out great!
 
farmgirl October 22, 2020
niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice
 
19o74 May 27, 2020
I tried this recepie today and it came out perfect. It's really something beautiful. I feel so accomplished. The sugar adjustment was spot on.
Thank you.
 
AllyKrue April 12, 2020
Made this today and it is delicious! Subbed 1/2 c oat milk for egg, and 1/2 c brown sugar for white sugar. Also added 2/3 c. Chopped walnuts, 1/3 t. Cinnamon.
 
Author Comment
Merrill S. April 12, 2020
Glad you enjoyed it!
 
neonkitty April 4, 2020
This was a wonderful banana bread. I used 4 small very ripe bananas, 1/2 cup of sugar, vegan butter, chopped walnuts and added a dash of bourbon vanilla. It baked for about 1 hour and came out lovely.

Cant wait to make it again with some chopped up chocolate.
 
Author Comment
Merrill S. April 12, 2020
Thanks for the feedback -- glad you liked it!
 
phip March 1, 2020
Don’t know how I blew it but I did. Followed recipe. Made sure the baking soda and powder were up too date. Cooked the bread for at least one hour. What little it rose immediately collapsed when taken out of the oven. Only thing I can think that might have happened is that the bananas might have been too ripe??? Anyhow with its crunchy crust and soggy crumb it reminded me of a family recipe for persimmon pudding that I love. I’ll just call this pup Banana Pudding knowing that I’ll probably never be able to duplicate it again. Anyway it’s delicious and I used those nasty bananas. Any advice ?
 
Author Comment
Merrill S. April 12, 2020
Huh! I'm a little stumped. And I've used REALLY ripe bananas (the blacker the better, imo) so I don't that could have been it. Love your lemons into lemonade attitude, though!
 
julia S. October 6, 2019
perfection! doubled the recipe and added chocolate chips! AMAZING and so MOIST!
 
Kevin S. September 9, 2019
Subbed in brown sugar because I didn't want to go to the store and added a splash of vanilla. Added another T of butter based on comment suggestions. It turned out very tasty but ever so slightly too dry, I'm gonna try it again next week but with an added dollop of sour cream or yogurt
 
ctgal September 10, 2019
My mother always made her banana bread recipe with brown sugar, and we always loved it!
 
ECMotherwell May 6, 2019
Baked this over the weekend, loved it. At my husband's suggestion (totally surprising, since he doesn't bake) I froze the bananas first and then thawed -- it meant they mushed in a super even way. Only modification was slightly more butter and chopped, toasted walnuts. Really delicious!
 
Shibu_Cat March 29, 2019
I made this banana bread with a few tweaks. I substituted white sugar for brown, added an additional tablespoon of butter, bringing it to four tablespoons, and used bread flour instead of all-purpose. I also added chocolate chips and vanilla. I have tried this recipe as is before but in my opinion, the new recipe was much moister and more flavorful than the original. One more tip I would give is that if you add walnuts, (as many people tend to do) they dry the bread out, so I would recommend making up for that by adding additional butter/other fat. I wish anyone who reads this luck on their banana bread!
 
food52fan March 24, 2019
Made two loaves of this bread today, with some tweaks as suggested in the comments: added some molasses to the white sugar, a half-cup of chopped walnuts, a cup of chocolate chips, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. It is moist and delicious! Not crumbly at all and has a wonderful flavor. Will make this again with the same adjustments.
 
Shibu_Cat March 29, 2019
Did you add any extra fat? If so, how much?
 
food52fan March 29, 2019
I did not add any extra fat, in fact I was a little under since I doubled the recipe and ran out of butter! I use Kerry Gold Irish butter, so I'm not sure if that is what kept my bread so moist, or the addition of vanilla, or even the molasses I add to white sugar to make it brown! Thanks for your tip about the walnuts. I will keep that in mind for my baking projects!
 
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.