The Very Best Banana Bread Recipe

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I’ve made over 100 banana bread recipes for over 3 years in search of the VERY BEST Banana Bread Recipe, and I’ve finally found it and am ready to share it with you!

 

A close up shot of a moist loaf of chocolate chip banana bread on a cooling rack

 

I seriously became obsessed with finding a perfectly moist, tender loaf of banana bread that had all the flavor without the random mix-ins. I wanted a classic, easy banana bread recipe just like your grandma used to make, but better. And this is seriously it. Oh, it smells and tastes like banana bread from heaven! There is the most beautifully textured inside and the domed top is nothing short of amazing. So what’s the best banana bread recipe? Well with all of those things I listed, this the very best banana bread recipe.

 

Here’s the problem, so many banana bread recipes called for applesauce, sour cream, instant pudding and so on, so how could I really call that a classic recipe? The longer I tested the more issues I ran into. I know you’ll want to skip right on over to the recipe, but trust me, you will have better results if you read through the post first and watch this video, so here’s what my criteria was:

 

 

 

Chocolate chip banana bread sliced in half, cooling on a rack.

 

Must Haves for the Very Best Banana Bread Recipe

  1. Beautiful brown color without being too light like a cake or too dark which gave an off-putting flavor and wasn’t as appetizing to look at.
  2. Moist, tender crumb on the inside that just melts into your mouth. NO dry bread.
  3. Speckled inside like the classic banana bread look.
  4. A rounded, high top versus a flat loaf.
  5. That classic crack across the top.
  6. Banana Flavor without hints of anything else, while not being sickly sweet like an over-ripe banana can get.
  7. Even distribution of chocolate chips for those who would want them (but who wouldn’t?!) – Mini chocolate chips tossed in at the same time as the dry ingredients versus folding them in last was the key.

That’s not too much to ask, is it?!

Each of those issues would get resolved only to create a new issue. The most delicious tasting bread was so flat, while the one with amazing height and the best crack lacked the speckles and that distinct banana flavor and on and on. I decided that I’d tackle what each issue is before we get to the recipe.

 

Why Didn’t My Banana Bread Rise

There are a few reasons why your banana bread didn’t rise. First being that your baking soda (or powder) has either gone bad or was the wrong amount for the wet and dry ingredient measurements you used. It’s a science for sure and banana bread, because of the bananas introduces extra acid into the mix which helps to activate the soda, but changes the ph of the bread so it’s kind of a science experiment to get it right.

 

You could have over mixed the banana bread as well. Over-mixing will be talked about in the moist section, but over-mixing the batter will also over work it and it will flatten out. So stop that. Instead, use only a wooden spoon or rubber spatula like the ones I linked to and gently fold the batter until it’s ALMOST entirely mixed together.

 

You may have added too much wet ingredients, which is why a sour cream banana bread often has a harder time getting that lovely height, it weighs it down a little more.

 

Why Did My Banana Bread Sink in the Middle

9/10 your banana bread sunk in the middle because it wasn’t done yet. I know, it looked perfect and the color was only getting darker so you thought you’d pull it out, but remember that there’s literally smashed fruit in there so it’s going to need that entire 60 minutes to cook.

 

Want to know the secret to keeping your banana bread from not sinking in the middle other than the proper measurements, mixing and bake time? It’s leaving it in the oven with the door wide open for 2-3 minutes after it finishes baking. Not moving it as it begins to settle and cool will let the bread tighten up and then gently move it to the counter, remove it from the pan and gently place it on the cooling rack so the bottom of the bread won’t get soggy.

 

The very best chocolate banana bread on a cooling rack

 

 When Banana Bread is Done

Banana bread is done when the top is a dark brown, the dome is tall and when you softly tap the top it doesn’t sink in at all to your touch. This always takes 60 minutes unless your oven is too hot then it will over-bake and dry out.

 

Can Banana Bread be Frozen?

Banana bread does really well in the freezer! You absolutely should make a few batches and freeze it for down the road. Just make sure you follow the steps below for how to freeze banana bread.

 

When to Freeze Banana Bread

It’s best to freeze banana bread once it has cooled completely and sat on the counter for an additional hour to ensure that it is cool all the way through.

How to Freeze Banana Bread

To freeze banana bread, cool it completely and then wrap in saran wrap so that no bread is peeking through. Next, wrap it in foil and then place in a freezer bag, pressing out any extra air and zipping it closed.

 

How Long Will Banana Bread Keep?

Banana Bread will keep for 3-4 days in a ziploc in the pantry or 1 week if kept in a ziploc bag in the fridge. The very best banana bread recipe will keep for up to 3 months if stored properly in the freezer.

 

A tender loaf of chocolate chip banana bread cut in half

 

What Flour for Banana Bread

What flour should be used for banana bread? All-purpose for sure. We tested every flour and combination of flour out there but a quick bread definitely does best with all-purpose flour.

 

What Size Pan for Banana Bread

Banana bread should be  baked in a 9×5″ bread pan unless there’s more than 1 1/4 cup of banana (or other wet ingredients like zucchini etc) or more than 2 cups of flour.

 

 

over ripe bananas

 

Can Banana Bread be Make with Frozen Bananas

No more frozen bananas for banana bread. I mean, you can, but frozen bananas in banana bread seemed to have excess water and lead to a less flavorful banana bread. It lacked the speckles, the tender inside, overall it was not the best anymore. And remember, we want the very best banana bread recipe.

 

This is what our bananas look like, or even a little more brown but not much.

 

How to Make Moist Banana Bread

In order to make a moist banana bread you’ll want to ditch the butter or shortening and get on the canola oil bandwagon. Oil beat out for a moist bread every time. Sure, the buttery flavor was kind of nice, but it was so subtle that unless you were crazy and testing 500 recipes like me you wouldn’t even notice. Sorry, coconut oil didn’t work as well either.

Sour cream definitely made for a moist banana bread but it didn’t qualify for height and flavor so I’ll have to make a sour cream banana bread recipe later.

***

 

Then there were other questions like, can banana bread be left out on the counter overnight? Can banana bread be refrigerated? Why is banana bread speckled? Can banana bread be made without baking soda? And of course, banana bread with sour cream, is it more moist?

 

I’ll quickly answer, banana bread can totally be left on the counter as long as you cover it with foil or store it in a sealed bag.

Banana bread can be refrigerated to extend shelf life, but who wants cold bread and who has banana bread left 4 days later?!

Banana bread is speckled from the baking soda and bananas. I have no clue why but when baking soda wasn’t present it didn’t speckle and no speckling occurred when another ingredient than banana was used.

Banana bread can be made without baking soda, and instead using baking powder but it won’t have that speckle or slight tang.

 

Will Banana Bread Hurt My Dog?

Oh, and my favorite question that google showed me is being asked a lot, will banana bread hurt my dog? Whaaaaa? Why is that being asked so much? Apparently the answer is that small amounts are fine, unless there’s chocolate chips, otherwise that doggy is asking for a belly ache.

 

Now make sure you scroll past the very best banana bread recipe and check out two of our favorite banana bread recipes with a twist.

 

The Very Best Banana Bread Recipe

Very Best Banana Bread Recipe

I’ve made over 100 banana bread recipes for over 3 years in search of the VERY BEST Banana Bread Recipe, and I’ve finally found it and am ready to share it with you!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/3 Cup Canola Oil
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 1/3 Cups Mashed Banana, about 2 very large bananas or 3 small
  • 2/3 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a 9×5″ bread pan with nonstick spray.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar. Add in the eggs and whisk again, but be sure to not over mix.
  5. Dump the dry ingredients, banana and chocolate chips on the wet ingredients and switching to a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, gently fold the ingredients together just until a few streaks of flour remain.
  6. Pour into a bread pan and bake for 50 minutes. At this point, barely open the oven and slide a piece of tinfoil over the bread, close the door and bake for the remaining 10 minutes.

Once the bread is done, open the oven door, turn off the oven and let the banana bread rest for 2-3 minutes, no longer, before carefully setting it on the counter for a few more minutes. At this point, slide a knife around the inside of the pan and carefully turn the bread out into your other hand or onto the cooling rack directly if you are gentle. Place it right side up and allow to cool or be like us and dig in because warm bread is the best!

Nutrition Information

Yield: 1 loaf, Serving Size: 1 slice

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 184 Calories
  • Total Fat: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 37.2mg
  • Sodium: 260mg
  • Carbohydrates: 38.8g
  • Fiber: 2.7g
  • Sugar: 20.1g
  • Protein: 4.6g
All images and text ©Carrian Cheney for Oh Sweet Basil.

Moist chocolate chip banana bread sliced on a cooling rack.

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

This peanut butter banana bread filled with little morsels of peanut butter and chocolate is the perfect solution to over ripe bananas.

This peanut butter banana bread filled with little morsels of peanut butter and chocolate is the perfect solution to over ripe bananas ohsweetbasil.com

Zucchini Banana Bread

The secret to the very best zucchini bread that is moist and has perfect texture is to add a little banana. Chocolate chip banana zucchini bread for the win!

 

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Carrian Cheney

Lover of all things beautiful, good and delicious. Wife, mother, friend, foodie.

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78 comments on “The Very Best Banana Bread Recipe”

  1. Thanks for the recipe- my family loved it! It was simple, yet delicious. My overripe bananas will not longer end up in the compost as I will be making more of this bread.

  2. Tried this earlier tonight, made a few mistakes and the result was way mushy after 50 minutes in a reliable 350 oven…that said:

    1) I used whole wheat flour and coconut oil
    2) Forgot to measure after mashing, and may have “over-banana’d” (2-1/2 large, very ripe bananas)
    3) My loaf pan is a bit smaller and tin foil (I’m guessing longer cooking time?)
    4) I used regular size choc chips (more liquid?)

    Trying again later, so any advice is welcome. Thanks, Joe

  3. My banana bread turned out wonderful. I added walnuts and chocolate chips.. thanks for the recipe and good baking tips… the canola oil good idea…

  4. I made this recipe two ways and thought I’d share my tweaks!

    I made it following all of the instructions except I substituted two “flax eggs” in place of the eggs to make it vegan and I put it in a mini muffin tin for 20 minutes. Turned out DELICIOUS!

    For my toddler, I wanted to make a healthier version, so I substituted whole wheat flour in, 1/2 cup of pure maple syrup instead of the 1 cup granulated sugar, coconut oil instead of canola, and the two flax eggs instead of real eggs. I also did this in the muffin tin. I was a little nervous since it was so different, but these turned out great, too! Still sweet, but only lightly so–the banana really carries it. Thanks for such a good recipe!

  5. My ouside is brown, but there is still a rae chunk in the middle. I followed every direction very closely. Are there different considerations for a glass pan over a metal pan?

  6. May I know when u mention 2 cups of flour, what’s the size of cups? Or what’s the weight measurement in grams?

  7. Made it GF using Namaste GFFlour and avocado oil. Otherwise followed the recipe exactly.  Delicious and moist.  Great idea to tent the last 10 mins.  I turned off the oven and gave it 10 more.    Baking it again nect week

  8. The worst recipe I have ever tried. It doesn’t taste like banana bread at all. So dissapoited.

  9. This really is a great recipe! We live in Grenoble France so we added toasted walnuts instead of chocolate chips …worked out perfectly delivious

  10. Pingback: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread | The Missing Lokness

  11. I added some vanilla and cinnamon and mine took more like 60 minutes to bake.
    Yummy! Thanks for the recipe and tips!

  12. I’ve been trying different banana bread recipes for over a decade and this is by far the best. Not using butter, who would have thought. I don’t need to search anymore! Made a double batch and top one with semi-sweet chocolate chips and the other with skinless shaved almonds. Both came out with a great rise / slight split and the texture was perfect! 

  13. Thank you for the recipe and the detailed baking instructions. I love the addition of the chocolate chips. My first attempt didn’t turn out so great because there was only a mild banana flavor and it is a bit dry. But I will try again and next time use more bananas. Would using more oil, or perhaps butter make it more moist? Or should I cook it for less time?

    • I wouldn’t change any of the ingredient measurements. Make sure your bananas are extra ripe to get more banana flavor and make sure your measurements for everything are exact. It should be a very moist bread.

  14. Sorry, I was disappointed with this recipe. It was way too sweet- I couldn’t taste any banana- just sweet. Also agree with a previous poster that the edges are to dry. Will have to continue my search for the best ever!

  15. IS your oven temperature with a fan or without? I have a fan oven so unsure how many degrees farenheit to set it too? 

  16. Okay so I usually reach for healthy flours, whole wheat, spelt, etc. but your photo looked so divine… i used AP. I always add something to a recipe, just cannot seem to hold back. 😬 added some fresh nutmeg, a dash of pumpkin pie spice , and a splash of vanilla.  In addition to the mini chips in the batter I added some regular dark chocolate chips to the top, along with a sprinkle of pecans. Phenomenal. The smell of this baking is divine. And the taste exceptional. Thank you!! I’m trying more of your recipes✅

  17. I tried out this recipe today and really liked it 🙂 but it diddnt taste like banana. I would recommend a third banana.

  18. Oh thanks a million for your kind blog. I going to try these details out and see the practical aspect of it.

  19. The nutrition info is listed for 1 slice, but it doesn’t say anywhere how many slices are in 1 loaf. Can you clarify that please? I just made your bread and it came out great on the first try. Thanks for all the tips!

  20. Thank you for you awesome blog! I searched the internet for a banana bread recipe and I am so glad I found yours. The detail is very helpful for beginners like me. Sometimes you just feel a little nutty, so I added chopped pecans to mine. I just tried the muffins with pecan nuts and chocolate chips. So tasty and baked in half the time. Used only half the recipe for the muffins…the bread is coming out now!

  21. What would the conversion be for blueberries instead of chocolate chips? I had made a strawberry banana bread that asked for 1-1/4 C flour tossed strawberries, and another with blueberries with the same measurement. I don’t have enough butter that is asked for both, so I’m going to try your recipe instead.

    • Hi Rheea, We haven’t done that substitution so I can’t say for certain, but if I were trying it I would toss the blueberries into the flour mixture to coat and keep it the same measurement or just less than

  22. Definitely the most amazing banana bread I have ever made!!! Thank you soo much (:

  23. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe! I’ve just made it and can’t stop eating it! It’s so good! Not too sweet, crusty outside and moist inside… it’s just perfect! Thank you! I’ve substituted the canola oil for sunflower oil and it did turn out ok! Thank you!! 🙂 

  24. Hi! This was delicious! Do you happen to have the nutritional information for this recipe?

  25. Unfortunately having cooked this bread twice with exactly the same results. I am forced to come to the conclusion that: 

    It is tasty. 
    It is not the moist dense banana bread that I’m used to. 
    It is more of a light cake type. 
    Edges are hard and brown. Middle of the loaf is a little better

    By far not the best receipe for banana bread. But it is good. 

    I would look around for others. This just isn’t the dense, soft, moist bread that separates banana bread from other loafs of bread

  26. Wow that was great…the only thing I changed was no oil or butter, I used mayonnaise for the moistness and it worked your recipe was fabulous

  27. May I leave out the choc chip? Will other portion of ingredients same? Thanks a lot !

  28. So the email is entitled ‘the best sour cream banana bread recipe’
    Yet, no mention or ingredient calling for sour cream…….???

  29. Pingback: Reese's Peanut Butter Banana Bread - melissassouthernstylekitchen.com

  30. I will try and make this banana bread recipe. Looks delicious

  31. I’ve tried baking a banana cake just recently! And indeed, 1 hour means 1 hour. nothing less than that. the smell of the banana filled my entire house when the timer is up!

    This time round, I’m going to try out your very best banana recipe!

    Thanks for sharing!

  32. Did you try any mix of brown sugar with the white sugar

  33. First time trying this recipe, but it smells amazing! Made one with and one without chocolate chips. Hope they come out good. Thank you!!

  34. Omg I forgot the baking powder!!!!! It smells so good will it be okay? I was making dinner and doing this at the same time 😢

  35. I can’t believe this recipe uses Canola oil! As a Cancer patient, my doctor has enlightened me on the dangers of Canola oil, soybean and cottonseed oil. They cause inflammation and contribute to a long list of serious illnesses…I used avocado oil instead.

    • I’m sorry to hear that you have cancer. I wish you good health!

      To your note, Canola oil is definitely one of the healthier oils. Also, with all things, if you buy Canola oil that is GMO-free, concerns can be eliminated. Of course, all things in moderation as well.

  36. Currently have some of this banana bread in the oven. Looks great already and my house smells amazing. I can’t wait to try it. This is the first loaf of banana bread I’ve ever made but I’m already putting the ingredients together for a second loaf to go in. 

  37. This truly is the very best banana bread ever! My search for one has ended. Thank you for yummy recipes! 

  38. Hi, 
    I live in India, and we don’t have canola oil here . Is there any other oil that would be a close substitute ???  I’m planning on baking it tonight .

  39. Do you think I can use this same recipe but instead of bread I can make muffins?

  40. Cannot wait to try this recipe. I know this will be great!!
    If i wanted to leave out chips and sub in pecans would that be fine?
    Made your melt in your mouth buttermilk pancakes …they are thee best I have ever made!!!
    Thank You!

    Michele