With its super-moist and buttery texture, banana and brown sugar flavors, soft crumb, and 1,000+ reviews, this is a delicious AND undeniably popular banana bread recipe. You need 4 ripe bananas.
One reader, Michele, says: “Perfectly delish every time! Absolutely foolproof. Nuts, no nuts, smidge more or less of sour cream—no problem… bigger bananas, smaller—no worries, perfect, beyond delicious EVERY time.”
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 it’s 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.
One reader, Tricia, says: “I have this recipe on speed dial. LOL. It is so tasty and is always a crowd pleaser. My kids and entire family love it!!!”
Yes, I have this recipe on speed dial too! 😉
I’ve tried dozens of banana bread recipes over the years, and when I baked and originally published this recipe back in 2013, I never looked back.
Why You’ll Love This Banana Bread Recipe Too
- Mega banana flavor (from 2 cups/460g mashed bananas)
- Not overly sweet, so banana flavor shines
- 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 (460g) 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 and banana chocolate chip breakfast cookies too.
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 2 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.
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. See How to Freeze & Thaw Bananas for Baking. Try not to mash too much or else you’ll be left with 2 cups of banana-y liquid; some chunks are great.
Can I Turn This Into a Banana Bundt Cake?
I recommend using my extremely similar, scaled-up recipe for chocolate marble banana Bundt cake instead. You can leave out the chocolate swirl in that recipe.
How to Freeze Banana Bread
Freeze banana bread using these instructions to preserve its fresh flavor and texture for months:
- Cool baked banana bread completely.
- Tightly wrap the loaf or slices (individually or grouped) in 2–3 layers of plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
- Place wrapped banana bread in a large freezer-friendly storage bag or reusable container.
- 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 than a whole loaf.
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:
- Banana Cake & Banana Cupcakes
- Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread
- Banana Cream Pie & Banoffee Pie
- Banana Muffins or Healthier Chocolate Banana Muffins
- Banana Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins
My Favorite Banana Bread
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 65 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours
- Yield: 1 loaf
- Category: Bread
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
With its super-moist and buttery texture, banana and brown sugar flavors, soft crumb, and 1,000+ reviews, this is a delicious AND undeniably popular banana bread recipe. You need 4 large ripe bananas.
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spooned & 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
- 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.
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- 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. With the mixer running on medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then beat in the yogurt, mashed bananas, and vanilla extract combined. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until no flour pockets remain. Do not over-mix. Fold in the nuts, if using.
- Pour and spread the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 60–65 minutes, making sure to loosely cover the bread with aluminum foil halfway through to prevent the top from getting too brown. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with only a few small moist crumbs. This may be after 60–65 minutes depending on your oven, so begin checking every 5 minutes around the 60-minute mark.
- Remove bread from the oven and allow the bread to cool in the pan set on a wire rack for 1 hour. Remove bread from the pan and cool bread directly on the wire rack until ready to slice and serve.
- 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.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Whisk | Electric Mixer (Stand Mixer or Handheld) | Loaf Pan | Cooling Rack
- Butter: If needed, you can use salted butter in this recipe with no other changes needed. I’ve also successfully reduced the butter down to 6 Tablespoons (85g) with no issue (just as tasty).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Brown Sugar: Feel free to substitute the same amount of regular white granulated sugar or coconut sugar. I do not recommend any liquid sweeteners.
- 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.
- Frozen Bananas: You can use frozen bananas here. Thaw the frozen bananas. Drain off any excess liquid, mash, then use as instructed in the recipe. See How to Freeze & Thaw Bananas for Baking. Try not to mash too much or else you’ll be left with 2 cups of banana-y liquid; some chunks are great.
- Chocolate Chips: I love this bread with chocolate chips, too. Feel free to add 1 cup of your favorite chocolate chips. No need to leave out the nuts if you add the chocolate chips. Chocolate chips and nuts are both optional.
- Can I Turn This Into Banana Bundt Cake? There isn’t enough batter. I recommend using my extremely similar, scaled-up recipe for chocolate marble banana Bundt cake instead. You can leave out the chocolate swirl in that recipe.
Keywords: banana bread
Reader Comments & Reviews
It really is the best ever banana bread! Just wanted to leave you a 5 star rating!
We are banana bread connoisseurs in my family. My mom’l and husband both have recipes. Over a few weeks, I made all three and Sally’s was my absolute favorite. It does require some extra ingredients and bowls but it’s so absolutely with the extra effort. I think it’s the brown sugar that adds a deeper sweetness and next time, I’ll use dark brown sugar and add the cinnamon and brown sugar topping mentioned above. Thanks Sally for another amazing recipe!!
I don’t know why I waited so long to try your banana bread, your recipes are always fantastic! I had to bake mine for a good hour & 15 minutes but I used the tin foil over the pan after 30 minutes and it came out perfectly! I also used chocolate chips instead of nuts. This is now my go to recipe!
I made this recipe as muffins (because I somehow lost my loaf pan in our move ♀️) and they turned out FABULOUSLY. I made them exactly as the recipe called said, and I greased a standard muffin tin, and filled them probably more than 3/4 full. They rose beautifully but not too much, and we’re perfectly cooked when I checked on them between 25-30 minutes. I even made them again this weekend and added chocolate chips. Amazing! My whole family is already begging for more
This is my new go to banana bread recipe. Delicious delicious delicious. Thank you.
So easy to make, so delicious the result. 10/10 for your instruction.
I just tried the “Best Ever Banana Bread”, & am sorry to report that I was disappointed. The preparation seemed fussier than necessary & the end result tasted rather bland & wasn’t as light as I had expected. I freely acknowledge that I inadvertently cooked it a bit too long, but didn’t think it should make that much of a difference. Perhaps I overworked some of the other ingredients. While baking, it looked terrific after 30 minutes, when I loosely covered it with foil, but it went downhill from there. I recently tried another recipe that everyone loved, & this one just didn’t measure up to that one.
For a great simple topping…sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon. Very delish!!
This is an excellent recipe! I changed it a bit by cutting the sugar to a scant 1/4 cup. Bananas are so sweet, it could be eliminated completely, but the smell and taste of brown sugar add a good flavor. I also added cardamom, ginger, nutmeg and clove to the cinnamon. Oh…and one cup of almond meal to substitute for 1 cup of flour. The beauty of this us it so moist! Thank you so much!
I just made this banana bread recipe and it’s so delicious and so moist. Thank you for sharing your recipe. This is the best banana bread recipes I ever had.
Can you yes this recipe for a banana roll?
I haven’t tried it. But this banana cake may be a better batter to test a banana roll with.
I have been waning to try this recipe since I saw it and finally got the time to try it today. Have not tried it yet but it looks and smalls delicious. I made the recipe just as you did. No changes.
I made this last night and had to hide the loaf (what’s left if it) oh my goodness it’s so good. I used cinnamon sugar in the pan and sprinkled over the top for extra sweetness!!! It was wonderful. Thank you.
Banana bread is always a winner for my family. I like the idea of brown sugar. Will definitely have to try this recipe.
This banana bread recipe looks wonderful. I have had my eye on it but have not made it yet. Love your pumpkin bread. It’s the only one I make now .
I made this in a tube pan using 1 1/2 recipes and poured a caramel glaze on top and garnished with whole pecans. It sliced up well and looked beautiful. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!
This was the best banana bread recipe my family has ever had. I made it as is and added a butter/brown sugar cinnamon glaze while it was cooling. It didn’t even last a day. ❤️
First of all I want you to know that you are my go-tp person for baking. Everything I have baked of yours has always been a success. I appreciate the clear instruction. I just made your banana bread recipe yesterday and it really is the best ever. Based on Megan Markle’s recent banana bread in New Zealand I added crystallized ginger and chocolate chips instead of nuts. That flavor profile really works with the banana. Also, since yesterday was Halloween I made the bread in a small size pumpkin bunts pan and made your cream cheese frosting with added orange food coloring. A perfect treat for the day.
I just pulled a loaf out of the oven and my house smells amazing. This is the second time I have made this recipe in as many weeks because it is so delicious. I use a 1:1 almond flour, all purpose flour ratio and I have added unsweetened applesauce to the mashed bananas both times to reach 2 cups (didn’t have enough ripe bananas). So good!
I just made this recipe with my two boys (3 and 5 years old) and it turned out great! They were very impressed with their work, lol, and kept asking for another piece. Terrific recipe!!
Made this recipe from Italy, with plain white sugar since they don’t seem to sell brown sugar around here and it still came out absolutely delicious. Thank you!
Just wanted to let you know that I LOVE this banana bread recipe! It’s so so yommy & I’ve never even used the frosting. It’s gotten to the point that I only buy bananas now with the intent of making this banana bread. And always with walnuts. My husband & I love it. Thanks so much for this great recipe!!
So happy to read this! I’m so glad this is your staple recipe for banana bread too. I feel like I have 10 loaves in my freezer at all times. HAHA!
YUM! It was another great recipe from your website. Seriously, keep posting recipes, I am never disappointed.
I make this bread frequently, in fact, sometimes I buy bananas just to let them get spotty to make the bread. Just made it this past weekend. I have never made the cream frosting to go with, it is so good without the frosting. My husband loves nuts in baking, so I always increase the portion of nuts to 1 cup. I also press some nuts in the top of bread before baking, as it adds a nice appearance.
This has been my go-to banana bread recipe for a few years now! It’s great with chocolate chips instead of nuts, or even with the nuts for a great combo!
Thank you Sally for a wonderful recipe! I made this bread yesterday along with my kids as a part of holiday activities .I made a few changes though..I used sour cream instead of yogurt and raisins in place of pecans ( my kids don’t like nuts and I couldn’t add even a little since they were with me all the time).The bread came out well and we served it when my husband came home from work.
In place of the 4th banana, I would add 1/3 cup of unsweetened applesauce or even pumpkin puree. Feel free to add cinnamon to the cream cheese frosting- taste and add more if you’d like. You can’t go wrong with cinnamon cream cheese frosting + banana bread!!