My Easy Banana Bread Recipe is a great base recipe, with a ton of customization possibilities. Add or subtract ingredients to make it your own!
Originally posted September 27, 2011. Updated 2/25/2023
We love it but rarely have extra bananas to make it with.
Because it’s something you want overripe bananas for, going out and buying bananas specifically for banana bread isn’t really something we consider.
We’re very spur-of-the-moment regarding food - when one or both of us is craving something, we want to make it RIGHT THEN.
Also, we disagree on what to put in it.
Although we both agree that this recipe - based on the one my mother always made when I was a kid - is the best one out there, we disagree on raisins vs. nuts.
My husband, on the other hand, is vehemently against putting raisins in baked goods - including quick breads - period.
He loves them on their own or in trail mix... just not in anything where they can soak up the liquid. Says he:
Ah well. If he weren’t a bit weird, I wouldn’t have married him.
Anyway, whichever way you prefer it, this is my go-to banana bread recipe.
This (mostly!) healthy banana bread is fantastic with a bit of butter, cream cheese, and/or Maple Caramel Sauce drizzled on it!
This moist banana bread recipe uses really simple ingredients that you’re likely to have on hand already - and are easy to find at any grocery store, if not.
A few notes for you:
This recipe calls for 3 large bananas, but you can use an extra banana if you have medium bananas - 5 small bananas, if needed.
The key to making the perfect banana bread is that the bananas have to be VERY overripe. Let them age a bit *beyond* brown spots, if possible.
If it looks way too gross to eat (without mold, obviously), they’re probably perfect for banana bread. The blacker the peel, the better, IMHO.
As bananas ripen - and then overripen - they get very sweet, and very mushy.
VERY ripe bananas provide a robust banana flavour, AND work towards ensuring a moist bread.
Pro tip: If you have bananas that are perfectly (over!) ripe for banana bread but need to hold off on actually making it… just toss them in the freezer for a few hours.
The peel will go black, but the bananas will be perfect!
You can make this recipe plain, or use nuts and/or raisins, as I mentioned earlier.
I like a ton of raisins, and will usually use about 1 cup of Dark Raisins.
Use ½ – 1 cup of nuts, or ½ cup each of nuts and raisins.
Chocolate Chips are another option, alone or mixed with nuts and raisins. Embrace chaos!
As pictured in this post, I used about a cup of chopped walnuts, to make a banana nut bread.
Part of what makes this the best banana bread recipe, IMHO, is how customizable it is. More on additions in the variations section, below...
Rounding out this recipe, you will need:
All Purpose Flour
Pure Vanilla Extract
Note: The original recipe was based on my grandmother’s homemade banana bread recipe, which did not have salt or vanilla extract in.
I’m assuming she used salted butter, and I’m not sure why she didn’t use vanilla.
Anyway, I’ve since updated this recipe with salt and vanilla added. If you used this recipe before 2022, it was likely without the additions.
Customizing Classic Banana Bread
This simple banana bread recipe is a great base recipe. Use raisins, or don’t.
Use dried cranberries, or walnuts, or whatever else you’d like in it ... you can even make chocolate chip banana bread.
... or just leave the extras out entirely, and enjoy it as a plain - but SO tasty! - banana bread.
Have fun with it - there’s a reason this is my favorite banana bread recipe!
A few other small changes you can make to customize this quick bread recipe to your own taste:
Swap the Sugar
Packed brown sugar works just as well as white sugar - use the same amount of sugar as called for.
Whole Wheat Banana Bread
You can swap out ½ cup or so of the wheat flour for whole-wheat flour, if you like.
Any more than that, and you’ll want to add a bit of water to prevent it from making a dry bread.
Vegan Banana Bread
Use your favourite egg substitute in place of the egg, and either coconut oil, avocado oil, or vegetable oil in place of the butter.
I’m not a fan of using olive oil in this recipe, your mileage may vary on that!
Spiced Banana Bread
Banana bread takes “warm” spices well. Add ½- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon if you like. Cloves and nutmeg are also good choices for spicing it up a bit!
Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Omit the butter.
Mash ½ cup smooth peanut butter in with the bananas - until smooth - before adding the dry ingredients.
Continue with the rest of the recipe as stated. (Note: Peanut Butter Banana Bread is great with peanuts and/or chocolate chips added!)
Blueberry Banana Bread
After mixing, add 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries to the batter, stir just to combine.
Bake as directed. When testing for doneness, blueberry on the knife is ok - batter isn’t!
Marble Banana Bread
Once the moist banana bread batter is mixed, separate it into two portions. I’ll usually go ⅔ and ⅓ (the chocolate), but you can go half and half if you’d like.
Add ¼ - ⅓ cup of cocoa to one bowl, along with 1 tablespoon water. Mix well.
After preparing your pan, use spoons to add batters to the pan, alternating between the two.
Run a knife through the batter - side to side and back and forth - to marble the batters.
Bake as indicated in the recipe.
How to Make the Best Banana Bread
The full recipe is in the recipe card at the end of this post, here is a pictorial walk through with additional tips and information included.
Pre heat oven to 350 F. Grease 1 regular/large loaf pan, or line with parchment paper.
Note: I like to spray the bread pan with nonstick spray, then line with parchment. The spray sticks the parchment to the pan, and the parchment allows for easier cleanup.
Also, the parchment paper allows you to easily lift the whole loaf from the pan.
Add the melted butter, egg, and vanilla to the mashed bananas, whisk to combine.
For best results, you don’t want to overwork the batter - it’s a quick bread, not a yeast bread!
Overworking it develops the gluten and will give it a tougher texture, hand mixing ensures a tender crumb.
At the same time, the smoother you get the wet mixture, the better. You can measure all of the wet ingredients into a food processor or blender - WITHOUT the dry ingredients - and blitz until smooth, if you like!
Then, pour that mixture into a bowl and mix the dry ingredients in by hand.
Add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl of wet ingredients, along with the nuts and/or raisins, if using.
Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to stir just until combined, with no obvious streaks of flour in the batter.
Bake for about 1 hour 20 minutes, or until crust is a rich golden brown, and knife inserted into middle of loaf comes out clean.
Note: the bake time is approximate, and will depend on the accuracy of your oven temperature, and the proportions of your loaf pan. I recommend checking for doneness 10-15 minutes early - or when you can start smelling banana bread through the house - the first time you make this recipe.
Placing the pan on a wire rack can help speed the cooling a bit, btw.
Leftover banana bread can be cooled to room temperature before being transferred to an airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to a week.
We’ll usually place the whole loaf of banana bread in a large Ziploc plastic bag. For a more grab-and-go option, you can wrap individual slices in plastic wrap for storage.
Best served at room temperature or warmer.
More Breakfast and Brunch Recipes
Looking for more ideas to jazz up your breakfast experience! Here are a few more delicious recipes for you:
Ambrosia Belgian Waffles
Apple Cinnamon Buns
Baking Powder Biscuits
Biscuits and Gravy - MY Way!
Blueberry Banana Bread
Breakfast Bagel Strata
Chai Cinnamon Rolls
Deluxe Pizza Strata
Easy Cheese Souffle
Fig, Honey, and Goat Cheese Strudel
Ham, Swiss, and Kale Strata
How to Make Peameal and Back Bacon
Maple Walnut Spiced Pumpkin Buns
Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Rosemary Peach Balsamic Scones
Smoked Gouda and Chive Scones
Strawberry Orange Rolls
The BEST Hash Browns Recipe
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Easy Banana Bread
- 3 Large Bananas Mashed*
- ¼ cup Unsalted Butter Melted
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 ½ cups All-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- Nuts and/or Raisins optional **
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 1 regular/large loaf pan, or line with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mash together bananas and sugar until relatively smooth.
- Add the melted butter, egg, and vanilla to the mashed bananas, whisk to combine.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl of wet ingredients, along with the nuts and/or raisins, if using. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to stir just until combined, with no obvious streaks of flour in the batter.
- Pour batter into the greased loaf pan.
- Bake for about 1 hour 20 minutes, or until crust is a rich golden brown, and knife inserted into middle of loaf comes out clean.
- Once fully cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 15-20 minutes before cutting - if you’ve got that kind of patience!
- Leftovers can be cooled to room temperature, wrapped in Saran wrap and stored in the fridge for up to a week.
- Best served at room temperature or warmer.