Looking for a reliable, easy classic banana bread recipe? You’ve found it! This recipe will make a perfect, moist loaf every time.
Banana bread is the classic — the quick bread that everyone has a recipe for and everyone makes. (But let’s be realistic, absolutes like that are never really true — it just feels like they are.) If you don’t have a go-to recipe yet, don’t despair. You just need a place to start.
This is it.
I don’t come from a family that baked often. Or at all. Aside from the occasional tube of cinnamon rolls and roll of cookie dough, I didn’t experience much baking until I began baking myself.
Except for one thing: Banana bread. In around my middle school years, my mother started experimenting. Sometimes she’d use semisweet chips in it. Other times it would be milk chocolate. But my favorite banana bread was the classic, unfettered version — just a few simple ingredients mixed and baked to form a perfect, sliceable loaf.
This easy recipe for Classic Banana Bread can be enjoyed as is. Or you can alter it to your liking by adding mix-ins like nuts or chocolate chips. I always recommend making it exactly as written the first time though.
For ingredients, this Classic Banana Bread recipe only calls for a few. You probably already have all of them — as long as you, too, have some forgotten bananas on the counter. (Not pictured: flour. Yes, you will need flour to make this bread.)
I like to use dark brown sugar in this because it has a richer flavor. But if you only have light brown, you can substitute it.
You’ll need to mash the bananas. This is a cinch — just use a fork.
Pushing fork tines through the soft, pliant flesh of an overripe banana has a particular allure for me. I love the transformative act, changing the solid into a soft puree. But I also love the sweet, mellow banana scent that intensifies with each press. And all together — the motion, the scene, the sqeeeesh sound it makes — the experience is a signal to my brain that something delicious is coming.
It’s a good thing I have a banana problem, right?
Once you have gathered all your ingredients (including that mashed banana!), this bread is quick and easy to whip together (seriously, in the realm of quick breads this is among the quickest and easiest).
Once the batter is made, pour it into a loaf pan and bake. See, told you it was easy.
When baking, I always err on the side of caution and set the timer for the shortest recommended time. Then I use a knife, a cake tester or a plain old toothpick to see if the center is set. If you insert it and it comes out cleanly, it is. If not, it needs to bake longer.
Once the bread is out of the oven, it will need to cool a bit before you slice into it.
And while you do, you can enjoy the lingering scent of freshly baked banana bread.
In any case, this classic banana bread recipe delivers on all the things I like about the loaf. It has a solid banana flavor throughout. It’s moist and totally sliceable. And, best of all, it’s divine warmed with a smear of butter.
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 4 medium (5-6-inches) very ripe bananas, mashed
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a bread loaf pan and set it aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, granulated sugar, dark brown sugar and eggs. Add the mashed banana and whisk well to combine.
- Measure the flour, baking powder and salt into the large bowl. Use a rubber spatula to stir together until just combined — there may be lumps. That's okay.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and tap gently to spread into one even layer.
- Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool for 30 minutes before slicing.