Mom's Classic Banana Bread recipe is simply the best! Sweet, moist, and full of buttery banana flavor, it's perfect for breakfast, lunch, or any time you need a sweet little pick-me-up!
This post may contain affiliate links, but don't worry - they won't bite.
The rich, familiar scent of baking banana bread, with its tendrils of banana and vanilla and walnuts wafting through my house, is like a time machine. It transports me back to my mother's kitchen, sitting on my knees at our yellow formica table, eating a slice of fresh, warm banana bread with a glass of cold milk. Scent memories can be powerful things.
Tips for Making the Best Banana Bread
Mom's banana bread recipe is simply the best, and it's easy to make, too. It takes about 10 or 15 minutes to mix up, and about an hour to bake.
- Banana bread can be made with a stand mixer, an electric hand-mixer, or even a hand whisk (if you've got the arm strength to cream butter by hand). However, I have experimented with, and do not recommend, using a blender to mix the batter. (Doing so will make the bread ridiculously dense and heavy.)
- You want to use very ripe bananas for this recipe. Ripe bananas have a higher sugar content and more intense banana flavor, making them the perfect choice for baking. Bananas used for bread should soft, with a peel heavily spotted brown.
- Mash the bananas with the back of a fork or a potato masher. Do not puree them! You want the texture of the bananas to be slightly "chunky."
- Add the ingredients in Order. You are basically making a cake, and the order you do things matters. Don't overmix the batter.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet - not the other way around. Believe it or not, this matters too. Adding the wet ingredients to the dry can result in pockets of flour and clumpy, inconsistent mixing.
Four Ways to Quickly Ripen Bananas for Baking
If you don't have over-ripe bananas sitting out on your counter, there are a few easy ways to speed up the process.
Warm Spaces (24-48 hours)
Place bananas in warm areas such as near a heater or above your refrigerator. Bananas are ready to use when brown spots begin to form on the peel.
Paper Bag (24 hours)
Place bananas in a paper bag. If they are in a bunch, do not separate them. You can add an apple to the bag to speed up the process. (Both apples and bananas emit ethylene gas which causes ripening.)
Oven (20 minutes)
Place bananas on a baking sheet and bake at 250˚F for 15 to 20 minutes. The heat brings out the bananas' sugars. Bananas are ready when the peels become shiny and black. They may also be a bit "weepy." This is not a problem.
Note that this method will not work on very green bananas.
Microwave (1-2 minutes)
Pierce the peel of the banana a number of times to allow air to escape, and to avoid having a banana blowout in your microwave.
Microwave the banana on high for 30 seconds at a time. Cool enough to safely check for doneness between each round in the microwave. If not, microwave for an additional 30 seconds. Continue this process until desired ripeness is obtained.
How long does Banana Bread last?
It depends on who's home when it comes out of the oven!
Seriously, this banana bread stays moist for days, making it a perfect choice for gift-giving during the holidays, or whenever you need a little something to cheer someone's day.
The best way to keep banana bread moist and tasty is to wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. Do this after the loaf has completely cooled. I usually put the wrapped loaf in a gallon-size reusable freezer bag. Wrapped like this, the loaf will last a few days on the counter, a week in the fridge, or a month or more in the freezer.
Mom's Classic Banana Bread
- ½ cup butter softened
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest this is optional, but I like it
- 1 cup mashed bananas about 4 medium bananas
- Preheat oven to 350°F [177°C].Spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan with non-stick coating, or grease with butter.
- In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Add the eggs, vanilla, and lemon juice. Mix well.
- With mixer on low, add half of the sour cream and half of the mashed bananas.
- From this point on, mix everything by hand. Using a spatula, stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. (Do not do it the other way around.)
- Fold in the remaining sour cream, walnuts, lemon zest, and bananas. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
- Bake at 350°F [177°C] for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
- Cool loaf for 10 minutes before removing from pan, and then allow it to cool completely on a wire rack.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
Love Quick Breads?
We love quick breads because they are dependable, easy to make, and always welcome! If you love quick breads, be sure to check out these delicious quick bread recipes!
- Nana’s Old-fashioned Pumpkin Gingerbread
- Zucchini-Banana Bread: The Best of Both Worlds!
- Easy Authentic Irish Soda Bread
- Blueberry Banana Muffins (Naturally Low-Fat)