Crazy for Crust

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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 | crazyforcrust.com | 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 | crazyforcrust.com | 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 | crazyforcrust.com | 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 | crazyforcrust.com | 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: 8-10 slices

Mom’s Banana Bread

The perfect banana bread recipe!

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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.
  6. Cool completely before removing loaf from pan, but you can cut slices from the pan after it’s cooled for about 15-20 minutes.

Notes

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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78 Responses to “Mom’s Banana Bread”

  1. Averie @ Averie Cooks posted on February 20, 2014 at 3:24 am (#)

    This is your most gorgeous bread to date! I love banana bread and am always on the hunt for those old tried & true recipes that people swear by. The sugared loaf pan is genius. I would have worried that the sides would get caramelized (too dark) because of that but guess not – I need to try this! And that crack, yes, that’s the sign of a perfect loaf! So pretty, Dorothy!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on February 20th, 2014 at 6:40 am

      Thanks Averie!! From you that means a lot, since you’re the banana bread queen! :)

      Reply

  2. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness posted on February 20, 2014 at 3:29 am (#)

    This bread is GORGEOUS! My husband is totally obsessed with banana bread (and cheerios..different story) and he is going to love this!
    I would have never though of sugaring the pan before hand, but I need to try that ASAP.
    This banana bread just stole my <3

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on February 20th, 2014 at 6:39 am

      LOL, sounds like my husband. Random food addictions! :) Thanks Taylor!

      Reply

  3. sally @ sallys baking addiction posted on February 20, 2014 at 3:50 am (#)

    I love the sugared loaf pan trick! I’ll have to try that next time. Your banana bread recipe is just in time for National Banana Bread Day on Sunday. I’m such a nerd! I only know that because I have a new bread recipe for that day. ;) Love these pics!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on February 20th, 2014 at 6:39 am

      Ha, I knew it was Chocolate Mint Day yesterday. We can be nerds together! :) Thanks Sally!

      Reply

  4. Emily posted on February 20, 2014 at 4:11 am (#)

    What beautiful pictures! I’ve been doing this for awhile, and wanted to share my other trick: mix your sugar with Penzey’s cake spice before “flouring” your pan, and then sprinkle the leftover on top of the bread batter. Truly, truly mind-blowingly easy way to ramp up your quickbread recipes!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on February 20th, 2014 at 6:39 am

      What a great trip! I’ll need to look for that spice!

      Reply

  5. tanya posted on February 20, 2014 at 5:14 am (#)

    Yes, I would have to say that this does look like the BEST banana bread! I love the golden color and also that perfect crack down the center. The only thing that would be better is if I were eating this for breakfast! Thanks for the link love too!

    Reply

  6. Tonia posted on February 20, 2014 at 6:24 am (#)

    That looks amazing! I haven’t had breakfast yet and now I really, really want a slice of that!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on February 20th, 2014 at 6:38 am

      Thanks Tonia!! Me too, ha!

      Reply

  7. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl posted on February 20, 2014 at 8:13 am (#)

    I just love the smell of banana bread and how moist it feels, it makes me pretty happy. Also since this is a “Mom” recipe I totally trust it and will make it very soon! Can’t wait to devour it…

    Reply

  8. Zainab @ Blahnik Baker posted on February 20, 2014 at 8:36 am (#)

    Wow! This is the most beautiful banana bread. I love the mind blowing tip of adding sugar to a greased pan. Amazing. I can’t wait to try that. Moms are truly the best!!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on February 20th, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      They sure are! Enjoy the sugaring Zainab!

      Reply

  9. Better With Sugar posted on February 20, 2014 at 10:03 am (#)

    What a great idea with sugaring the pan, I’ve never even heard of that! My banana breads never turn out that great, but I use a weird sized pan and they totally do end up burnt on the outside and raw in the middle! I think i need to get a 9×5 one and try out your recipe! … And yes you should def share more of your Mom’s recipes! :)

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on February 20th, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      I think I’m going to – so much easier, ha! :)

      Reply

  10. Laura Dembowski posted on February 20, 2014 at 12:06 pm (#)

    I love banana bread and this truly does look like the best! So moist and not too brown. I need this for breakfast tomorrow.

    Reply

  11. Kelly posted on February 20, 2014 at 12:44 pm (#)

    This bread is gorgeous Dorothy! That golden crust, perfect crack down the middle and moist center definitely makes this the best banana bread ever! Love mom’s recipes – they are the best:) I love the sugared pan trick – pure genius and can’t wait to try that next time! Pinning :)

    Reply

  12. Sabrina - A Spoonful of Photography posted on February 20, 2014 at 1:09 pm (#)

    Oh, yees – moms always make the best ones ;-) This looks like an especially delicious one though – think I’ll be trying it soon! P.S.: I’ve just came across your blog via foodgawker and have to admit that I LOVE your blog’s name, I’m totally crazy for crust too – period. :)

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on February 20th, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      Welcome Sabrina!! And thank you! Crust just plain rocks. :)

      Reply

  13. Ashton posted on February 20, 2014 at 1:20 pm (#)

    Wow. This seriously likes incredible!! The sugaring idea is awesome— and ACTUALLY that is kind of a cool loaf pan! I like that it has straight edges… mine are curved (so not cool :P). Love the photos, love the recipe, love your mom’s baking influence on you :)

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on February 20th, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      You know what, you’re right. I’ve looked for a double for this bad boy FOREVER and never found one! So it is unique, I guess. :)

      Reply

  14. Jocelyn @BruCrew Life posted on February 20, 2014 at 2:48 pm (#)

    Bananas are by far my favorite thing to bake with. This is a gorgeous looking banana bread!!! I love that you sugar your pan too…I have been doing that for years. Although I use baking spray and have never had any problems with it turning black.

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on February 20th, 2014 at 3:48 pm

      That’s good to know Jocelyn! Maybe it was a freak one time thing for someone? Who knows!!

      Reply

  15. AlexLuv2Cook posted on February 20, 2014 at 5:07 pm (#)

    Hi Dorothy, may I ask what is sour milk? Is buttermilk similar? thanks

    Reply

  16. Cindy F posted on February 20, 2014 at 5:57 pm (#)

    This looks like a wonderful bread recipe! Can you use buttermilk in place of soured milk?

    Reply

  17. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) posted on February 20, 2014 at 6:14 pm (#)

    Awww!!! I love that this is your mom’s recipe! Banana bread is one of the few things my mom ever actually made so it definitely means comfort to me :)

    Reply

  18. Erin | The Emerging Foodie posted on February 20, 2014 at 6:15 pm (#)

    Oh my goodness, sugaring the pan is probably the best idea I’ve heard all day. Trying this ASAP. I just need to let my bananas get tired! ;) Thanks for sharing this great recipe, Dorothy!

    Reply

  19. Mom posted on February 20, 2014 at 6:44 pm (#)

    Glad everyone is enjoying this. It’s another recipe from my high school foods class (although, sugaring the pan was something I added later). I’ll have to get out the box of recipes I still have from that class and see what else is hiding in there!
    xoxo,
    Mom

    Reply

    • iram replied on February 20th, 2014 at 9:44 pm

      I love how you comment here. It makes it such a homey site. Thx for sharing it thru dorothy

      Reply

  20. Kara Hoerr @ RD in the Midwest posted on February 20, 2014 at 6:54 pm (#)

    My mom also makes a tried and true banana recipe that I always go to…this one may be one I have to try out, though! It looks delicious. I love the sugaring the pan idea, too.

    Reply

  21. Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent posted on February 20, 2014 at 6:54 pm (#)

    I would love to seem more of your “mom” recipes. I’m loving the idea of the sugar trick. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  22. Krista @ Joyful Healthy Eats posted on February 20, 2014 at 7:28 pm (#)

    Mom totally does always know best! Would have never thought of the sour milk thing, gonna have to give it a try Dorothy! The way this bread turned out is truly amazing, moist on the inside, perfectly browned on the outside. Your making me want to go and make some now…

    Ok… I will! :) Pinned!

    Reply

  23. Tieghan posted on February 20, 2014 at 8:57 pm (#)

    Mom’s recipes are always he favorites! Gorgeous loaf and I cannot wait to try the sour milk!

    Reply

  24. Julia | JuliasAlbum.com posted on February 20, 2014 at 10:35 pm (#)

    Dorothy, this is a gorgeous banana bread – love your photography! Banana bread is the only way I consume bananas. Using sour milk is an interesting twist for a banana bread recipe!

    Reply

  25. Marti posted on February 21, 2014 at 5:54 am (#)

    This looks so yummy! I love the idea of sugar coating your pan. I’ve never done that, so can’t wait to try it! :)

    Marti

    Reply

  26. Mary Frances posted on February 21, 2014 at 6:01 am (#)

    Your quick bread photos are always beautiful, but these surpass all the others! I don’t think I’ve seen such a gorgeous loaf! It must be the sugar trick. I will have to try that – moms really do know best! The way you pictured them – such deep colors and thick slices – I wish I had some for breakfast!

    Reply

  27. Kathi @ Deliciously Yum! posted on February 21, 2014 at 6:13 am (#)

    Gorgeous shots of your Mom’s Banana Bread. I love those tried and true recipes that have been passed on from generation to generation. Banana Bread is one of my all time faves – it’s embarrassing how much my mouth is watering looking at this, ha!

    Reply

  28. Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) posted on February 21, 2014 at 8:37 am (#)

    Oh gosh I love banana bread. I mean this is incredible!!!

    Reply

  29. Chelsea @chelseasmessyapron posted on February 21, 2014 at 9:14 am (#)

    This banana bread is beautiful! Mom’s always know best it seems – my mom has an awesome zucchini bread recipe :) Also I made your milky way brownie bites the other night – my family LOVED them!!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on February 23rd, 2014 at 4:24 pm

      Yay! So glad you enjoyed them. I love zucchini bread!

      Reply

  30. Wendy posted on February 21, 2014 at 12:11 pm (#)

    I searched for a long time for our current favorite banana bread. We have enjoyed it for several years. No other banana bread recipes tempted me to open up the search again….until now. I love the way your banana bread climbs up the sides of the pan getting coated in sugar as it goes!! I am getting my fork ready and will be trying this one out this weekend! Thanks, Dorothy for sharing your family recipe !

    Reply

  31. Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking posted on February 21, 2014 at 1:00 pm (#)

    You are totally right, everyone has a banana bread recipe, but the other truth is that everyone wants to try everyone else’s! I am loving the sugared pan trick – the more the merrier around here! Your Mom’s banana bread looks divine!

    And on that note, I think you should absolutely share more of your Mom’s recipes! I can’t wait to try those out too!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on February 23rd, 2014 at 4:23 pm

      That is so true!! Thanks Lindsey!

      Reply

  32. Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction posted on February 21, 2014 at 1:01 pm (#)

    Definitely sugaring my bread pan the next time I make a quick bread! The outer layer crunch is perfect!

    Reply

  33. Lauren @ Jesus and a Side of Peanut Butter posted on February 22, 2014 at 9:00 pm (#)

    Yum! I love banana bread, of course! I’ll have to try this recipe, it looks heavenly! Pinned!

    Reply

  34. Amy posted on February 23, 2014 at 3:18 pm (#)

    YES!!! Please please please share your mom’s recipes!! (If she’s okay with it, of course.) I truly believe that there’s never such a thing as an “ordinary” recipe, especially ones handed down through the family. Even if it’s a standard recipe off the back of the chocolate chip bag or a sack of flour, the memories associated with baking it make it taste 100x better than everyone else’s. And that little grease-and-sugar tip? Brilliant!! I’ve never heard of that for banana bread, only for fancy-shmancy sophisticated desserts baked in little ramekins. Yum! (And you probably know this by now, but I’d fight you for that gooey crack down the center… It’s my favorite part too! ;) )

    Reply

  35. Karen @ Sugartown Sweets posted on February 24, 2014 at 8:13 pm (#)

    I love it! I’ve been sugaring my pans for years! I made an apple bread this past fall where i mixed the sugar with cinnamon and sprinkled my greased pan with it. Yum! I love the added crunch you get with the sugared pans. Your banana bread looks absolutely delicious. :)

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on February 25th, 2014 at 6:36 am

      OMG cinnamon and sugar. Your’e a genius!

      Reply

  36. renee posted on February 27, 2014 at 9:55 pm (#)

    I’m excited to try your mom’s recipe. Thanks keep ‘em coming!

    Reply

  37. Midnyte1370 posted on March 19, 2014 at 9:49 am (#)

    Could you use Buttermilk in place of the sour milk? Bought some for Irish Soda Bread and am trying to find a way to use the rest of it.

    Reply

  38. Carol posted on March 24, 2014 at 2:57 pm (#)

    WOW!!!! I am a very “well seasoned” cook (4 kids and a Dutch husband ensured that!) but I have to say that I have never had a better taste experience than just now! I couldn’t wait for everyone to come home after school/work so I just cut off a slice of your Mom’s Banana Bread and the crispy sweet crust is amazing, tasty, fun, and wonderfully brilliant. This is no-doubt going to be our new family favorite! I also added in 1/2 cup of chopped white chocolate with the walnuts into the flour first to ensure even distribution throughout the loaf. Thank you!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on March 24th, 2014 at 8:25 pm

      WOW! I love that idea, the white chocolate and walnuts. I’m SO glad you liked the bread – it’s most certainly my favorite! :)

      Reply

  39. Christina posted on March 29, 2014 at 12:20 pm (#)

    I usually use applesauce instead of any butter or oil and brown sugar instead of white. I prefer my banana breads super moist so I double up on the banana and baking powder/soda, and when they’re cool enough to handle safely, I put them in ziplock bags (fold the extra plastic over so there’s no air) then let them sit overnight. Every bite just melts in your mouth. :) BUT I love the idea of the crispy edges. Like edge brownies only… my most favorite treat EVER. I must make this happen! :)

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on March 29th, 2014 at 6:21 pm

      Enjoy! I think it’ll work with any quick bread. :)

      Reply

  40. Gloria posted on April 1, 2014 at 12:20 pm (#)

    I made this recipe twice and it was delicious, however, both times the outside of the bread got somewhat burned from the sugar. With my particular oven, I had to bake it for 60 minutes. Is there a method that I can try so that it doesn’t burn? I love the idea of the sugary outer crust and would hate to have to eliminate the sugar.

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 2nd, 2014 at 7:09 am

      Possibly lower the oven temp a little? Do you have an oven thermometer? Or you can try using two smaller pans so the bread cooks faster and more evenly. Are you using butter to grease the pans with? It could quite possibly be the oven, so the two pans and/or lower temp might be the best way to avoid the burning.

      Reply

  41. Angela posted on April 3, 2014 at 3:10 pm (#)

    This was the most amaizing banana bread recipe ever! I added chopped chocolate covered almonds and this bread disappeared before I could have a second piece! I will definitely be making this again. The sugared pan left a nicely crunch sweet edge that was to die for! Thank you so much for this!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 3rd, 2014 at 4:24 pm

      What a great mix-in!! OMG I’ll have to try that. I’m so glad you like the recipe!

      Reply

  42. Carol posted on April 13, 2014 at 6:45 pm (#)

    Hi Dorothy, This IS the best banana bread, I made it this evening and couldn’t wait until the morning to try a slice, so moist! And the sugar coating gives such a tender, sweet crust! My husband loves it too! LOVE your recipes and blog!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 13th, 2014 at 7:42 pm

      Thank you Carol! I’m so glad you liked it!!!!

      Reply

  43. Donna posted on April 16, 2014 at 2:31 pm (#)

    I had a banana bread recipe that called for soured milk. Found that an equal amount of plain yogurt or sour cream work great and impart a wonderful flavor and texture.

    Reply

  44. Beate Keith posted on April 17, 2014 at 4:16 pm (#)

    Mom’s Banana Bread. This is the best bread. It is moist and the dusting with sugar instead of flour is wonderful. Thanks again for another wonderful recipe.

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 17th, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it Beate!

      Reply

  45. Sharon posted on April 27, 2014 at 4:29 pm (#)

    Thank you very much for this recipe. It was my mother’s as well. I just could not figure out sour milk. She did not sugar the pan, but that step makes it delicious. This recipe is back in the family keepsake box with the additional instructions that sour milk is actually buttermilk.

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 27th, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      I’m so glad to have helped you figure that one out Sharon! And yes, sugaring the pan is the best. :)

      Reply

  46. Hayden posted on May 5, 2014 at 7:12 am (#)

    I love your photos. I tried the sugar crust idea and it was fantastic! I’ll definitely be doing that again :)

    Reply

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