I’ve tried many different banana bread recipes over the years and I always come back to this one! Our favorite banana bread bakes up into a nice tall, moist loaf with great banana flavor!
It’s buttery and sweet, but not too sweet – I’ve reduced the sugar amount over the years and added part whole wheat flour and either wheat germ or golden flaxseed meal to “up” the nutritional value.
You can add nuts or chocolate chips to the batter for a little variety!
I love to cut a nice thick slice and break it apart to nibble on – it’s so flavorful and moist!
Best Bananas for Banana Bread?
I usually use bananas that have gotten over-ripe and I’ve frozen them. You can also use non-frozen bananas, but they taste best/sweetest when they’re over-ripe and a little spotty and browned. You’ll need to mash them up a bit.
Using Frozen Bananas for Banana Bread:
You can freeze bananas right in their peel, then let them thaw, cut off an end and “squish” it out into a bowl. I don’t drain the liquid that comes out with the thawed banana, it’s actually moisture that comes out of the banana during the freezing process.
Banana Bread Add-ins:
I swap out some of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour and usually add some wheat germ or golden flaxseed meal. These help to “up” the nutritional value of the bread, but are totally optional.
You can also add nuts or chocolate chips to your banana bread! I usually mix these in right before all the ingredients are incorporated.
Grease the Bottom of the Pan:
When you grease your pan for the banana bread, only grease the bottom. The un-greased sides of the pan will help the loaf “climb” the sides of the pan and stay nice and tall.
Creaming the Butter and Sugar:
I like to cream the butter and the sugars for several minutes until the mixture is lighter in color and fluffy. It helps to give a lighter texture and higher lift to the banana bread.
What Size Pan?
This amount of batter fits nicely in a 9-inch loaf pan, but you can substitute with whatever pan(s) you have on hand. You should fill the pan(s) about 2/3 full to get a nice tall loaf.
Sprinkle with Sugar:
I like to sprinkle the top of the batter with some coarse turbinado sugar – it gives the loaf a nice sparkly crunch on the top. Turbinado sugar is a coarse granulated brown-ish colored sugar (Sugar in the Raw, is the brand I usually can find). You can use white sparkling sugar or regular granulated sugar too!
Cool the Banana Bread:
You want to make sure to let your loaf cool in the pan for about 15 minutes when it comes out of the oven. Then let it cool until just warm before slicing. Always fully cool your banana bread before wrapping in plastic wrap or foil.
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Our Favorite Banana Bread
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour spooned and leveled
- 1 cup whole wheat flour can use all, all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal or wheat germ optional
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1-stick) butter room temperature
- 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas approx. 4 large bananas
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup buttermilk see note
- 1 cup chopped nuts
- 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon coarse turbinado or sparkling sugar or regular granulated
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange oven rack to lower position so top of pan will be in center of oven. Grease bottom only of 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. (see note)
- Stir together dry ingredients in medium bowl: flour(s), baking soda, salt and flaxseed meal/wheat germ (optional).
- Using stand or hand mixer, cream together butter and sugars for several minutes or until fluffy and lighter in color.
- Mix in eggs one at a time, then mix in the bananas, vanilla and buttermilk.
- Add dry ingredients and mix until almost all incorporated. If you're adding nuts or chocolate chips, add them now. Scrape the bowl and beater and finish mixing by hand with a spatula. (You don't want to over-mix.)
- Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until dark golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out only with a few moist crumbs.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes. Run a thin knife along the edge of the bread. Turn bread out onto cooling rack. Allow to cool until just warm before slicing. Allow to fully cool before wrapping.
- Lasts for 2-3 days wrapped on countertop. Can be frozen.
If you don't have buttermilk, you can use:
- 1/2 cup regular milk
- 1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt + 1/4 cup milk
- Add 2 teaspoons white vinegar or lemon juice to measuring cup, fill up to 1/2 cup marking with milk - let sit 5 - 10 minutes