Easy Banana Bread
Originally posted September 27, 2011. Updated 2/1/2021
Banana bread has a weird place in our kitchen.
We love it but rarely have 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.
I am firmly in the raisins camp - tons of them, please! I’m not a fan of nuts in my banana bread because I like enjoying the smooth, moist texture WITHOUT crunch.
My husband, on the other hand, is vehemently against putting raisins in baked goods, 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.
Easy Banana Bread Tips
- Use VERY ripe bananas.
- 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!
- The smoother you get the banana mixture, the better. I usually use a potato masher, but you could use a blender or food processor, I desired.
- Once you’ve added the flour, mix it only well enough to combine the wet and dry.
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.
This is why I recommend mixing it by hand, not with a mixer.
Customizing Banana Bread
This easy banana bread recipe is a great base recipe. Use raisins, or don’t.
Use dried cranberries, chocolate chips, or walnuts, or whatever else you’d like in it ...
... or just leave the extras out entirely, and enjoy it as a plain - but SO tasty! - banana bread.
I like a ton of raisins and will usually use about 1 cup of dark raisins.
As far as nuts go, I prefer walnut, but feel free to substitute. Use ½ – 1 cup of nuts, or ½ cup each of nuts and raisins, or nuts and chocolate chips. Have fun with it!
A couple other ideas:
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: This one is great with peanuts and/or chocolate chips added!)
Once the batter is mixed, separate it into two. 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.
More Breakfast and Brunch Recipes
Looking for more ideas to jazz up your breakfast experience! Here are a few more recipes for you:
Ambrosia Belgian Waffles
Apple Cinnamon Buns
Baking Powder Biscuits
Biscuits and Gravy - MY Way!
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
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 Butter Melted
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- Nuts and/or Raisins optional **
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease 1 regular/large loaf pan, or about 3 mini loaf pans.
- Mix together bananas, butter, egg and sugar until smooth. Add flour, baking soda, and nuts and/or raisins if you’ll be using them. Mix until everything is well combined.
- Pour batter into greased pan. Bake for about 1 hour, or until crust is a rich golden brown, and knife inserted into middle of loaf comes out clean.