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
I am not generally a big fan of banana bread, but this was amazing!! Thank you so much foe the recipe!!
Could I use brown butter for this recipe? If so, are there any alterations for the batter preparation that I need to make?
Hi Valerie, We haven’t tried it, but if you want to try it make sure your butter solidifies to room temperature again. Here’s everything you need to know about how to brown butter.
How many calories per muffin if this recipe makes 24 muffins? Thank you!
We don’t usually include nutrition information as it can vary between different brands of the same ingredients. Plus, many recipes have ingredient substitutions or optional ingredients listed. However, there are many handy online calculators where you can plug in and customize your exact ingredients/brands. Readers have found this one especially helpful: https://www.verywellfit.com/recipe-nutrition-analyzer-4157076
Love your easy banana muffins.
Can I substitute grated zucchini for bananas in this bread?
Hi Mary Lou, we’d recommend following our zucchini bread recipe instead. Hope you enjoy it just as much!
This was the best!⭐️
I’m anxious to try this, it looks amazing! Would you recommend any adjustments for high altitude? I live at 5800 ft.
Hi Rebecca, we wish we could help, but we have no experience baking at high altitude. Some readers have found this chart helpful: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/high-altitude-baking.html
I just made this at altitude of 5994ft. No adjustments, (not even the typical 2 tbsp flour!) Came out beautiful! No sinking!
Excellent recipe, very moist. Delicious!
This is simply the best banana bread I have ever made!
Simple recipe, moist and tasty. This will be my go too. I had to adjust cook time as I used 2 mini loaf pans and 4 micro loafs. They are came out perfect.
I only have vanilla Greek yogurt on hand. Can I use that instead?
Hi Sarah, that will work in a pinch!
This is the best banana recipe I have tried in a few years. Really great. I tripled it (make sure to use a few bowls to evenly mix everything if you do so and be careful not to over beat). I also added chocolate chips to the last batch.
I only had vanilla protein yogurt at home-lol, but I lowered the vanilla extract and it was great!
Highly recommend this recipe! You could do some seriously fun add ins with it!
Love this in loaf and muffin form – YUM!
I made another batch with a twist:
I doubled the vanilla
Added 2 tbl of bourbon
Added 2 tbl of flour to compensate for the extra liquid.
Gave it a warm, fall goodness.
Can this recipe be doubled? Would the recipe change at all?
Hi Rose, for best results, we recommend making two separate batches rather than doubling. This ensures the ingredients are properly incorporated. Happy baking!
I will say that I doubled this recipe to save time and it turned out perfectly. This is a great banana bread recipe. The brown sugar and cinnamon give it good flavor and the extra bananas and sour cream make it moist.
My coworker and kids love the recipe
A great recipe and one I will continue to use. Our local supermarkets are always out of stock of lots of things at the moment and have been for a while so I needed to use what I had/what I was able to get. I used a coconut and vanilla yoghurt from Lidl as I couldn’t get plain yoghurt. I used Billingtons light muscavado sugar reduced it to 100grams and half a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste (instead of vanilla extract), I added 90grams of Callebaut 54.5% dark callets (chocolate chips), although I ripened my bananas which were just beginning to naturally ripen(a couple of black spots on the skin) in the oven on 150degrees centigrade for 30mins (checking every 15mins untill the skins went black) peeled, drained then mashed them. The rest of the recipe was the same …….it tasted sooooooo good!
I’d like to try this recipe today, however I do not have plain yogurt available. I do have organic vanilla yogurt. Can I use this instead? Or just omit the yogurt altogether? No sour cream on hand either.
Hi Jeri, The bread may be a bit sweeter, but vanilla yogurt should work in a pinch.
I made banana muffins with this recipe and they came out amazing!
All of Sally’s recipes that I’ve tried have turned out to be easy to make and delicious to eat.
Thanks for the recipe.
Omg! This banana bread was delicious! I cannot wait to make it again!
This banana bread is fabulous. I like that it has four bananas unlike some of the other recipes. Using brown sugar gives it a more richer flavor than using white sugar. Super.
I love banana bread but my problem with loaf cakes is that the ends get dry before the middle is cooked through. Any tips on this before I start baking?? I have great luck with almost all your recipes. Any less than great outcomes is probably due to baker mistake rather than the recipe lol.
Hi Dana! That’s pretty common. If you find the edges browning too quickly, you can tent the pan with aluminum foil to prevent them from burning while allowing the bread to continue baking through.
Hi. Can I replace the butter with equal amounts of oil?
Hi Gigi, The bread will taste rubbery without the fat from the butter. We haven’t tried it ourselves, but you could try using melted coconut oil instead (taste and texture would be different). Or, for a healthier option, you might like our whole wheat banana muffins instead.
Can this be made with GF flour?
Hi Daniela, we haven’t tested this bread with gluten free flour so we’re unsure of the results. Some readers have reported success doing so with a 1:1 gluten free flour like Bob’s Red Mill or Cup4Cup. Let us know if you give anything a try!
Just use one of the many all-purpose GF 1:1 flours, it should be fine.
This recipe is extremely forgiving. You can use almost any type of flour (I used King Arthur Measure for Measure GF). You can add additional spices like ginger, melt the butter in the microwave, use less sugar, mix by hand with a spoon, use more or less mashed banana, sour cream instead of yogurt, etc. You will get a decent result every time. I also bake it uncovered and sprinkle some brown sugar on top.
Easy & quick to prep recipe with very good results. Had only two very ripe bananas so the batter was a bit drier and thicker – I added one-third cup apple butter. Also added the pecans listed as “optional” (not in our household). Baking time was unaffected by my substitution and the loaf turned out nicely domed and golden brown. Unsurprisingly, the bread does not have a pronounced banana flavor – more like a spice cake. But what I take from this experience is that this is a very forgiving recipe and can handle some riffs. Next time – there will be a next time – I’ll make this with the appropriate number of bananas – or not…
I love banana bread recipes using sour cream (secret ingredient!). Although I had used very brown/overripe bananas, it just didn’t taste too great…. Lacking flavor for some reason. I’ll keep searching!
Can buttermilk be used in place of the yogurt or sour cream?
Hi Cindy, You can use buttermilk instead of yogurt or sour cream (same amount), but the batter will be on the thinner side and, as a result, the baked bread will end up a little squat without as much rise. Best to stick to the recipe.
As far as me & my household are concerned this recipe is it for me.
The walnuts seriously make it with their wee bit of crunch here and there.
Can this recipe be baked in a 9 x 13 pan
Hi Roseann! This wouldn’t be enough batter for a 9×13 pan. You may love our banana cake recipe instead!
This is the best banana bread I have ever made! The first time I made it, I took it to work and it was gone before the end of the second day. I am making this again today to take to work tomorrow. The addition of sour cream is genius! I think between that and the suggestion to use a beater for the bananas makes all the difference. Thanks again!!
Love the flavour of this banana bread but for some reason I struggle with reaching the ‘clean toothpick’ outcome and have to keep putting it back in the oven 30+ mins. What am I doing wrong?
Hi Renee! This thick and moist banana bread can take a long time to bake through, it may just need more time to finish baking! We always recommend using an in-pven thermometer to ensure your oven is the correct temperature as well.
This is my go-to banana bread recipe; thank you for sharing. In fact, whenever I am baking something new I look to see if you have a recipe before searching the internet. You are a baking champion, thank you for sharing your knowledge!
My family and I are real converts to this recipe – stays fresh for days and tastes brilliant. many thanks.
Perfect banana bread recipe- thanks for sharing!