Banana Bread

WE’VE MOVED. Love our previous banana bread recipe? Us too! You can still find it here under chocolate chip banana bread.

A classic loaf of banana bread is the epitome of simple home baking, but that doesn’t mean it can’t also deliver maximum deliciousness. If you’re looking to make the ultimate loaf of banana bread—moist, dense, and absolutely jam-packed with banana—look no further than this recipe. Our tried-and-true banana bread does everything you want it to—it’s quick to whip up with only a handful of pantry ingredients, is full of intense banana flavor, and has that perfect, moist-crumb texture. Looking to take your banana bread over the top? Here’s what you need to know:

The best loaf pan for making banana bread:
This recipe calls for an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ metal loaf pan, greased with cooking spray and lined with parchment with an overhang on both sides (this is to help with easy loaf removal after baking. We chose this loaf pan size to create a tall bread, but you can also use a slightly bigger loaf pan if that’s all you have. If you do, keep an eye on your cook time—the size of your pan will affect how long your loaf needs to cook, so your bread will probably be done a few minutes early.

The bananas:
Our top tip for the best banana bread? Use extra-ripe bananas. A great banana bread should be bursting with banana flavor, so make sure your bananas are super-ripe—and actually measure it. Our recipe uses 2 full cups (450 grams) of ripe mashed banana. That’s approximately 4 large bananas, but size can vary, so we highly recommend you measure or weigh them to be sure.

How to make moist banana bread:
Mash your bananas WELL. The consistency of the banana should be as smooth as possible before it’s mixed into the batter. If it’s still lumpy, you will end up with chunks of banana in the bread, which we’re not crazy about.
Back it up with dark brown sugar and vanilla. Every star vocalist has at least one back-up singer, and in this recipe, the banana has two. The deeply caramelized notes of the dark brown sugar and the sweet rich vanilla amplify and enhance the banana, similar to the way espresso would in chocolate cake. If you don’t have brown sugar, don’t stress. You can achieve a very similar flavor by subbing in light brown sugar and adding 2 teaspoons unsulphured molasses to your batter.
Look for a few moist crumbs. While you definitely want your banana bread cooked through, you don’t want to bake it for too long. We recommend pulling it when a tester comes out with a few moist crumbs still attached; no one wants dry banana bread! 

Banana bread mix-ins:
Lots of banana breads add in spices, nuts, or chocolate chips. We love all those things—don’t get us wrong!—but we wanted the banana to be the star of this bread, so we kept it pure so that flavor could really shine. If you do prefer something extra in your bread, feel free to add 1 cup of your preferred mix-ins into the batter! 

Banana bread variations:
Once you’ve mastered this classic recipe, there are countless ways to switch up this quick bread. Our cheesecake-stuffed banana bread, vegan banana bread, banana pudding banana bread, and blackout banana bread are all great options. One of our favorite simple variations? Adding walnuts and cinnamon, like we did in our banana nut bread. 

Storage & freezing:
If you plan to eat your banana bread within a few days (we don’t blame you), you can store it in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 to 4 days. Want it to stay perfectly moist? Lay a paper towel in an airtight container (or storage bag), place the loaf on top of it, then layer another paper towel on top before sealing to keep air away. Alternatively, you can freeze your loaf by waiting for it to cool, wrapping in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then store in the freezer for around 3 months. 

Made this? Let us know in the comments below.