Simply the Best Banana Bread Recipe

This is it, the BEST Banana Bread Recipe. I’m so excited to share this one with you! My banana bread is made with brown sugar, is loaded with bananas, has a subtle vanilla flavor, and includes tips for including nuts or chocolate chips if you would like. The prep is easy (less than 20 minutes, no stand mixer) and the results are divine. You’re going to want to save this one!

Slices of the BEST Banana bread recipe on cooling rack

Do you butter your banana bread? I never have before but as I warmed up a slice this morning my eyes kept fixating on the European butter I just bought over the weekend. Is it normal to butter banana bread? I googled that question (really) but I’m still not sure. Breakfast this morning was butter-less and still excellent, but I think my next slice is going to be an experiment. Everything is better with butter, right?

Anyway, even without butter on top, a warm slice of good banana bread is exactly what this Monday morning needs. Moist, loaded with flavor (thanks to our key players: bananas, buttermilk, brown sugar, and vanilla), this really is the best banana bread I’ve ever tried. And I’ve tried a lot, it took over half a dozen recipe tests before I landed on this recipe.

It’s actually based off of my popular banana muffin recipe. That recipe has received nothing but rave reviews, and it only took a few simple modifications to make it perfect for baking in a bread pan.

Banana Bread batter, stirring together wet and dry ingredients

How to Make The Best Banana Bread

  • Mash your bananas. The riper the better!
  • Stir together bananas, oil, and butter, then mix in sugar, brown sugar, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla extract.
  • Whisk together your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt) separately.
  • Combine wet and dry ingredients gently.
  • Pour into a greased bread pan and sprinkle generously with sugar (optional, but not really).
  • When your banana bread is a beautiful golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, it’s finished baking!
Overhead of banana bread batter in baking pan (sprinkled with sugar)

Tips for Making the Best Banana Bread

This banana bread recipe is pretty straightforward, but I do have a few tips that might help you out.

  • The riper your bananas are, the better and more flavorful your banana bread will be. The browner and spottier the better!
  • You can use light or dark brown sugar in this banana bread, I just use whichever I happen to have on hand, which is usually light. Dark brown sugar will lend a bit more moisture, richness, and a slightly darker color to your banana bread. You really can’t go wrong either way!
  • My recipe uses buttermilk for a moist banana bread. If you don’t happen to have buttermilk in your fridge, you can use my buttermilk substitute instead (3/4 teaspoon of lemon juice + 1/4 scant cup milk).
  • Chocolate chips and/or nuts go great with this banana bread recipe! More on that below…
Overhead of golden banana bread on cooling rack

Mix it Up

This is a classic, no-frills banana bread, but that doesn’t mean we can’t go a little crazy with it. Chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, or chopped nuts all go great in this recipe. Chopped pecans or walnuts areespecially great in banana bread. And yes, adding chocolate chips to banana bread is my idea of going crazy. It gets wild over here, guys.

Here’s a quick tip if you want to add nuts: Toast them first! I don’t really recommend toasting nuts that have already been chopped (they won’t cook evenly and you run the risk of burning them), but if you have walnut or pecan halves then layer them evenly on a baking sheet and toast at 350F for about 8 minutes. Let them cool then chop them up and toss them into your banana bread batter.

Banana bread sliced on cooling rack

More Great Banana Recipes

Just a few of my other popular banana recipes!

  • Best Banana Muffins
  • Banana Cake
  • Banana Nut Muffins

Enjoy!

Simply the Best Banana Bread Recipe

The BEST Banana Bread

A moist, flavorful banana bread recipe that can be prepped and in the oven in under 20 minutes, no mixer needed. Be sure to check out the how-to video at the bottom of the recipe! 
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert, quick bread
Cuisine: American
Keyword: banana bread recipe, best banana bread, easy banana bread
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 10 slices
Calories: 396kcal
Author: Sam

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups well-mashed overripe bananas this is usually 3 large ripe bananas for me (355ml/385g)
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil (60ml)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted (60g)
  • 2/3 cup light or dark brown sugar firmly packed (135g)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 100g
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten, room temperature preferred
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk 60ml¹
  • 2 cups all-purpose plain flour (250g)
  • 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips or chopped nuts optional²
  • 1/4 cup coarse or granulated sugar for sprinkling optional (50g)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and grease the bottom and 1/2" up the sides of a 9x5 bread pan. Set aside.
  • Combine mashed bananas, canola oil, and melted butter in a large bowl and stir until well-combined.
  • Add sugars and stir well.
  • Stir in eggs and vanilla extract.
  • Add buttermilk and stir until thoroughly combined.
  • In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add dry ingredients to wet and carefully, gently using a spatula (not an electric mixer) fold ingredients together until just combined. Don't overmix the batter or your banana cake could end up dense/dry. If adding nuts/chocolate chips, stir them in here.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and, if desired, sprinkle generously with coarse sugar.
  • Transfer to 350F (175C) oven and bake 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted all the way into the center of the cake comes out clean or preferably with a few moist crumbs. Do not over-bake your banana bread or it will be dry.

Video

Notes

¹If you don't have buttermilk in your fridge, you can use my easy buttermilk substitute instead. ²If you have nuts that aren't already chopped, I recommend toasting them first for an even better flavor. To toast, layer 1 1/2 cup of walnut or pecan halves over a baking sheet and bake on 350F for about 8 minutes. Allow the nuts to cool then use a large knife to coarsely chop.I don't recommend toasting pre-chopped nuts just because they don't always cook evenly and could end up burned.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 396kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 46g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 205mg | Potassium: 152mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 21% | Vitamin C: 5% | Calcium: 2% | Iron: 2%

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