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This banana bread recipe is the best way to use ripe bananas. It's easy to make, super moist, and has a delicious soft crumb. Your friends and family will agree that this is the best banana bread recipe!
If you're on the hunt for the perfect banana bread recipe, as in “I'll never make another banana bread recipe again, now that I have this recipe” — you have finally found it. You found your perfect, moist, easy banana bread recipe. It's a happy and delicious day, indeed!
This is like finding a unicorn in a field of horses. There are thousands of banana bread recipes out there, and you've probably tried some of them. Some are too dry, others too dense, and still others don't have enough banana flavor. This, however, is our favorite banana bread recipe.
We've been perfecting this 2 secret-ingredient banana bread recipe for you. It's perfectly moist and sweet (but not too sweet) banana bread. You'll be amazed at how quickly this vanishes from your countertop. Bookmark this tab now, because you'll be back for more – promise!
What makes this the best banana bread recipe?
Great question! Remember those 2 secret ingredients mentioned above? It's like a 1-2 punch for banana bread.
- This recipe calls for 1 ½ cups of mashed bananas – that's about 4 medium-sized bananas! If you're experienced in the world of banana bread, this is a lot of bananas! Adding this much banana adds a ton of moisture and flavor to the loaf without being overpowering.
- This easy banana bread recipe calls for ½ cup of sour cream. The tangy, richness of the sour cream is a thing of dreams when it comes to your banana bread. It balances the sweetness of the ripe bananas and also contributes to that moisture level. It's so good!
- All-purpose flour: You'll need 2 ½ cups for this recipe.
- Baking soda: This is your rising agent, so you'll need 2 teaspoons.
- Salt: Add some salt to balance the sweet flavors of the banana bread.
- Mashed bananas: You'll need 1 ½ cups for this recipe, that's about 4 medium bananas. The more ripe, the better! You can mash them using a fork or a potato masher.
- Eggs: Just two eggs will do!
- Sour cream: Use ½ cup of sour cream for this recipe. You can use low fat, if preferred. And plain Greek yogurt can be substituted in a pinch if that's what you have on hand.
- Granulated sugar and brown sugar: Add ½ cup of each type of sugar to the recipe. The brown sugar has more of a caramel flavor because of the molasses content. It adds a deeper, toffee-like sweetness compared to regular, granulated sugar.
- Butter: Melt ½ cup of butter to incorporate into the recipe. Adding melted butter produces a soft and dense quality to the banana bread.
- Vanilla: Some vanilla extract will give a floral, warm note to the banana bread.
How to make banana bread
Time needed: 1 hour and 10 minutes
Here's the rundown of the 4 steps you'll take to bake the perfect loaf of homemade banana bread in no time:
- Combine your dry ingredients
Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a small bowl.
- Mix the wet ingredients
Mash your bananas and then mix them together with the eggs, sour cream, sugars, melted butter, and vanilla.
- Incorporate all your ingredients into one happy family.
When combining the dry and wet ingredients, be careful not to overmix them. Keep stirring until you see a consistent batter – then stop.
- Bake it, baby!
Pop your banana bread in the oven for 60-70 minutes. Check on it after 45 mins to see if the top is browning too much. If it is, you can tent it with some aluminum foil and then continue baking it until it's cooked through. The hard part's letting it cool once cooked. But if you let it cool completely, it will have the perfect crumb and be easy to cut into clean slices.
Tips for the best banana bread
- Mix until just combined: It's easy to get carried away when it comes to combining all the ingredients. If you over-mix the banana bread batter, you'll end up with a dense or somewhat tough loaf, and nobody likes that! To avoid this, stir the ingredients together until you can see one consistent batter texture. In other words, as soon as you can't see the dry ingredients, stop mixing.
- Don't skimp on moistness: The desire to skimp on the ingredients that have a higher fat content is appealing, however, as soon as you do this you will notice a lack of moisture in your banana bread. In this banana bread recipe, the sour cream adds fat and therefore moisture to the bread, so it's not ideal to lessen the amount and if you can, go for the full fat kind!
- Let it cool: The point of letting it cool goes beyond not burning your tongue. If you let the banana bread cool completely, it will firm up for beautiful (less crumbly) slices, and it allows the flavors to develop and settle. It's worth it to let it cool (although, it's admittedly a gratification challenge).
How to quickly ripen bananas
When it comes to homemade banana bread, you want to use very ripe bananas. This is because they have a higher sugar content, which will make your bread nice and sweet. Underripe or even perfectly ripe bananas have a starchier taste and texture, which won't give you the results you want.
There are 2 ways you can speed up the process to ripen bananas:
- Brown paper bag method: This method takes a bit of forethought, but it will ripen your bananas in a couple of days. So if you know you want to make banana bread on the weekend, for instance, this is a good method to try mid-week. Put your underripe bananas into a brown bag with a very ripe banana or a whole apple to capture the ethylene gas and speed up the ripening process.
- Oven-bake method: Using an oven to ripen bananas takes about 15-20 minutes + cooling time (this way is much faster than the paper bag method). All you need to do is place whole bananas, with the peels intact, on a baking sheet in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the bananas turn black you can remove them from the heat. Let them cool so that you can peel them and use the very ripen bananas in your bread!
Substitutions and additions to make the best banana bread
Everyone has a favorite way they like their banana bread. Here are some ways you can take this banana bread recipe and make it your own:
Chocolate: You can add chocolate chips to the batter or drizzle melted chocolate on top of the banana bread to get that wonderful chocolate-banana combo.
Nuts: Walnuts, pecans, peanuts, or even peanut butter are all wonderful additions to banana bread. The sweetness of the bananas pairs well with the warm, toasty flavor of the nuts.
Seeds: Incorporating seeds into banana bread adds a bunch of fiber. You can use pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or flax seeds.
Fruit: There are many fruit combinations that enhance a banana bread recipe like blueberries, strawberries, pumpkin, rhubarb and more. While you'll incorporate the pumpkin in puree form, other fruits like strawberries and blueberries will need their own flour coating before going into the batter. This will help them stay put in the loaf and stops a soggy situation from unfolding.
Coffee: You can use caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee to make the perfect coffee banana bread. Using instant coffee will give a stronger coffee flavor overall.
Dairy-free banana bread: You can make this banana bread recipe dairy-free by using dairy-free sour cream and vegan butter.
Gluten free banana bread: This recipe has been tested using all-purpose flour, however, you can experiment with other flours to make sure it's gluten-free. Or you can try our paleo banana bread, which is made with almond flour!
How to store banana bread
Banana bread is best stored on the counter in an airtight container or reusable wrapping/bag. It will stay fresh for about 4 days. If you put it in the fridge it will dry out faster than on the counter. Should you not be able to eat it all in 4 days, you can move it to the freezer.
Can you freeze banana bread?
Banana bread is perfect for freezing! Place the banana bread in an airtight container or wrap it in parchment paper followed by aluminum foil. It will last in your freezer for about 2 months.
Other frequently asked questions
How Long Does banana bread Last?
Banana bread will last wrapped or sealed on the counter for 4 days. Or you can freeze it for a couple of months.
What is the best loaf pan for this recipe?
You can use a 5×9-inch pan for banana bread. This size will make sure your loaf has a nice height. If you only have a 4×8-inch loaf pan, fill it ¾ of the way full and then bake the rest of the batter into muffins.
Can I make this banana bread recipe with frozen bananas?
You can use frozen bananas to make banana bread, however, it's best to thaw them completely before incorporating. Frozen bananas will release a lot of water as they thaw; do your best to drain some of the water content.
Can you use this banana bread recipe for muffins?
You sure can! Prepare a regular muffin tin with paper or silicone liners and scoop the batter into each cup, ⅔ of the way full. Bake them for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Can I make this in a stand mixer?
Because the ingredients are simply stirred together (rather than beaten), we recommend not using your stand mixer for this recipe.
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups mashed bananas (about 4 medium)
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup EACH: granulated sugar and brown sugar
- ½ cup melted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 5"x9" loaf pan. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt.2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt
- In a large bowl, mash the bananas then whisk in the eggs, sour cream, both the sugars, melted butter, and vanilla.1 ½ cups mashed bananas, 2 large eggs, ½ cup sour cream, ½ cup EACH: granulated sugar and brown sugar, ½ cup melted butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients until they are just combined. Do not over-mix the batter.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan then bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Check the bread after 45 minutes and if it is golden brown on top, tent it loosely with a piece of foil to prevent it from browning too much. Let it cool for 10 minutes in the loaf pan then remove it and cool it completely on a wire rack before slicing it.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.