My Favorite Banana Bread Recipe

With its super-moist texture, buttery banana and brown sugar flavors, and incredibly soft crumb, this is my favorite banana bread recipe. You need 4 ripe bananas.

Banana bread slices

This is my favorite banana bread recipe, one that I’ve cherished for years. It’s the recipe that 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. This is the best ever banana bread recipe and if you haven’t tried it yet, now’s the time.

Banana Bread Video Tutorial

overhead image of banana bread loaf cut into slices

I’ve tried many basic banana bread recipes and this one is my very favorite. Readers have fallen in love too! What makes this one so good? This banana bread has the most bananas out of any banana bread I’ve ever made before. 2 whole cups of mashed banana, which is about 4 large bananas. More banana adds more moisture and flavor to the finished product.

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 banana bread ingredients. (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 in this banana bread recipe.
  • Yogurt: Yogurt adds even more moisture to this banana bread. I like to use yogurt as much as possible when I’m baking. Sour cream is a wonderful substitution for plain yogurt. 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. I absolutely adore their sweet, toasty, and slight crunch nestled inside the soft banana bread crumbs. Feel free to leave them out completely if you’re not a fan of banana nut bread!

For a whole wheat version, try my whole wheat banana bread.

baked banana bread in a loaf pan

3 banana bread slices

How to Freeze Banana Bread

I’ve received a lot of questions about freezing banana bread since I published the recipe, so let me share what works. You can 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 banana bread in slices because the 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, apple cinnamon bread… try that one next!)

More Favorite Banana Recipes:

Here are all my banana recipes if you’re craving more baking inspiration.

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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
  • 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

  • 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
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (80g) plain yogurt or sour cream, at room temperature (I use Greek yogurt)
  • 2 cups 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). Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan or coat with nonstick 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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Brown Sugar: Feel free to substitute the same amount of regular white granulated sugar or coconut sugar. I do not recommend any liquid sweeteners.
  5. 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.
  6. Frozen Bananas: You can use frozen bananas. Thaw them at room temperature and drain off any excess liquid before using in the recipe.
  7. 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

Love this bread with cream cheese frosting too! See recipe note.

2 images of banana bread slices

1163 Comments

  1. The Baking Historian says:

    Hi Sally!

    I made this magnificent banana bread today and it is wonderful! And that cream cheese frosting on top of it – simply amazing! I’ve been baking quite a few recipes from your blog in the last few weeks and I love that yours are the only recipes where I never need to make any changes – the results are perfect the first time every time. Thank you so much for sharing your talent!

  2. Alexis @ Hummusapien says:

    You’ve done it again Sally….this was unreal! I made it tonight and it was totally perfect. I added chocolate chips (duh) and skipped the frosting since I had no cream cheese. Perfection!

  3. Baked this yesterday and you are right, it really is the best ever banana bread, even without the cream cheese frosting! Absolutely delish!

  4. Just made this last night and its SO GOOD! I even swapped out half the butter for applesauce, and it’s still divine!!! It’s very banana-ey and dense, yet still very moist ….. exactly the way i like it. I didn’t add the frosting cuz I think it’s rich enough as is. This recipe is definitely a keeper 🙂

  5. Had a bunch of spotty bananas that I didn’t want to freeze so I made a double batch of this last night in mini loaf pans. So good!

  6. Beautiful flavor. Lovely moist cake. I used 3/4 cups of the sugar for the frosting and added a teaspoon of cinnamon. Yum!!

  7. I have a degree in Culinary Arts, but my baking skills have NEVER been up to par! Sally, since finding your site and employing your recipes and methods, my family is under the impression that I can now bake like a professional as well! Thanks so much for sharing your gift with us! I have your banana bread currently in the oven, and the muffins just came out! They are DELICIOUS! Omg YUM!

  8. I’m 3 for 3 with recipes on your website Sally. This was, hands down, the best banana bread I’ve ever made. So moist and the frosting on top was delicious. I don’t know what to try next!

  9. My 2 year old has started baking with me and we’ve had such fun with your banana bread recipes. We made cinnamon swirl bread a couple weeks ago and this one today. We made muffins using your sky-high techniques. She gets so excited to try to finished product! Of course, her daddy appreciates the end result as well. Thanks for another winner!

  10. Sally!!

    Oh my goodness. I’ve already tried 3 of your recipes these last two months (the snickerdoodles, the homemade funfetti cake, AND this), and you’ve exceeded my expectations. Admittedly, these expectations were already sky high. I LOVE this banana bread! I’m happily eating it as I try to type this.

    If anyone else reading this is still somehow, for some reason, debating whether or not to make this…just do. Just do.

  11. I made this bread yesterday with small substitutes like White sugar as I had no Brown Sugar at hand and also without the frosting. But still it came out just perfect!! Super moist and everybody loved it, including my 4 yr old son!!! Thank you so much. Love your recipes!!!

  12. The best banana bread I have tried so far!! I enjoyed having it for breakfast this week 🙂

  13. Hi Sally!
    I just wanted to let you know that I’ve made this banana bread at least once a month every month this year! I’m a college student, and don’t have a lot of time to myself but when I do have free time, I make this banana bread! It’s so comforting and delicious. It’s great to share with other hungry college students as well. Thanks so much for the recipes!

  14. I made this today and it was soooo good! This is by far the best banana bread I have ever had. It was super duper moist and flavorful. I could eat it without the frosting. I think the frosting makes it a little too sweet. Thank you so much for sharing. Oh, and this is really filling too.

  15. This recipe was awesome for using up all my bananas! It’s making my apartment smell like a dream too. It’s still baking so I haven’t tasted it yet, but the batter was good! The only change I made was too the frosting, I added a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a few good shakes of cinnamon. Can’t wait to try it!

  16. This is super tasty, but what did I do wrong if the bottom of my bread (almost 1/2 inch) is dense and gooey? How can I fix this? I want to make this again since the rest of the bread came out perfectly (moist, tasty, the texture it should be) so I have no doubt this recipe is great one and that it’s awkward bottom is just a mistake on my part. Please let me know what I can do, thanks for your help Sally!

    1. Hey Michelle! It sounds like you have to bake the bread for just a little longer. Try loosely covering the top with aluminum foil and then baking for about 10 minutes longer. That should help bake things a little more evenly.

  17. This banana bread recipe is amazing!!!! I have made banana bread countless times with other recipes, but this one easily tops them! If I wanted to add semisweet chocolate chips, should I adjust anything in the recipe? Also, what amount of chocolate chips do you think would be appropriate? I loveee your website, the best baking blog around!! Thanks for sharing!!!!

    1. Hi Kevin! I suggest 3/4 cup of chocolate chips for the banana bread. Thanks for the kind words about my blog! I’m happy you enjoy this banana bread recipe.

  18. This was delicious! It’s become my dad’s favorite banana bread as well, and knowing how picky he is, I was thrilled! Thanks for the great recipe, Sally 😀

  19. Natalie Stiles says:

    Hi Sally:
    I have made your banana bread twice so far and both times were to die for. It is so quick and easy to prepare, and yet tastes so amazing. I will never look at another banana bread recipe again. I also really love the cream cheese frosting idea- I think I can put that on anything :). [This may sound strange/wrong, but I have to confess that one of my favorite things to do to banana bread is to under-bake it by a few minutes to get a really soft center. My mom did this on accident to almost all of her banana breads growing up, but that ended up being my favorite part]. You are a very talented baker/cook and I always trust your recipes. Thanks so much!

  20. Made as written except browned the butter and used half while wheat flour. Turned out wonderfully. Definitely one of the best banana beads I have ever had!

  21. Best ever banana bread is right!! Made this and it was moist, flavorful, and easy to do. I am at high altitude and there were no adjustments needed (as with almost every recipe I’ve tried from Sally). I did not make the cream cheese frosting because I was trying to go more ‘traditional’ with the banana bread.

  22. Made this the other day & just enjoyed yet another slice with my breakfast. Yum! I chose this recipe from your several banana bread recipes because I had (you guessed it) 4 very ripe bananas on hand and I’m so glad I did. The flavor and texture are fantastic and it was a quick and easy batter to mix up. I especially appreciate the weight measurements for ingredients as I prefer to bake with weight measurements (and it’s so much easier when baking with kids too). I used mini chocolate chips instead of nuts in the bread & omitted the frosting this time. A keeper for sure!

  23. Just WOW! You were serious when you said Best Ever! This is by far the best ever banana bread recipe I have made…can’t wait to make it again!

  24. Made 4 mini loaves yesterday – gone today!!  Again, husband and sons agree this banana bread recipe is the moistest, most flavorful I’ve made for them.  The yogurt and brown sugar really add richness – didn’t have plain or vanilla yogurt yesterday, so used Chobani coconut.
    Couldn’t tell the difference with all the other flavors combined.  Another hit, Sally!

  25. Have you ever tried butterscotch chips with bananas? It’s amazing! 

    1. I have! I have a butterscotch banana bread recipe in my cookbook. It’s incredible.

  26. LOVE this recipe! However, both times I have made it, the middle is completely undercooked. I have followed exactly what you said about covering half way thru and lowering the shelf. I currently am putting the baked bread back in the oven to see if it will help… any ideas of what I can do?
    Thank you! I love all your stuff!!

    1. Check your oven temperature. This loaf should be baking through during the allotted time, though a few minutes extra is completely normal as all ovens are different. I always recommend an oven thermometer.

  27. I started making cookies from your recipes, I tried a lot of different ones and they are all fantastic and easy to make, I had so many I brought them into work for my co workers, then I tried this banana bread recipe, so easy and perfect every time, I also brought this into work, I now spend every Sunday baking cookies and banana bread for my co workers. Thanks Sally your recipes are easy to follow and so yummy.

  28. I love this banana bread recipe! I don’t even like bananas, but this recipe is awesome. My kids (2 and 3) gobble it up every time I make it – if you know anything about toddlers they are not known for their adventurous appetites! I’ve made it with Greek yogurt, regular yogurt, and today with sour cream because I didn’t have any yogurt and it’s always turned out fantastic.

    Whenever I bake anything I check your blog for a recipe first. Thank you for such great recipes, every one I’ve tried has been a winner!

  29. I love this banana bread recipe!! I followed the recipe exactly; however opted to not add the nuts or the frosting. My husband, parents, neighbors, and husband’s co-workers raved about it. My husaband’s co-workers even asked him when more was coming. This is definitely my go to banana bread recipe from now on. We love it so much we get excited when the bananas over ripen as we know an awesome loaf of banana bread is coming. Thank you, Sally!

  30. Do you think it is possible to cut the recipe in half, using a smaller pan? How long would I bake it? Thanks!

    1. Sure! I’d bake in a 9-inch square baking pan. I’m unsure of the exact bake time, but use a toothpick to test.

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