Banana bread is comfort food at its finest. The light, fluffy quick bread not only tastes amazing, but fills your whole kitchen with a decadent smell as it bakes. Since banana bread is such a classic, we’ve had our share of recipes submitted to the Taste of Home Test Kitchen—and this one is the best. It’s moist, perfectly spiced and chock full of crunchy nuts.
Submitted by Gert Kaiser of Kenosha, Wisconsin, the best-ever banana bread calls for all of the usual ingredients, like flour, sugar and (surprise!) bananas. But a few special mix-ins, like buttermilk and walnuts, really take this quick bread over the top. If you’re allergic or not a big fan of nuts, feel free to fold in chocolate chips instead.
We know there are a lot of banana bread recipes out there, but this one has almost 500 glowing reviews from our readers, plus it’s a favorite in our Test Kitchen!
- 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
Step 1: Mix Dry Ingredients
Once the pan is prepped, you’re going to mix all of the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Make sure the ingredients are well-combined before moving on to the next step.
Step 2: Combine Wet Ingredients
In another bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients. Start by mashing the bananas with a fork. Then, in a bowl, mix together the eggs, bananas, oil, buttermilk and vanilla with a whisk. Make sure the mixture is nice and smooth.
Editor’s tip: Banana bread is a great way to use up overripe bananas or ones that you’ve stashed in the freezer. These bananas should be pretty soft and won’t take long to mash. And if you have a plethora of ripe bananas, here are recipes to use up the bunch.
Step 3: Fold Together
Next, combine the wet mixture with the dry—stirring until just combined. You don’t want to overmix here. Overmixing can lead to tough banana bread.
Step 4: Add the Nuts
Lastly, you’ll want to prep your banana bread mix-ins. This recipe calls for chopped walnuts which add great flavor and texture to this bread. To add even more flavor, toast the nuts first. It only takes a few minutes and makes a huge difference.
Once toasted, toss the nuts in a few tablespoons of flour. This quick coating will prevent the mix-ins from sinking to the bottom of the loaf.
Stir the nuts into the batter—just a quick mix to incorporate them—and you’re ready to bake.
Step 5: Bake
Pour the batter into a greased 9×5-inch loaf pan. Bake at 325° for 75 to 90 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the loaf on a wire rack. To remove the banana bread from the pan, run a butter knife along the edges and invert. Serve warm with butter or jam. Our Test Kitchen cooks love this recipe served with orange butter.
Some More Banana Bread Tips
We know you’ve got banana bread questions, and our Test Kitchen has answers!
How do you make banana bread moist?
The key to moist banana bread is in the details. For starters, you’ll want to make sure your bananas are really ripe. They should have lots of dark spots on the skin and feel soft to the touch. Using a firm, yellow banana will yield a good banana flavor, but not the desired texture. Only have green bananas at home? Learn how to ripen bananas fast.
You should also avoid over-baking your banana bread. Different factors—such as the temperature of your oven and the darkness of your loaf pan—can cause the bread to bake faster (or slower) than our recipe suggests. For best results, start checking your banana bread around the one hour mark, and keep checking it with a fresh toothpick every 5-10 minutes.
Can I make banana bread in an 8×8 pan?
Yes, you can! You can make banana bread in an 8×8 pan, mini loaf pans (perfect for sharing with neighbors) or even an oven-safe skillet. Be sure to be mindful about the time with these pan adjustments. Start checking on your bread after about 35 minutes if using an alternate baking dish.
Be sure to take a peek at our guide for baking pan conversions too—it’s super handy if you find yourself without a certain dish at the ready.
How can I upgrade my banana bread?
Banana bread is a great canvas for mix-ins. We love that this recipe calls for walnuts for extra flavor and crunch. But you don’t need to stop there! Chocolate chips, spices—even coconut all make excellent additions. Check out our favorite banana bread modifications here.
How to store banana bread (and for how long)?
You can store banana bread at room temperature for several days. It’s a great bake to keep on hand for snacks and breakfast. If you don’t think that you can eat the bread within a week, pop it in an airtight container or wrap in plastic and stash in the freezer. It will keep for several months.