Banana Bread is the quintessential quick bread – a group of breads that use a chemical rising agent (baking soda or baking powder) instead of yeast, making them super quick to make because they require no rising time. It’s a crowd pleaser and the very best way to make use of those bananas that have been hanging around your kitchen for just a little too long.
Freeze Over-Ripe Bananas
Sometimes over-ripe bananas just happen to me. I buy bananas with every intention to eat them promptly, but then I’ll turn around and see them another day and they are covered in brown and darkened peels and feel slightly squishy inside. That’s when I pop them into the freezer to hold onto them until I have enough bananas (three, by the way) and the time to make the bread. When that time comes, let the bananas thaw at room temperature (doesn’t take too long) and you’ll be ready to go.
How to “Quick-Ripen” Bananas
Then there are the times when you have a craving for banana bread, but you don’t have any over-ripe bananas on hand. Well, here’s a trick for you. You can pop the bananas into the oven on a baking sheet and roast them at 350ºF for about 20 minutes. The peels will turn completely black and the interior will be soft – perfect for banana bread. Just let them cool, peel and proceed with the recipe. (The bottom banana in the photo above is the roasted banana.)
How to Make Banana Bread
The key to making moist, tender banana bread is to mix it as little as possible. Mash those bananas with a fork and add the eggs, oil and sugar. Then mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon) in a separate bowl. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, stirring only until everything is combined. Once you see no more traces of dry ingredients, stop.
Banana Bread Variations
Once the batter has been mixed together, you can add additional ingredients like walnuts, pecans, raisins or (if you’re a devil) chocolate chunks. Fold these ingredients in gently so you don’t over-mix. Then, transfer the batter to the prepared pan. If you want to make another delicious quick bread other than banana bread, try this carrot cake loaf, which is made the same way.
Prepare the Loaf Pan
Speaking of the prepared pan… this recipe calls for you to butter the loaf pan and dust it with sugar. Dusting with sugar does two things. First of all, it really shows you where you missed buttering the pan (you’ll understand when you try this), but more importantly, it creates a crunchy sugary exterior to the loaf which is frankly pretty irresistible. Still, if you want to skip the sugaring step, you can.
Another skippable step is sprinkling the top with turbinado sugar. Turbinado sugar is a partially refined sugar that still retains some of the molasses. It’s brown in color and comes in larger granules. It also forms a crunchy sugar surface on the top of the banana bread and makes it look like it came straight out of a professional bakery. Again… irrisistible.
How to Tell When Banana Bread is Done
Banana bread bakes for about an hour. You’ll know it is done when the top and sides are nicely browned and a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, with no wet batter on it. Remove it from the oven and do your best to let it sit on a cooling rack. Once it has cooled, just enough so you can handle it, cut into it and enjoy as a little butter melts over that perfect slice.
Storing Banana Bread
You can freeze baked banana bread for several months if it is wrapped well. Then just defrost at room temperature and enjoy. Otherwise, store the baked banana bread wrapped in plastic on your kitchen counter. Stored at room temperature, it will remain delicious for several days. How long banana bread actually lasts, however, depends entirely on you!
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I am in love with this banana bread! I’ve never used the butter/sugar dusting combo before and I’ll never make a loaf without it again!! Super yummy
I too love this recipe not only is it easy it is so good FYI when you if you’re going to freeze your bananas put them in a ziplock bag and smash him in the bag then freeze them when you go to use on take the bag out let it unthaw somewhat and it will slide right out of the bag
Great tip, Pat. Thank you.
Can this recipe be tripled. I hate making only one loaf at a time. Neighbors and kids want some, too.
Sure! If you have a bowl big enough to mix it all, the loaf pans you need and the energy, go for it! 😊
Can’t wait to try this banana bread recipe. I like the cake texture for banana bread. Thanks Meredith.
Meredith, will the bread still come out the same if I double the recipe or should I do them separately? Thank You.
Hi Kate. You can absolutely double the recipe. If you’re making it in a larger (or smaller) loaf pan, however, you will need to adjust the time. Check them by inserting a wooden skewer into the center of the bread – you should not have any wet better on the skewer when you remove it.
I have made this several times and we all love it.
I am making several today infact. I wish i knew how to make this recipe as cookies.
Is that possible if I replace the oil with water?
Hi Angie. I wouldn’t replace the oil with water. This recipe needs the fat in the oil in order to have the flavor and texture that it has.
I am not a baker, but I thought I’d try this because I had bananas on my counter that were really ripe. This was so easy and it came out great. It was so good, especially the little crunch from the sugar, that my family could not believe I made it. They were looking for the box from our local pastry shop. I was so proud!
How can I make this gluetin free
Hi Jayne. I don’t have a lot of experience with gluten free ingredients, but my only suggestion here would be to try gluten free flour, or part gluten free flour and part almond flour. It would take some experimenting.
Made your banana bread, Meredith yesterday. Better than mine! I miss you on QVC but you are always loved on any medium! I especially like the yours video in conjunction with the recipe. I plan on making your AirFryer cinnamon rolls next!
I absolutely love this recipe. I’ll be making one for my church family. Do you have a carrot cake or rum cake recipe that I can try?
I do have a carrot cake recipe here: https://bluejeanchef.com/recipes/carrot-cake-loaf/
Hope you like it.
Made this recipe at least 10 times. Wonderful. Wouldn’t change anything.
Above it states:
PREP TIME 20 m/ COOK TIME 2 h 15 m.
Is this correct? I see to bake 60-75m
Great catch! Thank you. I’ve updated the recipe card.
Great recipe and I added some blueberries that I needed to use up. Also substituted a stick of melted butter for the oil. Miss you on QVC.
In the oven now. Easy to follow recipe, and my house smells so good!
I love this recipe. My teenagers love it too! I get numerous requests to make it. Oh, I always roast the bananas. Didn’t have bananas last night so I substituted frozen cherries (1 C minced in blender, 1/3 c whole)…delicious!!!
I just baked this banana bread and it is without a doubt the best Love the crispy around the edges Also easy to make This is going to the top of the many delicious recipes I have of yours . You are the best.
How long do I bake if I put into muffin pan?
I would bake at 425°F for 8 minutes. Then turn the oven temperature down (do not open oven door at this point) to 350°F and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
My son gobbled up this banana bread … the sugar dusting/crust was yummy😋 I did not have turbinado sugar, I used light brown sugar… came out great. I froze 1/2 of the loaf, cut in think slices… have been pulling them out as needed … just as good as out of the oven 🙂
Thanks for the recipe Meredith. I’ve made it twice already and my husband is looking for more. Just need to buy some more bananas.
I have made many of your recipes over the years and they never disappoint. Stay well and I’ll be looking forward to some summer meals soon. 💕
What do I set the oven at if I use a glass loaf pan
Hi Karen. I would use the same temperature.
I plan to try this recipe, but I have a question about quick breads in general. No matter what type of quick bread I make (and I have baked for years) it gets too brown on the outside (try to cover it with foil towards the end) before it gets done on the inside. I use a 9X5 Wilton pan. Any ideas?
Hi Gloria. Does the pan have a dark non-stick interior? Sometimes those dark non-sticks cook and brown foods a little faster. You can lower the heat about 20 – 25º or remove it from the oven 10 minutes early.
I made this banana bread twice already. I’m ready to make it again. My daughter keeps bringing me her bananas when they start going bad. I love the sugar idea, it gives it a little crunch. This time I think I will make it with chocolate chips. Thanks Meredith, this is now my favorite banana bread.
Just made your banana bread and I’ve never used cinnamon in mine and it is delicious, I also added chopped walnuts. This was a big hit! Thanks
What is a 1 pound loaf pan? An 8-inch or 9-inch.?
Hi. Unfortunately, loaf pans don’t come in standard sizes and can differ slightly. A one-pound loaf pan is roughly 6×4 and a two-pound loaf pan is roughly 8×4. Both are around 3 inches deep.
I have tried several banana bread recipes and this is the best one. I have made it twice now and both times it was delicious! This will always be my go to recipe. Thanks for sharing.
I’m 72 made a lot of banana bread and this is right up at the top
Thank you Pat!
Love your technique! No more tunnels (known in our family as the “sad streak”). Plus it’s really yummy. Thank you.
Great receipe. Use this method all the time. All ingredients are in my pantry.
Excellent results. Thank you.
I have a new Banana bread recipe! This was delicious. It replaces the recipe I used from Better Homes and Garden cookbook. I’m going to bake another loaf tomorrow. Give this recipe a try, you won’t be sorry.
I’ve made this in the oven, and my 100 year old mom loves it. Can it be done in the instant pot?
Hi Lynn. I have never tried this recipe is an Instant Pot. Here is my recipe for Banana Chocolate Chunk Cake that’s made in a pressure cooker that you could try or use the same directions to adapt this recipe for your Instant Pot. https://bluejeanchef.com/recipes/banana-cake-with-chocolate-chunks/
5 stars all the way! I have made this 3 times. The 3rd loaf I used pecans from my brother’s tree and it 2as yummy. I’ve also made it without nuts for my son who isn’t crazy about nuts. Both are scrumptious! This is my go to banana bread recipe 🍌
A true “quick bread”.
Ingredients are pantry staples, and it’s a simple mix of dry into wet.
Turbinado sugar is the secret to a perfect crust.
After years of trying different recipes, this is my favourite. Hubs and i each had 2 slices warm from the oven with butter on top…..fabulous!
Wow just finish baking this banana bread recipe…mmm simple and soooo good., I just discovered you bluejean chef,so very glad I did. Thank you.
I added a handful of fresh cranberries and some pumpkins spice. I did not have the sugar on hand to put on top so sprinkled some coconut sugar. It was a hit.
This is my go to banana bread ❤️ So yummy and makes the house smell so good.
Strangely, I have not had a banana bread recipe I have liked much until this one! This is a keeper and will become the recipe I use going forward. Coating my pan with the sugar and using the sprinkled turbinado sugar on top, took it over the top. Fabulous!
This is my go to recipe for banana bread going forward. The first time was great. I decided to try the recipe using less ripe bananas and your tip of ripening them in the oven 350 for 20 minutes. Not that good. The banana flavor was all but missing. Sweet & moist but lacking any flavor. I definitely recommend just waiting for the bananas to ripen.