Classic Banana Bread

April 23, 2010
12 Ratings
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Makes one loaf
Author Notes

I think I made this banana bread about three times a week in high school. It never gets old. My friends prefer it with chocolate added, but I like the original version best. —ChristineB

What You'll Need
  • 3-4 overripe bananas (the blacker the better, unless they're moldy!)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/2 cup Shortening, at room temperature (you can use unsalted butter, and flavour will be excellent, but the texture is not quite as good)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Move rack to lower-middle position. Generously grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
  2. Beat bananas with an electric mixer until smooth. Add brown sugar, butter, and eggs, and mix until completely incorporated.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and beat until smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  4. Stir in the walnuts and/or chocolate chips, if you're using them.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake for one hour, or until bread is a deep brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Megan F.
    Megan F.
  • Cindy Vallon
    Cindy Vallon
  • bozhena
  • bd20009
  • ChristineB

23 Reviews

jody D. February 9, 2023
This is the ONLY Banana Bread Recipe I make. The only one I get rave reviews on-I've made others also. Originally it only called for 1/2 cup butter. Didn't ever mention shortening before which I would not use, but the writer seems to feel it better. Won't try that addition. I throw in all kinds of things-blueberries, shredded carrots, shredded zucchini, whatever I have BUT the basic recipe is the best which gives you a lot of latitude to create whatever type of Banana Bread you want to make.
ChristineB February 10, 2023
Thank you Jody! My mom always made this with shortening (which she never measured, but eyeballed on a rubber spatula) when I was young, but when I went off to college I insisted on subbing butter. The butter version tastes great, but I’ve found (especially living on my own, when baked goods get eaten more slowly) that it stays fresh considerably longer with shortening. Another commenter says they made it with shortening and it had an off taste - I’ve never experienced that, but perhaps it varies brand to brand. In any case, I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the recipe so much and made it your own!
Aishwarya February 7, 2022
Can you dubble this recipe?
Karen G. June 2, 2021
There was a lot to love about this recipe but I was sorry I used shortening. Something about the taste was off putting. Next time butter
christinehmc December 20, 2020
Absolutely love this recipe! Gonna be baking loaves of this baby for Christmas gifts this year!
Alyssa February 24, 2018
Hello! If I’ve only got two bananas should I just shorten the baking time or do I need to knock down all the ingredient ratios? Or add a little something more? Excited to try this one!
ChristineB February 24, 2018
Hi Alyssa! I think having lots of banana is what makes this recipe really tasty, so if I only had two bananas I’d probably 2/3rds the whole recipe and make a smaller loaf (it’s a bit annoying to use half an egg, but it’s not too hard to divide. I think 1 1/2 eggs should be fine - no need to use precisely 1 1/3!!)
Alyssa February 24, 2018
Found a frozen banana in the freezer—and found a new favorite recipe! Came out beautifully.
Nus February 9, 2018
I'm excited to try this recipe. Since I don't usually bake, I have a few questions:
- Can I substitute olive oil for butter?
- Why do you use baking soda and baking powder? Can i just used baking soda?
- If I add chocolate chips, do I need to use less sugar?
Thank you!
ChristineB February 9, 2018
Hello! I’ve never made it with olive oil before, but if you’d prefer that it’s certainly worth a try! My only worry is that because I have always made it with fat that is solid at room temp (butter or shortening), I can’t predict what would happen with a liquid fat. Baking soda acts as a leavening agent by interacting with the acidity of the brown sugar, whereas the baking powder just acts with any liquid - they do the same job, but for slightly different reasons! I wouldn’t decrease the sugar, especially if you’re using semisweet chocolate chips. It’s not a particularly sweet banana bread recipe. I hope you enjoy it!! Let me know how it turns out with olive oil, if you use that. I love the classic taste of butter myself, but I’m curious!
Megan F. August 31, 2017
This was a stellar recipe even though I made a few modifications. I used bob's red milk gluten free baking flour and was shocked at how normal the consistency was - you'd never guess it's gluten free, honestly. I also added about 1/2 tsp of vanilla and cinnamon. Thank you! This will forever be my go to banana bread recipe.
ChristineB August 31, 2017
Fantastic, I'm so glad you love it! Also, that is great to hear that Bob's is making such a superb gluten free flour!
Tess April 6, 2017
Of all the banana bread recipes I've baked in past years, this is THE ONE! It's always moist and tender. It's my husband's favorite. There are three small loaves baking up right now. One has walnuts - its for me. The other two are for my husband who doesn't believe nuts belong in anything baked. To each their own. Thank you, Food 52!
NatPavi May 14, 2015
Made this last night for a meeting with my coworkers today and it was an absolute hit! I subbed the flour for gluten free flour from my grocery store (one of my coworkers is allergic to gluten), added dark chocolate chips and laid long slices of banana across the top of the mix before baking. Absolutely gorgeous. It didn't even last a half hour in our meeting before being gobbled up!
pildora December 16, 2014
Hi, I have made this recipe several times. But I don´t know why often, the center never raise. Could you give me some advice? thks
ChristineB August 31, 2017
So sorry for the extremely late reply - I just saw your comment! I bet your bananas are bigger than mine, which is absolutely fine (and a good thing for the yummy banana taste!). You probably just need to add about half an hour to the baking time.
Cindy V. July 3, 2014
Hey! Just wanted to say that I tried this recipe out yesterday and got rave reviews. It made a rookie look like a pro. Thanks a lot!
bozhena March 16, 2014
love this recipe. thank you very much.
bd20009 January 16, 2011
This is my new go-to banana bread recipe! I had been using a different recipe for about the last 20 years and I thought that one was the best. This one is even better. I think the additional amount of walnuts plus the brown sugar rather than white sugar makes a big difference. The crust browned up nicely and had a sweet crunch to it that my boyfriend loved.
ChristineB February 1, 2011
I'm so glad you liked it!! :)
ChristineB June 28, 2010
Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it! The recipe makes yummy muffins too, especially when topped with a buttery streusel :)
DeArmasA February 19, 2011
oooh, i'm gonna try the muffins now - thanks for the heads up!
DeArmasA June 27, 2010
You were not kidding!! SOOOOOOOO yummy. I appreciated the instruction about the lower middle position of the rack - that made a difference given that I had 4 bananas and so I used them and that added 35 minutes to the cook time.