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Crazy for Crust

Feb 20

Mom’s Banana Bread

Mom always does everything the best, right?

Take this banana bread. This is my mom’s banana bread recipe and it’s the BEST one I’ve ever had.

Mom's Banana Bread | | The PERFECT banana bread recipe, straight from my mom to you!

I make a lot of banana bread. I eat a lot of banana bread. In fact, I’ve posted lots of banana bread.

Every single banana bread or banana-like muffin on this site (and even this pumpkin bread) has been based off of one recipe: my Mom’s. It’s one of those recipes I’ve eaten my whole life.

I have to say, I think it’s the best banana bread recipe, ever. And while I love all my variations, I still love this original recipe the best. I always figured that I shouldn’t share it because it’s just so…normal. Everyone has a banana bread recipe.

Recently I had some bananas that got all spotty (“tired” as my mom and I call them) and I made a batch of banana bread and some muffins (recipe soon!)

So, I decided I had to share it. And here we are.

What makes this banana bread so special? Well, besides the fact that it’s a memory from my childhood, it’s the pan. The pan makes this bread.

It’s not a special pan, just a regular 9×5″ loaf pan. It’s what we do to the pan that is so good: we sugar it.

Mom's Banana Bread | | The PERFECT banana bread recipe, straight from my mom to you!

You’ve probably “greased and floured” a pan before, right? For cakes or muffins or a whole multitude of things? Normally I use cooking spray for all my pans. But not for banana bread!

To get the amazing pan effect for this bread you grease the pan with butter or Crisco. Then you add some sugar and move the pan around so that you coat all the greased parts with sugar. Add the batter as you normally would and bake.

The sugar gives an amazing crunchy sweet crust to the bread. See that outer edge around the bread? That’s from the sugar on the pan. It’s crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside.

Mind. Blowing.

Note: do NOT try and sugar your pan using a cooking spray instead of butter or Crisco. I’ve had reports that it turns the bread black, which is not appetizing.

Besides, a little sugar never hurt anyone. 🙂

Mom's Banana Bread | | The PERFECT banana bread recipe, straight from my mom to you!

You can add nuts or leave the bread plain. I do both, it just depends on what mood I’m in.

{That’s code for “if I’m (1) too lazy to walk out to the garage freezer to get the nuts and/or (2) too lazy to chop them.”}

The recipe calls for sour milk. I never have sour milk on hand, so I sour my own. Use 1 teaspoon of white vinegar and add enough milk to make a total of 7 tablespoons of liquid. This is also the way you make buttermilk, so I’m thinking that “sour milk” is the old school way of saying “get off your bum and go buy buttermilk.” I’ve never used buttermilk in this recipe, but I’m hazarding a guess it would work, so use it if you’ve got it.

The bread bakes for a long time (50-60 minutes). You feel like it’s getting too brown on top. You feel like it’s too raw in the middle. It gets a long crack down the center.

{BTW, that center crack? Is my favorite part…after the sugared exterior, that is.}

Then poof…it’s done. A toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs.

Then you just have to wait until it cools a little. In a perfect world you’d wait until it’s totally cool and then remove the whole loaf from the pan.

The only time it’s ever been a perfect world in my house is when I knew I was doing a photo shoot. Otherwise? Fork to pan.

This recipe also makes great mini loaves or muffins. I’ve done them all. Just adjust your baking time.

You can also slice the cooled loaf and freeze the slices in sandwich baggies. Then pop one into a lunchbox for a yummy mid-morning snack.

My mom has some awesome recipes in her repertoire and I think I need to share them more. What do you think?

Mom's Banana Bread | | The PERFECT banana bread recipe, straight from my mom to you!

Oh God. Now I’m drooling. Excuse me, off to my freezer!

Mom’s Banana Bread

Yield: 1 loaf

The perfect banana bread recipe!


  • 1 cup granulated sugar (plus more for the pan)
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened (plus more for the pan)
  • 2 medium tired bananas (brown spotted)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 7 tablespoons sour milk (or 1 teaspoon white vinegar + enough milk to make 7 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts), optional


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9x5x3” loaf pan with butter and coat it with sugar. (You do this like you would grease and flour a pan. Grease it first, then add about 2 tablespoons sugar to the pan and move the pan side to side until the bottom and sides are coated with sugar. Do NOT substitute cooking spray for the butter. You can skip the sugaring and just use cooking spray, if you wish.)
  2. Cream butter and sugar with a hand mixer. Set aside.
  3. Add bananas, eggs, milk, and baking soda to a blender jar and blend until smooth.
  4. Pour half the banana mixture into the butter mixture with 1 cup of flour. Mix with hand mixer until just incorporated, then add the remaining banana mixture and flour. Mix until just incorporated. Stir in nuts if using them. Pour into prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs. The edges will be a dark brown and there will be a nice crack down the center.
    Cool completely before removing loaf from pan, but you can cut slices from the pan after it’s cooled for about 15-20 minutes.


You can make these as muffins (about 18-24) or in two 8x4” loaf pans, or three mini loaf pans, but baking time will be affected. If you only use unsalted butter, you can substitute it but be sure to add 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the recipe.

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Sweets from friends:
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread by Something Swanky
Maple Cinnamon Banana Bread by Lemons for Lulu
Six-Banana Banana Bread by Averie Cooks

97 comments on “Mom’s Banana Bread

  1. Amaizing! thanks 4 the recipe! 😀 I already made it! Delicious


  2. Pingback: Best banana bread ever | Randomly Edible

  3. Pingback: 15 Banana Bread Recipes You Need to Try | The Weary Chef

  4. Ohmygosh this looks amazing!! The fluffernutter one sounds insanely delicious too. Gorgeous pictures!!


  5. Pingback: Mama’s Banana Bread | angie&chris

  6. As for the nuts, I also do not like to chop, so I don’t; just add them in whole.  I think they look beautiful as they are sliced with the bread, and they always seem to distribute evenly. 


    • Dorothy Kern replied on June 16th, 2015 at 10:57 am

      Great idea Kim! I hate chopping nuts too!


  7. Thank you Dorothy (and Dorothy’s mom) for this recipe!  I was never a fan of banana bread, but today I found myself with some ripe bananas that I couldn’t bear to toss.  So I decided to try your recipe and OMG it was soooo delicious!!!  I loved the sugar crust idea and will be trying it on other quick breads.  I am now a banana bread convert!  🙂


    • Dorothy Kern replied on July 13th, 2015 at 6:43 am

      Yay!! I’m so glad you like it!! That recipe has been such a savior – I make all my breads out of it!


  8. You’re the 1st person besides myself who knows about sugaring the pan for banana bread. My mom taught me to do that for all my quick breads, in t just banana bread, and I make a LOT of quick breads for Christmas presents.


    • Dorothy Kern replied on December 13th, 2015 at 12:28 pm

      I love that method so much! It’s like a secret no one but a few know!


  9. I made this as a bread and still has more bananas to get used up. I decided to make another batch but I added chocolate chips and baked as mini muffins! OMG! these are amazing! Will never use another recipe. 🙂


  10. With the flour is it self rising or all purpose don’t say in recipe??


  11. I made this last night and without tasting it yet I have to say I’m disappointed.  I don’t know if I did something wrong, but mine took the full 60 minutes to cook inside while the outside was overly browned and headed towards burnt at 50 minutes.  I’m going to taste it today after work so hopefully it tastes okay.


  12. Hi Dorothy, I’m allergic to dairy, can I sour soy, or coconut milk?


    • Dorothy Kern replied on July 25th, 2016 at 3:41 pm

      You can use any non-dairy milk! Sometimes I’ll add a teaspoon of vinegar (don’t worry about souring). I’ve done it with and without the vinegar with success!


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