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This very moist Banana Nut Bread recipe will soon become a staple in your kitchen! The flavorful, sweet loaf is full of mashed bananas, crunchy walnuts, and a hint of warm spices for the perfect make-ahead breakfast or afternoon snack. File this one away, because it is truly the best!

Loaf of the best banana nut bread sliced on a cutting board

How to Make Banana Nut Bread Video

Very Moist Banana Nut Bread

After many, many rounds of testing, tweaking and tasting, I’ve finally landed on the perfect loaf of homemade banana nut bread. This is my go-to, never-fail recipe that always wins rave reviews. It’s easy, it’s super moist, and it’s full of sweet banana flavor. There’s just no better way to take advantage of those overripe bananas that are probably sitting on your counter right now. Stir together a loaf in about 10 minutes (no electric mixer required), pop it in the oven, and enjoy a delicious breakfast or snack throughout the week. It gets better as it sits!

Why This is the Best Banana Nut Bread Recipe

As I mentioned above, I spent many hours going through many test batches to find what I deem the best ever banana nut bread recipe. Here’s why this version works so well:

  • The Right Amount of Bananas. Some recipes call for just 1 cup of mashed banana per loaf, but I found that 1 cup of banana resulted in a loaf of bread that was lacking in actual banana flavor. By increasing the amount to 1 ½ cups, I achieved the sweet banana flavor that I was looking for without creating a “wet,” dense, or gummy loaf.
  • Butter Instead of Oil. While many banana bread recipes use oil as the fat of choice, I found that melted butter created a more flavorful loaf. You can certainly substitute with an equal amount of vegetable oil for this recipe if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Moist Banana Nut Bread. I tested the recipe with a full stick of butter (8 tablespoons), but found that 6 tablespoons worked better with this proportion of bananas and flour to keep the bread moist without making it heavy.
  • Just 1 Egg. Other recipes might call for 2 eggs, but I found that the extra egg yielded a spongier, less flavorful loaf.
  • The Right Amount of Sugar. I tried using just ½ cup of sugar (not sweet enough) and a full 1 cup of sugar (too sweet) — so ¾ cup seemed just right! Of course, feel free to adjust the amount of sugar based on your individual preferences.
  • Plenty of Nuts. I tried the recipe with fewer walnuts (just ½ cup), but found that the bread was lacking that crunchy, nutty flavor. The nuts were more of an afterthought! Instead, use a full cup of chopped walnuts to ensure that the nuts are a prominent component in the loaf.
Square image of slices of easy banana nut bread on a wooden cutting board

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a loaf of moist banana nut bread. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • All-purpose flour: the base of the batter.
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg: warm spices that add great flavor to the loaf.
  • Baking soda: the leavening agent that helps the bread rise.
  • Salt: to enhance the other flavors in the bread and balance the sweetness.
  • Mashed very ripe banana: gives the bread that sweet banana flavor, and also helps to keep the batter moist.
  • Butter: adds rich flavor and keeps the bread tender and moist.
  • Granulated sugar: for just the right amount of sweetness in each slice!
  • Egg: gives the loaf structure.
  • Vanilla extract: just a tsp vanilla adds great flavor.
  • Walnuts: add a toasty, nutty crunch. These are optional, so feel free to leave them out, or replace them with a different nut, such as chopped pecans.
Stirring walnuts into classic banana bread recipe

How to Make Banana Nut Bread

This classic banana bread recipe just gets better as it sits! Go ahead and bake a loaf in advance — the flavors will come together and the bread will become even more moist as it rests. You’ll wake up to a delicious morning treat!

  1. Combine Dry Ingredients. Sift or whisk together the flour, spices, baking soda and salt.
  2. Combine Wet Ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mashed banana, melted butter, sugar, egg and vanilla.
  3. Add Dry Ingredients to Wet Ingredients. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula just until combined. Fold in the walnuts.
  4. Bake. Transfer the batter to a greased loaf pan and bake in a 350°F oven for about 50 minutes. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the loaf to cool before slicing and serving.
Banana nut bread batter in a loaf pan

How to Serve this Easy Banana Nut Bread

Serve the bread warm, at room temperature, or even straight from the refrigerator! It’s a great option for breakfast or snack when paired with a mug of hot coffee or tea.

The bread is delicious on its own, but you might also enjoy it with butter, cream cheese, almond butter or peanut butter. Add some yogurt or eggs and fresh fruit on the side for a perfect morning feast!

Loaf of very moist banana nut bread on a wooden cutting board sliced.

Preparation and Storage

  • Make-Ahead: This bread just gets better as it sits. The flavors come together and the bananas help to keep the bread nice and moist.
  • How to store Banana Nut Bread: Always wrap your loaf in plastic wrap or foil to prevent it from drying out. It does not need to be refrigerated. The bread will stay fresh at room temperature on the counter for 2-3 days, and it will last in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • To Freeze: Cool the loaf completely, wrap tightly, and freeze for up to 3 months.

How many cups is 1 mashed banana?

This can be tricky! If a recipe calls for 3 bananas, how much is that? We all know that measurements are important in baking, so the difference between a very small banana and a very large banana can be significant when baking a loaf of banana bread.

My recipe calls for 1 ½ cups of mashed banana. One large banana yields about ½ cup mashed, so I used 3 large bananas for a total of about 1 ½ cups. If you’re working with small bananas, you’ll need at least 4 (and maybe even 5). Measuring is always the safest way to make sure that your banana bread turns out perfectly moist, sweet and delicious!

How to Ripen Bananas in the Oven​​​​​​​

Want to make this bread right away, but your bananas aren’t ripe yet? You can ripen the bananas in the oven! To do so, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Place bananas (in their peels) on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until mushy and sweet. The banana peels will turn a black, shiny color (and look really weird!), but don’t worry — the insides will be perfect. Just let the mashed banana cool completely before using in the recipe.

Banana Nut Bread FAQs​​​​​​​

Quick answers to a few of your commonly-asked questions about banana bread…

Is banana nut bread healthy?​​​​​​​

While you’re getting some health benefits from the bananas and walnuts in this recipe, I wouldn’t consider banana nut bread “healthy.” There’s definitely plenty of sugar, fat and refined carbs in this recipe. That said, it’s not deep-fried and the healthy fats from the nuts give the bread a satisfying quality. You can certainly do worse when it comes to sweet treats! ​​​​​​

Assuming that a loaf yields 12 slices, each slice includes about 250 calories, 32 grams of carbohydrate, 4 grams of protein and 13 grams of fat. If you’re looking for a healthy banana bread recipe with fewer calories, try my One-Bowl Whole Wheat Banana Bread.​​​​​​​

What kind of nuts go in banana bread?​​​​​​​

Walnuts are the most common type of nut used in banana bread. I like to chop the nuts fairly small so that they are evenly dispersed throughout the bread and the bread is easy to slice through. You can substitute with chopped pecans, almonds, hazelnuts or pistachios if you prefer.

Why does my banana nut bread fall in the middle?​​​​​​​

If you find that your banana bread sinks in the middle as it cools, it’s likely because the bread was not completely cooked through. Banana bread forms a nice, dark crust on the outside that makes the loaf look “done” — even if the inside is still slightly raw. Before removing the bread from the oven, insert a toothpick deep into the very center of the loaf. If it comes out with any wet batter on it, return the bread to the oven to finish baking.

Front shot of four slices of banana nut bread stacked on a wooden cutting board

How to Keep Banana Bread Moist

There are a few keys to keeping banana bread moist and tender:

  • The correct ratio of fat (such as butter) and bananas to flour is key, since the fat and bananas add moisture to the batter. Too much fat or bananas, however, and the bread will be gummy and mushy.
  • Do not over-mix the batter. Stir just until the ingredients are combined and you don’t see any dry pockets of flour, then stop. A few lumps in the batter is normal. Overmixing the batter will activate the gluten in the flour, yielding a tough, dry bread.
  • Do not overbake the bread or it will become dry. My loaves are typically done by the 50-minute mark, so check it early.

Recipe Variations​​​​​​​

  • Unsalted Butter. I always keep salted butter in my fridge, so that’s what I use in my recipes. If you prefer unsalted butter, that’s fine — just increase the amount of salt in the recipe to ½ teaspoon.
  • Use pecans instead of walnuts.
  • For a more subtle touch of nuts, use just ½ cup of the chopped walnuts instead of 1 full cup.
  • Add whole grains by swapping out half of the all-purpose flour and replacing it with ¾ cup of whole wheat flour.
  • Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Bread. Add ½ cup – ¾ cup chocolate chips to the batter.
  • Stir in some raisins, too! They add extra sweetness and plump, juicy texture.
  • Add more spices. I like just a subtle hint of cinnamon and nutmeg in the background, but you can use more of the spices for a more prominent flavor.
  • Turn this batter into banana muffins by dividing the mixture between 12 standard-size muffin cups that have been greased with cooking spray or lined with paper. Bake in a 375°F oven for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Banana Bread Tips

  • Use very ripe bananas for maximum flavor and sweetness. You want them to look quite speckled and brown!
  • Be careful not to over-mix the batter. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients just until they’re combined. Too much mixing and the bread will come out tough, dense, or dry. The key to keeping a quick bread moist is NOT over-mixing.
  • The total baking time will vary depending on the type of pan that you use (and on your individual oven). I prefer light-colored pans (or gold pans), which cook the bread more evenly. Dark metal pans tend to cause the outside to burn before the inside cooks through. You’ll know that the bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
  • If the top of the bread starts to get too dark before it’s cooked through, tent loosely with aluminum foil.
  • Do not overbake the bread or it will become dry. My loaves are typically done by the 50-minute mark, so check it early.
Overhead shot of stacked slices of banana nut bread on a cutting board

More Quick Bread Recipes to Try

Square image of banana nut bread stacked on a cutting board

Banana Nut Bread

4.84 from 30 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Cooling Time 2 hours
Total: 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings 1 loaf (about 10-12 slices)
Calories 250 kcal
The very best recipe for an easy, moist loaf of homemade Banana Nut Bread!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups mashed banana (about 3 large or 4 medium very ripe bananas)
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8½ x 4½-inch loaf pan and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, sift or whisk together flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • In a separate large bowl, whisk together mashed banana, melted butter, sugar, egg and vanilla extract.
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring just until combined. Fold in the walnuts.
  • Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes. Do not overbake.
  • Remove from the oven, unmold from the pan, and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

Video

Notes

  • Make-Ahead: This bread just gets better as it sits! The flavors come together and the bananas help to keep the bread nice and moist.
  • How to store Banana Nut Bread: Always wrap your loaf in plastic wrap or foil to prevent it from drying out. It does not need to be refrigerated. The bread will stay fresh at room temperature on the counter for 2-3 days, and it will last in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • To Freeze: Cool the loaf completely, wrap tightly, and freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 250kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 4gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 196mgPotassium: 165mgFiber: 2gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 213IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 17mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: banana nut bread, best banana nut bread recipe, easy banana nut bread, moist apple cake recipe
Course: bread
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I have been making banana bread for 40+ years. I tried this recipe today and it was the best I have ever made. I used 4 large bananas and a little extra cinnamon. I only used a wisk. When smashing the bananas, I left a few pea sized pieces. I also added over a cup of walnuts, just because I had them. Bread is extremely most and absolutely devine.

  2. 5 stars
    Great recipe. Everyone at work loved it. My teenage daughter loves it and it is darn hard to please a teen… For our european taste it is a bit too sweet, so I reduce the sugar to 1/2 cup and add more bananas. But our favorite is 3/4 cup od chicory syrup + 1/4 more nuts combo. Perfect everytime.

  3. 5 stars
    Your recipe for banana nut bread is the best! It is flavorful and moist with good texture. I followed the recipe as written but forgot the spices which recipe may not need. I Baked as 12 cupcakes instead of bread for 25 minutes at 350. Thank you for a great recipe!