One day a friend was telling me about how she used to be so in love with the Starbucks banana bread and all I could think about was how the price for one slice is probably more than it costs to make a whole loaf, so I had to working on a dupe. It took about eight tries, but I finally made a homemade banana bread recipe that is super rich, moist, and totally melt-in-your-mouth delicious. And the best part? It ended up costing about $0.38 per slice. 😱 Take that, ‘bucks! Anyway, this banana bread was so good that I’ve been dreaming about it ever since. 🤤 So now the question is, is it wrong to make banana bread every single weekend??
There are so many different recipes for banana bread out there and they create loaves that vary quite a bit in color, size, shape, texture, and of course flavor. My goal for this homemade banana bread recipe was to create a loaf that was super soft and moist, had a really good pronounced banana flavor, the loaf had to rise to a nice doamed shape (not be a flat brick), and did not get too over-browned. It took a combination of ingredients and techniques, but we finally got the perfect loaf of banana bread.
Ingredients for Banana Bread
Here’s what you’ll need to make this incredibly moist and delicious banana bread:
- Bananas: You must use very ripe bananas for banana bread. Like, half brown ripe. This will ensure they provide enough sweetness, moisture, and banana flavor to the bread. Underripe bananas will give you a dry, bland loaf.
- Butter & Oil: I used a combination of butter and oil for this banana bread. Butter gives the bread a ton of rich flavor, while oil keeps the loaf super moist after it cools in a way that butter can not. It’s a one-two flavor-texture punch!
- Eggs: Eggs help give the loaf strength, so it doesn’t crumble, and they also help leaven the loaf so that it bakes up nice and fluffy.
- Sugar: Using a combination of brown and white sugar again maximizes the flavor and texture. Brown sugar adds a deep flavor and helps moisten the loaf, while white sugar sweetens without making the batter too heavy.
- Flour: All-purpose flour provides strength and body to the banana bread.
- Baking Soda: Baking soda helps leaven the loaf so it rises into a pretty doamed loaf shape.
- Vanilla: A touch of vanilla extract adds richness to the flavor.
- Spices: We add just a little bit of cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to the batter to add complexity to the flavor without overpowering the banana. They’re supporting roles, not the main character.
- Walnuts: Walnuts are optional, but I love the contrast in flavor and texture they add to the bread. You can also substitute in chocolate chips if that’s your jam!
How to Store Banana Bread
I could eat this whole loaf of banana bread within a few days by myself no problem, but if you’re not a champion eater like myself, here’s how to store the leftovers. Make sure the bread is completely cooled after baking, then cut it into thick slices. The sliced bread can be stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for 4-5 days, or it can be frozen for longer storage.
To freeze the banana bread, place sheets of parchment paper between the slices to prevent them from sticking, then place them in a gallon-sized freezer bag. Individual slices can be taken out and thawed at room temperature or briefly microwaved to warm through.
Tips for the Best Banana Bread
I made a LOT of loaves during the development of this recipe, so here are some tips that I found will help you get the absolute best banana bread ever:
- Make sure your bananas are VERY ripe. The sugar content of bananas increases as they ripen, so the more ripe your bananas are the sweeter the bread and the more pronounced the banana flavor will be.
- Don’t overmix the batter. Stirring the bread batter too much or too vigorously will create a rubbery texture in the banana bread. Fold the wet and dry ingredients together just until evenly combined.
- Preheat the oven. This is a non-negotiable when baking. The sudden exposure to high heat (rather than a slow increase of a non-preheated oven) is what helps the loaf rise properly.
How to Make Banana Muffins
This banana bread recipe also bakes up really well as muffins. To make banana muffins simply prepare the batter as listed in the recipe below but divide the batter between 12 wells in a standard-size muffin tin. Bake the banana muffins in a preheated 350ºF oven for about 30 minutes, or until the muffins have risen all the way in the center, they’ve browned nicely, and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean (crumbs but no wet batter).
Homemade Banana Bread
- 4 Tbsp salted butter, room-temperature ($0.54)
- 1/4 cup cooking oil ($0.16)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar ($0.18)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar ($0.26)
- 1.5 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3-4 bananas) ($0.84)
- 2 large eggs ($0.29)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract ($0.60)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour ($0.40)
- 1 tsp baking soda ($0.04)
- 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg ($0.02)
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon ($0.02)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional) ($1.20)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Add the room-temperature butter, cooking oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar to a mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to beat the ingredients together until they become light and creamy.
- Mash the bananas well, then add them to the mixing bowl with the butter and sugar, along with the eggs and vanilla extract. Use the mixter again to beat the ingredients together until smooth.
- In a separate mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon until well combined.
- Pour the flour mixture into the bowl of wet ingredients and fold them together just until combined. Do not overmix.
- Add the chopped walnuts to the bowl and gently fold to combine again.
- Grease an 8.5"x4.5" loaf pan with butter or oil, then add the batter and smooth it out evenly into the pan.
- Bake the banana bread in the preheated 350ºF oven for 60 minutes or until it's deeply golden brown on top, has a crack down the center, and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean (crumbs are okay, but wet batter is not).
- Allow the loaf to cool for about 5 minutes in the pan, then gently remove it from the pan and allow it to finish cooling on a wire rack. Once cooled, slice, serve, and enjoy!
Banana Muffins Instructions
- Prepare the batter as listed above, then divide it between 12 wells of a standard-size muffin tin.
- Bake the banana muffins for 30 minutes in the preheated 350ºF oven or until they have risen all the way in the center, have browned nicely, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (crumbs are okay, but no wet batter).
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How to Make Banana Bread – Step by Step Photos
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Add 4 Tbsp of room-temperature salted butter, ¼ cup cooking oil, ½ cup white sugar, and ½ cup brown sugar to a mixing bowl.
Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to cream the butter, sugars, and oil together until it looks light and creamy.
Mash 3-4 bananas, or until you have 1.5 cups of mashed banana.
Add the mashed banana, two large eggs, and 1 tsp vanilla extract to the bowl with the creamed butter and sugar. Use the mixer to mix the ingredients together until smooth.
In a separate bowl, stir together 2 cups of all-purpospe flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ tsp nutmeg, and ¼ tsp cinnamon until well combined. Pour the flour mixture into the bowl with the wet ingredients and then fold them together just until they form a wet batter. Do not overmix.
Add ½ cup of chopped walnuts to the batter and fold briefly to combine.
Grease a standard 8.5″x4.5″ bread pan. Pour the batter into the pan and then spread it out evenly.
Bake the bread for 60 minutes, or until golden brown on top, cracked in the middle, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool for about 5 minutes in the pan, then gently remove it from the pan and allow it to finish cooling on a wire rack.
Once cooled, slice the banana bread and enjoy!