The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Better Banana Bread

Better Banana Bread

Well, maybe not a better banana bread, but different banana bread: cakier, creamier, moister. I, personally, think I prefer this loaf to the previous banana bread recipe I posted, but my wife makes the point that this recipe produces a much more delicate bread than the previous one does. For a quiet cup of tea on a lazy summer afternoon, this is the one. For a picnic at the zoo with a rambunctious three year old, the previous one is the way to go: it'll survive the transport in the car and backpack much better.

Recipe below.

This is, in fact, the same recipe as before with a cup of vanilla yogurt added. The yogurt made the dough moister, so in response I needed to add more flour. Since I was adding more flour, I decided to try using some whole wheat flour. It turned out well.

So if there is a lesson to be learned here, it isn't that this is the greatest banana bread in the world. It is to make each recipe your own. Bake often and do not be afraid to experiment. If you don't screw up a recipe from time-to-time you probably aren't baking enough!

Better Banana Bread
Makes 1 huge loaf or 3 small loaves

Preheat the oven to 350.

In one bowl, combine:

1/2 stick (4-5 tablespoons) butter, softened
2 eggs
2 or 3 very ripe bananas
1 cup vanilla or plain yogurt
2/3 cup sugar

Use a potato masher, fork, or spoon to squish the banana and mix the ingredients together. It is alright for there to be small (1 centimeter) chunks of banana in the batter, but you want most of the banana to be reduced to mush.

In another bowl, combine:

1 1/2 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix until the ingredients are blended together.

If you like, stir in additional ingredients here, such as chopped walnuts or pecans, dried cherries or apricots, or chocolate chips. A handful (about a half a cup) is about right.

Pour the dough into greased baking pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Small loaves take around 30 minutes, a normal-sized loaf takes around 50 minutes.

Remove from the oven. This bread is great warm, but it is excellent cold too.

After they have cooled for 5 or 10 minutes the loaves can be removed from the pan to cool. Once they are cool they can be individually wrapped and frozen.


Related Recipe: 10 Minute Banana Bread.


ankur's picture

I love the original banana bread recipe, especially with a handful of fresh blueberries thrown in. I do find that it does dry out a little in my fridge/freezer, though (probably because it is a frost-free fridge), so I will have to give this recipe a try for moister banana bread.

Rodent's picture

I've been working on this on and off for a couple years. See what you think.

Experimental Banana Bread

1/4 Cup Butter
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Very well drained Apple Sauce
2 Med Eggs
1/4 Cup lowfat Buttermlk
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 1/2 Cup lightly mashed Banana (divided)
1 Cup unbleached AP Flour
1 Cup whole grain Pastry Flour (can substitute rye or spelt)
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder (scant)
3/4 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 Cup Pecans
additional pecan halves and candied or marachino cherries for decoration

In large bowl cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add liquid ingredients and blend several more seconds. Scrape beaters and switch to a spoon to stir in the first cup of banana. In smaller bowl thoroughly combine dry ingredients. Add the dry to the wet and stir untill just moistened. Add the rest of the banana and the pecans, stir gently to distribute.
Makes one loaf.

sourdough's picture

Sourdough in Alaska


Tried your recipe this morning and we loved it!  I took the liberty of a couple of substitutions (it is experimental, right?).

I used bown sugar instead of white.  I didn't have buttermilk, so I used organic vanilla yogurt and omitted the buttermilk and the vanilla in the recipe.  I used just 1/2 cup of spelt and added the extra 1/2 cup to the AP flour.  Finally, I added a handful of raisons along with the nuts.  I baked it at 350 for about 1 hour.

 We couldn't wait to sample it.  Thanks for sharing your experiment.


momof3jboys's picture

This turned out really well!  The best healthier banana bread recipe I've made. I used plain nonfat yogurt, so added 1 t vanilla extract.  I used Eagle Mills brand "ultragrain" unbleached all purpose flour in place of the white all purpose, and it worked beautifully. Baked for 33 minutes in a 330 degree convection oven, 5 mini pans.

cienta's picture

I just made the Better Banana Bread recipe. It came out great! Flavor and consistency are perfect, and it slices well. I will definitely make this agian. I used 6 oz organic vanilla yogurt and baked one large loaf for a total of 85 minutes, putting foil over it for the last 35 minutes.

earthygirl's picture

Thanks for the Recipe

Well I have 3 loaves in the oven and one waiting.  I did change the original recipe a bit.  the first loaf I didn't add any sugar,(I actually forgot,,,DOH!) subbed full fat buttermilk for the yogurt and used cracked wheat flour instead of the whole wheat.( I found it in bulk at a Euro Market along with light and dark rye flour).

the second and third loaf I added the sugar,  subbed buttermilk for the yogurt and used cracked wheat flour instead of the whole wheat.

For the 4th loaf I did the same as the 2nd and 3rd but added 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the wet ingredients.

I will update in 40 minutes :)

Chickpea's picture

That looks like a great recipe. I often make banana bread when the bananas in the fruit bowl start to look a bit too "gone" to eat raw.

I just wanted to say that my favourite way of "mashing" banana is to actually grate it on a cheese grater. I discovered this when my kids were babies (you know how babies love mashed banana!) There are no lumps at all, totally guaranteed. You can even mash underripe bananas this way, and it seems to sweeten them too. I also use it to mash avocados, again you can use underripe avocados if you do it this way. So much easier than mashing with a fork, and guaranteed no lumps.

Melanie Rimmer

patchouli14's picture

Loved this! esp since you added the info about freezing it- great info :) i added raspberries and pecans and lots of mixed spice-yummo

Malak1983's picture

Hi thanks so much for the recipe...I just tried it right now and I put the batter in a pan of small loaves (6) and even after an hour the batch came out raw in the middle? When I was mixing the ingredients I added slightly more flour because the dough seemed so wet, but I'm not sure why the inside is so raw? Is there a way to avoid this next time? Thanks again.

eclov's picture

Hey all,

I'm so confused! I have made this recipe twice, and BOTH times the loaf looks *perfect* when I take it out of the oven.  Then 20 minutes later once it's cooled a bit, it collapsed to half it's size, and has a mushy, dense, unleavened consistency.

 I used lowfat plain yogurt, and a glass loaf pan.  Other than that I think I followed the recipe perfectly.  Help!


Eric in Cali

Eli's picture

Eric what kind of flour did you use? You can stop the sinking if it is indeed done by using Bleached Flour.

Marni's picture

You say that the loaf looked perfect, but did you test it wth a toothpick in the center?  The sinking is a sign of being undercooked.  Sine you're using a glass pan, you can try lowering the temp to 325 and cooking it longer.  When you test for doneness, the toothpick should come out almost clean, maybe a crumb or two will cling, but that's all.  One more thought- are your baking powder and soda fresh?

Hope this helps.


eclov's picture

hey Marni,

Thanks so much for your thoughts.  There's a chance it was undercooked, however, the sides and top were browned, not to mention it was the small loaf pan at 350 for 50 minutes (longer than the recipe suggests).  I used chopstick, stuck it all the way in and it came out dry.

 Niether the baking powder or soda are fresh -- do they go bad?

Here's the kicker: Our dog choco (who has just gotten over a bad stomach bug) took care of the entire loaf this afternoon as it was sitting on the counter thus taking care of the need to eat gross mushy banana bread or wastefullly getting rid of it. At least somebody enjoyed it!

Marni's picture

Baking powder and baking soda can lose their potency over time. You can test them by adding a teaspoon to a 1/2 cup of water.  They should foam.  But since you loaf rose, they're probably fine. 

Well, at least the dog had a treat.  I hope you have better results next time.

If you'd like to try our favorite you can find it here:

I cut back on the sugar and oil a bit and add 1t vanilla and chocolate chips.  It is dense and moist.

Marni's picture

I'm looking for a yummy banana bread and have tried a number and can't find one that is moist, tasty and holds it's shape.  When I made the one above the batter had a strong bitter taste and the bread did too!  I tested the loaf before removing it from the oven but it fell when cooled and has a thick, fudgy look inside.  I'll test my baking powder and soda, but i haven't had problems with other things that I've baked.  I am disappointed in the results and my loaf looks nothing like the wonderful loaves in the picture!  HELP!

Paddyscake's picture

This is one of our favorites that I posted a long time ago..I'd quote the source, but I have no idea where I found this recipe.


OliviaBakesBread's picture

Our family loves the quick breads, especially Banana, so I would like to just double or triple my recipe as one whole batter, when making - is this a good idea or would the end product fail?  Thank you.

ironchris's picture

I also have a bitter taste coming from the bread crust.  I actually thought it tasted fantastic but when a coworker pointed out it was slightly bitter.  I paused and realized she was correct. 

lola76's picture

Hi! I've tried this recipe a couple of times with great results.

But now I want to leave the banana out. Can I still make it? Sounds kind of silly, but I've got no banana and I still want to make the bread.

Help appreciated!


Marni's picture

but you can probably sub in something else like pumpkin, sweet potato or even baby food fruit.  Or you could just find a pound cake or tea cake recipe instead.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Banana only adds moisture and flavor but you can leave it out.  Got an apple?  Can't call it banana bread.  How about  "Faux Banana Bread" or just "Cake."  

I change recipes around all the time, the last banana bread was with Spelt flour.   Now that made a tender crumb!   And the roasted walnuts is always a hit.   Sometimes I spoon in half the batter and make a chocolate trail of "sprinkles" and then spoon the rest over the top.    Top with cinnamon sugar before baking and swirl just the top millimeter to moisten using a knife's tip. 


gardenchef's picture

I have a recipe I have used for years in the past... and then forgot about banana bread. These posts make me want banana bread again. My recipeis from a lwo fat cooking book though didn't taste low fat.

I have always frozen the bananas (peeled in feezer bags) just as they turn in their peels. This way you always have them on hand, and no need for grating cutting, they are somewhat mashed when they thaw...same exact flavor.

happy bananas

donocoulon's picture

Excellent recipe.  I made it with chopped dates and chopped walnuts and it is delicious.  But it does not make a HUGE loaf.  Just enough for a standard loaf pan.

JustChowBella's picture

I tried this recipe earlier in the week and just loved it! The bread was so dense and moist- the yogurt gives it a richness without being heavy like it might with butter. I enjoyed it very much and will definitely be  using this one again!

Posted it to my blog with a link back to yours. Hope that's ok by you!



ga64's picture

Hi we love banana bread in our family. My children like having it toasted for breakfast before going to school. So wanted to find a low fat recipe that we good have. I have used this recipe a number of times, and now one of my daughters loves cooking it herself. Its a low fat banana bread with blueberries, I hope you enjoy




mhays's picture

The rest of my recipe is basically the same, but I think the oatmeal gives it a better flavor and texture: you can use either instant or grind some old-fashioned in the blender.


pixielou55's picture

Thanks so much for these recipes. I've been working on various banana bread recipes for quite a while (one of them is with cream cheese so I can't wait to try the one posted here!). It sounds like a great idea to use oatmeal - can't wait to try that one either or maybe combine them!

Now I have another question - how do I start a new post here! I can't find the "button" to push to open a new one.

sourdoughboy's picture

Thank you--I like this recipe A LOT. It yielded the most "bread"-like quick bread I've ever made--e.g., it had bit of a crust! 

sru's picture

The idea of banana bread is great. I love banana and I have taste a lot of banana recipe like banana lassi, banana pickle and a lot more, but I haven't try these banana bread in my entire life. Now, I want to try it. It looks delicious in the above picture. Today, I am going to make these banana bread according to the instruction you given above. Hope, it will be delicious and will not be messy. Thank you for sharing this recipe with us. :D

Connie.'s picture

I never had banana bread before, because I don't like the name. But, we had so many bananas in the house I just had to make it. And how lucky I was to find you recipe. This is delicious banana cake. I don't know why people call it bread, there is no yeast or sourdough as needed in bread. It does have baking-powder and -soda; cake ingredients. 

Anyway I love this banana cake and all people I have fed it, LOVE IT. Thank you for sharing this

Connie (

thomaschacon75's picture

I asked TFL what to do with leftover bananas and someone kindly posted a family recipe for sourcream banana bread.

I adjusted it for added rum and roasted pecans (and replaced the oil with unsalted butter).

It turned out fantastico. Please enjoy as:

Banana Nut Kugelhopf

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups mashed bananas (about 6-8 very, very, very ripe bananas)
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup rum
  • 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (you may need to add up to 1/2 cup more to adjust hydration)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1+ cup coarsely chopped, roasted pecans

Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.

Butter and flour bottom of Kugelhopf pan.

Beat together sugar and butter.

Add eggs, bananas, sour cream, rum and vanilla to butter/sugar and mix well.

Combine dry ingredients in large bowl.

Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix just until moistened. Batter should be very thick, so adjust with added flour as necessary.

Bake 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in Kugelhopf pan for 30 minutes, then invert onto a cake plate or the like.

It's very moist; if covered, it'll last days on the counter and still be delicious.

Makes 1 large Kugelhopf

dough re mi's picture
dough re mi

Hi and thanks for the great recipe. Still new at baking; this was my 2nd attempt at banana bread. I think it came out good, at least it tastes good, but it seems too moist (not sure how to describe a consistency that is opposite of fluffy/airy). I don't think that it is undercooked/doughy. Please see picture below.

I did alter the recipe somewhat. I used honey instead of sugar, and 4 bananas to which I added 3 cups flour (2 cups whole wheat and 1 cup white). I also added 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. Baked in convection oven at 340 for about 45 minutes. Question: is banana bread supposed to be mushy/moist? Or should I have added more flour, or done anything else differently? Like I said, it tastes good, but I wonder if it should be more fluffy. Thanks for any input.

thomaschacon75's picture

It's the sour cream that makes it so moist. You can leave the bread on the counter for a week, and it'll still be moist because there's so much fat it in. Try cutting back on the sour cream some, say 1 1/2 cups, or adding more flour.


Sheps's picture

I tried this tonight and they are fab... thanks!

As I was mixing the first bowl I realised I had no yoghurt. I carried on following the recipe while I thought of a substitute, then realised when they'd been in the oven for about 5 mins that I had totally forgotten - oops!

They are still quite moist having put three large and very ripe bananas into the mix, and they taste gorgeous.


The only other changes I made (apart from converting everything to metric) were:

1. Substituting nutmeg for cinnamon

2. Making muffins rather than loaves

3. Reducing the cooking time to about 20 to 25 minutes due to me making muffins rather than loaves.


Things I'd do differently next time:

1. Put a little more mixture into the tins to get a slightly larger muffin... I spread them too thinly to make use of all 12 large muffin tins, and really should have stuck to maybe 8.

2. Going ahead and adding the yoghurt next time, maybe just half of what is suggested, maybe more the next time. As I say they are moist enough and taste great, but a little more moisture wouldn't hurt, and I'm curious...

Thanks very much!


maryl's picture

my mother made banana bread like none other. it always had a pleasant moist hump....never ever flat. she used a combination of the mashed ripe banana plus some not so ripe banana that she diced in small 1/2 inch cubes. she also added a tablespoon of buttermilk and mixed the baking soda with it rather than sifting the soda with the dry ingredients. unlike most banana breads I  come across, hers was fragrant and had the smell of bananas that seems to be missing in other banana breads. she always used walnuts. this was the best i have ever eaten anywhere and as for sweet, banana bread is only good when it has the right amount of sweetness. that is what compliments the banana! so many of the "healthy" food recipes lack flavor. why bother?


HelenRitchie's picture

Brilliant recipe, it turned out perfect. I didn't have any plain yoghurt so used a cherry one and it was great. Also added walnuts and sultanas. Lovely and moist. Thanks

LaurenAshley's picture

I always use this recipe for my banana bread. Yesterday I decided to double it, use only white whole wheat flour, plain greek yougurt, vanilla, and 6 bananas. It made 2 - 9x5 loaves. One was left plain and the other recieved a healthy heaping of chocolate chips.  They took a little over an hour to bake, but well worth the wait.  I feel lucky to have had a slice of both, because my husband and 4 kids devoured it in record time!

Jill9802's picture

could you use applesauce instead of the yogurt? If not what could you use in place of the yogurt?

I love cakier and more moist bread! I can't wait to try this!

BellesAZ's picture

I prefer the nice tang you get from a sour cream.  I like to use "light" sour cream as the results are the same vs full fat. 

Good luck

Neveshalom's picture

Just tried this and it is amazing.  Used Greek yoghurt.  Delicious.

kelly.dhop's picture

I have been experimenting with healty ingredients in BB for many years. This recipe for Healthy BB is the closest to the one I used with some exceptions. So let me share with you so you too can try for I would love your opinions and ideas. I love the idea of using applesauce as sweetner.  I mix 3-4 different flours and only use 1/2 cup white flour then make a combination of Kamult, Spelt, Amanath flours with Spelt Bran, Wheat Bran to balance out the recipe's flour requirements.  I will change the white sugar to a mixture of dark brown and honey. Most recipes call for 1/2  butter. I cut the butter in half so I use 1/4 cup butter and then about  1/2 cup mashed up avocado because avocado is a healthy fat.  But because it is also fruit it just works well.  You do have to be careful with consistency because if you add the regular amount of flour the bread is too light and flaky rather than dense and moist. If I find the uncooked batter is thick I add few tblsp 1% milk.  You cannot taste avocado but will see green in the cooked bread. Be sure to tell your family that it is not mold but fruit.


BaTou069's picture

thanks for this recipe it's very good and delicate with the yogurt.

I added some cacao powder (eyeballed, didnt measure it to reproduce :( ) and like you wrote, some chopped up chocolate. It was enough cacao powder to color the cake slightly and enough powder to add one more layer of complexity, but it didnt turn the cake to a chocolate cake :) Thanks a lot

Deirdrejd's picture

Hi, In the name of experimentation.... anyone try substituting persimmon puree for banana?  I am thinking they are both sweet fruit purees, why not?  I am going to try it but thought I'd ask, too.