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!
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:
Must Haves for the Very Best Banana Bread Recipe
- 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.
- Moist, tender crumb on the inside that just melts into your mouth. NO dry bread.
- Speckled inside like the classic banana bread look.
- A rounded, high top versus a flat loaf.
- That classic crack across the top.
- Banana Flavor without hints of anything else, while not being sickly sweet like an over-ripe banana can get.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
All of our BANANA BREAD RECIPES:
- Double Chocolate Banana Bread
- Sour Cream Banana Bread
- Biscoff Banana Bread
- Carrot Banana Bread
- Pumpkin Banana Bread
- Peanut Butter Banana Bread
- S’mores Banana Bread
- Chocolate Chip Zucchini Banana Bread
- Banana Bread with Crumb Topping
- …ALL OF OUR BREAD RECIPES!
The Very Best Banana Bread Recipe
Very Best Banana Bread Recipe
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a 9x5" bread pan with nonstick spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar. Add in the eggs and whisk again, but be sure to not over mix.
- 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.
- 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!