This is the absolute Best Banana Bread recipe made with a cinnamon-sugar crust, moist from butter and sour cream, a combination of mashed bananas and sliced bananas, and chocolate chips and walnuts in every bite! Bonus, it’s all made in one bowl!
The Best Banana Bread Recipe
How many banana bread recipes do you have? 37? Lol. You only think you don’t need another one, but you do! This Ultimate Banana Bread Recipe is the queen of all banana breads.
Can’t remember the last time, if ever, I had a bad slice of banana bread. But let’s get real – they’re not all created equal. This recipe takes the ingredients to the next level, and yet remains so easy to make.
- The pan is greased with butter and then coated in cinnamon-sugar, which creates a fantastic crust for the bread.
- There are mashed bananas in the batter and sliced bananas on top for a double whammy of awesome banana flavor.
- It’s made with butter, not oil, for the best flavor!
- Sour cream is added to the batter for extra moistness and a hint of tanginess.
- Nuts and chocolate are mixed in, so every bite is loaded with goodies.
- A sprinkle of turbinado sugar finishes it off to create a special crispy topping.
- It’s all made in one bowl, so clean up is a breeze!
How to Make Banana Bread
Banana bread is pretty straight forward and hard to mess up, but there are definitely some tips to achieve the best loaf possible.
(For all the details, scroll down to the complete printable recipe card and don’t miss the video below.)
- How ripe should bananas be for banana bread? Use overly ripe (a lot of black!) bananas. This will deliver the best natural sweetness with plenty of banana flavor, but also provide moisture.
- Thoroughly mash those bananas. This helps incorporate the bananas throughout the mixture and makes it easier to test for doneness.
- Gently fold wet and dry ingredients together with a spatula for tender texture.
- Don’t over mix! It can make your bread tough.
- Start checking the bread at 5-10 minutes before it’s supposed to be finished cooking. When just a few moist crumbs cling to the tester, remove the bread immediately. Don’t bake it one minute longer. (Some ovens run hot!)
- Test banana bread for doneness in three places: center, and both sides.
- Wrap banana bread in plastic wrap while slightly warm to keep it from drying out overnight.
I personally wouldn’t change a single thing about this recipe, but I know people like to tinker. These are some alterations that can be done without ruining the end result.
- Sprinkle a little cinnamon into the flour mixture in addition to the cinnamon-sugar crust.
- Try a different nut. Swap out the walnuts for a different nut, or just omit the nuts all together.
- Make it a little bit healthier. Plain Greek yogurt can replace the sour cream.
- Glaze the loaf. Skip the turbinado sugar and glaze the bread with icing instead! Whisk together some powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until drizzling consistency.
- Make muffins instead. If you want to make muffins instead, I highly recommend this recipe for Banana Bread Muffins!
How To Store Banana Bread
A loaf of this moist banana bread doesn’t last long in my house – two days at best! But if you’ve got extra, here’s how to store it properly.
- Does banana bread need to be refrigerated? Ideally, you want to avoid the refrigerator, since the cool air removes moisture and will dry the bread out.
- How long does banana bread last? Place cooled banana bread on a plate and cover with plastic wrap and again in foil, or store in an airtight container, and set on the countertop. It will keep for up to 3 days.
- To Freeze: You can extend the life of this banana bread by freezing it. Wrap the loaf or individual slices in plastic wrap and also foil, then place in a freezer-safe plastic bag, removing as much air as possible. It will stay safe to eat for countless months, but for optimal taste, serve within 2 months.
- To Thaw: To thaw slices, unwrap and simply leave on the counter for 20-30 minutes or pop it in the microwave for about 30 seconds. To thaw an entire loaf, remove from the plastic bag, but leave the plastic wrap and foil on, set it on the counter and wait about 4 hours and then enjoy!
More Banana Recipes:
- Coffee Banana Smoothie
- Banana Oatmeal Pancakes
- Quick One-Bowl Banana Muffins
- Banana Bread Muffins
- Pan Fried Bananas
- Sheet Pan Banana Cake
Ultimate Banana Bread
For the Pan
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Butter , for greasing the pan
For the Batter
- 3 medium super ripe bananas , divided
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter , melted
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together the 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Thoroughly grease a 9×5 nonstick loaf pan with butter and the cinnamon-sugar mixture (swirl the pan around until it’s coated. Discard excess or use for something else. Watch the video, if you're unsure.)
- Mash 2 of the bananas to equal 1 cup. Slice the 3rd banana.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and butter.
- Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until combined.
- Add in the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir together until just incorporated and smooth.
- Stir in the mashed bananas and sour cream. Don’t over-mix.
- With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the walnuts and chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan and spread evenly.
- Arrange banana slices over the top and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.
- Place in oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour (start checking after 55 minutes.)
- Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cook completely.
- Slice and enjoy!
- For recipe tips and variations, please refer to the full article.
- To store at Room Temperature: Place cooled banana bread on a plate and cover with plastic wrap, or store in an airtight container, and set on the countertop for up to 3 days. Ideally, you want to avoid the refrigerator, since the cool air removes moisture and will dry the bread out.
- To Freeze: You can extend the life of this banana bread by freezing it. Wrap the loaf or individual slices in plastic wrap and foil, then place in a freezer-safe plastic bag, removing as much air as possible. It will stay safe to eat for countless months, but for optimal taste, serve within 2 months.
- To Thaw: to thaw slices, unwrap and simply leave on the counter for 20-30 minutes or pop it in the microwave for about 30 seconds. To thaw an entire loaf, remove from the plastic bag, but leave the plastic wrap and foil on, set it on the counter and wait about 4 hours and then enjoy!