There’s an infinite amount of banana bread recipes out there, and I’ve tried many over the years. I like my banana bread bread moist and rich (doesn’t everyone?) and on my quest to find my perfect banana bread, I’ve learned a few things along the way.
But my perfect banana bread might not be your perfect banana bread – although I do have a perfect recipe at the end of this post if you want to try it 😉, so I thought I’d put together a quick and easy guide to making banana bread (how many times can I say banana bread??). In order to find a version that works best for you, it’s always valid to play around with the recipe and make a few changes here and there.
When you understand how a recipe works you feel more confident to go off script, to experiment and turn it into your own recipe. How liberating is that?!
So let’s briefly go into the steps and rules!
1. Let’s begin with the obvious: bananas. The most critical flavor in banana bread, is well, banana. The riper the banana, the sweeter and deeper the flavor. So go for the black, overripe ones.
Let the bananas ripen at room temperature. It could take a few days, or up to a week.
2. The 3-2-1 rule – the ratio all quick breads rely on. The proportion is easy to remember: 1,2,3 – 3 parts flour, 2 parts sugar, and 1 part fat. Fat is responsible for the soft texture and that crisp top, so it’s a very important component. Traditionally, banana breads use oil, so pick something totally neutral, like vegetable oil.
According to the ratio, add 1 cup of sugar for every ½ cup of oil you use. There’s no need to use 1 cup of exactly the same sugar, it’s perfectly fine to use half granulated sugar and half brown sugar, for example.
Lastly, theres the flour, and you want to use three times as much of it as oil – we’re talking about plain all-purpose here.
3. Combine the ingredients. Combine the wet ingredients separately from the dry ingredients. Start with the bananas: peel and mash them with a fork. Add oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and milk.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda.
4. Mix. Keep the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separate until the end. When combining, mix as little as possible – it keeps the cake moist and tender. Using a spatula, “fold” the dry ingredients into the wet, lumps are okay, but over-mixing will make it dry.
5. The add-ins. Chocolate chips, walnuts, coconut flakes, almonds, dried fruits. Get creative, take risks!
Add them to batter and stir, but remember: don’t over-mix!!
6. Bake. Set the oven to 350°F. Grease your loaf pan, pour in the batter, and bake for about 1 hour. The top should be golden, the sides should be pulling away from the edges of the pan, and when you press the top of the cake, the surface should rebound all the way. And, if you stick a slim knife or a skewer into your cake, it should come out close to clean – or a little before that for a sticky center.
Now, if you want to skip all of that and go straight to making a wonderfully moist and beautiful banana bread, here’s my recipe!
- 4 medium very ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tso kosher salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup chopped almonds and coconut flakes (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in the sour cream for another minute. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl as needed.
- Add the bananas and vanilla.
- Reduce speed to low, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in coconut flakes and/or almonds, if using.
- Spread batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 60–65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer pan to a wire rack and allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.
If you make this Banana Bread please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I’d love to hear from you and I love responding to each and every comment. And if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! I’d love to see your photos!