Whether it’s your first time making banana bread or your fiftieth, our step-by-step tutorial and best recipes ensure you’ll go wild over a loaf.
I’m one of those folks that buy more bananas than my family can consume. You can tell why by reading the title of this story—bread made with bananas. First, I’ll buy a bunch of green-tinged bananas and scan them daily for little brown spots that signify ripeness. Then, I break out my favorite baking equipment and work when I see enough color.
Simple methods to make delicious homemade banana bread
The finest banana bread recipe yields consistent results. Yummly’s traditional, quick Banana Bread recipe requires very little prep time – and only one bowl. This is how you make banana bread.
1. Grease your loaf pan
Consider this: You’ve prepared the batter, poured it into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan, and placed it in the oven. The kitchen smells wonderful, and you can almost taste your first mouthful of banana bread. But, then, it doesn’t come out of the pan. So, to avert disaster, butter your loaf pan before turning on the oven – before you begin preparing the dish. To be extra safe, line the pan with parchment paper and add nonstick spray or melted butter.
2. Grab two really ripe bananas
When should bananas be ripe for banana bread? They’re ready when they feel soft and have enough brown spots on the peel—the more speckles, the sweeter the banana bread. If my fruit is super-ripe, I might use one-third cup less sugar than the recipe calls for.
Pro tip: If you want to bake, but your bananas are still mostly yellow, you have two options.
If you need to prepare banana bread immediately, place unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet and bake at 300°F for about 20 minutes, or until the skin is black and the bananas are mushy. Allow them to cool before proceeding.
Have some extra time? Fold the top of the paper bag over the bananas and apple. Apples provide ethylene gas, which aids in converting banana starches to sugar. This procedure will take a day or two to complete.
3. Mash your bananas well
You can use a fork, but I prefer to squash the bejeezus out of them with a potato masher. It contributes to the banana flavor coming through in every bite. To reduce cleanup, mash them in a large mixing bowl (the one you’ll be using).
4. Add in the rest of the wet ingredients
Combining all ingredients in a large mixing basin and stirring may be tempting, but baking is a science. Therefore, it is essential to follow the instructions in the correct order. To help them distribute evenly, lightly beat any eggs, you’ll be using, then add them to the mixing bowl with the mashed bananas and the rest of the wet ingredients (canola oil, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, and vanilla extract) and whisk well — no need to use a hand mixer.
5. Now mix in the dry ingredients
When the banana mixture has been thoroughly blended, fold in the dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt). Adding dry to wet helps eliminate pockets of dry flour and prevents overbeating.
6. Don’t overmix
Do you know how most pancake and quick bread recipes caution against overmixing? You only need to whisk until everything looks homogeneous for soft, tender banana bread — a few lumps are OK. However, here are some reasons you should err on the side of under-mixed: The gluten in your flour is activated by vigorous pounding. While this is ideal for yeast bread since gluten makes dough firm and elastic, it will make your banana bread dense and chewy.
7. Pour and bake
Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan (using a spatula to get all of the yumminess out) and place it on the center rack of the preheated oven. Remember to set a timer.
8. Be patient
Unlike cookies or brownies, Banana bread requires a substantial amount of baking time. It should take about an hour. If the top of the bread browns too rapidly in the oven, apply a loose tent of aluminum foil to prevent this. At the 50-minute mark, insert a toothpick into the center to check for doneness. It’s done when it comes out dry or with only a few crumbs.
Pro tip: Banana bread will continue to bake slightly as it cools, so if you cut into it too soon, the results may be disappointing. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to chill for at least an hour before slicing. (See, I warned you about being patient!)
If you can’t wait to get some banana deliciousness into your life, you can tweak this recipe to make banana muffins instead. Grease or line a muffin tray with paper liners and divide the batter among the cups. Because you’re creating fewer portions, the baking time will be closer to 20 minutes.
How to Keep Banana Bread Fresh
After finishing your homemade banana bread, put the leftovers in a large zip-top bag or an airtight container. How long will banana bread keep? You have one to two days at room temperature. However, banana bread can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Wrap a complete loaf or individual pieces of banana bread in plastic wrap and place them in a zip-top freezer bag to freeze. They will last indefinitely, although the quality will deteriorate after roughly three months.
Learn more: The Best Strawberry Shortcake Recipe