Your search for the perfect super-moist banana bread recipe is over. Our readers say “Absolutely the greatest banana bread ever! No need to ever try another!”.
Classic flavors, heavenly aromas, and well-tested tips for a very delicious treat.
This is a great recipe for a basic classic banana bread. I have only two criteria for what I would consider the best banana bread recipe: super moist and big banana flavor.
I’ve made this recipe a LOT. Just pay attention to a few tips that I promise will get you to a REALLY great banana bread.
Why choose THIS banana bread recipe
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). So why choose this one?
I’ve done a ton of research and testing for you so you don’t have to. You’ll find tips, substitutions, variations, freezing instructions, and more.
There’s no need for a stand mixer. I have tried it with and without and didn’t find a difference. You can mix the batter with a spoon or fork. The instructions are simple. Just be sure to pay attention to the tips which are all included in the recipe.
Bottom line: This is an incredibly soft, moist banana bread recipe. Amazing flavor. A great way to use up those brown bananas. Our #1 most popular recipe. And simply delicious.
Ingredients – tailored to your taste
Bananas: Use overripe bananas that are turning brown and very soft – almost squishy. The riper, the sweeter (although not black to the point they are fermenting). One banana in the picture above is black because it was frozen – that’s ok.
Sour cream – light or full fat is fine. Or use plain or vanilla yogurt instead. This adds moisture to the banana bread.
Flour: Use all-purpose flour (or see variations below). Don’t use bread flour as it will make the banana loaf dense.
- The brown sugar adds great flavor but it can be replaced with white sugar if needed.
- Replace the yogurt (or sour cream) with 1/2 cup extra mashed bananas or unsweetened applesauce for a lower-calorie option.
- You can substitute the butter with coconut oil in the same amount if you like. The loaf may have a slight coconut taste though.
- Flavor options: Add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg. A hint is plenty or you’ll disguise the banana flavor.
- For extra nutrition:
- Use half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour. Using all whole wheat flour will make it too dense.
- Replace 1 tablespoon of flour with 1 tablespoon of flaxseed for added nutrition.
- Gluten-free version: Use a 1:1 gluten-free flour. Check labels.
- Sweetness: This is all personal preference of course. If your bananas aren’t super sweet or you prefer sweeter, use a little more sugar.
- Add-in options: chocolate chips for chocolate banana bread, chopped toasted walnuts or pecans for banana nut bread, or toffee/skor pieces
- Fruit additions: raisins or cranberries, or blueberries dusted in flour (so they don’t sink).
- Toppings: Cream cheese frosting, 3-minute chocolate buttercream icing, orange glaze, Nutella.
Tips for a perfect banana bread
- Overripe bananas are key for sweetness. If they are not ripe, we show you two ways to ripen them in the recipe notes.
- Measure your flour properly! This is very important. Too much flour will make the banana bread dry. Too little will make it too wet. See recipe.
- Don’t over-mix the batter. Lightly incorporate the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. Don’t over mix or the banana bread will become dense.
- Don’t overbake. Overbaked banana bread will be dry. I tend to underbake it a bit because I like it super moist.
- Easy clean up: Line your loaf pan with parchment paper before adding the batter. I find the best way is to crush parchment into a ball, then smooth it into the pan. This will make it stay in the pan instead of popping out.
How to serve banana bread
Serve your banana bread for breakfast, brunch, snack, tea time, or dessert.
My sister loves it toasted with butter. I have to admit it’s pretty good. Plain – with or without butter – is great too. And a bit of peach marmalade!
For a sweet ending to a meal, serve banana bread with this easy 4-ingredient tropical fruit salad.
Yes, banana bread is considered a quick bread because it uses baking soda and powder to rise instead of yeast.
For baking, the best way to measure flour is to weigh it on a kitchen scale. If you don’t have a scale, use the scoop and swipe method with measuring cups. Scoop the flour with a spoon into a measuring cup, then level it off with a knife. The right amount of flour is important for the texture of the banana bread.
Sometimes the batter will curdle when you add a cold egg. If you forget to take the egg out of the fridge ahead of time, run it under warm water for a minute. (Even if the batter curdles a bit, it still should be fine).
Yes, you can make muffins instead of a loaf. Increase the oven temperature to 375F/191C and bake muffins for 20-25 minutes or until the tester comes out clean.
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.
Yes, bananas can turn dark brown or even black in the freezer – and even mushy or liquidy – but they are safe and perfect for making banana bread. To prevent the skin from turning black, you can flash-freeze the bananas first before putting them in a ziploc bag in the freezer.
Experts at Cooks Illustrated found that oven temperature can vary by as much as 90 degrees F (32 degrees C), especially over time. This will impact baking results. CNET explains the best way to test your oven temperature for accuracy so you can adjust accordingly.
Make Ahead and Storage
- Store on the counter for 3 days in a sealed freezer bag or airtight container.
- To freeze for up to 3 months, wrap it well in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place it in an airtight container or sealed bag. Defrost in the fridge or in the microwave for 20 seconds. Tip: I slice my banana bread into individual slices first before freezing, allowing me to grab one piece at a time.
More banana recipes
- ricotta pancake recipes with caramelized bananas
- simple banana French toast
- banana muffins with blueberries (moist and fluffy)
- banana cake with chocolate icing – one of my faves.
- homemade creamy banana pudding cups.
If you like this recipe, please leave a 5 star rating 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟in the recipe card below. And if you REALLY like it, consider a review in the comments. Thanks very much!
Super Moist Banana Bread Recipe (no mixer needed)
- 1 cup mashed VERY RIPE bananas, Note 1 about 2 large bananas
- 1/2 cup plain or Greek yogurt, low fat is fine (buttermilk or sour cream is fine too)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup butter (one stick) – very soft, Note 2 salted or unsalted
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (or white sugar) (or a bit more if bananas aren't very sweet)
- 1 egg, room temperature (run under warm water for a minute if needed)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, Note 3 subtitutes measure properly! (Note 4)
- 1 teaspoon 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.
- HEAT OVEN TO 350F/176.7C: Crumple a parchment paper into a ball. Smooth it out and line a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan (23×13 cm) or 4 x 8 inch loaf pan (20×10 cm). Alternatively, spray a loaf pan with oil or line with aluminum foil.
- 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 (large 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 the smaller loaf pan size may take a bit longer. Note that most ovens are not very accurate – so 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 for 10 minutes. Lift banana bread out by holding onto sides of parchment, then cool further. Eat it while still a bit warm!
- How to ripen bananas: Two ways:
- 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/177C oven for 15-20 minutes. Cool before using.
- How to soften butter quickly: 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.
- Flour substitutes: You can use up to half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour for more nutrition. Or replace flour with 1:1 gluten-free flour (read the label to make sure no other ingredients are needed).
- How to measure flour (important!): The best way to measure flour is to weigh it on a kitchen scale in grams. If you don’t have a scale, scoop the flour with a spoon into a measuring cup, then level it off with a knife.
- Other substitutes
- Instead of yogurt or sour cream, use 1/2 cup (125 g) extra mashed bananas or unsweetened applesauce for a lower-calorie option.
- Instead of butter, use 1/2 cup (115 g) mayonnaise. One reader tried it and it worked! You can also use coconut oil.
- Replace 1 tablespoon of flour with 1 tablespoon (7 g) flaxseed for extra nutrition.
- Spices: Add a small pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg.
- Add-ins: 1/2 cup/87 grams chocolate chips, chopped walnuts or pecans, toffee/skor pieces, raisins or cranberries, fresh blueberries dusted in flour.
- Toppings: Cream cheese frosting, orange glaze, Nutella.
- To make muffins instead of a loaf: Use a muffin tin with liners, filled 2/3 full. Increase oven temperature to 375F/191C and bake for 20-25 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
- 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.