4.87 from 96 reviews

Classic Banana Bread

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loaf of banana bread with slice cut off

There is so much to love about a classic banana bread recipe. The rich banana flavor, the moist tender crumb, the warm and inviting aromas that flood the kitchen as it bakes, the ease of preparation, the nostalgic vibes…I could go on and on.

It’s a timeless treat and my recipe creates a super moist, tender crumb and I always say the leftovers are even better than the freshly baked bread. Once the banana bread has time to sit and the flavors meld together, it creates an even more delicious slice.

More banana bread favorites: this Cinnamon Banana Bread, my Rum Banana Bread, and my Banana Bread Cookies.

This recipe is a simple yet satisfying quick bread that bakes up beautifully every single time and is so good warmed with a little butter on top!

a loaf of banana bread on white parchment paper.
sliced banana bread on white parchment paper.

Why this recipe works

  • Using melted butter creates a super moist crumb; it disperses evenly throughout the batter, helping to ensure that moisture is evenly distributed. It also makes this loaf easy to bring together with no creaming involved.
  • I chose to use all granulated sugar for a neutral sweetness that wouldn’t over power the bananas so the banana flavor could shine. It also helps create a fine crumb and moist texture, with a traditional banana bread taste.
  • Adding sour cream creates a moist bread, giving it a pleasant melt-in-the-mouth quality.
  • Sifting the dry ingredients helps to incorporate more air into the flour (aerate) which creates a light, fluffy, tender crumb. It also creates uniform distribution of ingredients.
a womans hand lifting up a slice of banana bread.
ingredients to make banana bread in glass mixing bowls.

Ingredient Notes

Scroll down to the recipe card for the full list of ingredients and measurements.

  • Unsalted butter: once melted, allow to cool for about 10 minutes before using. Butter adds richness and a buttery flavor to the banana bread. I have not tested this recipe with oil.
  • Granulated sugar: Sugar sweetens the bread and complements the natural sweetness of the bananas. It also contributes to the bread’s tenderness and moisture.
  • Eggs: be sure they are at room temperature, this helps with even mixing, proper emulsification and even baking.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract adds a pleasant aroma and flavor to the banana bread. It enhances the overall taste of the bread without overwhelming the banana flavor.
  • Sour cream: Sour cream can help create a more delicate and tender crumb in the banana bread. This should also be room temperature.
  • Bananas: be sure to use ripe or slightly over ripe bananas. They should have brown spots or streaks on them. These ones are perfect for banana bread because 1. They mash effortlessly and the texture of the mashed bananas is smoother, ensuring a more consistent distribution throughout the batter. 2. You’ll get a richer and more intense banana flavor from ripe to overripe bananas, enhancing the overall taste of your bread.
    • Extremely over ripe and mushy bananas or underripe bananas that are still green are not suitable for banana bread.
  • Flour: be sure to spoon and level the flour to get an accurate measurement. Too much flour will results in a dry bread, unbalanced flavor and can cause the bread not to rise and become dense.
banana bread batter being poured into a greased and floured

Step by Step Directions

Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe instructions.

  1. Whisk together the cooled melted butter and sugar.
  2. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time.
  3. Add in the mashed bananas, vanilla and sour cream.
  4. Sift in the dry ingredients.
  5. Fold to combine, do not over mix.
  6. Pour into prepared pan and bake!
a slice on banana bread with butter on top on a red and white plate with a gold knife.

Expert Tips

  • Mash Bananas Thoroughly: Mash the bananas well to ensure a smooth and consistent banana flavor throughout the bread. A few small lumps are okay. I usually like to use my hand mixer to get them perfectly mashed.
  • Don’t add too much banana: I always measure out 1 1/4 cup mashed banana for my recipe, which is usually 4 small or 3 medium bananas. Using too much mashed banana can lead to texture issues and the bread may not cook or rise properly.
  • Don’t Overmix: Mix the wet and dry ingredients until just combined. Overmixing can lead to a tough and dense texture.
  • Ripening Bananas Quickly: If you don’t have ripe bananas on hand, you can ripen them quickly by placing them in a paper bag for a day or two. The ethylene gas they produce will speed up the ripening process.
  • Resting Time: Allow your banana bread to rest for a few hours or even overnight before slicing. This resting time allows the flavors to meld and results in a moister and more flavorful loaf.
  • Loaf pan: Light-colored pans reflect more heat and can yield a lighter crust, compared to dark pans. I have not tested this recipe in a glass or ceramic loaf pan, those pans will require an adjustment to the baking times.
a bite taken out of a slice of banana bread.

Variations

  • You can use a plain, full fat yogurt in place of the sour cream. Note: yogurt can have a milder tang compared to sour cream. This can be a subtle difference in the overall flavor of the banana bread.
  • Add mini chocolate chips: use the mini chocolate chips so they don’t sink to the bottom of the bread. If you only have regular chocolate chips, toss them in a little flour before folding into the batter. 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup is plenty.
  • Nutty Banana Bread: Incorporate chopped nuts such as walnuts, pecans, or almonds for a crunchy and nutty flavor. Toasting the nuts beforehand can enhance their flavor.
  • Coconut Banana Bread: Mix in shredded coconut to the batter to add a tropical twist. You can also top the bread with toasted coconut flakes for extra flavor and texture.

Storage

  • Room temperature: Will keep for 2-3 days at room temperature. Wrap in plastic wrap and place the wrapped banana bread in an airtight container, such as a plastic storage container with a tight-fitting lid or a resealable plastic bag. If you’re stacking multiple slices or pieces, separate them with sheets of parchment paper or wax paper to prevent sticking.
  • Refrigerator: wrap and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  • Freezer: wrap the banana bread in plastic wrap or foil and then place it in an airtight freezer-safe container or a heavy-duty freezer bag for up to 2-3 months. Be sure to label and date to keep track of how long it has been frozen. When ready to enjoy, remove it from the freezer and let it thaw at room temperature for a few hours or overnight. Or, microwave a slice!


January 2024 Baking Challenge

What is your favorite banana bread mix in?

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loaf of banana bread with slice cut off
4.87 from 96 reviews

Classic Banana Bread

Prep: 18 minutes
Resting time: 1 hour
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 2 hours 18 minutes
Servings: 10 slices
My Classic Banana Bread recipe has the perfect blend of sweet bananas, a hint of vanilla and cinnamon, a moist and tender crumb and warm flavors. You will fall in love with the tantalizing scent as it's baking in the oven! Banana bread is delicious on its own but even better served warm with butter, a drizzle of honey or with some ice cream.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled for ~10 minutes (or vegetable oil*)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup mashed ripe/over ripe bananas (~3-4 small bananas)
  • 1/4 Heaping cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Last step! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Be sure to adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position.
  • Grease the pan: Grease a 8.5 x 4.5 inch light colored loaf pan with softened butter. Evenly spread a thin layer of butter over the interior surface of the loaf pan. Be sure to cover the bottom and sides, including the corners. Add a tablespoon or two of all-purpose flour to the pan. Tilt and rotate the pan, tapping it gently, to distribute the flour evenly across the greased surface. The flour will stick to the butter, creating a light, floury coating. Hold the greased and floured pan upside down over the sink or a trash can to allow any excess flour to fall out. Gently tap the pan to help remove loose flour.
    A silver rectangular bread loaf pan
  • Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals until fully melted. Be sure to cover it so it doesn't splatter. Set melted butter aside to cool for ~10 minutes. Then add in the sugar.
    1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled for ~10 minutes, 1 cup granulated sugar
    clear bowl with melted butter & sugar
  • Whisk the melted butter and sugar together in a medium sized mixing bowl for 1-2 minutes. It should look like a paste.
    a clear bowl with whisk combining melted butter and suggar
  • Add in the eggs, 1 at a time, whisk until mixed. 
    2 large eggs, room temperature
    clear bowl with an egg being whisked into a butter and sugar mixture
  • Then add in the mashed bananas, sour cream, and vanilla extract.
    1 1/4 cup mashed ripe/over ripe bananas, 1/4 Heaping cup sour cream, room temperature, 2 tsp. vanilla extract
    clear bowl with ingredients being whisked together
  • Sift in the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula just until combined. Do not over mix. 
    2 cups all purpose flour, spooned and leveled, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. kosher salt, 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
    clear bowl with banana bread batter and a spoon
  • Pour into the prepared pan, smoothing out the top. Bake 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. The batter will appear set and the tops will be golden brown. 
    loaf pan with banana bread batter
  • Cool in pan on a wire rack for ~30 minutes. Release/tap bread out of pan. Cool completely before slicing. Slice and enjoy! (I love popping a slice in the microwave for 10-15 seconds then topping with butter!)
    loaf pan with baked banana bread

Notes

  • Storage: bread keeps for 2-3 days at room temperature. I love this bread best on days 2 and 3 actually! Warmed in the microwave and then with a little butter on top. So good! Bread can also keep in the fridge for 1 week or up to 2-3 months in the freezer, just be sure to tightly wrap it. 
  • Loaf pan: I tested this recipe multiple times in my 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pan, but a 9×5 pan will also work well, adjust baking time as needed, ~55 minutes. 
  • Additions: feel free to fold into the batter: mini chocolate chips, chopped walnuts or nuts of choice, raisins, etc. 
  • *Vegetable oil: this recipe has been tested using 1/2 vegetable oil and it creates a beautiful loaf! 

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1slice, Calories: 279kcal (14%), Carbohydrates: 40g (13%), Protein: 4g (8%), Fat: 12g (18%), Saturated Fat: 7g (44%), Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 65mg (22%), Sodium: 344mg (15%), Potassium: 53mg (2%), Fiber: 1g (4%), Sugar: 20g (22%), Vitamin A: 374IU (7%), Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 21mg (2%), Iron: 1mg (6%)

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is automatically calculated. It should only be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Kroll’s Korner can’t make any guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

FAQ

Why is my banana bread flat?

You may have old or expired leavening agents, used too much flour, filled the loaf pan with too much batter, or used too much mashed bananas and it made the bread dense.

Why did my banana bread sink in the middle?

Your banana bread may have collapsed in the middle for a variety of reasons. 1. You may have over mixed the batter. 2. Be sure your oven has preheated properly for at least 15 minutes. 3. Use the correct size pan and the proper material. This recipe was tested in a light colored aluminum pan, not a glass or ceramic pan.

Can I use frozen bananas in banana bread?

Yes! Remove the frozen bananas from the freezer and thaw at room temperature for 2 hours, or in the refrigerator overnight. Strain the liquid that comes from the thawed bananas and use the mashed bananas as directed in the recipe.

Can I use vegetable oil instead of butter?

Yes, you can also use 1/2 cup of oil instead of butter in this recipe. I found that the butter gives this loaf a rich and buttery flavor, while oil is more neutral. However, both result in a beautifully baked loaf that is moist with a tender crumb.

Can I use this recipe to make muffins?

Yes! Line a 12 count muffin pan with paper liners and fill each about ¾ full. You should get around 18 muffins. Bake at 350°F for 24 to 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Can I use brown sugar in this recipe?

If you’d like, you can use a mix of 1/2 cup white granulated sugar and 1/2 cup dark brown sugar.

Photography: photos taken in this post are by Megan from The Broke Girl Table.

Krolls Korner

Krolls Korner

Welcome to my tiny “korner” on the Internet! I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who loves cookies as much as kale. (OK, maybe I like cookies a little bit more but shh, don’t tell anyone). I am so glad you’re here! Follow along for hassle free, realistic and approachable recipes.

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Sana

Easy, simple, hassle free banana bread. A classic recipe that you come back to every time!

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Brandi Abbott

My family loves banana bread and this recipe was so easy to make and came out so moist and yummy it was half gone before it even cooled off!!

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Emily Van Allen

We are big banana bread lovers in our home, and this recipe did not disappoint!! Slight crunch to the outside and soft on the inside! The cinnamon was a nice touch! Thanks!

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Amy

I’ve made a lot of different banana bread recipes in my life but this one is by far the BEST!! It literally came out perfect, not underbaked in the middle, baked in exactly 60 minutes and the exterior color is just the right shade of brown!! Let’s talk about the taste…absolutely delicious and bursting with so much banana flavor!! Moist but delicate and the hint of cinnamon is like the cherry on top! You won’t be disappointed if you make this!! I’ve already made it twice this week!

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Allesandra

This was probably the best banana bread I’ve ever had in my life! Moist and full of flavor, I don’t think I’ll ever use another recipe! Thank you!

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Tammy

I love this recipe SO much! Really delicious, tender, moist and easy to make! Another hit, Tawnie!!

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Cathy Oosterhoff

Definitely the prettiest banana bread I have ever made. And so moist and delicious! I have never used sour cream in banana bread and I think that makes all of the difference! Thank you!

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Whitney O

Krolls Korner always has the best recipes! This banana bread did not disappoint! It was super simple to make and comes out moist and delicious!

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Jessica

The best banana bread recipe! Moist and fluffy! The hardest part is waiting for it to cool. Very easy to following along with the layout of the recipe and directions. Chocolate chips would be a yummy addition too!

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Teresa Hernandez

Great recipe. I added walnuts to mine. It’s so moist and flavorful

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