Banana Bread

This banana bread from Cook’s Illustrated includes yogurt and walnuts for a scrumptiously moist, easy, classic, nutty quick bread. We consider it the best we’ve ever had.

A broken slice of banana bread stacked on a white plate

Alas, many a banana bread can turn out flat, dense, or otherwise lackluster. The biggest disappointment of all? A bread that doesn’t taste of bananas. None of these scenarios is the case with this winner of a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, which is the best I’ve ever had. All the better that it’s easy to make. Remember, you want overripe bananas–you know, the ones with the black splotches and mushy texture—to ensure the most intense banana experience.–David Leite

Banana Bread

  • Quick Glance
  • (51)
  • 30 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • Makes 1 loaf
4.9/5 - 51 reviews
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Special Equipment: A loaf pan that measures 9 inches long, 5 inches across, and 3 inches deep


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Position an oven rack in the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan and then toss a little flour in the pan and tilt it to coat all the butter-slicked sides with a fine dusting of flour. Dump out the flour, tapping the pan to remove any excess.

Toss the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the preheated oven until fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes. Immediately transfer the walnuts to a plate and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and walnuts.

In a medium bowl with a wooden spoon, stir the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla. (Yes, with a spoon. The exercise is good for you.)

Lightly fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula, mixing just until combined. The batter should be thick and sorta chunky. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake the bread until the surface appears golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes.

Cool the loaf in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Carefully tip the pan over so the loaf releases onto the wire rack and slice and serve the banana bread warm or let it cool, if you can stand the wait, and then deour. (The bread can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. It will have a rather crisp crust when consumed straight from the oven and a soft crust later that day or the next day.) Originally published October 22, 2004.

Print RecipeBuy the Baking Illustrated cookbook

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Recipe Testers Reviews

This is lovely, traditional, comfort-food-to-the-max, perfect for baking on a morning when the Siberian winds are cutting down the East coast. The loaf hadn't been out of the oven for 3 minutes before my husband and I attacked it like zombies on brains.

The crust is perfect. I like just the right amount of sweet crispiness on the outside of my banana bread--not too hard but not nothing like you'd find on a cake or cupcake. The edges were delightfully brown, crisp, and gave the loveliest contrast with the soft interior. Finally, it's not too sweet and the banana flavor is nice and strong. I'm so used to banana breads being basically half sugar. If I want cake, I'll make a cake. This is much more suitable for breakfast or snack with a hot cup of coffee without making my teeth feel fuzzy.

This is my new banana bread. I had tried to make changes to my old recipe but never with these results.

Like most quick breads, this recipe is easy to put together. Folding in the wet ingredients results in a really tender crumb, the kind you can pick up with the back of your fork. Using melted butter (instead of vegetable oil like my old recipe) gives the bread a dense texture and rich flavor. The toasted walnuts add a nice contrasting crunch to the full flavor of banana.

It’s also nice to know that this bread can be kept for 3 days, but I doubt it will ever last that long at our house.

What a perfect example of the classic American banana bread—fragrant, sweet enough to be a treat but not as sweet as cake, deeply comforting, forgiving, and easy to make.

I'll admit that the "yogurt" in the back of the fridge turned out to be sour cream...and while I was at it, I swapped a cup of all purpose flour for a cup of white whole wheat flour. Four days later, we're still enjoying slices toasted for breakfast, warmed bites smeared with Nutella alongside afternoon coffee, and even late-night slivers topped with toffee chip ice cream.

The texture is not too soft and holds together well in thick slices although in sandwich-bread-thin slices it barely holds together due to the loose crumb and soft texture. It's a knife-and-fork bread after toasting; very typical for a quick bread, in my experience.

I love this banana bread and I will make it again. I enjoyed the ease of preparation and the aroma when I was mixing the batter. My family really loved it, too.

The loaf was so tender and very good to have on hand for tea. I was happy to serve it to friends who were visiting from England. I will try it without the nuts for my grandchildren and I also want to see how it works as banana muffins.

What a wonderful recipe! I have made banana bread for years--usually lugging out the big stand mixer and taking nearly half a day to make, but this recipe was different! Not only was it easy to come together, but it was, also, lighter in texture, moist, and not too sweet. It did last for more than two days, but barely! I waited the requisite 5 minutes, then sliced the bread. It literally melted in my mouth! Afterwards, I knew I had to have a piece for breakfast and another as a snack each day. I plan to fix this recipe, again, before the end of the week to present to my neighbors during a Christmas luncheon.

I used 2% Fage Greek yogurt.

Lovely crusty exterior. Moist interior dotted generously with walnuts. The texture of this banana bread elevates it from its competitors. The walnuts play a starring roll and don’t just make a cameo appearance. They play so well against the banana flavor. Eaten warm after cooling slightly, this shines in a way that few can resist.

If any part of the loaf survives the initial onslaught, it'll be a family favorite toasted the next day and smeared with butter or cream cheese.

This banana bread was fantastic. I took some to a friend that just had a baby, and it was great to have a tasty homemade treat in the house. It's super easy and is just as simple as if you made it from a box of cake mix.

It was a great way to use up the old bananas that I throw in my freezer for occasions like this. To give the bread a little extra sweetness, I buttered and sugared my pans instead of flouring them. I think the yogurt was a great addition to the bread and made it very moist. It would also be interesting to try different flavors of yogurt—like vanilla, etc.—to give the bread a hint of other flavors.

Keep an eye on the loaves, as the baking time was off a little bit, for me. It definitely took a full hour. I used 2 different loaf pans—one was taller and the other was flatter and wider.

I'm usually not a big fan of banana bread. I like bananas, and I like bread, but most recipes leave me satiated but not craving another piece. This recipe is different. There's no cinnamon but there's vanilla and toasted walnuts. Signal the chorus of angels. (Note to those Road to Hana banana bread sellers on Maui...if you use this recipe instead of your current one, you'll have much happier tourists, especially with those harrowing twisting roadways...just saying.)

This recipe is easy peasy and creates a lovely addition to your afternoon break with a hot beverage. I used Fage Greek 2% yogurt. The texture was soft and moist on the inside with a just-barely-crisp crust. Once the bread cools, the crisp crust goes away, but the bread stays moist.

This is a straightforward recipe that reminds you how good banana bread is, especially the second day! Made exactly according to the recipe, this bread is one of the very few recipes where the sweetness was just right without my needing to reduce it. I really appreciated the restraint that allowed the bananas to come through nicely.

The moist, dense texture improves the second day, though of course we sampled it each day in the interest of data collections. Wrapping it up and being patient (or planning and making it ahead) allows the crust to equilibrate in moisture, softening a little to be less of a crisp contrast and more a whole lovely experience.

Another nice thing is that this came straight out of the pan perfectly after 5 minutes cooling—no sticking and no need for my usual parchment paper lining. Local fresh walnuts made this a perfect companion for my mid-morning coffee. I had intended to share this for a social event, but decided to be selfish and froze half while I continue my daily taste test until I run out of banana bread. (It's still wonderful on day 3, perfect on day 2, and fine if you get impatient on day 1). My baking time was 60 minutes for a clean skewer and a nice, even, deep amber crust with a pretty natural split down the length.

Who doesn’t love banana bread? It’s the perfect utilization of that overripe fruit sitting on your kitchen counter. I’ve made a lot of them, and this one is a winner. Great soft texture inside (not mushy) and a wonderful crisp crust outside fresh out of the oven.

I think the secret to a good bread recipe is using a lot of bananas to impart strong flavor and butter for flavor and moisture. I used a fork to smash the bananas in a small bowl until they were mostly smashed with a few intact pieces about the size of peas. The batter was pretty simple to put together, even if it did specify to stir by hand. I think my KitchenAid would have done a good job, though.

I wasn’t serving the bread for a few hours so I tasted it at room temperature. On the first day, a serrated bread knife worked best to slice it. The bread had a dry crust on the outside and was soft and moist inside, but I think I would’ve added one more banana to get more banana flavor. On the second and third days, the moisture from the loaf caused the outer crust to become soft so it could be sliced with a regular knife. The loaf was still a soft texture and the banana flavor had diminished slightly.

The texture of the bread was soft and moist and it keeps for a full 2 days, no change. Great recipe. I may take the bananas out and substitute other ingredients, i.e., zucchini or cranberries.

A very simple, easy-to-prepare bread that turned out very well. The bread was moist, tasty, and quite enjoyable. It disappeared quickly.

This bread itself is easy to make. I like the walnuts. I usually also add chocolate chips and my daughter missed them. The bread was still moist 2 days later.


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  1. I love this recipe! Have made it several times. Twice with yogurt, twice with sour cream and am making it again with sour cream because those are what I have on hand. It always turns out delicious. A couple of times I made it using only 2 bananas because that’s all I had and we still loved it.
    Give it a try everyone, it’s a very forgiving recipe!

    1. Thanks, Anne! We’re so glad you love this recipe as much as we do and thanks for taking the time to let us know.

  2. Amazing my friend and i made it but instead of flour we put oats in a blender, used brown sugar instead of regular, and used maple syrup instead of vanilla.

    1. Mason, that sounds magnificent! Appreciate you sharing your tricks. Can you clarify for me, please, you used no regular flour, correct? I also appreciate the nutty and numbly taste and texture of oat flour. If you haven’t already, you may want to try these chocolate chip cookies

  3. This is my kids’ favorite banana bread. It never lasts longer than a day in our house. Super moist and flavorful. Especially good warm with butter or cream cheese. Yummy – now I’m off to make another batch!

  4. Bread baked up nice, stored and sliced well. I used 1 cup of chopped pecans in place of the walnuts and Swerve granulated sweetener instead of the sugar. Although the flavor was good I do think it could have benefitted from a touch of cinnamon which I will add the next time. Overall very nice recipe that I will make again.

    1. Glad it turned out well, Amy, and that you were able to tweak to your likes. Yes, we have had others add a little cinnamon and quite like the results. We left this one plain and simple for purists. But make it your own!

  5. Very easy to bake. unfortunately I didn’t have walnuts, so I did without them. result was pretty good, ans beautiful too. I was very happy with it 😁

  6. I’ve been searching high and low for “the one“ banana bread recipe and I think this might be it! The only issue is my sweet tooth husband. He insists on chocolate chips, but no nuts. Is it an even swap of chocolate chips to nuts? Can’t wait to make it!

    1. Hi Brianne, you can definitely throw in some chocolate chips. The bread should be fine without nuts, but if you want some texture you can add some granola to the mix.

  7. Very good! I ask added cinnamon and cardamom powder along with dark chocolate chips. Turned out amazing!

  8. Great!! Flavorful and moist. Followed another reviewers suggestion and used 4 bananas instead of 3 and it was delicious.

  9. I’ve been eating and making my mother’s best banana bread for years, but I have to say this is the best I’ve ever made! And it has less sugar and butter while tasting sweeter and more moist. I used pecans instead of walnuts and used whole-milk organic vanilla yogurt. Wow, such a great recipe. Thanks David!

    1. Hi Cathy, the nuts add a nice texture to the bread but if you are looking for a substitute, granola might be a choice.

  10. Can I substitute buttermilk for the yogurt? One to One? I have leftover buttermilk from my Irish Soda Bread that I made on St. Patrick’s Day.

    1. Hi Christi, in most baking recipes you can sub buttermilk for yogurt on a 1:1 basis. We didn’t try buttermilk, so please let us know how it turns out.

  11. I didn’t use the walnuts because I didn’t have any on hand, but this was one of the best banana breads I’ve ever made. Moist on the inside and just slightly crunch on the outside. It has a nice crust to it. I will be making this again.

  12. Delicious. I made it exactly as directed first time so the second time I experimented by adding a bit of cinnamon and a little brown sugar. We shall see!

  13. Dee-lish! Used pecans instead of walnuts because I burned those while toasting because I misread “preheating oven”, and took it to mean “preheated oven”.

  14. Yes, it is wonderful. It will make one 9 inch pan and a smaller 8” in pan. I had to use peach yogurt, but it still came out great!

  15. We loved it!! It turned out perfect. After the initial 55 minutes, I lowered the temperature to 325, covered it in tinfoil and cooked it an additional 15 minutes.

  16. It rose a little higher than expected, maybe too much batter in the pan? May modify a little next time. It tasted great!

    1. We’re so glad you loved it, Kristen. Do let us know how it turns out next time if you use a little less batter.

  17. Came out perfect. Baked for about 10-15 mins longer. After going through the comments, I used an extra banana, less (half cup) sugar (brown), some honey and chocolate chips instead of walnuts. Also omitted the yoghurt. Thank you so much for the recipe.

    1. Thanks, Tiasha. We’re so pleased that you made this recipe work for you and that you enjoyed it so much.

  18. Yummy! I made four mini-loaves and they came out great. I never made banana bread with yogurt and I love it!

    1. Thanks, Debbie! The yogurt really helps to keep the bread moist. We’re so glad you gave it a try (and loved it!).

  19. This is my go-to banana bread recipe. The method is easy, and I almost always have the ingredients on hand. I like to use a 9″ pullman pan, which makes for a taller, more square loaf. The recipe scales well–I often triple it and mix it up in an extra-large mixing bowl.

      1. It’s a Nespresso machine.

        Side note: For this particular loaf, I sprayed the pan with “Bak-Klene All Purpose Release Spray.” I was impressed with how well it worked–definitely using it the next time I use a decorative bundt pan with a million nooks and crannies.

  20. I’m trying this recipe tomorrow. I’ve never used yogurt in my banana bread before so I’m looking forward to it. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  21. This is the best banana bread recipe I’ve found. It is moist and delicious and easy to prepare. I’ve shared it with many friends who also agree it’s delicious.

    1. Magnificent, Helen! So glad you love this as much as we do. Thank you for taking the time to let us know, we so appreciate it! We look forward to hearing which other recipes you discover on our site!

  22. It was really good, just a little to sweet for me. I will definitely make this again using 1/2 cup of sugar.

  23. This is by far my favorite banana bread recipe! I usually just follow it exactly, but sometimes I do half oats half flour. Delicious!

  24. I loved this easy delicious recipe. Like others, I thawed and used frozen bananas. I happened to freeze this bunch of bananas still in their skins. Once thawed (in Ziplock bag in refrigerator), I removed the skins, plopping the bananas in a sieve, retaining the liquid. I then combined some of that liquid with powdered sugar to make a banana flavored glaze. WONDERFUL RECIPE! Thank you.

  25. Made this today as a treat for the office. Doubled the recipe so that we could “test” it at home first. Didn’t have yogurt on hand, so used sour cream instead. Perfection! I have a large board on Pinterest because I am always looking for great banana bread and I think I have finally found what will become my go-to recipe.

    Now, if you could only come up with an equally great banana cake (with frosting), I would be truly happy.

    1. Edith, wonderful to hear! Thanks so much for taking the time to let us know and, if you’re new to our site, welcome! As for the banana cake, I will most definitely keep on the lookout for recipes to put into testing and, if they do spectacularly well, to share on the site!

  26. This was AMAZING. I doubled the recipe and sent one (nut-free) loaf to school for my grandson’s first grade class treat and we ate the other loaf (with pecans) here at home. He finished it last night and I’m making two MORE loaves right now. (My husband finally stopped complaining about the 2 gallon bags of frozen banana mush in our freezer.) I used greased and floured silicone loaf pans. The only other change I made (besides no nuts/pecans) was substituting half the flour with whole wheat and using Greek yogurt. I’ve been baking for many years and had a few other favorite banana bread recipes, but I threw them ALL OUT. I see no need to mess with absolutely delicious perfection. Try it—you won’t be disappointed!

  27. Thanks for this great recipe, the banana bread turned out really tasty. Because I am not used to having recipes in cups, tablespoons and sticks, I made the transformation to grams and I am still not sure if the proportions I end up with were quite right, since I felt that it could have been a bit more moist. Here are the qualities I used :

    flour – 250 g
    sugar – 150 g
    nuts – 100 g
    yogurt -120 g
    butter – 100 g

    Would you consider these as the right proportions?

    1. Dani, you’re very welcome, we’re so glad to hear that you love this banana bread as much as we do! I find that each batch of banana bread is slightly different in terms of moistness and I’m wondering if it has to do with the exact size and ripeness of the bananas? At any rate, your conversions are very similar to what we would use based on our bible, the King Arthur ingredient equivalent chart that you can find here: I’ve noted our weights below and we’re testing it this weekend and if all goes as well as expected we’ll add the metric to the recipe.

      Flour 240 grams
      Sugar 150 grams
      Nuts Up to 140 grams
      Yogurt 57 grams (although I think it will make a difference if you use a thicker, denser Greek yogurt as opposed to a more liquidy regular plain yogurt)
      Butter 85 grams

    2. Dani, we’ve had half a dozen of our recipe testers make the recipe and take weight measurements. You’ll find the results listed in the ingredients list in the recipe above. The results were very close to what I mentioned. Please note that if you use regular plain yogurt the weight will be 57 grams and if you use a thicker, denser Greek yogurt it will be closer to 62 grams. Thanks so much for asking the question and inspiring us to retest this recipe for the metric equivalents.

      1. Just revisitied this post, today, and found this. Thanks a lot for posting the metric equvalents of mesurements , makes my job easier every time I want to make this recipe.
        Really appreciate it.


  28. This is a great recipe. Came out really moist. I used fat-free Greek yogurt and chocolate chips instead of walnuts because that’s what I had on hand. Next time I will use full fat yogurt and see if there is a difference, but the fat-free yogurt worked great if you want to cut back on some fat and calories.

  29. This is the first banana bread I have made homemade. I bake a lot and like to try new things and I have found some recipes on here that I really like so when I found this recipe I thought I would give it a try and my whole family loved it. I have found my new banana bread recipe :)

    1. Christeen, that’s so incredibly lovely to hear! We’re so pleased to hear that you’re getting into baking—what a joy, right?!—and that our recipes are facilitating that. Many kind thanks for taking the time to let us know! Would love to hear which recipes you conquer next…!

  30. I made this recipe to the letter. It turned out exactly like your photo. My family compared it to the recipe I have been making for 12 years. The differences are minor but my recipe results in, our opinions, a better end result.

    1 cup chocolate chips wetted with a few drops vanilla to wet the chips by tossing well with your fingers in a soup bowl then take a generous pinch of flour and mix that with the chips. This keeps the chips from settling into the bottom of the batter.
    3 over ripe soft bananas
    1 1/2 cup APF
    1 C sugar
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 cup whole milk + 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar to make a substitute for buttermilk
    1 extra large egg
    1/2 cup very soft butter, salted or non-salted does not matter
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    I make mine in a Nordic Ware Banana Cake Pan
    The cake rises beautifully, splits the top along it’s length and tastes of banana and chocolate.
    Put the ingredients together just as in your recipe.

  31. My experience was similar to Ellen Romanow’s. While this bread was good, it just didn’t have the depth of flavour or moistness my regular recipe has, which has a lower flour to bananas ratio. We did enjoy the addition of chopped, toasted walnuts and I’ll try adding them to my recipe next time. In case you are still trying out different banana bread recipes, “my” recipe is the one from The Best of The Best of Bridge. I’ve made it exactly as written, and I’ve experimented- some loaves with half white-half whole wheat flour, some with up to a 1/3 of the sugar replaced with Splenda, some with chocolate chips, and even some in muffin form… they’ve all turned out beautifully.

    1. Thanks, Amanda. We find banana bread to be one of those things people tend to be incredibly passionate and opinionated about and so it makes sense not one recipe is going to keep everyone happy. Glad to hear you’ve found yours. Thanks for sharing.

  32. Making this tomorrow and I cannot wait, just wondering if you can tell me the nutrition info e.g – calories etc.

    1. Jess, I’d love to hear what you think of this recipe. Everyone we know is quite enamored with it! As for the nutritional information, I’m afraid we don’t run numbers on our recipes. We realize that some people would like this information, and we don’t like to deprive people of that. That said, we’re sorta proponents of moderation in all things and eating an array of things, sometimes broccoli, sometimes banana bread. I hope you can understand and that you’ll try this banana bread anyways—preferably warm from the oven!

  33. David!!!!

    My Sao Miguel Cousin!!!!! Another awesome recipe! Toasted walnut halves bring this recipe over the top!

    I recently sent my mom a copy of the New Portuguese Table–she LOVES it and just keeps talking about life in East Cambridge and meals her mother once made.

    Thanks for your genius!

  34. Hi, I just made this in a pyrex lasagna dish (est 13×9) at 45 minutes. My fiance was the one who pulled it out of the oven and I came back to a cooled-down pale-looking cake that tasted a little overcooked (because the bottom was in transition from golden-brown to too brown). I’m wondering if i should have left it in there longer because of the top (it looks like it was dusted in flour)?

    1. Hi S, the pan size does make a difference. The recipe calls for a loaf pan so using a lasagna pan would cause the bread to cook more quickly. Next time use a loaf pan, you’ll get much better results.

  35. Asked for and received a recipe for banana bread, which I tasted and totally enjoyed at brunch while on vacation at a beautiful Jamaican resort. The banana recipe called for 3 cups bananas, 1 1/4 cup corn oil, and 1 1/4 cup milk along with the other basic ingredients; sugar, eggs, flour, vanilla extract, baking soda, cinnamon…….Delicious!! It became my all-time favorite but I will try this as the comments temp me to once again to see if I again top my favorite recipe thus far.

  36. I don’t wanna seem over-excited but it’s sill in the oven and it smells c-r-a-z-y. I’ll keep you posted.

      1. Ok. It took me a while, but I wanted to make sure my thoughts and feelings here are correctly transmitted (and I apologize in advance for such a long post).

        As a rookie in baking (it’s been barely a year since I baked my first cake ever), and not a big expert in cooking, I must say it has always been difficult to find THE recipe. And by THE recipe I mean the cake, the cookie, the frosting, that leaves the one who tastes it open-eyed. And smiling. And asking for more.

        It’s difficult because, as a “non-expert” there are lots of properties and characteristics of the ingredients that I don’t know. I learned the meaning of using baking soda, baking powder. I learned you don’t want your kitchen to be hot and humid when making a meringue. I learned the eggs cannot be cold or no, it’s not gonna work (even if you try hard!). I learned quite a lot of stuff but, at the same time, there’s still a lot that I miss.

        So, yes, when you find a “simple” recipe, you expect the most of it. “It has to be awesome, it’s not that complicated”. Right? Well, you can still be disappointed, but you don’t get to understand why. And the feeling is awful. You feel so disappointed that you wouldn’t turn on the oven never ever again. And that’s sad.

        But this didn’t happen with this one. This one turned GREAT. The bread was moist, tasty, the toasted nuts gave it the crunch (and the smoky taste fits perfectly). It was dense but just enough to have the perfect thickness that you expect of a banana bread slice. And it’s really not that bad when you don’t even need a whole cup of sugar and only 6 tbsp of butter.

        Honestly, I think it’s even a greater success when such a common and uber-known recipe turns out that good. Because “everybody has its own best-in-the-world grandma’s recipe and nothing compares to it and it’s unbeatable.” Well. Here I was, with no grandma who baked banana bread. And now, maybe my future granchildren will be able to say: “My granny’s bread is the best!” Thank you again guys!

        1. Marta, welcome to the wonderful, crazy, delicious world of baking. Personally, it’s what I love to do the most. I really like cooking, but I love baking.

          And your response is what makes me so proud to do what we do. For years we–especially Renee Schettler, our editor-in-chief–have been searching and scouting for superb-quality quintessential recipes so that you don’t have to. If you only know the number of banana bread recipes we considered and tossed out–and then the countless number of recipes we tested and trashed–you’d be mortified. But my overriding goal since I started Leite’s Culinaria in 1999 has been to offer cooks and bakers a trustworthy place where they can get the best of the best, whether it be a slice of pizza or a standing rib roast.

          Welcome to LC. We hope you’ll stay awhile.

        2. Marta, to echo David, we are so glad that you’ve embarked into the world of baking. And doubly glad that you found a recipe to put in your future granny repertoire!

        3. Lucky future grandchildren, I’d say, Marta. Memories of my grandma baking a recipe she’d long sought the perfect version of are among the loveliest memories I have. We’re so happy you found us.

        4. Welcome to LC, Marta! As a baking rookie myself, I still get super excited when a recipe turns out well. It means that the huge mess I’ve made in the kitchen is worth it (maybe not to my roommates, but they usually see it my way after the first bite). So glad you’ve found a keeper, and looking forward to hearing more about your baking adventures!

        5. Thank you everybody, that’s a warm welcome! I’ll definitely stick around, I really do appreciate your work and enjoy your posts. You guys are out of the ordinary, it can be told at a glance. Once more, thank you!

  37. I make this banana bread almost every other week adding Ghiradelli chocolate chips to it. Yesterday I wanted to try making muffins from the same batter and they turned out 12 beautiful muffins. I baked in paper-lined muffin tins for about 25 minutes, the tops were beautifully browned and they were perfect! Thank you, David!

  38. Hi! I’m FINALLY making this tomorrow after hearing so much about it! Really excited! Just one question though, if I freeze the banana bread after baking it, how do I thaw it? :) Thanks!

    1. Hi Natalie, you can leave it wrapped and let it come to room temperature. If you like, gently warm the loaf in the oven. One of my favorite things to do is to toast a slice in the oven with a pat of butter on top. Wow…

  39. This is also on Cooks Illustrated under the title The Best Banana Bread :) I made this last night and it was absolutely wonderful! So banana-y. And no oil. I subbed toasted pepitas for the walnuts and ’twas divine. My new go-to!

    1. Hello, Bianca. Yes, the recipe is straight from Cook’s Illustrated, as the post states. And it is indeed a winner. I love the idea of substituting pepitas for walnuts. I’m not a fan of walnuts, so I might try that out.

  40. Excellent, just made it, great recipe as it does not require an electric mixer, will make again, did not toast nuts as that was too much work for a breakfast bread

    1. Hi Elizabeth, so glad to hear that you enjoyed this banana bread, this truly is a great versatile recipe to come back to time and time again.

  41. I never use unsalted butter, I love the richness a good salted butter brings such as the Darigold product here in the Northwest. I just eliminate the separate addition of salt. I have never had a recipe come out odd because of it. I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

    1. Hello, Cara, many people do exactly as you do. I prefer unsalted butter, that way I can control the amount of salt that goes in a dish. Also, different manufacturers use different amounts of salt. But if you stay with the same butter, and know its properties, you’re fine.

      We’re very ecumenical here!

  42. I must echo the general agreement. This is an excellent banana bread. It has a fine moist crumb with an unmistakable banana flavor. I think the flavor is improved because of a lesser amount of sugar than generally found in such recipes. I did make a few adjustments: I used bleached flour; I increased the vanilla to 1 tablespoon and added 1 tablespoon of cinnamon (with all the health benefits of the spice being touted); I used sour cream rather than yogurt (as I don’t use it so I didn’t have any); and I put everything but the nuts, flour, and soda into a bowl and gave it a good 2 minute beating then folded in the flour and soda next, folding in the nuts last. It’s very important to nicely toast the walnuts. I keep the loaf in the refrigerator, and several nice thick slices of it went into the freezer to be toasted at a later time (and to be further embellished with a little cream cheese and perhaps some of my gingered white peach jam). A keeper.

  43. I have settled on a great banana bread recipe that I and all my co-workers love, but after all the rave reviews, I thought I would give it a try. I looked at the ingredients–they looked very familiar. Then I saw that it is from Cook’s Illustrated. Turns out this IS my go-to recipe! It is great. I love that it uses melted butter. I always use frozen overripe bananas and they work great.

  44. Ok, yes, I admit it, I am the skeptical one since I love the recipe I’ve been using for 30 odd years–it’s super fast (one bowl), super moist, and delicious. But I will definitely try this recipe next time my family begs for a chocolate chip banana bread…and then maybe I’ll have two favorite recipes.

  45. Tried this banana bread recipe yesterday and it came out FABULOUS…moist and delicious, it came together easily and baked beautifully, I couldn’t help but admire it as it was cooling on the rack. Thanks for sharing another great recipe, LC!

  46. I, too, have a favorite recipe that I’ve made for years. I typically don’t bother to make other recipes because I think mine is so delicious, but the note about reserving judgment convinced me to make this one. I was disappointed with this recipe; the flavor was a bit shallow. My recipe has a lower proportion of flour to bananas, a bit more sugar and butter, but no yogurt. It comes out much darker, moister and a richer banana flavor. Interestingly, my recipe calls for a confectioner’s sugar icing that I never add because the bread is already so moist.

    1. Ellen, I’m so sorry that you didn’t enjoy the recipe as much as you thought you may. That sometimes happens with recipes we’ve made again and again and that are so ingrained in our repertoire. (No one can make stuffed quahogs like my mom!)

      Here’s the big question? Would you be willing to share your recipe with our readers? You’ve got me all kinds of curious.

  47. This IS a good banana bread recipe! Pretty easy to make and I can see learning to make it from memory since the measurements are pretty straightforward. I have to admit, I used chopped hazelnuts instead of walnuts (don’t know where my walnuts went!) and it still came out great. I also ran out of AP flour, so the majority was white whole-wheat flour – I have to say I can’t tell the difference.

    As I was eating it, I was thinking it wasn’t better than the banana bread recipe with candied ginger on your site, except that’s not a banana bread recipe! It’s Carrot Zucchini bread!

    So, now I want to make this with some candied ginger. And then maybe I’ll declare it the best. =)

  48. In reply to Raye’s Testers Choice comment: This is very similar to a recipe I have, and for mine, at least, muffins turn out very well as do any other shape–loaves, 9-by-13, etc. (My favorite is a bundt!) The baking time will be different, but don’t worry too much about it, as your nose will alert you when it’s coming along. As with the loaves, test with a toothpick.

  49. I’m going to have to try this, although I’m skeptical. I do, in fact, have a beloved spattered recipe card from my husband’s grandma, who never baked anything decent, except, it seems, this banana “cake.” I’ve tried all the recipes I can get my hands on, and hers tops the cake (*snicker*). I’m intrigued here because the quantities are very similar, though hers lacks yogurt, has less butter and more sugar. Will report back soon!

  50. This is almost the banana bread I make, the only difference is mine calls for buttermilk instead of yogurt and 1/4 cup less nuts, which I chop really fine. It is a delicious, moist, and tender bread!

  51. Try freezing the bananas as they get too ripe, then defrosting in a bowl or measuring cup. They get soooo sweet this way and are totally mushy and easy to mix into the batter.

  52. This is a great recipe! I altered it slightly, and it was the best banana bread I have ever had! I made a double recipe to yield 2 loaves. I used 3 cups white flour, 1 cup whole-wheat flour. I also substituted part of the white sugar with brown sugar (1 cup white, 1/2 cup brown), which added a nice richness. The last ingredient change I made was to add 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice. I also creamed the butter and sugar together first, then added the rest of the wet ingredients. I would make this again any day! Simple and delicious!

  53. This cake was fantastic, really moist with a tender crumb. Great flavour. I used half whole-wheat flour and half all-purpose. I also added some Callebaut chocolate wafer disks to the batter. The cake was awesome!!

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