Banana bread is comfort food at its finest. The light, fluffy quick bread not only tastes amazing, but fills your whole kitchen with a decadent smell as it bakes. Since banana bread is such a classic, we’ve had our share of recipes submitted to the Taste of Home Test Kitchen—and this one is the best. It’s moist, perfectly spiced and chock full of crunchy nuts.
What is the best banana bread recipe?
Submitted by Gert Kaiser of Kenosha, Wisconsin, this bread calls for all of the usual ingredients, like flour, sugar and (surprise!) bananas. But a few special mix-ins, like buttermilk and walnuts, really take this quick bread over the top. If you’re allergic or not a big fan of nuts, feel free to fold in chocolate chips instead.
Taste of Home
- 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed (1 cup)
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
Step 1: Prep Pan
Get ready to make the banana bread by preheating your oven to 325°. Then, grease a 9×5-in. loaf pan with oil or a baking spray. Now is a good time to take your eggs out of the fridge since they need to be at room temperature. You can also measure out all of your ingredients and set them aside in small bowls. This technique, called mise en place, makes it much easier to bake without making a mistake.
Step 2: Mix Dry Ingredients
Once the pan is prepped, you’re going to mix all of the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Make sure the ingredients are well-combined before moving on to the next step.
Step 3: Combine Wet Ingredients
Now, combine all of the wet ingredients. Start by mashing the bananas with a fork. Then, in a bowl, mix together the eggs, bananas, oil, buttermilk and vanilla with a whisk. Make sure the mixture is smooth before moving on.
Step 4: Fold Together
Combine the wet mixture with the flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Then, fold in the nuts. At this point, you’ll want to be careful not to over-stir the mixture, otherwise excess gluten will build in the batter and you’ll be left with a tough banana bread.
Step 5: Bake the Best Banana Bread
Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan. Bake at 325° for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the loaf on a wire rack. To remove the banana bread from the pan, run a butter knife along the edges and invert. Serve warm with butter or jam.
Baking ahead of time? Skip the cellophane and invest in a loaf cake keeper, like this one from Nordic Ware ($17). It will help your b-bread stay fresh longer and makes a great travel carrier, too.
How do you make banana bread moist?
The key to moist banana bread is in the details. For starters, you’ll want to make sure your bananas are really ripe. They should have lots of dark spots on the skin and feel soft to the touch. Using a firm, yellow banana will yield a good banana flavor, but not the desired texture.
You should also avoid over-baking your banana bread. Different factors—such as the temperature of your oven and the darkness of your loaf pan—can cause the bread to bake faster (or slower) than our recipe suggests. For best results, start checking your banana bread around the one hour mark, and keep checking it with a fresh toothpick every 5-10 minutes.
Can I make banana bread in an 8×8 pan?
Yes, you can! Just be sure to adjust the bake time. An 8×8 pan will bake your bread much faster than a loaf pan, so make sure to keep an eye on it. If you’re cooking for a crowd, give these banana squares a chance—they bake up in a 13×9 pan!
How do you make banana bread with 4 bananas?
Got a bunch of ripe bananas to use up? Simple! Double the recipe. Our best-ever banana bread calls for two pieces of fruit, so to use four bananas, you’ll want to double all of the ingredients and divide the batter between two loaf pans.
If your family can’t eat that much banana bread at once, consider stashing the ripe bananas in the freezer and defrosting them when the mood strikes. To freeze, arrange bananas on a baking sheet. Freeze until solid (the peel will turn completely brown, but this is normal). Once frozen, pop the bananas in a freezer bag and store for up to three months.
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