My best banana bread recipe because it is easy, moist and packed with flavor. The best way to use up ripe bananas!
Since you love my double chocolate banana bread and my banana muffins, I thought I would share an easy classic banana bread recipe that uses a secret ingredient -- wait for it -- sour cream! After years of testing, this is my best banana bread because it is soft and moist with all the flavors we love.
Keep buying bananas because you will want extras for making this banana bread. It is SO good! I make a batch almost weekly and although it's perfect for freezing, we usually go through it so quickly without leftovers to freeze. My kids enjoy grabbing a slice when running out the door for school.
Sour cream is the secret ingredient for the best banana bread! It turns it moist and soft with enough structure to hold the slices together, and the extra tang in flavor goes a long way. The rest of the ingredients are staple pantry items you should already have on hand.
Gather these ingredients:
- Brown sugar (1 cup)
- Vegetable oil (1/2 cup)
- Eggs (2 large)
- Sour cream (1/2 cup)
- Vanilla extract (1 teaspoon)
- Ripe bananas (1 cup mashed)
- All-purpose flour (1 cup)
- Baking soda
- Ground cinnamon
Click here for full recipe ingredients and instructions.
The Best Bananas to Use
The best bananas to use for banana bread are the ones that are ripened to a black peel. All-black banana peels are great, but make sure to use it before the inside turns completely black. By then, it is probably spoiled.
You can also use the ones that are brown/black streaked, however, in my opinion, the riper the better! If you do not have ripened bananas, follow these tips to quickly ripen bananas.
Room temperature ingredients - This banana bread bakes up most evenly when the sour cream and eggs are at room temperature, so measure and set out your sour cream while your oven is preheating. To quickly get your eggs to room temperature, place them in a bowl of hot water for 5 minutes.
Use a 9x5 metal loaf pan - This recipe calls for a 9x5 metal loaf pan. You can use a ceramic or glass pan, but the baking time and temperatures will vary. If you do not own a metal loaf pan, I recommend getting one because it bakes more evenly and much better results (crispy edges included, YUM!). I've made countless quick breads in my ceramic loaf pan with disappointing results or had to wait much longer for it to bake through. Now I use my metal pan all of the time.
Do not over mix - Be careful not to over mix your batter otherwise you may end up with a very dense loaf. I typically leave a few dry crumbs to make sure I don't stir it too much.
How to check if it's done - Use a long skewer or instant thermometer to ensure the middle of your banana bread is done. Insert the skewer into the middle of the loaf at an angle from the side. It is done if you remove it with only crumbs stuck to it. Or, use an instant read thermometer and if the middle reads 200°F, it's done!
How to Store Banana Bread
My favorite way to store banana bread is wrapped tightly in plastic wrap with another layer of foil over top. This ensures it stays moist. I keep it wrapped on my cutting board so it's easy to unwrap and cut a slice. You can also wrap it with paper towels and store in an airtight container. The paper towels will absorb the excess moisture while keeping the banana bread moist.
Do not store banana bread in the refrigerator. The moisture will leak from the cool air and your banana bread will turn dry.
This banana bread freezes beautifully. Follow these freezer instructions.
To freeze individual slices (my preference):
I allow the loaf to completely cool, then slice and freeze individually wrapped in plastic wrap stored in a freezer bag. This way they do not stick together and my kids can grab one in the mornings to toss in the microwave.
To freeze the entire loaf (unsliced):
You can freeze the entire loaf wrapped in plastic wrap and foil, then allow it to thaw overnight on the counter the day before.
To freeze the entire loaf (sliced):
After slicing, arrange back into a loaf, tightly wrap with plastic wrap and then a layer of foil. Thaw whole loaf overnight on the counter, or try to wedge apart a frozen slice or two at a time then rewrap tightly and place rest back in loaf. I don't love this method because the slices tend to stick together.
- For a banana nut bread, stir 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts into the batter.
- We love chocolate chip banana bread! Try stirring in 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips or 1 cup regular chocolate chips.
- For decorative topping, place thinly sliced bananas pieces over top the batter in the loaf prior to baking. May require a little extra baking time.
- We always add ground cinnamon, but try adding a few more warm spices like nutmeg, allspice, or cloves for additional flavor.
- Toss in 1/2 cup cocoa powder to make DOUBLE chocolate banana bread.
More Banana Recipes
- Baked Bananas with Cinnamon Ice Cream
- Chocolate Chip Banana Bread French Toast
- Chessmen Cookies Banana Pudding
- Roasted Banana Cream Pie with Butterscotch Ganache
- Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Best Banana Bread
- 1 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs , room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream , room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup mashed ripe bananas , about 3 medium ripe
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9x5 loaf pan.
- In large bowl, combine sugar and oil with a wooden spoon. Stir in the eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Add the bananas and gently combine; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add to the large bowl of wet ingredients and gently stir to combine. Do not over mix! Pour batter into loaf pan. Evenly spread.
- Bake 1 hour or until middle reaches internal temp of 200°F. (Or a long skewer inserted into middle comes out with just a few crumbs.)
- Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Invert onto wire rack to cool completely.
- Storage tips: Wrap tightly in plastic wrap on countertop for up to 5 days.
- Freezer tips: Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freezer bag in freezer for up to 1 month.
- Optional mix-ins: Stir in chocolate chips, dried fruits, other warm spices, or nuts.
- Recommended loaf pan: Use a 9x5 metal loaf pan for best results.
- Baking tips: Loosely cover with foil last 5 to 10 minutes if top is over browning.
- Muffins: To make muffins, bake 20 to 25 minutes in muffin tin.
- Nutrition: Nutritional values are an estimate only, based on a yield of 8 thick slices.