Classic Banana Bread
This classic banana bread is moist and rich, ready in 1 hour and uses no mixer. It’s a great way to use up over-ripe bananas, perfect with a light smear of salted butter, and alongside a cup of coffee!
This Banana Bread is one of those recipes we love to make and have for breakfast. We also love easy bread recipes like my Honey Beer Bread and Dutch Oven Bread. This is one of my Bread Recipes I know you’ll want to keep on hand!
BANANA BREAD RECIPE
It never fails. My kids will randomly go through fruit phases; for a couple weeks they’ll inhale 1-2 apples a day. So naturally I buy a bunch of apples, then they’ve decided they’re “so over” eating apples and I’m left with a ton of fruit laying around. When that happens with apples, I make my apple crisp, or apple butter.
But when it happens with bananas… that’s when I make this amazing banana bread.
I’ve tweaked and fiddled with this recipe for a while, as I wanted it to be perfect. And I also really wanted to make it an easy, one bowl recipe.
There are literally hundreds of thousands of banana bread recipes out there, and some take the added step to cream together softened butter and sugar, which isn’t bad by any means. But it generally means busting out a hand mixer or stand mixer, which I don’t know about you, but I hate having to clean another kitchen item after I’m done baking.
This recipe uses melted butter and 3 bananas, so it’s plenty rich and moist. Plus it’s flecked with warm cinnamon and nutmeg to really bring home that comfort food flavor.
HOW TO MAKE PERFECT BANANA BREAD
- Preheat oven and grease loaf pan.
- Add bananas to a mixing bowl and mash. I don’t use anything fancy here, just a fork. If your bananas are ripe enough to make banana bread, they’ll be soft and easy to mash.
- Stir in butter, sugar, egg and vanilla.
- Stir in baking powder, baking soda, and spices. I like to use both baking powder and soda, as I feel it gave the best texture and rise with a nice rounded top.
- Add flour and stir until combined. Just stir until you don’t see any streaks of flour anymore.
- Transfer batter to loaf pan and bake. This bread, like most quick breads, takes about 50 minutes on average. Mine usually takes about 47 minutes, but just check it to see if a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.
- Let cool in pan, then on wire rack. As tempting as it is to dive in while it’s warm, it’s best to let it cool at least an hour before slicing.
ADDITIONAL COOKING TIPS
Banana bread certainly isn’t difficult to make, but there are a few handy things to know when it comes to baking this recipe, and the ingredients.
HOW RIPE IS RIPE ENOUGH
Generally speaking, you want to use bananas with a peel that has a lot of brown on it. The riper the banana, the sweeter the flavor, and the more banana flavor you’ll have in your bread!
If they’re incredibly mushy and have an almost black peel, those are TOO ripe and need to be pitched.
SPEED UP THE RIPENING!
No time to wait? No worries! If you want ripe bananas in one to two days, place them in a bag on the counter. The gasses expelled will speed up the ripening process.
If you want ripe bananas sooner, you want to bake the whole (unpeeled) bananas at 300°F for about 15-20 minutes, until they turn brown.
Let them cool completely, then they’re good to use in this banana bread recipe!
Bananas can be frozen whole! Just peel them and add them to a freezer bag. To thaw, I add them to a colander or mesh strainer and let them sit in the sink for a few hours.
They’ll look pretty gross when thawed, and might give off some liquid, but will work perfectly in this bread!
USE FRESH INGREDIENTS
Some of these are obvious, like using non-expired eggs, but did you know using older baking soda/baking powder can affect the way your baked goods bake?
Over time, leavening agents (which is what baking soda and powder are) lose their efficacy, and won’t give your quick bread a good rise and texture.
- If you’re unsure if your baking soda or powder are still good, drop a pinch in some hot water. If it fizzes, it’s still good! If not, then you’re in need of some new ingredients.
VARIATIONS OF THIS RECIPE
- NUTS – if you like a banana walnut bread, add 2/3 cup of chopped walnuts to the batter.
- CHOCOLATE CHIPS – chocolate chips are fabulous in this bread! Add about 1/2 cup.
- OIL – if you prefer, or don’t have any butter, an equal amount of vegetable oil can be substituted.
- SPICES – feel free to play around with the amount of the cinnamon and/or nutmeg in this recipe. In fact, if you’re out of those spices, this bread is still yummy without them.
- SUGARS – for a more caramel-y flavor, try swapping half of the granulated sugar out for brown sugar!
- SOUR CREAM – this will up the “moist-factor” a ton! Just add about 1/3 cup of sour cream to the batter.
MAKING BANANA BREAD AHEAD OF TIME
You can make this bread a day in advance, but nothing beats a slice of banana bread that’s been freshly baked.
Leftover bread should be kept in a bag at room temperature, and consumed within 3 days for best texture.
Baked banana bread can be frozen for longer storage. Wrap loaf tightly in plastic wrap, then add to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Individual slices of banana bread can also be frozen, just make sure to wrap each slice in plastic wrap before adding to the freezer bag.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT FOR THIS RECIPE
- Mixing Bowl – no fancy tools here, just a lightweight and economical mixing bowl.
- Rubber Spatula – I like to use spatulas like these that are all one piece, as they seem to hold up better.
- Loaf Pan – in case you don’t have one, this is a good and economical option.
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Classic Banana Bread
- 3 ripe bananas - peeled
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter - melted
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg - beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- pinch ground nutmeg - (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9x5" loaf pan. Set pan aside.
- To a large mixing bowl, add bananas and mash with a fork until semi-smooth. Use a rubber spatula to stir in melted butter, sugar, beaten egg and vanilla.
- Add in baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, salt, nutmeg (if using), and stir to combine.
- Add in flour and stir until just combined and no flour streaks remain.
- Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.
- Let loaf cool in pan for a few minutes, then remove from pan and cool on wire rack.