This Banana Bread Recipe uses brown sugar and lots of bananas for the BEST flavor. Plus, it takes only 15 minutes to make by hand–no mixer required! Recipe includes a how-to video!
This is it: the BEST banana bread recipe. After over half a dozen recipe tests, I finally landed on a winner. This recipe makes a moist, super flavorful (thanks to our key players: bananas, buttermilk, brown sugar, and vanilla), and easily customizable banana bread, a near cousin to my popular carrot cake recipe.
Want to add nuts? Go for it! Like chocolate chip banana bread? Throw them in too. Or, go a little crazy and add both–this recipe can handle it!
My banana bread recipe is closely based off of my popular banana muffins. That recipe has received nothing but rave reviews, and it took just a few modifications to make it perfect for baking in a bread pan. Serve yours warm with a little bit of honey butter (people do eat banana bread with butter, right?), and you’ve got yourself a slice of pure perfection.
Try it, and you can thank me later!
What You Need
My banana bread recipe is simple and uses basic ingredients:
- Bananas. The browner, spottier, and riper the better and more flavorful your finished bread will be.
- Oil & butter. As with my vanilla cake recipe, I’ve found a blend of oil and butter gives this cake the best texture and flavor. Make sure to melt your butter before using.
- Sugar. I use a blend of brown sugar and granulated for the most flavor. Dark or light brown sugar will work here; dark will give you a richer flavor, slightly more moist texture, and will make the cake darker.
- Eggs. Large, extra large, or jumbo will work here.
- Vanilla extract and salt. For flavor!
- Buttermilk. This adds moisture and flavor to the cake. Real, full-fat buttermilk is best, but if you don’t have any on hand, you can always make my buttermilk substitute instead. To do this, combine ¾ teaspoon of lemon juice (or white vinegar) with ¼ scant cup milk, stir, and let sit for 5 minutes before using.
- Baking powder & baking soda. To give the bread a bit of lift.
SAM’S TIP: Sprinkle a little bit of extra granulated sugar over the batter just before baking for added flavor and texture.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make The Best Banana Bread Recipe
- Mash your bananas. The riper the better!
- Stir together bananas, oil, and butter, then mix in sugar, brown sugar, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla extract.
- Whisk together your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt) separately.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients gently.
- Pour into a greased bread pan and sprinkle generously with sugar (optional, but not really).
- When your banana bread is a beautiful golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, it’s finished baking!
SAM’S TIP: Don’t over-mix your batter! Gently fold the wet and dry ingredients together until just combined; it’s okay if you see some faint flour streaks when you’re done.
Frequently Asked Questions
VERY ripe bananas are ideal. We’re talking dark brown, spotty, and mushy–pretty much the opposite of what you’d like to eat! Super ripe bananas have the most flavor and will subsequently make your bread super flavorful too.
Absolutely! Stir in 1¼ cup coarsely chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts are great choices), chocolate chips, or even raisins at the end. Just remember to not over-mix!
Store at room temperature in an airtight container (or wrapped with plastic wrap) for up to three days. It can also be tightly wrapped and frozen for several months!
First make sure you do not over-bake the bread, as this is the quickest way to make it dry. Once it’s cooked and cooled, store your banana bread tightly wrapped at room temperature and enjoy within 3 days for best results. Do NOT refrigerate–this will dry out the bread!
SAM’S TIP: If using nuts, try toasting them first for added flavor! To do this, simply spread the nuts on a baking sheet in an even layer and bake on 350F for 5-10 minutes, turning halfway through.
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook.
The BEST Banana Bread
- 1 ½ cups well-mashed overripe bananas this is usually 3 large ripe bananas for me (355ml/385g)
- ¼ cup canola or vegetable oil (60ml)
- ¼ cup unsalted butter melted (60g)
- ⅔ cup light or dark brown sugar firmly packed (135g)
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100g)
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten, room temperature preferred
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup buttermilk (60ml¹)
- 2 cups all-purpose plain flour (250g)
- ¾ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cups chocolate chips or chopped nuts optional²
- ¼ cup coarse or granulated sugar for sprinkling optional (50g)
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and grease the bottom and ½" up the sides of a 9×5" bread pan. Set aside.
- Combine mashed bananas, canola oil, and melted butter in a large bowl and stir until well-combined.
- Add sugars and stir well.
- Stir in eggs and vanilla extract.
- Add buttermilk and stir until thoroughly combined.
- In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add dry ingredients to wet and carefully, gently using a spatula (not an electric mixer) fold ingredients together until just combined. Don’t overmix the batter or your banana cake could end up dense/dry. If adding nuts/chocolate chips, stir them in here.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and, if desired, sprinkle generously with coarse sugar.
- Transfer to 350F (175C) oven and bake 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted all the way into the center of the cake comes out clean or preferably with a few moist crumbs. Do not over-bake your banana bread or it will be dry.
¹ButtermilkIf you don’t have buttermilk in your fridge, you can use my easy buttermilk substitute instead.
²Adding nutsIf you have nuts that aren’t already chopped, I recommend toasting them first for an even better flavor. To toast, layer 1 ½ cup of walnut or pecan halves over a baking sheet and bake on 350F for about 8 minutes. Allow the nuts to cool then use a large knife to coarsely chop. I don’t recommend toasting pre-chopped nuts just because they don’t always cook evenly and could end up burned.
StoringStore in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. This recipe also freezes well, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and it will keep for several months!
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
This recipe was originally published March 18th 2019.
Love your Banana Bread Recipe. It actually is the best I have ever had, and I have been making Banana Bread for many years. Thank you for sharing.
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
We’re so happy to hear that, Cindy! Thanks so much for the review ❤️
Hi Sam, I love this recipe. Have you ever experimented with starting it in a cold oven? King Arthur has an article about starting muffins and quick breads in a cold oven. Just wondering if it works. I ❤️ your recipes.
Hi Rosie! I have never tried starting with a cold oven, but it sounds interesting. I’ll have to look into it. 🙂
Starting in a cold oven is curious to me. I’ve started muffins in an extra hot oven to encourage rising, then reduced the temperature after 5 minutes. I’ve never heard of the cold oven treatment. Let us know if you tried it.
One of the best banana cake/loaf I’ve ever made. So moist, soft, scrummy, delish and easy to make, thank you so much for sharing this tasterooni recipe! 😚👍👌🍌🍌😋
I’m actually obsessed and making another couple, as they went down a treat with family & friends. 💛
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
We’re so happy you loved it, Dolly! Thanks for choosing our recipe ❤️
Moist, sweet scrumptious every time! I’ve made this delicious banana bread recipe several times (always following the exact instructions) and it’s always a winner with family and friends. Thank you for sharing.
We live on an island so we went a bit more local. We used ripe plantains and when adding the nuts; we toasted our pecans along with some coconut and sprinkled a little cinnamon and sugar while they were toasting. It turned out amazing and so flavorful!
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Sounds delicious, Stephanie! Thanks for sharing 🥰
I tried this and the whole family enjoyed. Moist and delicious, best eaten warm but good cold too. Thanks Sam!
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Thanks for using our recipe, Debi! So glad it was a hit with your family 🥰
I didn’t have buttermilk or whole milk on hand, so used full fat sour cream and loosened it with a little 1% milk to make 1/4 cup. Otherwise followed recipe to a tee. It is THE best!!! Beautiful rise with a slightly crisp crust when warm. I wrapped, put it in fridge, then took it to work the next day. Even better the next day. Thanks for such a great recipe, Sam!!
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Thanks for the review, Trudy! We’re so happy the sour cream substitution worked out nicely for you ❤️