Mom’s Homemade Banana Bread Recipe

3.66 from 63 votes
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Mom know’s best, which is how I know this is the BEST Banana Bread recipe! It’s my mom’s recipe and I’ve been eating (and making it) my entire life.

It’s so easy to make banana bread and my mom has a few secrets to getting the perfect taste, texture and that telltale crack down the center. This is a no fail recipe that stays moist for days – if it lasts that long.

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sliced banana bread

Why is this the BEST Banana Bread Recipe?

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 has been based off of one recipe: my Mom’s. It’s one of those recipes I’ve eaten my whole life.

This recipe is the best because:

  • It’s SUPER easy with banana in every bite
  • Stays moist for days
  • Has a nice long crack down the center
  • Is a bit crunchy on the outside and super soft on the inside

I have to say, I think it’s the best banana bread recipe, ever. And while I love all my variations, I still love the original recipe the best.

Banana bread is the perfect way to use up overripe bananas – and it’s so easy to make. You’re going to love my mom’s recipe. She has two simple things she does that makes her bread stand apart: the milk and the pan.

Recipe Video: Making the Best Banana Bread Recipe

overhead shot of banana bread

Banana Bread Ingredients

Banana Bread is a simple quick bread recipe. “Quick Bread” is bread that doesn’t have yeast (as in, it’s quicker to make it because it doesn’t need to rise).

  • Bananas: see below
  • Butter: you can use either salted or unsalted (see recipe notes)
  • Sugar: lots of granulated sugar for sweetness
  • Eggs: give body to the bread while keeping it moist
  • Flour: use all-purpose flour for this recipe
  • Baking Soda: my bread uses baking soda for leavening, helped along by some acid
  • Sour Milk: see below for details and substitutions

Use Overripe Bananas for the BEST bread

Overripe bananas are sweeter and softer and they’re the best for baking. At one time of another we’ve all bought bananas and forgotten about them, right?

You know your banana is overripe because they’re brown and spotty, with no hints of green. My mom always called them “tired” bananas.

Did you know you can freeze bananas? Whenever I get ones that get too overripe, I just throw them in the freezer (peels and all). Then I defrost them on the counter to make banana bread or cake whenever I want.

slices of banana bread

Mom Tip #1: Sour Milk

My mom’s recipe calls for sour milk. So, what’s sour milk?

Basically, sour milk is the same thing as buttermilk. Back when this recipe was written, I’m figuring that milk went sour more than it does now, but if you don’t have sour milk sitting around, don’t worry, you can make your own.

The recipe calls for 7 tablespoons sour milk. You can use:

  • ½ teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice + 7 tablespoons milk or nonfat milk
  • ½ teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice + 7 tablespoons nondairy milk
  • 7 tablespoons buttermilk

The acidity in the sour milk (or vinegar or buttermilk) active the baking soda, making the bread rise.

How to make the best banana bread recipe process photos

How do you make Banana Bread?

1. Blend: I like to blend my bananas with the egg, milk, and baking soda in a blender to make it nice and smooth.

You can also just mash your bananas with a fork and add them to the butter/sugar mixture along with everything separately.

How to make the best banana bread recipe process photos

2. Cream: Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl or using a stand mixer.

3. Mix: Add the flour and the blended mixture to the creamed butter and sugar and mix until mostly smooth (some lumps will remain from the bananas).

4. Pan: Prepare the pan (see below) using my mom’s tip!

5. Bake: Bake until a toothpick comes out mostly clean from the crack.

loaf pan for banana bread

Mom’s Tip #2: Flour and Sugar the Pan

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 shortening, 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.

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.

Substitutions and Additions for this banana bread recipe

  • Butter: I use unsalted butter but my mom always uses salted. If you’re using salted butter, reduce salt by ¼ teaspoon.
  • Oil: You can substitute vegetable oil, but make sure to use the salt in the recipe in that case (oil doesn’t have salt in it).
  • Flour: substitute half whole wheat flour (so 1 cup each whole wheat and all-purpose) if you want. Make this gluten-free using 1:1 All-purpose gluten-free flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill teal bag).
  • Milk: You can use buttermilk or regular/lowfat/nonfat cows milk with 1 tsp vinegar, or even nondairy milk (any kind) with 1 tsp vinegar.
  • Add 1 cup of your favorite mix-in: chocolate chips, chopped nuts, chopped candy.
sliced banana bread overhead shot

How do you know when Banana Bread is done?

Banana bread bakes for a long time (about 45-55 minutes, depending on your oven).

The bread will get dark golden on the top and there will be that nice long crack running through the center. The crack is my favorite part!

You know it’s done when a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs from the center of the crack.

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.

How do you freeze banana bread?

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

sliced banana bread with butter

FAQ

How do you store banana bread?

It won’t last long because you’ll eat it fast, but store it covered on the counter. If you’re like us, it’ll be gone in a day.

Can you make muffins with this recipe?

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

How do you mash bananas?

This recipe calls for blending them but you can also just mash the bananas with a fork and add them to the recipe that way. Or, use your mixer to mash them!

How do you keep banana bread moist?

The bananas and eggs in the recipe help keep it moist, along with the sourness/acid combination from the baking soda and sour milk. Don’t over bake it for ultimate moist bread and keep it wrapped well so it doesn’t dry out.

Why is some banana bread dark?

Some banana breads are darker than others because of sugar (brown vs. granulated) and also because of pan. I find darker pans bake them darker than glass or light colored pans.

Can you make this banana bread recipe gluten free?

Yes you can – see additions and substitutions above.

Other recipes great for using overripe bananas:

Have you made this recipe?

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Mom’s Best Banana Bread Recipe

The best banana bread recipe: it's my mom's recipe and is great for using overripe bananas. It's easy and so delicious.
3.66 from 63 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Yield 10 servings
Serving Size 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar plus more for the pan
  • ½ cup (113g) salted butter softened (plus more for the pan)
  • 2 medium tired bananas brown spotted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 7 tablespoons (103ml) sour milk see note
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups (248g) all-purpose flour spooned and leveled

Instructions

  • 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.)
  • Cream butter and sugar with a hand mixer. Set aside.
  • Add bananas, eggs, milk, and baking soda to a blender jar and blend until smooth.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Recipe Notes

In place of the sour milk you can use:
  • ½ teaspoon vinegar + 7 tablespoons milk or nonfat milk
  • ½ teaspoon vinegar + 7 tablespoons nondairy milk
  • 7 tablespoons buttermilk
Substitutions:
  • Unsalted butter: add ¼ teaspoon salt to the recipe
  • Gluten-Free 1:1 AP Flour – use equal parts
  • Whole Wheat Flour: use 1 cup each whole wheat and AP flour
  • Oil: substitute ½ cup vegetable oil for the butter
  • Pan: Use an 8×4-inch loaf pan and make just 1-2 muffins along side
Don’t want to use a blender? Mash your bananas with a fork. Cream butter and sugar as directed, then add mashed bananas, eggs, milk, vinegar (if using), baking soda, and salt (if using) and mix with your mixer, then add flour.
Add-ins: add up to 1 cup chopped nuts or chocolate chips.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 328kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 209mg | Potassium: 163mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 363IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword banana, bread

Click here for easy ways to use overripe BANANAS

collage banana bread recipe photos

This is the BEST Banana Bread Recipe ever – it’s an easy moist banana bread that’s my mom’s recipe. Make this plain or with chocolate chips or walnuts – it’s such a simple classic and the BEST recipe!

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193 CommentsLeave a comment or review

  1. I love this recipe and so do my co-workers! I have made it multiple times. One thing I just realized are that the measurements in the Mom Tip #1 for sour milk are different than the ones included in the recipe. Which is correct?

  2. WOW!!Great tasting Banana Bread.
    I used pastry flour, which can out so tender and fluffy.
    This will be my go to Banana Bread recipe.
    Love it!!!!

  3. I just made this tonight. Super easy to make and it is delicious. I didn’t have butter milk on hand so I used almond milk with the vinegar just as you said in your recipe. It turned out perfect. Thank you.

  4. I made this recipe and it really is terrific. I love the little “crunch” and hit of sweet from adding sugar to pan. This bakes into a very flavourful and tender bread. It is now my go to recipe…