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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. 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.

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. 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.
  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 tried the recipe and inside were not cooked… It not fluffylike bread… What should I do?

    1. Hi A, sounds like your bread just needs some more time in the oven. You can tent it with aluminum foil to prevent the exterior from over-browning.

      1. I made this recipe using vanilla Greek yogourt for muffins. The muffins were literally melt-in-the-mouth delicious. Best muffins I have ever made.

  2. I made this recipe but the bread was too high , it was like the bread pan was too small but I use the right size

  3. This is a great recipe and is now my families favorite! I don’t have bread pans so I used my bundt cake pan and it comes out perfectly. Thank you so much!

  4. Can I substitute almond flour for the all purpose flour as I have a diabetic in the family?

    1. Hi Lois, It would take quite a bit of recipe testing to ensure good results using almond flour. It has very different baking properties than all-purpose flour and isn’t always a 1:1 swap. For best taste and texture (and so you don’t waste your time trying to adapt this recipe since it may not work properly), it may be more useful to find a recipe that is specifically formulated for almond flour.

  5. I only had 2 bananas, so I added a little over a cup of canned pumpkin to them instead. My family loved it!

  6. I’m totally addicted to making (and eating) this delicious banana bread. I add 100g walnuts plus 100g mixed chocolate pieces and it’s utterly divine. Love baking it for friends and family and friends too ❤️

  7. I made this in 3 small pans (3×5) with no nuts and used buttermilk instead of sour cream because that is what I had at 5am and had promised my husband I would make it. This worked great, easy too. Thanks!

  8. Oh. My. God. This is the most delicious recipe ever!! I’ve used it a few times now and it’s fool proof, comes out amazing every time! I add chocolate chips instead of nuts

  9. Turned out WONDERFUL. I had only a ceramic load pan. Decided to do muffins. Turned to recipe for muffins. It was different. Needed buttermilk. Had none. Added a little milk 🙁 decided against muffins. Did four mini pans and a tray of little muffins. Mistakes tasted great TY

    1. Don’t shy away from using a ceramic loaf pan if it can take the heat. I’ve made this recipe in both ceramic (clay-fired) and metal loaf pans with equally-good results – the baking time for either of mine is the same. Good luck.

  10. The bread came out the oven great, looked great, but it lacked flavor and somewhat bitter. I must have missed on one of the ingredient! Maybe to much mayonnaise? Just kidding about the Mayo!

  11. This is literally the best banana bread recipe! My husband and I are a half a loaf in one sitting. Don’t change anything just follow the recipe. Trust me.

    1. Hi Jenica, 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 you may enjoy this whole wheat banana bread recipe instead.

  12. This banana bread is moist and delicious! Thank you for a great go-to recipe..

  13. Made this recipe. Flavour was delicious but it was quite heavy. Not sure what I did wrong. I used cake flour as I didn’t have all purpose and I used half treacle sugar, half caramel sugar. Other than that I followed the recipe.

    1. Hi Kathryn! We don’t recommend using cake flour in this moist banana bread recipe. All purpose is best. And using different sweeteners will change the texture as well. It’s best to stick with the recipe as written for best and most predictable results.

  14. Sally,
    Made this recipe today and it turned out pretty good. I moved to Uruguay South America this past August and have been living without all my baking equipment. It’s somewhere in Panama on a ship! So, I used what I had. Surprisingly, it turned out great! I had to use very basic tools and mix by hand. I used a round copper pot to bake. Would love to send you a picture. Thank you for all you advice and tips. I will continue to use as many of your recipes as I can. Love baking! And eating the end results of course!

    1. Hi Marianne! We love to see baker’s photos – you can email us at sally@sallysbakingaddiction.com 🙂

  15. Great recipe. Next time I make it, I plan to add some chocolate chips to send it way over the top!

  16. looking forward to making this – i’ve been looking for a recipe with cinnamon, brown sugar & vanilla & this has all 3!

  17. I would update the recipe to say either bunt pan or 2 loaf pans as this is far too big of a batch for a single loaf pan thus leading to a much longer bake time than listed

    1. Hi Brock, what size loaf pan are you using or did you happen to make any ingredient substitutions or additions? This batter was written to fit a 9×5 pan. If your pan is smaller, you may divide the batter between two loaves. While it can be used for a Bundt, it would be pretty short so we we recommend using this banana cake instead.

    1. Hi Lilly! See the recipe notes for detailed instructions on making muffins 🙂

    1. Hi Sofia, 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. We recommend sticking to the recipe for best results.

  18. This is the best banana bread ever; I always get rave reviews when I make
    it.
    I want to make this bread in mini loaf pans, how long should I bake them?

    1. Hi Marsha, it will depend on the size of the pan — the smaller the pan, the shorter the bake time. Keep a close eye on them and use a toothpick to test for doneness. So glad this is a favorite for you!

  19. So, I made this again (see my July, 2022 review) with the proper number of bananas. I froze my bananas so they would keep while I went away for a long weekend – Sally’s tips for freezing & thawing bananas are invaluable; especially the admonition to not use the liquid that results from thawing (I would just dumped it into the batter with all the bad results Sally describes – thank you, Sally). My loaf came out perfect – beautiful color and an even “beautifuler” dome. I omitted nuts (it’s for guests and some don’t like nuts) and baked it in a metal loaf pan. I’ve baked this now in both a stoneware and a metal pan with the same results and the same bake time. I replied today to someone who asked about using a ceramic pan and I now realize that ceramic and stoneware are not the same – what can I say? I’m a guy. I know Sally advises against using ceramic for this loaf but with all due respect for Sally’s expertise (and I do respect it); baking for me is recreation and an adventure – I say, if ceramic is all you have, give it a try (so long as this is not a “it must turn out well” situation). You may be pleasantly surprised at your results…or not. But if it does turn out well, you’ll feel like your team just hit the winning three-pointer at the buzzer. Trust me, I’m a guy, I know these things…

  20. yo, I never comment but this recipe is effing crazy. literally insane, made it the other day and I’m still not over how amazing it is. my friends are also floored. maybe it’s the banana’s, maybe it’s sally – I think it’s sally. thank you queen!!! my go-to chef for everything baked

  21. Hi Sally and all — I would like to do a Nutella swirl (without the peanut butter and Reese’s from your other recipe) or a ganache swirl (no frosting) with this recipe. (Kind of a mash-up * pun unintended* of a couple of your recipes) Which do you recommend?

    1. Hi Linda, You can use this recipe and add a Nutella swirl. We haven’t tested it but you can try using the same quantities and layering technique that we use in this Nutella swirl pound cake. Let us know if you give it a try!

  22. Won’t be making this again. I tried twice and it was bad both times — starting to burn on the outside, and raw in the centre. And it had no crumb or lift, just stodgy and thick. Waste of time and materials unfortunately, I threw half of it away.

    1. Hi Lisa, Any chance you are using a smaller size pan or using a convection oven? All of our recipes are written for conventional ovens as the flow of air from convection heat can cause baked goods to rise and bake unevenly and it also pulls moisture out of the oven (which leads to over baked outside and under baked insides which is why I’m asking!). If you do use convection settings for baking, lower your temperature by 25 degrees F and keep in mind that things may still take less time to bake.

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