Super Moist Banana Bread Recipe (no mixer needed)
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.
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.
I’ve made this recipe a LOT. The first time with an electric mixer, the next time (and from then on) without. It really made no difference. However, you do need to pay attention to a few tips that will get you to REALLY great banana bread.
Why choose THIS banana bread recipe
Do we need yet another banana bread recipe? Not really. But…
If you obsess like me and need to review 10 recipes before you settle on one, you’ll be happy you landed on this one – the best banana bread recipe in my humble opinion. Our readers seem to think so too.
That’s because 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. 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.
- 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! You can also substitute the butter with coconut oil in the same amount if you like. The loaf may have a slight coconut taste though.
- Flavor options: try adding 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. Don’t use all whole wheat flour because the banana bread will be too dense and the taste will be altered.
- Replace 1 tablespoon of flour with 1 tablespoon of flaxseed for added fiber, protein, vitamin B1 and Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Gluten-free version: Use a 1:1 gluten-free flour. Check labels.
- Sweetness: Some recipes use more sugar than is called for in this recipe, but I find that too sweet when using very ripe bananas. This is all personal preference of course. If your bananas aren’t super sweet or you prefer sweeter, use 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, blueberries dusted in flour (so they don’t sink).
- Toppings: Cream cheese frosting, orange glaze, Nutella.
There are a few tricks for making 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 freeze 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 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! For a healthy ending to a meal, serve banana bread with this easy 4-ingredient tropical fruit salad.
Serve it for breakfast, brunch, snack, tea time, or dessert.
If you love banana desserts, also check out this fabulous banana cake with chocolate frosting – one of my faves. Or these yummy homemade banana pudding cups.
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.
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!
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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, Note 3
- 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 4 subtitutes measure properly! (Note 5)
- 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).
- 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 6 on oven accuracy. 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: If your bananas are not ripe enough (turning brown and very soft – almost squishy), here are two ways to ripen them (ripe bananas are sweeter):
- 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.
- Adjust sweetness if you like: Use up to 1 cup/230g brown sugar if you prefer a sweeter banana bread (I find 1 cup too sweet if my bananas are very ripe).
- Flour substitutes: You can use up to half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour for more nutrition. Don’t use all whole wheat or the loaf may be too dense. Or replace four 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.
- Most ovens are not accurate: Some vary by as much as 90 degrees f (32 degrees c), so watch carefully as results can be impacted. CNET explains the best way to test your oven temperature for accuracy so you can adjust accordingly.
- Other substitutes
- Instead of brown sugar (more flavor), use white sugar.
- 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 (fiber, protein, vitamin B1 and Omega-3 fatty acids)
- 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.
- 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.
- Reader questions – and responses
- Batter curdled when I added the egg. This is most 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.
By far THE best bsnsns bread recipe that I have ever used. My family loved it!
Yay! Thanks for the comment Robert!
Can this banana bread be made in a bunt pan?
Hi Elise. I haven’t tried that so I looked it up for you. According to Baking Kneads, here is how to bake Banana Bread in a Bundt Pan. I would test it after 45-50 minutes and go from there. Hope that helps.
Preheat your oven to 375℉
Prep your bundt pan by spraying the bottom and sides with non-stick baking spray
Pour your banana bread batter evenly into the pan
Bake for 1 hour
You can tell when your banana bread is ready to take out of the oven using the toothpick test or when it acquires a golden brown color
First time ever I made banana bread and by far the best I’ve ever had. I used 3 bananas ( I had in the freezer) and it came out phenomenal. I also used half brown sugar, half white but it was THEE best. Probably going to have to make it every week now lol.
I could eat it every week too! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment Andrea. We always appreciate that.
Would this work with a muffin tin? If so would you recommend changing anything?
Hi Eden, Yes it would work with a muffin tin. Several readers asked the same question, so we added this in the recipe notes: Can I make cupcakes/muffins instead of a loaf? Yes. Increase the oven temperature to 375F/191C and bake for 20-25 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Hope that helps.
I love using this recipe. My banana bread always comes out so moist and delicious. I tried it with some semi sweet chocolate and it was a hit. I’m adding some chopped up macadamia nuts and semi sweet chocolate this time in part of my batter to test it out. I’m sure it will be just as delicious.
Hope your latest test comes out just as well Josephine!
I’ve made many banana breads and thought I’d try this one. However I let it cool but when I sliced it each piece fell apart. It was very disappointing.
Hi Kitty, Sorry your loaf fell apart. Another reader, MaryS had this issue and I responded to her in the comments. To repeat, here’s a few possible reasons why your loaf is falling apart. 1. oven temperature was too high (most ovens are never perfect), that could cause the inside to be crumbly and drier. A cheap oven thermometer can measure your oven temp and help you adjust it accordingly 2. over baking. 3. Overmixing the batter. 4. Underbaking the banana bread which can also cause it to fall apart. 5. Not letting it cool – but you said you did that. I hope this helps with troubleshooting and that you’ll give the recipe another try.
I seldom leave reviews because I often forget. This is one of the best banana breads I’ve ever had! I use about a half cup brown sugar because I think the bananas are sweet enough. Then I dust a little fine sugar on top before baking for a little crust. Delicious!
Thanks Casey. I’m honored that you didn’t forget the review! I like your little tweaks.
Love this banana bread recipe! So moist & delicious!
Why is it “with a spoon”?
The ‘with a spoon’ title is meant to indicate that you can mix everything with a spoon (or fork) with no electric mixer needed.
Lovely moist recipe. I just had one problem as a beginner, my banana bread breaks easily when you cut it, it’s like those type of cakes that are crumbly & not a loaf type of bread. Am i overmixing my batter even i tried not too? Or am i overbaking it? Which I don’t think because they really the texture and moistness of the ones I made or is something too much/ less?
Hi Mary, That’s a tough one to troubleshoot as it could be several things. If your oven temperature was too high (most ovens are never perfect), that could cause the inside to be crumbly and drier. So could overbaking the loaf. But you said it was moist. If you mixed the batter just until it was combined – and didn’t overmix it- that wouldn’t be the problem either.
Is it possible you underbaked the banana bread? That could also cause it to fall apart when cutting. Or cutting it when too hot (I’ve done that!). Or using a serrated or dull knife. Those are a few common problems. It might be worth getting an oven thermometer (under $10) to check the accuracy of your oven. I hope it at least tasted good! And I hope you’ll give it another try 🙂
This is a lovely recipe!! Tried add ons too and it’s the best. I wonder how many grams is the total of the banana bread? I might do little ones on the aluminium foil pans (100 ml) so I can give it to my close ones soon.
Glad you liked it Lisa. To use smaller pans, you’ll have to reduce the baking time at bit. The total banana bread should be about 1.1 kg and you will need about two 100 ml pans for the full recipe. Hope that helps.
I see some receipts call for melted butter. Does it make a different with room temperature or melted butter? Sometime I forget to leave butter out ahead of time to soften.
Yes, using melted butter instead of softened butter would make a difference to the structure of the banana bread, so it’s not recommended. You will see in the recipe notes a couple of ways to soften butter if you forgot to take it out (which I often do). Hope that helps.
Delicious! Moist & like what my Mom used to make. I used sour cream & added nutmeg.
How many bananas if the bananas I have are small? They’re like 4 inches each 🥴
Hi Mari. You might need 6 ripe bananas if they are that small. Use as many as you need to measure 1 cup.
I have tried this! yes about 6 bananas. but I only had five so I put a lil bit of banana flavouring and I also made one with the same base and added walnuts in it, it’s so yummy and so moist!! my fam loves it. Will try different add ons in it because we love experimenting 😂
Glad it worked! Thanks for letting us know how it turned out.
WOw! that was REALLY Moist !
I bake a lot and am always trying new recipes even though I have others. Enjoyed this recipe, delicious, a little lighter than my other banana bread recipe and I like that about it. I have passed it on already and am sure will get asked again for it. Read about curdling in another post and mine did too. Knew it wouldn’t be a problem once I added the flour and it turned out perfect. Thank you, this one’s a keeper.
Thanks for your comments Colleen. I have experienced curdling too and, like you, didn’t find it was a problem. Glad you liked the recipe and thanks for passing it on to others.
Made a double batch of this last night because I needed to use up some bananas and holy cow! This is by far the best recipe I’ve tried for banana bread EVER. So so yummy! Thank you!
You’re very welcome Krista! So glad you love it!
I made mini muffins and slightly smaller-than-normal sized muffins. For my mini muffins, oven was set to 175°C for 12mins. For the bigger muffins, 13mins @ 180°C.
I used 1/2 cup brown sugar and an extra banana. I also added 4 scoops of tasteless protein powder to the flour mixture, crumbled walnuts and some cacao nibs. I used coconut oil instead of butter.
Needless to say, they are a hit with the family!
Great to hear Leah. And thanks for sharing your method for the mini and smaller muffins. I’m sure other readers will be interested to know what temp and tweaks you used.
This is the best banana bread recipe I tasted. Now my kids are reminding me to buy bananas during our grocery visits. I usually don’t like banana bread but this is my favourite. I love the crunch at the top and the moisture is real.
Great to hear! Listen to your kids 😂
Has a great flavor but even following the recipe exactly, it is super dark in color and never has a dome top. It’s always flat. I’ve tried with yogurt per recipe; substituted 1/2 c banana instead of yogurt; brown sugar per recipe; substituted white sugar instead of brown…the results are always the same and my bread has a flat top. I’ve made the recipe at least 10 times. Any suggestions?
Hi Shana. Sorry to hear your banana breads are not working out as expected. So many other have had success so something must be off. Could it be that either your baking power or baking soda has expired? That’s a common cause. Another option may be that your oven temperature is off. Most of our ovens are. It might be useful to get a cheap oven thermometer in case you need to adjust it. A too hot oven will brown the top too quickly before the bread is fully baked. I hope one of these suggestions helps and that your next one comes out moist and puffy. 🙂
Hmm maybe. I’ll buy new baking powder. My soda is new. I generally pour mine into an air tight container when I buy it. I don’t use baking powder that often so maybe it’s expired. And I’ll get an oven thermometer. I read the great reviews so I knew something was off but couldn’t figure out what it was. Hopefully new baking powder will do the trick! I do love the flavor and how moist it is. Thank you! 😊
Yes, give the new baking powder a try. And test your oven temperature. I really hope that solves the problem of your banana bread not rising properly 🙂 Good luck!
This is a bit late and a dollar short, BUT in case someone needs the info, there is one issue i noticed in the recipe, and one (possible) issue with your subs. The recipe says to mix the soda with the yogurt, early on. And i noticed you subbed out the yogurt. It’s possible that either or both of these steps would combine to reduce the rise–the rise is usually due to a reaction of the soda and powder with an acid that causes bubbles to form–and it might be that the batter might either react some before it’s baked, or react too slowly because of less acid. Of course, old baking powder can also react poorly and slowly.
I am sure that airtight storage of baking soda means it will never go “bad”, it’s a mineral salt like table salt, it can only pick up odors when poorly stored. I keep cream of tartar to mix homemade baking powder if mine has gone flat, the homemade powder just has to be mixed right before use as it deteriorates rather quickly after the soda and cream of tartar are combined. Use 1/4 tsp. soda and 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar for each tsp. of baking powder desired. I hope this helos someone 😁that chemistry class has to be good for something.
Thanks for the science lesson Frannie 🙂
Thank you thank you!
This was moist, not too sweet but flavorful. I used 1/2 cup brown sugar & 1/4 of Splenda & it was right on point. This is definitely my go to now.
You’re very welcome! Thanks for sharing your tweaks.
Super moist and flavorful!! Very easy to make!
Great to hear. Thanks Arlene!