The Best Banana Bread Ever is quick, easy, and absolutely delicious. This moist, flavorful banana bread is made with overripe bananas and buttermilk with the option to add crunchy nuts and/or chocolate chunks.
What’s better than a fresh slice of banana bread? The answer is pretty much nothing EXCEPT for a fresh slice of banana bread with nuts. That said, this is my absolute favorite banana nut bread recipe!
Long story short, Ava mentioned she had never seen snow nor been sledding. Huh? She was born in Nova Scotia, so I knew for a fact the kid has seen snow. I have the pictures to prove it.
Anyhow, while I was sorting through my blog archives to find my daughter’s snow pictures, I stumbled upon this banana bread recipe I posted a long time ago. I have been looking for where I saved this banana bread recipe FOR YEARS.
I’ve tried replicating this specific banana bread recipe many times but with little to no success. Why? Well, this recipe is titled “The Best Banana Bread Ever” because it’s a family heirloom recipe from someone’s aunt and in my experience, recipes from aunts are always the best!
- Bananas (very ripe) – Use bananas that are well past their prime. They add bold banana flavor, sweetness and moisture.
- Eggs – give quick breads moisture and density.
- Sugar – enhances the natural sweetness of the bananas.
- Oil – adds moisture and helps keep the banana bread from drying out.
- Buttermilk – when mixed with baking soda helps add a light, fluffy texture to baked goods.
- Vanilla – enhances flavor.
- Baking Soda – acts as a leavening agent to make the bread rise.
- Salt – enhances sweetness.
- Chopped Nuts – like walnuts, pecans, cashews, macadamia nuts, etc.
- Chocolate Chunks (or chips) – are optional but chocolate makes everything better.
How to Make // The Steps
Step 1: In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork.
Step 2: Add the eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla to a large bowl.
Step 3: Mix the wet ingredients really well. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt.
Step 4: Mix until just combined. You do not want to over-mix this batter.
Step 5: Fold in the nuts.
Step 6: Pour the batter into a loaf pan coated with cooking spray. I made herb rolls in mason jars so I wanted to see if I could make muffins in mason jars too. So I tried it. Guess what?
Step 7: You totes can! How cute are these? Wouldn’t they be cute at a brunch or a shower of some sort?
Step 8: Bake the bread in a preheated 350-degree oven for about an hour, or when a tester comes out clean. The muffins baked in about 18 minutes.
By the way, the reason why this recipe is titled, “The Best Banana Bread Recipe Ever” is because that is what it said on the piece of paper that this recipe was written on. By someone’s aunt. Who am I to argue with someone’s aunt? And because it is. It also said that this recipe does not double.
Mason Jar Banana Bread
I tried baking this banana bread batter in individual mason jars and they turned out fantastic -perfect for serving at gatherings and for gift-giving.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease mason jars with cooking spray and place them on a baking sheet.
- Follow the instructions listed above (and in the recipe card below) for how to prepare a banana bread batter.
- Pour batter into clean wide-mouthed mason jars about halfway full leaving enough room for the bread to rise.
- Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and enjoy or immediately put a lid and ring on each jar, so the lids will seal while the bread cools.
- Once the lids are sealed shut, store mason jar banana bread in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Tips & Tricks
- The browner the banana the better. Overripe bananas are super sweet and make this bread super moist.
- Mash bananas with an electric mixer over low speed (or with a fork).
- Be careful not to overmix the batter as your bread could turn out tough and dry.
- This recipe does not make a banana bread that rises a bunch. The texture is rich and condensed as banana bread should be.
- For healthy banana bread, you can use applesauce in place of oil and yield the same great tasting results. A couple of readers mentioned replacing oil with apple sauce and loved it.
Why is Banana Bread So Good?
- Simple ingredients that you can easily locate in the grocery store (that is if you don’t already have them on hand).
- Fight food waste. Make banana bread with overripe bananas before they get tossed in the trash.
- Perfect texture. Makes an incredibly moist bread with density.
- Make two loaves. Enjoy one now and freeze the other for later.
Banana Bread Mix-Ins //
Homemade banana bread variations are not limited to just adding nuts and chocolate. Try making the best banana bread with one of these mix-in ideas.
- Small Dried Fruit -raisins, cranberries, dates, golden raisins, etc.
- Warming Spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice, etc.
- Fresh Fruit – fresh slices of banana, strawberries, blueberries, etc.
- Nut Butters -peanut butter, almond butter, Nutella, etc.
How to Store and Reheat //
Storing: To store banana nut bread loaves or muffins, let them cool completely. Then, wrap loaves (or individual muffins) tightly in plastic wrap. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Make-Ahead and Freezer Options
Freezing: Banana bread is a great sweet treat to make and freeze for later. Let banana bread loaves or muffins cool to room temperature. Then, wrap loaves (or single muffins) securely in plastic wrap. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 4 months.
To make banana bread moister, use vegetable oil, applesauce, or sour cream, be careful not to over-mix the dough, and do not overbake.
Banana bread generally is not as “fluffy” like cookies and cakes but they should certainly have some lightness to them. The more you mix the dough, the tougher and heavier the bread will turn out, so do not overmix.
You definitely want to let the bread cool and finish firming up before slicing it. Wait at least 10 minutes or until the bread is just barely warm.
Wednesday 25th of May 2022
Before making this I read all the comments and wondered why Dolores had trouble with the batter running over the sides of the pan while baking. The most common sized loaf pan is 8" x 4" and the INSTRUCTIONS do not include a pan size just "Pour the batter into a loaf pan..." I would have used my 8 x 4 pan and then ended up with the same problem as Dolores. Then, I found in the section WHAT MAKES BANANA BREAD SO GOOD it states " This recipe makes two loaves" without mention of pan size. Bree, could the pan size be included in the instructions?
Sunday 13th of November 2022
Thank you very much for flagging Rita, I will update the instructions to make it more clear.
Wednesday 13th of April 2022
This truly was the most awesome banana bread! I made it 2 weeks in a row because it was so good. I used applesauce in place of the oil and did add the chocolate chips. I made the buttermilk from a recipe I found on sugarspunrun. Add 1 Tbsp to a liquid measuring cup and add the milk to the 1 cup line. The milk will thicken and look a little chunky or curdled which is what you want! Thanks for the great recipe! I'm going to check out some more now!
Banana Cream Cheese Muffins | Baked Bree
Wednesday 28th of April 2021
[…] Bananas are such a great ingredient for baking. Not only are they inexpensive, but they get sweeter as they ripen which means you’ll use less refined sugar in whatever you bake them into. I love using them to make a batch of Banana Oat Breakfast Cookies or my classic Banana Bread With Chocolate Chunks. […]
Wednesday 2nd of December 2020
That would make sense then...I'm eating a slice now and it IS very delicious. I did notice the middle is a bit gooey so a bigger pan and less batter would help! Next time I'll make sure to only fill the pan about half way up and make muffins out of the rest of it. I should know better about not filling up a pan but wanted to follow directions and it only said a loaf pan. Thanks Bree!
Tuesday 1st of December 2020
I always follow the directions exactly before I adjust any recipe. Well, I used a loaf pan and when I poured in the mixture, it was right to the top of the pan. I used a regular loaf pan measuring 4 1/2 x 8 1/2 x 2 1/2. Needless to say this pan was not big enough! A bunch flowed over causing the droppings to burn on the bottom of the oven. Your directions said to use a loaf pan. I now you also used canning jars in your recipe but I didn't have that to use so I assumed it would all go into the pan. I wish I would have put it into a 9" x 9" pan. I think that would have worked great. Even if I would have put half into two pans, they would have been very small loaves. Did you use a larger loaf pan? I broke off some of the bread that's overhanging on the pan and it does taste delicious! Marking my recipe for the next time I make this!
Wednesday 2nd of December 2020
I think that my loaf is a 9x5.