Easy Banana Bread
Published May 31, 2023
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This easy banana bread recipe couldn’t be simpler to make. It starts with melted butter so everything can be mixed together by hand. No mixer required. Sour cream (or yogurt) keeps this banana bread super moist.
Is there anything better than homemade banana bread? I tested this recipe 15 times to bring you the best banana bread you’ve ever had. It’s moist, tender, and studded with chocolate chips (or not…see photos throughout this post for what it looks like both with and without chocolate). But not only am I confident this is the best banana bread ever, it’s SO Easy.
But you don’t have to believe me. Readers like Maria agree..
“Jess I have been baking for over 50 years and always trying new recipes just to see if there is a “perfect” out there! I have made this banana bread 3 times now and every time it just comes out so perfect…The crumb texture to moisture ratio is just wonderful…LOVE this recipe!!”– Maria
How to Make Banana Bread (the easy way)
- Whisk together the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- Whisk together the wet ingredients – melted butter, mashed banana, white sugar, brown sugar, and sour cream. Add in the eggs and vanilla.
- Pour the dry ingredients over the wet and mix until combined. For the best result, don’t overmix!
- Pour the batter into a loaf pan.
- Bake at 350°F for 60 minutes.
How easy is that!?
Ingredients for Banana Bread
- Unsalted Butter – This recipe uses melted butter. Let it cool slightly before mixing into the batter. If you only have salted butter, no worries – just omit the added salt in the recipe.
- Mashed Banana – Mash the banana before measuring. You’ll need 3 smaller or 2 large bananas. See below for my tips on getting bananas that are the perfect level of ripeness.
- White and Brown Sugar – A mix of two types of sugars give the bread golden color inside and a defined crust on the outside.
- Sour Cream – A bit of dairy helps to retain moisture in the bread. Plain or Greek yogurt will work just fine too.
- Eggs, All-Purpose Flour, Vanilla, Baking Soda, Salt, and Ground Cinnamon – Just your standard line-up of baking ingredients. The cinnamon is barely noticeable in the finished bread, but it really helps to make the banana flavor shine.
The photos throughout this post are the same recipe with both chocolate chips and without. I don’t play favorites when it comes to this delicious bread! Sometimes I love a plain warm slice of banana bread with a spread of butter. But sometimes I want the chocolate or another mix-in.
Add any of these great mix-ins to your banana bread (use ¾ to 1 cup of mix-ins per loaf):
- Chocolate Chips (regular or mini)
- Chopped Dark Chocolate
- Chopped Pecans / Walnuts
- Dried Fruit (dried cranberries or raisins)
- Peanut Butter Chips or Peanut Butter Powder
- Nut Butter or Nutella (swirl these into the top of the bread before baking)
Melted vs. Softened Butter
The texture and temperature of butter has a huge effect on the finished product of nearly all baking recipes that use it. Most cookie recipes require butter that is soft enough to blend but not melted. Softened butter can hold air and be whipped with sugar into that fluffy consistency that gives cookies a crumbly texture. With banana bread, that crumbly texture is less important since what most of us are looking for in banana bread is that it’s moist and tender. Using melted butter gives this banana bread a less crumbly texture than using softened butter and a slightly more springy texture.
Note: When I got this recipe just right, I went back and tested it with softened butter. The result? It’s great either way.
How Ripe Should the Bananas Be?
When ripe bananas are speckled with brown spots, they are ready for banana bread. Yellow bananas with brown spots on most of the surface will make a banana bread with a light crumb that holds its shape well. Very ripe bananas that are brown all over will lend more sweetness to the bread and will make a bread that is more dense and soft.
I often mash a bunch of bananas and freeze them in jars, so they’re ready to be made into banana bread any time. Frozen and defrosted bananas behave a lot like very ripe bananas and the resulting bread is usually more dense than when using fresh bananas.
How to Freeze Mashed Bananas
While you can freeze bananas right in their peels, mashing them first means they are ready to make banana bread anytime. Pre-measure the mashed bananas and transfer them to Mason jars, leaving about 1 inch of headspace at the top. Seal with a lid and freeze for up to 6 months.
Tip: While you can easily mash bananas with a fork, if you have a lot of bananas, use the paddle attachment on a standing mixer.
Yes. Just follow the directions as written. They will bake in 20 to 25 minutes and should make about 15 muffins.
Yes. This works well as a bundt cake.
Yes. I often do. Thaw the frozen bananas at room temperature or defrost them in a microwave-safe bowl using the defrost setting on the microwave.
Sour cream is the “secret” to moist banana bread that will stay moist for days.
Many readers have reduced the sugar and reported great success.
It likely wasn’t baked quite long enough. But as long as there is no uncooked batter in the middle, it’s just fine to eat it – it will still taste great!
More Easy Banana Recipes
- Banana French Toast Casserole
- Banana Bread Crumb Cake
- Banana Bread Bundt Cake with Chocolate
- Baked Banana French Toast with Pecan Crumble
- Strawberry Banana Muffins
If you want to geek out on a whole variety of banana bread recipes, check out The Pancake Princess’ Best Banana Bread Bake-Off. She did all the work to identify a recipe that will fit any type of banana bread your heart desires!
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Easy Banana Bread Recipe
- Mixing Bowls
- Loaf Pan
- 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour (231 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (8 Tablespoons)
- 1 1/2 cups mashed banana (about 3 bananas)
- 1/2 cup white sugar (100 grams)
- 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar (100 grams)(light or dark will work)
- 1/4 cup sour cream (60 milliliters) (or plain or Greek yogurt)
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 177°C.
- Spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. (I sometimes line the loaf pan with parchment to make the bread easier to lift out.)
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter, mashed banana, both sugars, and sour cream until evenly combined. (The mixture will be lumpy.) Whisk in egg and vanilla.
- Pour dry ingredients over wet and stir just until no dry spots remain. (Do not overmix.)
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 60 to 65 minutes.
- Allow to cool before slicing.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.