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.

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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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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 toย 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!

Did you make this recipe?

Momโ€™s Banana Bread

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 375ยฐF. Grease a 9x5x3โ€ 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 itโ€™s cooled for about 15-20 minutes.


You can make these as muffins (about 18-24) or in two 8×4โ€ 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.

All images and text ยฉ. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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  1. 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!

  2. 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

  3. 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Love these pics!

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

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

  7. 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…

  8. 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!!

  9. 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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

  11. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

    • My mom is cooking this banana bread for brekfast Is gorgeous and smells awesome thank you so much for the recipy

  12. Oh, yees – moms always make the best ones ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Wow. This seriously likes incredible!! The sugaring idea is awesomeโ€” and ACTUALLY that is kind of a cool loaf pan! I like that it has straight edgesโ€ฆ mine are curved (so not cool :P). Love the photos, love the recipe, love your momโ€™s baking influence on you ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. 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.

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

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

  17. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. 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! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for sharing this great recipe, Dorothy!

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

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

  22. 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! ๐Ÿ™‚ Pinned!

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

  24. 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!

  25. 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! ๐Ÿ™‚


  26. 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!

  27. 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!

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

  29. This banana bread is beautiful! Mom’s always know best it seems – my mom has an awesome zucchini bread recipe ๐Ÿ™‚ Also I made your milky way brownie bites the other night – my family LOVED them!!

  30. 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 !

  31. 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!

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

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

  34. 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! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

  35. 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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

  37. 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.

  38. 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!

  39. 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ BUT I love the idea of the crispy edges. Like edge brownies only… my most favorite treat EVER. I must make this happen! ๐Ÿ™‚

  40. 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.

    • 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.

  41. 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!

  42. 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!

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. I love your photos. I tried the sugar crust idea and it was fantastic! I’ll definitely be doing that again ๐Ÿ™‚

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  51. Amaizing! thanks 4 the recipe! ๐Ÿ˜€ I already made it! Delicious

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

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

  57. Thank you Dorothy (and Dorothy’s mom) for this recipe! ย I was never a fan of banana bread, but todayย I found myself with some ripe bananas that I couldn’t bear to toss. ย So I decided to try your recipe and OMG it was soooo delicious!!! ย I loved the sugar crust idea and will be trying it on other quick breads. ย I am now a banana bread convert! ย ๐Ÿ™‚

  58. 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.

  59. 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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

  61. I made this last night and without tasting it yet I have to say I’m disappointed. ย 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. ย I’m going to taste it today after work so hopefully it tastes okay.

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

    • 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!

  63. This Bread is Yummy! I love it! I like the little crunchy crust from the butter and sugar coating. I always thought bananas had to be really ripe to make banana bread so this was nice not having to wait that long plus I like it because you don’t add salt so that means lower in sodium. I did make my own sour milk (1 tsp vinegar and milk) and it turned out fine. Thank you for this wonderful recipe.

  64. Is it plain ย flour that you use.

  65. If making muffins or mini loaves, what would the baking times be for each? Can’t wait to try this.

  66. Darlene Leonard, Try reducing the oven temperature to 350. Did you use a dark or light pan? If using a dark pan it bakes faster. An aluminum pan or glass pan takes a little longer. It may take a little longer that 50 to 60 minutes to bake. using the 350. Always check to see if it is done in the middle. The “crack” may not be as high or as wide but will will be good.

  67. Oh my.. That looks so delicious! I can’t wait to try it after work!!
    I have some recipes on my blog, if you want to check out my vegan chocolate banana muffins:
    xo Simone

  68. I loved how you and your mom call speckled bananas “tired.” Ha ha, my bananas are EXHAUSTED! my grandmother taught me the blacker the bananas, the sweeter the bread & muffins. She was so right. I dislike the slight bitter after taste of many banana bread recipes, which comes from not thoroughly ripening the bananas. I love the sugar in the pan idea and am going to try it next time. Thank you for sharing your recipes.

  69. What is soured milk?ย 

  70. Tried this recipe and the banana bread came out soft and moist. The crust is indeed very special. Wonderful recipe! Thanks!

  71. Can I use sour cream instead of the sour milk? ย Thanksย 

  72. SCRUMPTIOUS!!! Added some white chocolate chips (so reduced the g. sugar just a tad) and chopped pecans to the batter, then a bit of cinnamon to the sugar for coating the pan. It was out of this world ๐Ÿ˜Š!!

  73. I have some already mashed bananas I need to use. Do you know how much I would use in place of 2 bananas? Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  74. I am in the UK, so we measure in grams or ounces.My question is, how much is in a cup.and what weight is a stick of butter?
    Thanks Mags.

  75. Can you use almond flour?

  76. Thank you for this recipe. I will try it. Looks very nice, yum

  77. Has anyone tried this with whole wheat flour? I didn’t see any comments about substituting the flour. I’m thinking of doing a 50/50 mix of white and wheat.

  78. My Sav-A-Lot (little grocery in the drugstore) has a shelf for “Turning Bananas.” They’re a nickel a piece. I hear people ask if they have any turning bananas. Thought you would get a kick out of that.

  79. Hi Dorothy! Thank you for sharing this recipe. It is THE recipe I now use to save my ripe bananas. But no matter how many times I’ve baked this, I still can’t get that great crust you have in your pics. I’d like to get that sugary crispy crust…. Please help…

    • What happens to it? What are you using to grease your pan? What kind of pan are you using?

      • I get a sugar-crisped crust but it doesn’t “puff” like the edges of your bread. I’m using a high quality sturdy metal bread loaf pan. I’ve used butter, margarine, and Crisco but still just get a sugar-coated outer layer ๐Ÿ˜

  80. Made this today…It was sooooo delicious!!!!! One of my favorite banana bread recipes I’ve made. I used three bananas instead of two, added 1.5 cups ย chocolate chips, left out the nuts because I didn’t have any, and turned oven down to 350 after 30 minutes. It made one large and one small loaf. I absolutely loved this recipe. Thank you!ย 

  81. Don’t have any vinegar or buttermilk on hand, will this work with regular whole milk?

  82. I made this recipe but subsituted coconut sugar and oat flour. The recipe turned out great. Highly recommend.ย 

  83. Which flour to use plain or self rising

  84. Just made this. I don’t like banana bread but had some very ripe bananas so I thought I would try it. Oh my. I added black walnuts and poppy seeds. Very delicious

  85. I’m confused about milk I have 1 percent what do I do and how much I don’t understand

  86. I would also,like to know how the sour cream worked.

  87. If I do the mini loafs any idea of baking time

  88. Hi, could I use this recipe for zucchini bread?

  89. I don’t have salted butter on hand! Can I use unsalted? I would love to try this recipe today!

  90. OMG, this bread never makes it out of the pan in a whole loaf. Made it this morning and two slices are left after dinner. It is delicious. the sugared crust is crazy good. It is truly the best. Thank you!

  91. What kind of flour do I need to use? Self rising or all purpose?

  92. This looks so tasty. Have you made this banana bread with vegan ingredients? Do you think this would work if I tried it with vegan spread as a substitute for the 1/2 cup salted butter and soya milk instead of the sour milk as I am Vegan (I’m not sure what I can do to get the same sour milk taste maybe you have a few suggestions)?

  93. Great banana bread. I’ve just made it, and eating it warm with lashings of butter. Thank you.

  94. This is the BEST banana bread I ever made. I will make it forever.

  95. I’m curious about putting the ingredients in the blender…couldn’t they just get whisked in a separate bowl? Maybe that is part of why it is so good..? My blender is a pain and a pain to clean. LOOKING for easiest way!

  96. I sometimes add a bag(yes a whole bag) of mini chocolate chips to this recipe.

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