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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

Ingredients

  • 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.

Instructions

  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.

Variations

  • 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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  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.
Warm Banana Bread

Warm Banana Bread

Questions & Answers

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: How many loaves does a banana bread recipe make?

Answer: This recipe makes one loaf of 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!

Comments

Liza from USA on August 21, 2018:

I love banana bread, the bread you baked looks delicious!

Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on April 11, 2018:

I love banana bread. I made one last week. Thanks for sharing. This is worth trying.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on November 08, 2017:

Thank you Nadia Matush. I added the eggs to the instructions. I really appreciate your input and I hope your banana bread turned out well.

Nadia Matush on November 06, 2017:

Hello! Thank you for the banana bread recipe. There is one mistake. In the ingredients list you call for 2 eggs, but you don't mention adding them anywhere in the directions. I almost baked the bread without the eggs (that wouldn't have turned out to be good). I ended up adding the eggs at the end. I hope it still turns out ok.

Mariette from Dubai on September 05, 2017:

Thank you for sharing your recipe. I am trying to bake the banana bread, but I'm not sure when to add the 2eggs

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on September 06, 2016:

I agree FlourishAnyway! Thank you for your comment.

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 05, 2016:

Glad to see that this made delishably.com, as I love banana bread and your tips are great. I also find that the uglier the bananas (black), the better the bread. It brings out the pungent delightful flavor.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on January 15, 2015:

Techygran, I'm so glad you're going to make this with gluten free flour! Maybe you could do a Hub on it. Thanks for your comment.

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on January 15, 2015:

vespawoolf: I love the banana bread tips from your mentor Opal, and the idea of a dessert banana streussel! I look forward to trying this using GF flour. Thank you for posting! ~Cynthia

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on July 03, 2013:

GetitScene, I'm glad you like the frozen bananas tip. It's so much easier than dropping everything and making banana bread as soon as the bananas ripen! Thank you for coming by again.

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on July 03, 2013:

Previously frozen bananas, what an excellent tip! Both my wife and I love banana bread so I will definitely put this advice to good use.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on May 29, 2013:

janices7, I'm glad you enjoyed browsing this banana bread recipe. I hope you can try it someday! Thanks for coming by.

Janice S on May 29, 2013:

Love the step-by-step instructions with photos. Recipe looks great and I love banana bread. Thanks for sharing!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on May 28, 2013:

RTalloni, thanks for linking! I'll do the same and check out your banana bread recipe while I'm at it. We do use garbanzo flour and what an interesting idea for banana bread. Thanks for your comment!

RTalloni on May 28, 2013:

This recipe looks so good and your tips are tops. :) Linking to my garbanzo flour banana bread recipe, if you have no objection, with a note on these tips you've shared.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on April 21, 2013:

sgbrown, I'm glad you enjoyed the photos and recipe! Banana bread is so easy and delicious and there's always plenty fo share with family and friends. Thanks so much for the votes. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on April 21, 2013:

This recipe looks so good! I love your tips and your pictures are awesome. The topping sounds delicious too. I love banana bread, but haven't made any for quite some time. I may have to remedy that right away! Voted up, useful and sharing! :)

Linda Bryen from United Kingdom on April 20, 2013:

Thank you vespawolf.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on April 20, 2013:

liesl, thank you for dropping by! Yes, this banana bread is easy and delicious. Please ask if you need metric conversions for your baking endeavors. Have a great weekend!

Linda Bryen from United Kingdom on April 20, 2013:

I love bananas, thank you vespawolf for your great hub for banana bread I might have a go at baking. It looks very tasty.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on March 29, 2013:

AliciaC, I hope you have a chance to try one of the banana bread variations! Of course, plain ol' banana bread is also delicious. Enjoy and thanks for your comment.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on March 29, 2013:

I love banana bread and I love moist cakes, so this recipe is ideal for me. Thank you for the hints for how to keep the bread moist. I love the sound of the rum and cream topping, too!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on March 19, 2013:

DDE, this banana bread is a great way to use up leftover, overly ripe bananas. Hope you can try it sometime!

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on March 19, 2013:

Sounds such a treat with banana, a simple recipe and would love to try.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on February 06, 2013:

SuzieHQ, thanks so much for your support, votes, share and pin! This is our favorite banana bread and, as you say, the oldies are the goodies. Enjoy!

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on February 06, 2013:

Hi vespa,

DELICIOUSNESS in bucket loads here!! Yummy factor for sure - I love banana bread, can't believe I missed this gem! It sounds heavenly and I have to try this!! Loved your story about Opal, the oldies are the goodies they say and when it comes to baking those pearls of wisdom are hard to beat! Thanks for bringing us this fab recipe that looks so tasty and easy to do.

All the votes here, shared and pinned!!!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on February 01, 2013:

PeggyW, thanks for the kind words and votes! Banana bread is a great old standby that never disappoints. All of our Peruvian friends love it, and a couple of our friends now sell it in their bakeries. That makes it an international favorite. : )

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 01, 2013:

You always do such a lovely job with your recipes and this one is no exception. It has been a while since I have baked or eaten a slice of homemade banana bread. I liked your alternative tips like adding some pumpkin pie spices to it. Thanks! Up votes!

Robin Grosswirth from New York on January 22, 2013:

Yummy!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on January 20, 2013:

DeborahNeyens, your banana cupcake sounds wonderful! Banana bread is much denser than banana cake. I'll have to work on a recipe for banana cupcakes now that you've mentioned it! Thanks for your meaningful comment.

Deborah Neyens from Iowa on January 20, 2013:

I love banana bread and this recipe sounds delicious. Your tips are really useful, too. We have a new cupcake bakery in town and I got a banana cupcake there last week. It was one of the best things I have ever eaten and I can't stop thinking about it! It was not like banana bread, which was what I was expecting, but lighter and moister like cake.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on January 15, 2013:

Lemonkerdz, I also prefer ultra ripe bananas. Thanks for the freezing tip, vote and comment!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on January 15, 2013:

DeniseHandlon, this is a foolproof recipe and I find it always turns out moist, tender bread. I just made two loaves yesterday. : ) Thanks for your votes and comment! I really appreciate it.

lemonkerdz from LIMA, PERU on January 15, 2013:

Love your easy to follow banana bread recipe & nice clean fotos. i found that freezing bananas and then using them defrosted has good results of adding more moistness and ultra ripe bananas add more sweetness without using more sugar. Voting up

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on January 14, 2013:

I love banana bread and often find that the recipe I use seems to end up with dry bread. I'll be sure to try your recipe and awesome tips. Thanks Vespa. UP/U/A and sharing.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on January 07, 2013:

MamaKim, you're the sweetest Hubber ever. : ) Thanks for the votes!

Sasha Kim on January 06, 2013:

Beautiful hub! Love all your pictures and tips... you are one smart baker! ^_^ voting a whole bunch!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on January 03, 2013:

Sarahshuihan, Opal is a real gem. Thank you for taking the time to comment!

Sarah from USA on January 03, 2013:

This looks yummy! I wish someday to have someone as cool as Opal teaching me how to make stuff like this! Great hub!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on January 03, 2013:

Dhannyya, enjoy the banana bread! It really is delicious and easy to make. Thank you for coming by!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on January 03, 2013:

RajanJolly, banana bread seems to be a popular treat all over the world. I often make it here in Peru and most everyone who samples it asks for the recipe. Thank you for your vote and share!

dhannyya on January 03, 2013:

wonderful recipe dear..i wanna try this weekend

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on January 03, 2013:

Very interesting and useful recipe. I love banana bread and these tips should aid in making moist banana bread. Voted up and shared.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on January 01, 2013:

Chitrangada Sharan, I'm glad you enjoyed this hub. Banana bread is quite easy and popular, too. Enjoy!

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on January 01, 2013:

Looks delicious, with easy to follow instructions. The photographs are quite helpful. Definitely going to try it.

Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on December 31, 2012:

JamieBrock, this is a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth with little time and effort. Enjoy! Thanks for the vote and share.

Jamie Brock from Texas on December 31, 2012:

Wow, wow, WOW! This banana bread sounds and looks amazing. Thank you for the useful tips.. I think I am going to try to make this very soon! My mouth is watering..lol! Great hub, voted up, useful.. thank you for sharing :)

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on December 31, 2012:

Billybuc, I really appreciate all your efforts to make us look within ourselves and become better people. Thanks so much for your kind words! We hope you and Bev have a wonderful day and thank you for coming by. : )

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on December 31, 2012:

Penelope, thank you for your kind words! I really appreciate your spelt recipes as a healthier alternative to wheat flour. I wish it was available here! Sometimes I use a combination of corn flour, rice flour and soy flour instead of the unbleached. Banana bread can be a little finicky, and a lot depends on oven temperature. Thanks so much for the share and pin, too. Have a wonderful day!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 31, 2012:

I love banana bread and this looks delicious. Happy New Year and thank you for your friendship.

Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on December 31, 2012:

Slightly jealous (joking!).

I just made my foolproof banana bread which is a lot like yours except I use spelt flour and for the first time in my life it was burned when I checked it! I had to remove the lovely crust to save. It. Then I see your wonderful hub which is perfect. Love your pics.

Sharing and voting. Pinned too!

Happy New Year. Penelope