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Moist Banana Bread Recipe With 4 Easy Tips

Vespa's recipes have appeared in "Midwest Living" and "Taste of Home." She belongs to Cook's Recipe Testers for "Cook's Illustrated."

Easy and moist banana bread.

Easy and moist banana bread.

Four Easy Tips for Moist Banana Bread

This easy banana bread is also incredibly moist. Banana bread falls into the "quick bread" category of baked goods, so it should be quick and easy. No need to use butter—you can reserve it for cake. Oil actually emulsifies the ingredients making very moist banana bread.

I inherited this recipe from Opal, my wise mentor and dear friend. At the age of 70, she still worked part-time, cultivated a garden large enough to provide produce for the whole town, cooked three squares and also did her own canning and baking.

Opal taught me to make pies, freezer jam, meatloaf and banana bread. I've since seen similar recipes on the internet, but Opal shared four special tips with me that make moist banana bread every time:

Four Tips for Perfectly Moist Banana Bread

  • Use overly ripe, black bananas (previously frozen are great) for moist bread and plenty of banana flavor
  • Choose oil, not butter, for moist bread (save the butter for cake)
  • Gently fold wet and dry ingredients together with a spatula for tender texture
  • Start checking the bread at 50 minutes. When just a few moist crumbs cling to the tester toothpick, remove the bread immediately. Don't bake it one minute longer.

Stick around after the recipe for an optional streusel topping and some tasty variations. Enjoy!

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

1 hour

1 hour 10 min

1 loaf


  • 3 large bananas, very ripe
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup white sugar*
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

*Total sugar can be reduced by 50%, or 1/2 cup, without affecting the outcome.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour the loaf pan.
  2. Mash the bananas with a hand or stand mixer. You should have 1 cup of liquified banana. Set banana aside.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil and vanilla. Add eggs and beat well.
  4. Add bananas and mix well.
  5. Incorporate dry ingredients with a spatula, gently folding only until no more flour streaks remain.
  6. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-70 minutes. Test with a toothpick (in 3 places, especially the center) for doneness. When only a few moist crumbs cling to the toothpick, remove from oven immediately.
  7. Cool in pan for 15 minutes. Invert onto cooling rack and allow to cool.
  8. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap for storage. Banana bread freezes well!

Even More Tips

  • Bananas should be very ripe. Don't use fermented bananas or those with split peels, which could contain harmful bacteria.
  • To store ripe bananas freeze with or without the peel. Return to room temperature before baking. You'll find previously frozen bananas are easy to work with and produce extra-moist banana bread.
  • A hand or stand mixer will thoroughly puree bananas. This is important for picky eaters who may not enjoy slimy banana chunks in their bread. Thoroughly mashed bananas also make it easier to test banana bread for doneness.
  • Choose oil over butter. Oil emulsifies and coats the flour, preventing it from absorbing too much water which results in dry banana bread.
  • With a spatula, fold dry and wet ingredients together for a tender crumb.
  • If you like nuts, sprinkle them over the top of the bread instead of mixing them into the batter for a crunchy texture and toasted flavor.
  • Walnuts are the nut of choice for banana bread, as their slightly bitter taste complements the sweetness of the bread.
  • Try the optional streusel topping for fancy banana bread you can serve for dessert.
  • Use a toothpick to test banana bread for doneness in three places: left, center and right side.
  • Wrap banana bread in plastic wrap while slightly warm to keep it from drying out overnight.


  • Stir 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips into the batter for a special treat.
  • Instead of walnuts try pecans, macadamia, cashews or almonds.
  • Add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to the batter for Harvest Banana Bread.
  • Try a glaze for an elegant finishing touch. Combine 1 Tablespoon each of milk, lemon juice, rum and cream. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. Drizzle over cooled bread.

Fancy Walnut Streusel Topping Recipe


  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • 1/4 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped


  1. With a pastry blender combine sugar, butter and flour until the mixture takes on a pea-like texture.
  2. Stir in chopped walnuts.
  3. Sprinkle over banana bread batter and pop into hot oven.
Scroll to Continue

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many loaves does a banana bread recipe make?

Answer: This recipe makes one loaf of banana bread.

Question: Can I reduce the two eggs to just one?

Answer: Your question about reducing the eggs in the ingredient list to just one is interesting. Since reducing to just one egg will reduce moisture and lift in the recipe, use this substitution for the egg: 2 tablespoons water + 2 teaspoons baking powder + 1 teaspoon vegetable oil. I hope you enjoy the banana bread!

Question: Is it okay if I add half a cup of buttermilk?

Answer: If you added buttermilk to these ingredients, it would make the batter too moist. You couldn’t expect the same outcome. I recommend you search for another recipe that includes buttermilk.

Question: What size loaf pan do you need for this banana bread?

Answer: I use a standard loaf pan which measures 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches for this banana bread recipe.

Question: Under variations, why does it say “instead of walnuts try pecans, etc”. Is the original banana bread recipe supposed to have walnuts in it?

Answer: That’s a good question. I was just offering suggestions for optional banana bread add-ins. Growing up, walnuts were a standard addition to our banana bread.

Question: Three large bananas are equivalent to how many measuring cups, more or less?

Answer: Thank you for your excellent question. Three bananas is equal to one measuring cup. I hope that helps.

Question: The first part of the recipe says 3 bananas which is about a cup but the instructions say 2 cups. Which is correct for this recipe for banana bread?

Answer: Three bananas, which equals about 1 cup, is the correct amount of bananas needed for the recipe.

Question: Can I use oat flour instead of white flour for this Banana Bread recipe?

Answer: I have never tested this recipe with oat flour instead of white flour. It would certainly be a heavier loaf of bread, but please let me know if you try it.

Question: Why is my banana bread sinking?

Answer: If your banana bread is sinking in the middle, my guess is you either added more liquid than required or less leavening. Or maybe you took it out of the oven too soon? If the bread is undercooked, it could also sink in the middle. I hope you have more success next time!

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