From the archives, the most popular recipe on Simply Recipes, first posted 2005. Enjoy!
The best recipes have been handed down and passed around from friend to friend, mother to daughter, and neighbor to neighbor. Before the Internet, it was the surest way to find a good recipe, one that works with consistent results. I got this banana bread recipe years ago from my friend Heidi H, who, many years before, had begged the recipe from a ski buddy’s mother—Mrs. Hockmeyer. (Isn’t it funny how the parents of our childhood friends are always Mrs. and Mr. no matter how old we get?)
The beauty of this banana bread recipe is you don’t need a fancy mixer! A fork to whisk the eggs and a sturdy spoon to mix the batter are all you need. The sugar amount is flexible. The original recipe calls for a cup of white sugar, but most people, including me, do just fine with 3/4 of a cup, and many are happy with a 1/2 cup.
You can toss in a cup of chopped nuts, raisins, or chocolate chips if you want, or put the batter into muffin tins and make muffins instead. You can even go a step further and make chocolate banana bread.
No need for a mixer for this recipe! Clean-up is easy too, if you want, you can mix everything in one bowl.
The best bananas to use for banana bread are those that are over-ripe. The yellow peels should be at least half browned, and the bananas inside squishy and browning.
- 2-3 very ripe bananas, peeled
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 1 cup of sugar (can easily use 3/4 cup, or drop it down to 1/2 cup if you want it less sweet)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), and butter a 4x8-inch loaf pan.
In a mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork until smooth. Stir the melted butter into the mashed bananas.
Mix in the baking soda and salt. Stir in the sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla extract. Mix in the flour.
Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes (check at 50 minutes) at 350°F (175°C), or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack. Remove the banana bread from the pan. Slice and serve. (A bread knife helps to make slices that aren't crumbly.)