Your search for the best homemade banana bread recipe ends here. Perfectly moist, full of fresh banana flavor, and baked from scratch, this easy and classic banana bread recipe is the only one you'll ever need.
I'm not a picky eater, but I am picky about bananas. I can't stomach eating mushy bananas, so I'll only eat ones with a peel that's still slightly green at the ends and with no brown spots. But when the peel becomes speckled, and those speckles turn to large brown patches, all is not lost. Those overripe bananas - though too mushy to eat - have the sweetest flavor and are perfect for baking one of my all-time favorite recipes: Homemade Banana Bread!
This banana bread is packed with fresh banana flavor (it uses 4 ripe bananas!) and perfectly moist. I've eaten lots of banana bread and tasted many different recipes, and there is simply no banana bread more delicious than this one! My favorite part is the top crust. The sugar from the fruit caramelizes a bit when the banana bread bakes, giving the top crust the most delicious flavor. I always save that bite for last!
This homemade banana bread recipe is a staple in my house. It's practically a family heirloom. I'm not exaggerating when I say we've made this recipe at least 100 times! It's SO easy to make (you can see just how easy in the video below!), and it produces a perfect loaf of moist banana bread every. single. time.
This recipe is also the perfect base for fun mix-ins. Over the years we've enjoyed adding new ingredients to the recipe - like chocolate chips or a bit of ground cinnamon - with great success. I've always preferred the classic, moist banana bread exactly as is, but feel free to get creative with mix-ins!
How to Make Banana Bread from Scratch
There's a seemingly infinite number of banana bread recipes, each one claiming to be the best. There are also a handful of recipes that involve more complex techniques, like pre-cooking the bananas to reduce their liquid, but I prefer to keep things simple and classic. This banana bread recipe is quick and easy, using simple ingredients and techniques (just mashing and stirring). It's perfect for making with kids, and it takes just 20 minutes of hands-on baking time to whip up a perfect loaf from scratch!
- Melt butter in a loaf pan in the oven while it preheats. This saves you a tiny bit of time, and we'll use the butter to grease the pan before adding it to the batter.
- Mash the bananas and stir in sugar.
- Add flour, baking powder, and baking soda and stir to combine. Then add an egg and stir until blended.
- Add the melted butter to the batter and stir to combine.
- Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.
- Voilà! Perfect banana bread every time!
How Ripe Should Bananas Be for Baking Banana Bread?
To make banana bread, you'll need overripe bananas. Bananas become sweeter as they ripen, and the sweetness and softer texture of overripe bananas is ideal for baking banana bread. The banana peels should be covered in brown spots - the more brown spots the better - with absolutely no green.
How to Quickly Ripen Bananas
There are lots of tricks on the internet for how to quickly ripen bananas, and I've tried several without success. In my experience it's best to let the bananas ripen naturally - but there is a way to speed this process along! To ripen bananas more quickly, separate bananas at their stems (rather than keeping them in a bunch) and place the bananas into a brown paper bag, folding the top of the bag to seal it. Leave the bag of bananas at room temperature until ripe. This trick speeds up the ripening process by several days. Refrigerating bananas actually slows down the ripening process, so be sure to keep them at room temperature.
Another helpful tip: store ripened bananas in the freezer so that you're prepared when a banana bread craving hits! Rather than waiting days for bananas to ripen, grab a few extra bananas next time you're at the store, let the bananas ripen naturally, then freeze them. This way you'll have bananas ripe and ready for baking when you need them! Simply thaw the bananas at room temperature for a few hours before baking.
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This post was updated in June 2020 to provide new recipe photos and additional recipe details.