Mom’s Banana Bread

4.6 from 5 votes

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. 🙂

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

The perfect banana bread recipe!
4.6 from 5 votes
Yield 1 loaf
Serving Size


  • 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


  • 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.

Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

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174 CommentsLeave a comment or review

  1. YUMMY!! I replaced the salted butter with 1/2 tsp low sodium salt and 4 oz FF cream cheese. Came out great!

  2. Delicious!! Such a sweet and tasty bread. All I did was add a dash of vanilla and turned the baking temp down to 350 for the last 40 minutes (my first time sugaring the pan and was so scared I would burn it!). I ended up baking mine for a full 60 minutes but I made it there without any burnt sugar, it even has the sweet tender crust and gorgeous crack down the middle! I think those who have an issue with the sugar burning are simply being too skimpy on the butter when greasing the pan. As long as you add a nice generous coating of butter it will keep the sugar moist and wont make the crust super crunchy. The sugar on my pan was a nice caramel color on the edges, and wasnt burnt on anywhere.