Packed with banana flavors and a hint of vanilla, this Moist Banana Bread recipe is incredibly easy and absolutely delicious!! It has been the reigning banana bread recipe in my household for so many years, as it turns out perfectly every time! Loaded with tips and how to change up the recipe for 1, 2, or 3 bananas, dietary needs, missing ingredients, and how to bake the perfect moist banana bread loaf every time!
Moist Banana Bread Recipe
Of course, our kids love the streusel-topped banana bread recipe but this vanilla-flavored version is my husband Eddy's favorite and has been for years! That means I have yet to bake a banana bread that beats this one for his taste preferences. I have tried MANY other recipes and this one is still 'the one'!
There are more than one or two features that make banana bread the greatest thing to happen to overripe bananas! Most importantly, warm slices of banana bread taste great, right?!
Additionally, banana bread falls into the 'quick bread' family. This means simple, no-muss, no-fuss, and no-knead bread! Plus there's no waiting for the bread to rise, it's ready to bake as soon as your oven is preheated!
This same fabulous banana bread is the base for my chocolate chip banana nut bread and banana nut muffins too! If you love banana bread as much as my family does, you should try my chocolate chip banana nut bread pudding dessert!
Banana Bread Ingredients
These are all of your most commonly used banana bread ingredients, in my favorite quantities. I'll note alterations below to the recipe for using fewer bananas, work around food allergies, and how to make tasty banana bread even if you're missing an ingredient or two!
- Sugar - this recipe uses white, granulated sugar for an added sweetness that complements the banana and vanilla flavor!
- Butter - use room temperature unsalted butter in this banana bread recipe. To use salted butter, reduce the additional salt to just a pinch.
- Bananas - yum! Lots of them! Nicely browned too, or use one of the methods below to quickly ripen your bananas.
- Eggs - to bind the batter and add structure to your baked bread! Eggs also add richness and enhance that great banana bread texture!
- Milk - also adds to the texture and softness of your bread, whether it's quick bread or yeast bread!
- Vanilla - obviously. It adds vanilla flavor, but that touch of vanilla will also enhance and highlight your delicious banana flavor too!
- Cinnamon - is another ingredient that adds a touch of delightful flavor, and that is also complementary to the banana! At the very least, add some cinnamon. Add some nutmeg, allspice, or cloves too for even more tasty warm spices!
- Baking Soda - works with the bananas to make the bread rise!
- Baking Powder - used in conjunction with the baking soda for the 'just right' amount of bread rising.
- Salt - is used to enhance all of your delicious ingredient flavors!
Without Baking Soda
Can you make this easy banana bread with only baking powder? Sure! However, the results that I have had are that the loaf is good at first then gets dry and dense REALLY fast.
To work around a lack of baking soda, using self-rising flour would be my first choice!
How To Make 3 Banana Bread
- Preheat your oven to 375ºF ( 190ºC ) and butter your loaf pan on the bottom and all the way up the sides. *For the best ever banana bread, I like to coat the inside of the buttered loaf pan with sugar. It makes an oh-so-yummy, slightly crunchy crust - but this is completely optional.
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Add 3 large or 4 small bananas and mash until you have small chunks of bananas.
- Add the eggs and combine with the banana mixture, then add the milk and vanilla and combine the liquid mixture.
- Next add the dry ingredients including baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Mix all of the ingredients thoroughly before adding the flour.
- Once combined, add the flour to the wet mixture and mix the batter just enough that the all-purpose flour is fully incorporated. The batter will be lumpy and fairly thick.
- Transfer the banana bread batter to your buttered ( and sugar-coated, if desired ) loaf pan.
- Bake at 375ºF ( 190ºC ) for about an hour, or until the topping is golden brown and an inserted knife or toothpick comes out clean from the center of the loaf. *If the top of your bread is browning before the rest of the bread is baked, loosely 'tent' a square of aluminum foil over the top of the loaf while it finishes baking.
- Allow to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before removing from the loaf pan, then transfer your banana bread loaf to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Serve warm, if desired. Enjoy!
*If you want to sprinkle sugar and/or cinnamon on the top of the loaf ( as in the picture ) wait until the batter has cooked for 20-30 minutes, vs sprinkling directly on the wet batter before placing in the oven, or the banana bread will not rise as well.
**Banana bread is one of those breads that will taste so much better the next day! If you can bake and then cool the bread without eating some, you'll enjoy the flavor much more on day two and beyond!
Storing & Freezing Quick Bread
To keep your delicious banana bread moist for days ( up to a week ), be sure to store it in the refrigerator. Your banana bread should be wrapped tightly in plastic cling film wrap, aluminum foil, placed in a storage bag, or in an air-tight container.
I prefer and recommend plastic wrap for storing and refrigerating my moist banana bread.
To freeze your banana bread, wrap it in plastic cling film. Then either wrap tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil or place into a freezer storage bag.
Thawing your frozen bread is easy! Simply set it on the counter, and allow it to warm to room temperature.
Why Is My Banana Bread Dry?
Here are some of the most common reasons that banana bread will bake up dry. Don't worry if your loaf turns out dry or crumbly, I'll talk about how to fix that too!
How To Ripen Bananas Quickly
For those with no patience, like me! I’ve seen a few methods of quickly ripening bananas for baking mentioned before, but for me, the absolute simplest method is to place unpeeled bananas in the freezer.
Allow them to freeze ( for a minimum 30 minutes, or up to two hours ) then remove and set them out at room temperature on the counter. Once the peels have blackened, the bananas are ready to be used for your next batch of banana bread, banana muffins, banana cake, or other banana-based cookies and desserts.
You can also place unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet that is lined with aluminum foil and put them in the oven at 250-300ºF ( 120-150ºC ) for 15 - 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the baked bananas to cool for about 30 minutes before using.
Or place your bananas in a loosely closed brown paper bag and allow the ethylene that the bananas produce to circulate in the bag and ripen them much more quickly than normal.
Check the bagged bananas intermittently to see when your bananas have reached your desired level of ripeness ( 12 - 24 hours ).
The method I haven’t personally tried is to fork your banana peel 3 - 4 times and microwave the banana(s) on high in 30-second increments until ripened ( 30-90 seconds ). I just can’t bring myself to microwave a banana, but it sure sounds super quick!
Moist Banana Bread Recipe
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick, softened at room temperature)
- 2 large eggs
- 3 bananas (overripe)
- 2 Tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (or vanilla paste)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and butter your loaf pan on the bottom and all the way up the sides. I like to coat the inside of the buttered loaf pan with sugar, for a slightly crunchy crust, but this is completely optional.
- In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the banana and mash until it reaches small chunks. Add eggs and combine, then add the milk and vanilla and combine the banana mixture thoroughly.
- Add dry ingredients: baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix all of the ingredients. Once combined, add the flour to the wet mixture, then mix just enough that the all-purpose flour is fully incorporated. The batter will be lumpy and fairly thick.
- Transfer the batter to your buttered (and sugar-coated, if desired) loaf pan. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about an hour, or until the topping is golden brown and an inserted knife comes out clean from the center of the loaf. Allow to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before removing from the loaf pan and transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Serve warm, if desired.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!