Banana Bread


This extraordinarily simple and tasty banana bread recipe boasts a moist center and crispy crust.

Old-Fashioned Banana Bread
Photo: © Fredrika Stjärne
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 30 mins
1 9-by-5-inch loaf

"The recipe has been in our family for generations," says pastry chef Lisa Ritter of Los Angeles's Big Sugar Bakeshop about this simple banana bread recipe, which is a winner. The recipe delivers big flavors with just a few minutes of active cooking time. This banana bread recipe is fantastic on its own, but can also serve as a base for a more elaborate banana bread. If you like, stir in a cup of toasted walnuts or pecans, chocolate chips, dried fruit, or blueberries. You can also add a teaspoon of miso or a ground spice like cardamom or cinnamon for an extra hit of flavor, or sprinkle some raw sugar or brown sugar on top. The possibilities are endless; check out other banana bread recipes for inspiration.

Once your banana bread is ready, you can eat it with a little butter, mascarpone, or cream cheese, coat it with frosting or banana caramel sauce to turn it into a dessert, or toast slices in a pan with a little butter, and use them as the base for a scoop of ice cream. 

How to Make Banana Bread

Banana bread is the greatest use of all those overripe bananas stacked up in your freezer — the ones that got too mushy to eat out of hand, but that you didn’t want to waste. Overripe bananas have a higher sugar content and more intense banana flavor, and give lots of moisture and flavor to baked goods and smoothies. They also have less fiber, so mash easily to use in recipes like this one. This banana bread is so good, you’ll find yourself searching for overripe bananas. Best of all, it requires just one bowl, and a loaf pan. 

How to Ripen Bananas Quickly

If you don’t have overripe bananas on hand, you can speed up the process a few different ways with results that are almost as good as using naturally overripened bananas. If you can wait two or three days, place ripe bananas (peels on) in a paper bag along with an apple. The apple will give off ethylene gas, which speeds up the ripening process for bananas and other fruit.

If you have at least three hours, place ripe bananas in the freezer. The peels will darken and the fruit will soften somewhat after you thaw the bananas.

If you need your bananas to ripen faster, turn on your oven. F&W’s Justin Chapple explains in this video how roasting peel-on bananas at 350°F for five to seven minutes transforms them into the dark mush that makes banana bread so special. You can also microwave peel-on bananas; simply poke them with a fork a few times, and microwave them for a minute. Check your bananas, and if they aren’t quite soft enough, microwave them for another 30 seconds. 


  • Unsalted butter

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • Pinch of salt

  • 2 large eggs, beaten

  • 1/2 cup canola oil

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 2 large, very ripe bananas, mashed

  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch metal loaf pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, whisk eggs with oil, sugar and mashed bananas. Stir banana mixture into dry ingredients.

  2. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake in the center of the oven for about 50 minutes, until bread is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Transfer pan to a rack and let cool for 15 minutes, then turn bread out onto rack and let cool completely. Dust top with confectioners' sugar, cut into slices and serve.

Make Ahead

The bread can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 1 week.

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