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Super Moist Banana Bread (with a spoon)

No mixer needed for this delicious, super moist banana bread. We’ve gathered all the tips and variations you’ll need to ensure success and adapt the recipe to your own tastes and preferences.

If you google ‘banana bread recipes’, you will get about 278 million results. They are all fairly similar (ok, I didn’t read 278 million). Some have more sugar, some add an extra moisture ingredient, some add nuts and so on. But the basics are the same.

banana bread sliced open with slices on side

So do we need yet another banana bread recipe? Not really. But…

If you’re obsessive like me and need to review 10 recipes before you settle on one, you’ll be happy you landed on this one – the best moist banana bread recipe – with lots of variations and substitutions that speak to your preferences. Because I’ve done the research for you so you don’t have to. You’re welcome 🙂

My sister loves banana bread toasted with butter. I have to admit it’s pretty good. Plain or plain with butter is great too. And a bit of peach marmalade!

Serve it for breakfast, brunch, snack, tea time or dessert. Talking about desserts, if you love bananas and want a more decadent dessert, try our best banana cake with chocolate icing. One of my faves.

This is a great basic banana bread recipe. I only have two criteria for banana bread. It has to be super moist and super banana-y. I’ve made this recipe several times with and without an electric mixer. It really made no difference.

 

There are a few tricks, though, for making a great banana bread.

Tips for super moist banana bread

  1. Very ripe bananas are key. Your bananas should be turning brown and very soft – almost squishy. The riper, the sweeter (although not black to the point they are fermenting). If they are not ripe, here are two ways to ripen them:
    • place them in a paper bag with another fruit like an apple and let them sit a day or two.
    • bake them in a 350F oven for 15-20 minutes. Cool before using.
  2. Add an extra moisture ingredient like yogurt or sour cream as per the recipe. See substitutes if you don’t have any.
  3. Don’t over mix the batter. Just incorporate the flour with the wet ingredients. Don’t over mix it or the banana bread will become dense.
  4. Don’t over bake. Start checking after 50 minutes in 5 minute increments. Over baked banana bread will be dry. I tend to under bake it a bit because I like it super moist.
  5. Easy clean up: Line your loaf pan with parchment paper before adding the batter. Crush parchment into a ball, then smooth it into the pan. This will make it lie in the pan more easily.

Substitutes

  • The brown sugar adds great flavor but it can be replaced with white sugar if needed.
  • Yogurt (or sour cream) can be replaced with 1/2 cup extra mashed bananas or unsweetened applesauce.
  • Apparently the butter can be replaced with 1/2 cup mayonnaise. I never tried this, but I read it in a recipe and the author swears by it.
  • All-purpose flour can be substituted with organic whole wheat flour. Or gluten-free flour for a gluten free banana bread.
  • Replace 1 tablespoon of flour with 1 tablespoon flaxseed for extra nutrition (fiber, protein, vitamin B1 and Omega-3 fatty acids)

Tailor to Your Taste

Lots of possibilities here.

  • Spices: try adding a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg. A hint is plenty or you’ll disguise the banana flavor.
  • Sweetness: Some people use 1 cup sugar which I find too sweet when using ripe bananas. This is all personal preference though. If your bananas aren’t super sweet or you prefer sweeter, use 1 cup of sugar of close to it.
  • Add-ins: 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, 1/2 cup toffee/skor pieces
  • Fruit additions: 1/2 cup raisins or cranberries, 1/2 – 3/4 cup blueberries dusted in flour.
  • Toppings: Cream cheese frosting, orange glaze, Nutella.

Make Ahead and Storage

  • Store on the counter for 3 days in a sealed zipper bag or container.
  • To freeze for up to 3 months, wrap it well in plastic or foil, then place in a sealed container or zipper bag. Defrost in the fridge or in microwave for a 20 seconds. Tip: I slice my banana bread first, then wrap the slices before freezing to allow me to grab one piece at a time.
  • Freezing bananas: Don’t throw out your browning overripe bananas. Throw them into a ziploc bag (remove as much air as possible), then into the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost them in the fridge or microwave them for 1 minute or so when you’re ready to bake a super moist banana bread.

How to make moist banana bread

bananas, yogurt, butter, egg, brown sugar, flour, vanilla, baking soda, baking powder
Ripe bananas, yogurt, butter, egg, brown sugar, flour, vanilla, baking soda, baking powder. (The black banana is from the freezer)

yogurt and mashed bananas in bowl

Mash bananas and mix with yogurt and baking soda in a small bowl.

creamed butter and sugar in bowl
Combine soft butter and brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla and mix until smooth.
incorporating dry ingredients into wet batter
Add flour, salt and baking powder to wet mixture just until combined. Don’t over mix.
batter in loaf pan lined with parchment
Spoon batter into parchment lined loaf pan.
baked banana bread in loaf pan lined with parchment
Bake at 350F until tester comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes.

slices of banana bread stacked on a plate

banana bread sliced open on parchment p

banana bread sliced open with slices on side
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4.75 from 20 votes

Super Moist Banana Bread (with a spoon)

No mixer needed for this delicious, super moist banana bread. We've gathered all the tips and variations you'll need to ensure success and adapt the recipe to your own tastes and preferences.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American, Vegetarian
Servings: 12 slices
Author: Cheryl, Two Kooks In The Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (250 g) mashed VERY RIPE bananas, Note 1 about 2-3 bananas
  • 1/2 cup (125 g) plain or Greek yogurt, low fat is fine (buttermilk or sour cream is fine too)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (115 g) butter (one stick) - very soft, Note 2 salted or unsalted
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) brown sugar, Note 3
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (225 g) all-purpose flour, Note 4
  • 1 teaspoon (3 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
  • Optional add-ins: 1/2 cup (87 g) chocolate chips, toffee bits, pecans, walnuts or raisins.

Instructions

  • HEAT OVEN TO 350F: Crumple a parchment paper into a ball. Smooth it out and line a 9 x 5 inch (23x13 cm) or 4 x 8 inch (20x10) loaf pan.
  • BOWL #1 (small bowl): Mix together mashed bananas, yogurt and baking soda with a fork or spoon.
  • BOWL #2 (medium bowl or 2 cup measuring cup): Stir together flour, baking powder and salt (if using).
  • BOWL #3 (larger mixing bowl): Use a spoon or whisk to mix butter and brown sugar together until well combined. Add egg and vanilla and whisk until smooth and creamy. Add banana-yogurt mixture and mix well. Add flour mix in 3 parts, mixing lightly between each addition. DO NOT over mix. Just mix until flour is incorporated. Batter will be thick. Stir in optional add-in if using.
  • BAKE: Spoon batter into parchment-lined loaf pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. Using a smaller loaf pan may take a bit longer. Start checking after 50-55 minutes. The middle may still be wet. Bake another 3-5 minutes and check again. When done, remove pan from oven and let cool. Lift banana bread out by holding onto sides of parchment.

Notes

  1. Bananas: If your bananas are not ripe enough (turning brown and very soft - almost squishy), here are two ways to ripen them:
    • place them in a paper bag with another fruit like an apple and let them sit a day or two. or
    • bake them in a 350F oven for 15-20 minutes. Cool before using.
  2. Butter: Forgot to take out the butter to soften it? No worries. Put it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften (if some melts, it's fine). Or, place in a sealed bag and run warm water over it until softened. 
  3. Brown sugar/sweetness: Some people use 1 cup (200g) sugar which I find too sweet when using ripe bananas. This is all personal preference though. If your bananas aren't super sweet or you prefer sweeter, use 1 cup (200 g) of sugar or close to it.
  4. Flour: All purpose flour can be substituted with organic whole wheat flour (or use half and half). Gluten free flour can also be used instead.
  5. Other Substitutes
    • The brown sugar adds great flavor but it can be replaced with white sugar if needed.
    • Yogurt (or sour cream) can be replaced with 1/2 cup (125 g) extra mashed bananas or unsweetened applesauce.
    • Apparently the butter can be replaced with 1/2 cup (115 g) mayonnaise. I never tried this, but I read it in a recipe and the author swears by it.
    • Replace 1 tablespoon of flour with 1 tablespoon (7 g) flaxseed for extra nutrition (fiber, protein, vitamin B1 and Omega-3 fatty acids)
  6. To store/make ahead:
    • Store on the counter for 3 days in a sealed zipper bag or container.
    • To freeze for up to 3 months, wrap well in plastic or foil, then place in a sealed container or zipper bag. Defrost in the fridge or in microwave for a 20 seconds. Tip: I slice my banana bread first, then wrap the slices before freezing to allow me to grab one piece at a time.
Nutrition values are estimates based on one slice (1/12) of the banana bread.  

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Super Moist Banana Bread (with a spoon)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 206 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 35mg12%
Sodium 227mg10%
Potassium 123mg4%
Carbohydrates 30g10%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 16g18%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 278IU6%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 54mg5%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    In used extra banana instead of yogurt. This bread turned out moist and delicious! I’m very happy with this recipe. I like the butter flavor since using butter over oil.

    1. I haven’t tried it but I’m sure adding peanut butter would be great. I suggest adding 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter to the butter sugar mixture and cutting the butter down to half (4 tbsp). Great idea for peanut lovers!

  2. 5 stars
    Yes – this worked out perfectly and its better than the one i have been making for years from Joys of your processor – which cooked for 2 1/2 hours. I didn’t bother with parchment – just cooking spray – came out clean. Used a bit of apple sauce in lieu of about a tbsp of the butter. Will have to freeze to stop from eating it all myself.

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