Banana Bread

By Shiran

Forget about your typical, dense banana breads. This bread is moist, light, and full of banana flavor. The best I’ve ever tasted. It will make you go bananas!

Ultimate banana bread - moist, light, fluffy, and full of banana flavor. | prettysimplesweet.com

When it’s time to taste a dessert I’ve made, I sit down, take a bite and concentrate. I do this as if someone covers my eyes and asks me to “feel” the flavors and texture. As if I am competing in a cooking reality show. With this bread, the first bite took me by surprise. I just liked everything about it. When Erez came back home, I asked him to do the same thing (sit down, concentrate and taste), and he mumbled “mmm… that is just like the banana bread in this bakery”. By “this bakery”, he meant the best bakery in town. And so I was pleased.

I’m always cautious when I write “the best dessert ever”. First, because I don’t know if it’s the best since I haven’t tasted all the banana breads in the world. And second, what tastes like the best to me, might not taste like the best to you. But trust me, that this bread won’t disappoint you. It is flavorful and banana-y. It is moist, fluffy and light. Not dense at all. So let’s see how we make it perfectly.

Ultimate banana bread - moist, light, fluffy, and full of banana flavor. | prettysimplesweet.com

Let’s go over some of the ingredients:

Bananas: the riper, the moister, the better. I measure mashed banana in cups rather than by the number of bananas. This is because one mashed bananas can yield anywhere between a third to a half cup. This makes a difference in a recipe with 3-4 bananas. So yes, you might have leftovers from one banana, but its healthy – just eat it 🙂 I give all the leftovers to Erez. He never says no to food. This recipe requires 1.5 cups of mashed bananas. That’s about 3-4 bananas. Don’t puree the bananas, it will make them too watery. Mash them with a fork until there are no big chunks left and the batter is smooth.
–  Butter: banana bread or almost any bread goes well with oil due to their naturally dense consistency. Oil makes them fluffy and moist. Some recipes use melted butter, but the bread won’t be as fluffy as with oil. The melted butter is more for taste in this case. The third option (after oil and melted butter) is room temperature/softened butter, used with the creaming method (i.e. beat the butter and sugars first). This method makes a delicate crumb. Softened butter is what I used for this bread because it’s already moist and light, and that’s why it has cake-like texture. To soften the butter, leave it on the counter for at least an hour before you start making the bread.
Sugar: There is 3/4 cup sugar in the recipe and 2 tablespoons of honey. While some recipes use a double this amount, I find it sweet enough just like this, since the bananas add natural sweetness as well. The honey adds taste and goes well with bananas, but you can omit it if you like. I used more brown sugar than white sugar. Brown sugar adds moisture and taste. You can even use just brown sugar.
Yogurt: I experimented with sour cream, yogurt and buttermilk for this bread. The buttermilk and yogurt were the winners – but I prefer the yogurt a bit more. Both of them made a lighter bread than the sour cream.

Ultimate banana bread - moist, light, fluffy, and full of banana flavor. | prettysimplesweet.com

How to make the bread?

Using the creaming method, start by beating the butter and sugars for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add honey and beat until combined. Then, add eggs one at a time on medium speed, beating well after each addition, about 20 seconds. Eggs should be room temperature. This helps them to combine better with the other ingredients. If they are cold, just put them in a bowl of warm water for 15 minutes and that will do the work. Next, add the mashed bananas and vanilla extract and beat until combined.

Ultimate banana bread - moist, light, fluffy, and full of banana flavor. | prettysimplesweet.com

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and then add half to the batter. Mix on low speed just until combined. Add the yogurt and mix just until combined. Add the other half of the dry ingredients and beat or fold by hand until combined. Don’t overmix the batter, it can make a heavy bread rather than light and airy. Always mix just until all the ingredients are combined. Last, add nuts. I love walnuts or pecans. They make the perfect crunch for this bread.

The best or not the best – this bread is darn good!

 

Banana Bread
Yields: one standard (9×5-inch) loaf pan
 

Forget about your typical, dense banana breads. This bread is moist, light, and full of banana flavor. The best I’ve ever tasted. It will make you go bananas!
Ingredients
  • 1¾ cups (250 grams or 8.8 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • A pinch of ground nutmeg (optional)
  • ½ cup (1 stick or 115 grams) butter, softened
  • ½ cup (100 grams or 3.5 ounces) brown sugar (I prefer dark)
  • ¼ cup (50 grams or 1.8 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1½ cups mashed bananas (about 3-4 bananas)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup (80 grams) yogurt
  • ¾ cup (80 grams) walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Butter a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set it aside.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugars for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add honey and beat for one more minute. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl occasionally. On medium speed, beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add mashed bananas and vanilla extract and beat. With the mixer on low speed, add half of the dry ingredients and beat just until combined. Add the yogurt and beat until combined. Add the other half of the dry ingredients and beat slowly or fold by hand just until combined. Do not overmix – the less you mix, the lighter the bread will be. Fold in the nuts.
  4. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs. Let the bread cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, then turn it out from the pan and let it cool completely.

Notes
-Store the bread at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
-The bread can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw it on the counter, still covered, or overnight in the fridge.

 

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51 Comments on Banana Bread

  1. Joel A.
    January 16, 2014 at 4:01 am (2 years ago)

    Looks Yummy. This is one of my best loved sweets. I also love chocolates, so I’ll add chocolate chips in the recipe. 🙂

    Reply
    • Shiran
      January 16, 2014 at 8:51 am (2 years ago)

      It is yummy! I had so many failures with banana breads in the past, and this one is a winner 🙂 Definitely add chocolate chips! 2/3-3/4 cup would be perfect 🙂 Let me know how it turned out!

      Reply
  2. Geetha
    January 21, 2014 at 7:27 am (2 years ago)

    I tried your recipe on Sunday. I made large muffins instead of a loaf….it’s really fluffy and light. I used the honey and dark brown sugar with yougurt. Two days later and the muffins are is still so light and fluffy. Great recipe! Thank you.

    Reply
    • Shiran
      January 21, 2014 at 9:37 am (2 years ago)

      I’m so happy you liked it Geetha! I made them in muffin form once, and they were still moist after 5 days! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

      Reply
  3. Vanessa
    April 28, 2014 at 8:23 pm (2 years ago)

    I followed your recipe exactly (except swapped margarine for butter) and it came out AMAZING! My boyfriend and I loved it and couldn’t believe how fluffy it was.
    Thank you Shiran!

    Reply
    • Shiran
      April 28, 2014 at 9:57 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you Vanessa! That makes me happy 🙂 The bread is super fluffy and moist and keeps well for a few days! Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Reply
  4. M
    May 1, 2014 at 7:53 am (2 years ago)

    Can the yogurt be substituted with the exact same amount of buttermilk instead? Thank u for sharing!

    Reply
    • Shiran
      May 1, 2014 at 11:38 am (2 years ago)

      Yes, it can, and for the exact same amount. I got the best results with yogurt (I experimented with both of them), but if you don’t have yogurt, buttermilk will also give you good results and a delicious cake 🙂

      Reply
  5. Jess
    June 4, 2014 at 5:16 pm (2 years ago)

    What kind of yogurt did you use? Just plain, unflavored yogurt? Greek?

    Reply
    • Shiran
      June 4, 2014 at 6:38 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Jess! You can use either Greek or regular yogurt – plain or vanilla. I use plain yogurt 🙂

      Reply
  6. Giovanna
    August 12, 2014 at 1:36 pm (2 years ago)

    Can I avoid honey and replace it with something else or do you reccomend to use it?

    Reply
    • Shiran
      August 12, 2014 at 5:50 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Giovanna 🙂 The honey adds a nice taste to the bread but you can omit it if you like. If you like sweet breads you can substitute it with 2 tablespoons brown sugar, otherwise just leave it out. This bread is so delicious and moist, you’re gonna love it!

      Reply
  7. priscilla
    September 16, 2014 at 3:57 pm (2 years ago)

    hi shiran, I tried your recipe today but the banana bread came out incredibly wet and not fluffy at all. I followed your recipe to a T so I’m wondering if there was something I did wrong? I had to leave it in the oven for way longer than 1 hour because the loaf didn’t bake all the way through either.

    Reply
    • Shiran
      September 16, 2014 at 4:27 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Priscilla, I’m sorry the recipe didn’t work out for you. Although the bread is moist and fluffy, it shouldn’t be wet at all. If you followed the recipe precisely, it’s hard for me to tell what exactly went wrong, but, if your cake took way longer than an hour to bake (that’s too long), I’m thinking that maybe your oven temperature was way off. Did you open your oven door many times? It can cause a big drop in temperature. If the temperature is too low (or too high), it can easily ruin a cake. If you have any more questions, please let me know and I’ll be happy to help.

      Reply
  8. priscilla
    September 16, 2014 at 4:09 pm (2 years ago)

    also, my banana bread sunk when I left it to cool. is that supposed to happen?

    I did make a couple of changes to your recipe: i used a larger loaf pan because that was what I had, and added an extra 1/2 cup of bananas. could that be why my banana bread didn’t turn out as expected?

    thanks

    Reply
    • Shiran
      September 16, 2014 at 4:39 pm (2 years ago)

      Bananas add moisture to the cake, so in addition to the yogurt, 1/2 cup is too much. Bananas also make a heavy batter, and it affects how much the cake rises – which might explain why it sank in the middle. Using a different pan can also ruin a cake, but I don’t think it was the main issue here. You can try this recipe again as is – trust me, it tastes delightful and is full of banana flavor.

      Reply
      • Priscilla
        September 17, 2014 at 12:29 am (2 years ago)

        hi shiran, thanks for getting back to me. Nope, I didn’t open the oven door so I’m surprised as to why the banana bread didn’t bake all the way through either. Perhaps I shouldn’t have added the extra banana! I’ll definitely try the recipe again, as I’ve been looking for a banana bread that isn’t dense.

        thank you for your help!

        Reply
        • Priscilla
          September 17, 2014 at 12:31 am (2 years ago)

          also, could I mix everything by hand if I choose not to use a mixer?

          Reply
          • Shiran
            September 17, 2014 at 5:32 pm (2 years ago)

            You’re welcome Priscilla 🙂 As for your other question, for the best results, I recommend following the recipe as is. Using a mixer helps creating little air bubbles while creaming together butter and sugar, which will eventually make the cake lighter. So, If you’re looking for a banana bread that isn’t dense, I would recommend using a mixer. If you don’t have a mixer, whisk the butter and sugar together by hand, for at least 3 minutes until it’s fluffy and creamy. Hope this helps!

          • priscilla
            September 18, 2014 at 5:18 am (2 years ago)

            hi shiran, the reason why i asked if i could mix it by hand is because the mixer i use is one of those older models which don’t come with a paddle attachment. (i live away from home so don’t have ready access to all my usual baking applicances) i’m planning on trying your recipe again tonight, fingers crossed it works this time! (:

          • Shiran
            September 18, 2014 at 5:48 am (2 years ago)

            Good luck 🙂 Don’t worry, just whisk the ingredients by hand using a whisk, if you have one. Also, once you add the flour, mix as little as possible just until the ingredients are combined. I’m sure it will turn out delicious!

  9. priscilla
    September 17, 2014 at 2:33 pm (2 years ago)

    hi again shiran, do you reckon i could mix everything by hand if i chose not to use a mixer?

    thanks!

    Reply
  10. Yummymummy
    September 20, 2014 at 11:12 am (2 years ago)

    Really the best banana cake ever, thanks for mashing info! I substituted buttermilk and added a small handful of chocolate chips. Marvellous!

    Reply
    • Shiran
      September 20, 2014 at 3:52 pm (2 years ago)

      I’m glad you like it! Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Reply
  11. Ro
    October 9, 2014 at 10:04 pm (2 years ago)

    Hi, looking forward to trying this recipe! Can I substitute olive oil for the softened butter?
    Ro

    Reply
    • Shiran
      October 10, 2014 at 5:52 pm (2 years ago)

      For a perfect fluffy texture, butter will be the best option 🙂 You can try substitute this with oil (such as canola), but the result will be different both in taste and texture. Olive oil has a dominant flavor, and since I haven’t tried using it for this recipe, I can’t recommend it.

      Reply
  12. Liron
    October 19, 2014 at 6:09 am (2 years ago)

    Wow!l what a delicious banana bread. I count myself as a very good cook and bake quite a lot, I was looking for the ultimate banana bread recipe – that will be light and airy but also moist and tasty and this one is just spot on! Thanks Shiran, I will definitely try a few more of your recipes

    Reply
    • Shiran
      October 20, 2014 at 4:25 am (2 years ago)

      That’s so sweet of you Liron, thank you! You’ve made my day 🙂

      Reply
  13. Lynn
    October 28, 2014 at 4:12 am (2 years ago)

    hi, I do not have mixer with paddle attachment. I have whisk attachment and dough hook only. Do you have laternative suggestion to beat up butter and sugars ? thanks

    Reply
    • Shiran
      October 28, 2014 at 5:53 am (2 years ago)

      Hi Lynn 🙂 You can cream butter and sugar using the whisk attachment, but since it incorporates air into the batter, whisk on medium speed just until it’s pale and fluffy, then add the eggs and beat on slow just until incorporated. You can then fold in the dry ingredients slowly by hand, using a silicone spatula, just until combined.

      Reply
  14. lynn
    October 29, 2014 at 8:35 am (2 years ago)

    Hi Shiran, I will try that. Wish me luck 🙂

    Reply
  15. lynn
    October 29, 2014 at 8:44 am (2 years ago)

    Btw, I wish to tell you how happy I am when I saw that all your recipes come with metric.. I have hard time checking/converting from cups to g/ml 🙂
    In Singapore, we use metric.
    Thanks for taking the trouble to do that 🙂

    Reply
    • Shiran
      October 29, 2014 at 12:59 pm (2 years ago)

      It’s my pleasure Lynn! If it helps you, then it makes happy 🙂 Good Luck!

      Reply
  16. Amanda
    January 4, 2015 at 4:59 pm (1 year ago)

    hi! I was wondering if this recipe might work sweetening with applesauce as I’ve seen some other recipes do? I really like the idea of a light and fluffy banana bread.

    Reply
    • Shiran
      January 5, 2015 at 10:44 am (1 year ago)

      Hi Amanda! As far as I know, the applesauce in some banana breads is usually a substitution for the fat (oil or butter), and not the sugar. Did you see any specific recipe where it replaces the sugar? The reason this bread is so fluffy and perfect is because of the combination of ingredients, and the butter is necessary in there – both the texture and taste will be different if you replace it.

      Reply
  17. Jennifer
    May 5, 2015 at 2:21 pm (1 year ago)

    I didn’t have any plain yogurt in the house, so substituted unsweetened apple sauce to make muffins. They are delicious. a bit more dense than the yogurt recipe is, but I would do it again on purpose!
    Do you have nutrition info for this recipe?

    Reply
    • Shiran
      May 6, 2015 at 4:51 am (1 year ago)

      Hi Jennifer! The yogurt gives a really nice texture to the bread, but it would be interesting to try it with applesauce! You can copy and paste the ingredients to this calculator to get nutrition info.

      Reply
  18. Cathy
    May 18, 2015 at 10:29 pm (1 year ago)

    Hi! Can i totally skip the cinnamon? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Shiran
      May 19, 2015 at 12:54 pm (1 year ago)

      Hi Cathy 🙂 The flavor of the cinnamon is very subtle, so don’t worry about it! Still, you can omit it if you like.

      Reply
      • Cathy
        June 1, 2015 at 3:38 am (12 months ago)

        Made this the other day and it is now my favorite banana bread recipe! Thank you for sharing!

        Reply
        • Shiran
          June 1, 2015 at 11:18 am (12 months ago)

          So glad to hear that, Cathy! Thank you so much 🙂

          Reply
  19. Negin
    September 18, 2015 at 9:50 pm (8 months ago)

    I had many many failure in making banana bread. All of them were too moist or too heavy and last time decided to give it up and never try making anymore… But today I just followed this recipie and it was amazing. is was moist enough, but at the same time very light and fluffy, it was sweet enough and my husband loved it. Thank you so much for this amazing recipie

    Reply
    • Shiran
      September 19, 2015 at 5:42 am (8 months ago)

      I know what you mean! I had many failures until I made this recipe that just worked! Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Negin! 🙂

      Reply
  20. Jess
    December 22, 2015 at 12:39 pm (5 months ago)

    Hi Shiran, This recipe is great! However, I was only able to get the light and fluffiness the first time I made this. I can’t remember what I did differently the following times. I am using an egg beater that doesn’t really have a low speed option and mainly is on med high. I beat everything as instructed and stopped beating after incorporating the banana and vanilla. Then, I just used a spatula to fold in the rest and not mix as much. Is the error in the mixer? Also, would it help to fluff it up if I put Baking Powder? The taste is good, it’s just not crumby at all it’s more compact and moist looking. I can send you a picture if that helps. I usually only use one cup of banana as well.

    Please help me! The first time I made this it was incredible! I would like to try to make it that way again.

    Jess

    Reply
    • Shiran
      December 23, 2015 at 3:22 pm (5 months ago)

      Hi Jess! I know how frustrating these things can be! I’m not sure what went wrong for you but I’d try to help. Do you mean that you use a whisk rather than a paddle attachment? Is it a hand mixer? Because it does make a difference although other than that it seems like you know what you’re doing, and you did mention it was great the first time you made it. Why do you use just one cup of bananas by the way? Adding more helps in getting better texture and flavor.

      Reply
  21. ginny
    January 5, 2016 at 12:02 am (5 months ago)

    why is the bottom half of my banana bread darker than the top 1/2. i use mini pans and this time it was eggnog banana –

    Reply
    • Shiran
      January 5, 2016 at 7:56 am (5 months ago)

      Hi Ginny, can you please explain what you mean by using eggnog banana?

      Reply
  22. Hailey
    March 11, 2016 at 10:26 pm (3 months ago)

    This is by far the very best banana bread I have ever made!!!!😁 It never lasts in my house for more than 2 days! I tried countless banana bread recipes that were dense and dry, but this is a very moist and delicious banana bread. I will never try another recipe! Thank you soon much!😘

    Reply
    • Shiran
      March 12, 2016 at 12:43 pm (3 months ago)

      Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Hailey! 🙂 I’ve tried so many other recipe before this one, but this is my favorite!

      Reply
  23. Kim @ When Caterpillars Fly
    April 30, 2016 at 12:48 am (4 weeks ago)

    I happened across this recipe today because I was looking for a FLUFFY banana bread that I could use a 1to1 gluten free flour with. Ive tried my normal banana bread recipe with GF and it comes out way too dense. I knew I needed to find a way to lighten it up. This recipe did the trick! Even with GF flour, it was airy and springy. Saving this as my go-to recipe!

    Reply
    • Shiran
      May 1, 2016 at 5:19 am (4 weeks ago)

      I’m so glad to hear that Kim! Thank you so much for your comment! 🙂

      Reply

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