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With its super-moist texture, buttery banana and brown sugar flavors, incredibly soft crumb, and 1,000+ reviews, this is a delicious AND undeniably popular banana bread recipe. You need 4 ripe bananas.

Reader Sharon says: “I have made plenty of banana breads over the years, but by far this one is my favorite!! Easy to make, perfectly moist without being too ‘cakey’, and full of flavor! Definitely a keeper!”

Banana bread slices

This is my favorite banana bread recipe, one that I’ve cherished for years. It’s one of those classic recipes that you start to know by heart, just like a good pie crust or chocolate chip cookies recipe. This bread comes to mind first when I have leftover spotty bananas on the counter and the bread that’s on constant rotation in my freezer stash. It’s one of the most popular recipes I’ve published on this website, out of over 1,200!

homemade banana bread slices on wooden cutting board.

I’ve tried dozens of banana bread recipes over the years and when I baked this recipe back in 2013, I never looked back.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe Too

  • Mega banana flavor (from 2 cups/460g mashed bananas)
  • Not overly sweet, so banana flavor shines
  • Brown sugar adds flavor
  • Dense, but still quite tender & soft
  • Buttery & stays moist for days
  • Straightforward, simple recipe
  • Freezes wonderfully
  • Excellent plain or with nuts or chocolate chips

This bread uses more mashed bananas than similar recipes. Add 2 whole cups of mashed banana, which is about 4 large bananas. More banana = more moisture and flavor in the finished loaf.

How to Mash Bananas

Did you know you can use your electric mixer to mash bananas? Break or slice the spotty bananas into large pieces and place in the bowl of your stand mixer—or use a regular mixing bowl and your hand mixer. Begin beating on low, then gradually increase to medium-high speed as the bananas break down into mashed banana. Transfer the bananas to another bowl and use the mixing bowl for the butter and sugar. (No need to clean it—some mashed banana remnants is fine.)

I do this when I mash bananas for banana muffins, too.

mashed bananas in a stand mixer bowl with whisk attachment

Other Banana Bread Ingredients

  • Butter: Use softened butter for a soft texture and irresistible butter flavor.
  • Brown Sugar: Use all brown sugar in this recipe. In the headnotes for this chocolate chip cookies recipe, I explain that brown sugar yields soft and moist cookies. Well brown sugar works that same magic in banana bread, too. It also adds wonderful flavor.
  • Eggs: Eggs supply cakes, cupcakes, breads, doughs, and cookies their stability and structure, as well as a tender texture. You’ll need 2 large eggs for this.
  • Sour Cream or Yogurt: Sour cream or yogurt adds even more moisture to this banana bread. (You can use the two interchangeably in most baking recipes.)

For banana nut bread, add 3/4 cup of chopped nuts to the banana bread batter; I like using either pecans or walnuts. If you’re nuts for nuts (LOL), you’ll enjoy the toasty slight crunch nestled inside the soft crumbs. If you’re not a nut person, feel free to leave them out or replace with chocolate chips. For a whole wheat version, try my whole wheat banana bread.

overhead photo of sliced banana bread on wooden cutting board.

Can I Use Frozen Bananas?

Yes and I do this often. Thaw the frozen bananas at room temperature. Drain off any excess liquid, mash, then use as instructed in the recipe below. Try not to mash too much or else you’ll be left with 2 cups of banana-y liquid; some chunks are great.

How to Freeze Banana Bread

Freeze banana bread using these instructions to preserve its fresh flavor and texture for months:

  1. Cool baked banana bread completely.
  2. Tightly wrap the loaf or slices (individually or grouped) in 2-3 layers of plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
  3. Place wrapped banana bread in a large freezer-friendly storage bag or reusable container.
  4. Date the bag and freeze for up to 3-4 months. Thaw wrapped or unwrapped in the refrigerator or at room temperature. All methods work like a charm!

I like to freeze the quick bread in slices because slices thaw much quicker, even by lunchtime!

2 slices of banana bread with butter on a white plate

Overall, this is an easy recipe for classic banana bread. The batter takes about 10 minutes to throw together, the bread stays moist for days, and nothing beats the smell of fresh banana bread in the oven. (Except for, maybe, zucchini bread or pumpkin bread… try those next!)

Other Favorite Banana Recipes:

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Banana bread slices

My Favorite Banana Bread

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 65 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

With its super-moist texture, buttery banana and brown sugar flavors, and incredibly soft crumb, this is the best ever banana bread recipe. You’ll need 4 ripe bananas to begin.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar (see note)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (80g) plain yogurt or sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (460g) mashed bananas (about 4 large ripe bananas)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • optional: 3/4 cup (100g) chopped pecans or walnuts

Instructions

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Lowering the oven rack prevents the top of your bread from browning too much, too soon. Grease a metal 9×5-inch loaf pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl.
  3. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar together on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. On medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the yogurt, mashed bananas, and vanilla extract on medium speed until combined. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until no flour pockets remain. Do not overmix. Fold in the nuts, if using.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 60-65 minutes. Loosely cover the bread with aluminum foil after 30 minutes to help prevent the top and sides from getting too brown. A toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf will come out clean when the bread is done. Remove from the oven and allow the bread to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack.
  5. Cover and store banana bread at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Banana bread tastes best on day 2 after the flavors have settled together. See post above for freezing instructions.

Notes

  1. Butter: If needed, you can use salted butter in this recipe instead. Keep all the other ingredients the same.
  2. Brown Sugar: This is not an overly sweet quick bread. If you want a sweeter banana bread, increase to 1 cup (200g) brown sugar. Feel free to replace some or all of the brown sugar with regular white granulated sugar.
  3. Cream Cheese Frosting: This banana bread also tastes fantastic with cream cheese frosting on top! To make it, beat 4 ounces (112g) of softened cream cheese and 1/4 cup (60g) of softened unsalted butter together on medium speed until smooth. Beat in 1 cup (120g) of confectioners sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt until combined. Spread on cooled loaf.
  4. Banana Bread Muffins: Use this banana bread recipe to make 2 dozen banana bread muffins. Pour the batter into a lined or greased muffin pan and bake for 5 minutes at 425°F (218°C) then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C). Bake for an additional 16-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The total bake time for the banana bread muffins is about 22-23 minutes. The initial burst of hot air helps those muffins rise nice and tall! Or try my quick & easy banana muffins.
  5. Brown Sugar: Feel free to substitute the same amount of regular white granulated sugar or coconut sugar. I do not recommend any liquid sweeteners.
  6. No Sour Cream or Yogurt? Feel free to use 1/3 cup mashed banana (in addition to the 2 cups), unsweetened applesauce, or even canned pumpkin puree.
  7. Frozen Bananas: You can use frozen bananas here. Thaw the frozen bananas at room temperature. Drain off any excess liquid, mash, then use as instructed in the recipe. Try not to mash too much or else you’ll be left with 2 cups of banana-y liquid; some chunks are great.
  8. Chocolate Chips: I love this bread with chocolate chips, too. Feel free to add 1 cup of your favorite chocolate chips (semi-sweet, dark chocolate, etc). No need to leave out the nuts if you add the chocolate chips. Chocolate chips and nuts are both optional.

Keywords: banana bread, bread, quick bread, bananas

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. I’ve tried a lot of banana bread recipes and this one is by far my favorite! I love the texture and the touch of cinnamon adds the perfect amount of spice. Be careful with this because it’s highly addictive.

  2. I have made this recipe several times and it is perfect! Full of flavor and individual slices freeze well. Thank you Sally!

    1. Metal or glass is great. I do not recommend ceramic because it takes awhile for the batter to heat properly, extending the bake time and even over-cooking the exterior before the center can cook.

      1. Hi Staci! We recommend using metal as the bread will take longer to bake in stoneware.

  3. Hi Sally, I love your recipes and have tried many — they are fail proof. Is this possible to make in a Bundt pan?
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Esther! We’d recommend using this banana cake batter for a Bundt instead (see recipe notes for bundt cake instructions). Let us know if you give it a try!

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