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Super Moist Banana Bread (with a spoon)

No electric or stand 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 in half on parchment paper

This is a great recipe for basic classic banana bread. I only have two criteria for what I would consider the ‘best banana bread recipe’. It has to be super moist and have a super banana flavor.

Why choose this banana bread recipe

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 great recipe – the best banana bread recipe in my humble opinion – with lots of variations and substitutions that speak to your preferences.

That’s because I’ve done the research for you so you don’t have to. You’re welcome 🙂

Bottom line: This is an incredibly moist banana bread recipe. Amazing flavor. A great way to use up those brown bananas. And simply delicious.

Tips for success

I’ve made this recipe a LOT. The first time with an electric mixer, the next time (and then after) without. It really made no difference. There are a few tricks, though, for making a perfect banana bread.

  1. Overripe 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. Lightly incorporate the dry ingredients 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. I find the best way is to 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. Update: a reader tried it and it worked!
  • 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)

How to serve banana bread

  • 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 frosting. One of my faves.

How to make this easy banana bread recipe

bananas, yogurt, butter, egg, brown sugar, flour, vanilla, baking soda, baking powder
Ingredients: Overripe 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 in a large mixing bowl. Add egg and vanilla and mix until smooth.
incorporating dry ingredients into wet batter
Add dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking powder) to wet ingredients 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/176.7C until tester comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes. Cool to room temperature (if you can wait!)

slices of banana bread stacked on a plate banana bread sliced open on parchment p

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 very 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 for chocolate banana bread, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans for nut banana bread, 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 freezer bag or airtight container.
  • To freeze for up to 3 months, wrap it well in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place in an airtight container or sealed bag. Defrost in the fridge or in microwave for a 20 seconds. Tip: I slice my banana bread into individual slices first before freezing, allowing 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.

Other easy banana recipes for brunch

banana bread sliced in half on parchment paper
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4.81 from 148 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

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (250 g) mashed VERY RIPE bananas, Note 1 about 2 large 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, room temperature (run under warm water for a minute if needed)
  • 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/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).
  • 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 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. Ripening 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/177C oven for 15-20 minutes. Cool before using.
  2. Softening 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 (read the label to make sure no other ingredients are needed).
  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. Update: one reader tried it and it worked!
    • Replace 1 tablespoon of flour with 1 tablespoon (7 g) flaxseed for extra nutrition (fiber, protein, vitamin B1 and Omega-3 fatty acids)
  6. Variations:
    • Spices: try adding a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg. A hint is plenty or you’ll disguise the banana flavor.
    • 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Reader questions – and responses
    • Batter curdled when I added the egg. This is mostly likely due to a cold egg. If you forget to take it out ahead of time, run it under warm water for a minute. (Even if the batter curdles a bit, it still should be fine). 
    • Can I substitute coconut oil for the butter? Yes, the same amount. You may have a slight coconut taste though. 
    • Can I make cupcakes instead of a loaf? Yes. Increase oven temperature to 375F/191C and bake for 20-25 minutes or until tester comes out clean. 
    • What if I don’t have parchment paper? No problem. Just spray the pan with oil or lightly coat with butter or use aluminum foil. 
 
Nutrition values are estimates based on one slice (1/12) of the banana bread.  

Nutrition

Calories: 206kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 227mg | Potassium: 123mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 278IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?We’d love you to rate it above under ‘rate this recipe’ or in the comment section below. Thanks!

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Recipe Rating




114 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Best banana bread yet! I added a 1/4 tsp cinnamon to dry ingredients. Only critique is all the “notes” make it a bit confusing to follow. Perhaps helpful to inexperienced bakers?
    Overall, excellent bread!

    1. Hi Candi. Glad you liked the banana bread! Sorry about all the notes in the recipe. There are lots of variations, substitutions, storing instructions etc and, you’re right, these would be more helpful to less experienced cooks (I hope). I like to make sure readers have all the information they might need to make the recipe the way they like it.

  2. 5 stars
    My new favorite banana bread recipe! I did use Mayo instead of butter and I forgot the egg (yikes). Still turned out great!

    1. Hi Jeanie. Thanks for letting us know that the mayo substitute worked. And no egg. Good to know!

    1. Hi Megan. Sorry to hear your results weren’t good. Rubbery on the inside is usually due to over mixing. Just stir until the dry ingredients are moistened and the flour disappears. No longer. Hard on the outside can be due to overbaking or using an oven temperature that’s too high. Oven temps can often be off. It might be worth buying a $5 oven thermometer to check your oven temperature and adjust it accordingly when baking and cooking. I hope that helps and that your next banana bread comes out great.

  3. 5 stars
    Superb! Moist, fragrant and easy to make…I doubled the recipe to make two loaves. Followed the recipe with a few of my own touches: Used two cups white flour, one cup whole wheat. Used five medium bananas and three tsp of vanilla. Added a cup of raisins and a cup of chopped walnuts.
    Been baking banana bread for years…this recipe is my new “keeper”…thank you! 😊

  4. 5 stars
    This banana bread recipe is the best! Except the batter started curdling after I added the eggs and vanilla extract. I soldiered on and the batter ended up looking “normal” but I wonder if I did something wrong and if I could have yielded even better results. Also, is it a typo or is it really such that it takes *longer* to bake if the pan is smaller? I would think it would take a shorter time since there’s less volume. Thanks!

    1. Hi Janet. Most likely your egg was too cold so it broke down the emulsification of the butter sugar mixture. It’s best to bring it to room temperature an hour before. If you forget, you can put the egg in warm tap water for 5 minutes before breaking it into the batter. I’ll add that to the notes. Thanks for bringing it up.

      As for the smaller pan, the baking time will take a bit longer as mentioned in the recipe because the batter will be higher in the pan (thicker) since there is less room for it to spread out. Hope that helps.

      1. 5 stars
        Waiting to see how it turns out! But I had the saw issue with the curdle I’m hoping it still turns out ok. I didn’t know the egg couldn’t be cold 😅

        1. Hi Suzy, it should still be fine (I forget about the cold egg a lot). Next time, you can run it under warm tap water for a minute or two. Hope it worked out!

  5. 5 stars
    Best banana bread I ever made. I used sour cream and it was moist and delicious. Thanks for sharing your recipe. Next time I will try adding chocolate chips.

  6. 5 stars
    Best banana bread ever glad i came across this receipe , i always buy lots of sour milk cause i love baking with it and i had never used it on banana bread .The smell coming out of my kitchen is divine in this rainy morning, i added a bit of cinnamon , nutmeg and pecans

  7. I made this last night to bring to work this morning. Everyone loved it. We only had 8 employees here today and it was gone before noon. Thank you! Will be making another for keeping at home next week. Oh, I added blueberries to mine. Sprinkled with cinnamon and brown sugar on top of bread while baking. Light sprinkle kosher salt and powdered sugar after cooled.

    1. Hi Shea, Glad it was a hit at work! I like your tweaks too 🙂 Thanks for leaving a comment. Much appreciated.

  8. 5 stars
    I did and made it exactly as you said and the results were exactly as you said too super moist so yummy I just put some chocolate chips on top(at the end) forgot to add in but just wow 👌 the only thing is I need to make for each member of my family bcs we just get enough and don’t want to share lol thank-you will be sure to follow for other recipes

  9. 5 stars
    Would’ve put 10/5 stars if I can. I love the fact that it’s actually moist and not as crumbly? when my hubby and I ate them. Hehe. Best banana bread recipe for me so far! Thank you for the recipe!!

  10. 5 stars
    Would’ve put 10/5 stars if I can. I love the fact that it’s actually moist and not as crumbly? Doesnt when my hubby and I ate them. Hehe. Best banana bread recipe for me so far! Thank you for the recipe!!

  11. I didn’t have yogurt, sour cream or buttermilk. Instead I mixed 2 tsp. of white vinegar in 1/2 cup 2% milk and let it sit for 15 min essentially making buttermilk. Added 1/2 cup chocolate chunks and 1/2 cup coconut! The best banana bread I’ve made. So moist but not too dense… just perfect. Served warm with French vanilla ice cream. Thanks for doing the research and putting this together.

    1. I’m drooling! Thanks for sharing your successful substitute Michael. 🙂 Glad it worked out so well.

    1. Hi Morgan, If you’re using a 1:1 gluten free flour, you should be able to swap the regular flour with the gluten free flour in the same amount. Just to be sure, though, it’s best to check the label on your flour to confirm it’s a 1:1 flour and that no other ingredients need to be added to ensure success (apparently Xanthan Gum is sometimes required). Hope that helps.

  12. 5 stars
    Great recipe. The best banana bread I’ve made so far, and I tried a few! Soooo moist!
    Thank you for sharing!

  13. I’ve used this recipe a few times and will keep it for my “go to” banana bread recipe! It’s great!!

  14. 5 stars
    Hi! Can I bake it in a square or round cake tin instead? If yes, what should the size of the pan be?

    Btw, I love this recipe! It was my first time making banana bread and it came out great!

    1. Glad it was a hit! You should be fine with an 8 or 9 inch square pan or an 8 inch round pan. Since these pans will be shallower than a loaf pan, the banana bread will likely take less time to bake so start checking a little earlier. Hope that helps.

  15. 3 stars
    The flavor is wonderful, as is the texture. However, the mess created with multiple bowls, utensils and tools…not a “quick bread”. I’ll make it again, but use my trusty mixer.

    1. Hi Roberta, I suppose the 3-star rating reflects your frustration with the clean up. Sorry to hear that. I’m glad you were happy with the end result though. I always find that you get more efficient after the first time, but of course you can use your mixer if that’s easier or more comfortable for you. I guess it comes down to what you want to wash 🙂

  16. 5 stars
    Love it! It’s actually moist!!!
    I followed the recipe, using light sour cream and added cocao nibs and crumbled walnut pieces.
    Once I read in the blurb about spending ages looking for a recipe – that is exactly what i had done. So I stopped on this one and decided to try it out. Definitely lives up to the hype created.

    1. Hi Leah. So glad you stopped at this recipe and tried it. And more importantly, that you really liked it! Thanks so much for leaving a lovely comment.

      1. 5 stars
        i just got my bread in the oven!! and i didn’t have parchment paper.. an i going to be okay?!?! please advise!