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The Best Banana Bread Ever

Throw away all of your banana bread recipes, this one is a keeper.

If you’re a lover of banana bread, you are going to devour this recipe and cry tears of joy — it’s truly perfect. Banana bread is my boo. I love it and it loves me. We vibe so harmoniously when we’re in the same room. This stuff is so super moist and stuffed with maximum banana flavor, you’re going to die — deliciously.

The Ultimate Banana Bread

How to Make Banana Bread

Trying to get amazing banana flavor into banana bread with optimal texture is a serious challenge. The more bananas you add, the more heavy and sodden your bread becomes, despite the actual banana flavor being there. Most recipes call for 2 to 3 bananas, because if you go higher than that, your bread will be entirely too moist and gummy. That just isn’t sexy in the least bit. So how do we fix this? Well, we’re replicating the whole “frozen banana” situation. When bananas are frozen then thawed, they release tons of liquid — delicious, tasty liquid! Well, we’re going to skip freezing bananas for a day and instead zap’em in the microwave to release their juices. We’re then left with tons of incredible banana juice that gets reduced down to a super concentrated syrup, almost like a makeshift banana extract — which gets thrown into the batter later.


I must point out the importance of using super ripe bananas for this recipe. It’s imperative. The darker and more spotted your bananas are, the sweeter they will be and the more liquid they’ll release. I bought my bananas on Sunday and made banana bread the following Saturday. It was hell trying not to eat them, because I love bananas — especially the spotty brown ones…soooo sweet. But, I held it together, got myself some will-power and waited to make this delicious loaf of banana’y awesomeness. Don’t even try to make this with green or even yellow bananas, you guys. Seriously. Wait until they look like they’re decaying LOL! (you know what I mean 😉 )

Are you ready for super intense and incredibly moist banana bread? Follow me…

The Ultimate Banana Bread
Six. Six ugly, yet super sweet bananas — ah ah ah

The Ultimate Banana Bread
Peel five of those babies and pop’em in a bowl, wrapped tightly with plastic wrap. Poke a bunch of vent holes and zap’em in the microwave for 5 minutes.

The Ultimate Banana Bread
After 5 minutes, this is what it looks like…murrrr

The Ultimate Banana Bread
Strain the bananas for 15 minutes, you should have about 1/2 cup to 3/4 (or more) of yummy, sweet banana liquid.

The Ultimate Banana Bread
If using walnuts, toast them in the oven for a few minutes — keep an eye on these so they don’t burn. It usually takes mine about 3 to 5 minutes in a 350 degree oven. If you don’t like nuts, leave’em out!

The Ultimate Banana Bread
Reduce the banana liquid down to 1/4 cup. Stir frequently and watch this carefully because it can boil over. It should take about 5 to 10 minutes to reduce, depending on how much liquid you have. Be patient, it’s worth it.

The Ultimate Banana Bread
Almost there…

The Ultimate Banana Bread
Finally got 1/4 cup. Add this to the bananas you strained earlier.

The Ultimate Banana Bread
Mash the bananas and concentrated banana liquid with a large fork or potato masher to incorporate and break up any large pieces of banana. Mixture should be mostly smooth.

The Ultimate Banana Bread
Add the melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla.

The Ultimate Banana Bread
Whisk until the sugar is dissolved and everything is combined.

The Ultimate Banana Bread
Either pour your dry into your wet, or your wet into your dry, and GENTLY fold the mixture on top of itself until combined. Please avoid over-mixing or you’ll end up with tough banana bread and we don’t want that.

The Ultimate Banana Bread
95% mixed…

The Ultimate Banana Bread
Add your nuts, if you’re using them — also folding them in…just a few turns to incorporate. Don’t worry if you have tiny pockets of flour, just make sure all the huge streaks are gone. My mixture pictured above is an example of too many large pockets of batter, but it’s nothing 2 or 3 folds won’t cure. Pour the mixture into a greased loaf pan.

The Ultimate Banana Bread
Slice your sixth banana on the diagonal.

The Ultimate Banana Bread
Shingle the slices of banana on both sides of the banana bread, then sprinkle 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar all over the top of the bananas and loaf. This candies the bananas and gives them a great sweet flavor.

The Ultimate Banana Bread
About an hour or so later, thar she blows!

The Ultimate Banana Bread
Incredibly delicious, intense banana flavor. You’re going to love it.

The Ultimate Banana Bread

The Ultimate Banana Bread

This is damn good banana bread. Damn. Good. The best I’ve ever had.

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Ultimate Banana Bread

  • Author: Resha
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 mins
  • Yield: One 9-inch loaf


adapted from Cook’s Illustrated


  • 1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 6 large very ripe bananas (about 2 1/4 pounds), peeled (see note)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees, middle oven rack in place. Spray an 8½ by 4½-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together. Place 5 of the bananas in a microwave-safe bowl, covered with plastic wrap and poke a few vent holes so the steam can escape. Microwave on high power until the bananas are soft and have released their liquid — about 5 minutes. Strain the bananas thru a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl so they can drain, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until you have 1/2 to 3/4 cup banana juice.
  2. Transfer the banana liquid to a medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until it reduces to 1/4 cup, about 5 to 10 minutes (depending on how much liquid was released). Remove pan from heat and stir the reduced banana liquid into the microwaved bananas, and mash with a potato masher until fairly smooth. Whisk in the butter, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla. Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until combined, with some streaks of flour remaining. Gently fold in the walnuts, if using. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Slice the remaining banana diagonally unto 1/4-inch slices. Shingle the banana slices on top of either side of the loaf, leaving a 1 1/2-inch-wide spice down center to ensure an even rise. Sprinkle granulated sugar evenly over the top of the loaf.
  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in teh center of the loaf comes out clean — this can take between 55 – 75 minutes. Cool the banana bread in the pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes, then remove from pan and continue to cool on the wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Be sure to use very ripe, heavily speckled (or even black) bananas in this recipe. This recipe can be made using 5 thawed frozen bananas; since they release a lot of liquid naturally, they can bypass the microwaving in step 2 and go directly into the fine-mesh strainer. Do not use a thawed frozen banana in step 4; it will be too soft to slice. Instead, simply sprinkle the top of the loaf with sugar. The preferred loaf pan measures 8½ by 4½ inches; if you use a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan, start checking for doneness five minutes earlier than advised in the recipe. The texture is best when the loaf is eaten fresh, but it can be stored (cool completely first), covered tightly with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
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Recipe rating

  1. Joy Sarnowski says:

    You’ve nailed this banana bread and made me look like a rockstar in the process. Thank you for sharing this yummy recipe! My family and neighbors love it!

  2. Antoinette says:

    This was so delicious and easy to make. For some reason, my bananas did not yield enough liquid to make reducing the “juice” in a pan feasible so I just skipped that step. Still so good!

  3. Chase says:

    I just made this Banana bread and now my girlfriend is going Ape sh*t. She’s food dancing and cursing me out at the same time, telling me that this is the best Banana bread she’s ever had and how could I do this to her? She wants me in the kitchen on the reg now but I think it’s time for me to go back to work. Anyways, thank you for all the dope delicious recipes! This page is always my start when looking for recipes…and last.

  4. Monie Mone says:

    Hey! I’m going to make this banana bread next weekend, but I don’t have a microwave. I’m not familiar with the frozen banana process, and I’m assuming the bananas are to be frozen peeled & sliced, but I just wanted to double check.

  5. Susan says:

    Made the banana bread yesterday and thought it was dry and tough. Stored it in a zip lock bag overnight.
    Today I heated for a @ 30 seconds in the microwave with butter. It is incredible.

  6. Susan says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    I followed the recipe to the letter but it finished dry and tough 🙁 have gone back over the recipe several times and just don’t see anywhere that I deviated
  7. Henry Kevern says:

    Tried it out there was just something different even though I followed to the “T”. We did use whole wheat flour… But in the end still turned out well. I wish I could leave a picture but I guess not.

    • Resha says:

      if you used whole wheat flour, you didn’t follow the recipe lol. whole wheat flour has shards of wheat which cuts gluten off at the knees and can ruin it. it will compromise the texture and crumb significantly.

  8. Catherine Epps says:

    I love your technique to be able to put more banana in the bread. I’ve got the bananas cooked, drained and the juice reduced, right now. However, I’m going to try making this gluten free and using half sugar/half stevia. Wish me luck? I’ll report back soon. 😉

  9. Kenia o says:

    U kan always back the banana in its peel for about 5 min at 350° degree. They will look black on the outside bet be ripe on the inside.

  10. Rose Liber says:

    I have been freezing very ripe bananas (some would throw them away) not me, I just throw them into the freezer just in the skins , any where I can find room. I have used them in Banana Bread for years but never to the extent you do , reducing the juice to 1/4 cup or so,
    Now to REPORT my success in the finished Banana Loaf Bread, OMG IT IS by far the best Banana Bread I have ever made or tasted. I had raves and raves from those who ate the first loaf with me. This is it, never will I bake a Loaf of Banana Bread any other way. A million thanks for your recipe. Rose

  11. Tammy says:

    Luv, luv banana bread and I am always dissapointed that the recipes I try are too dry and never dense enough. I have to try this. My question is…is there any way to speed up the ripening process for bananas? I only have two very ripe bananas and hate to throw them away because I don’t have enough for the recipe 🙁

  12. Kas says:

    Hi Resha! I wanted to know could I use this same recipe and make muffins?! Thanks in advance!

  13. Anya says:

    So banana bread is pretty much my favourite sweet treat ever! I live on the stuff and I’ve been looking for the perfect recipe for years now! Everyone stop, this is it… Truly banana bread perfection.
    However I am a bit of a health nut so I reduced the butter quantity by a quarter, substituted coconut sugar instead of brown and spelt flour for ap flour and threw in toasted pecans because they rule!
    Even with these changes it came out amazingly risen and caramelised!
    Microwaving the bananas is ingenious!
    Thank you for the recipe! It’s getting me through my exams!

  14. jennifer says:

    I cannot *wait* to try this tomorrow! I’ve been a baker for 15 years, and this is the most interesting banana bread recipe I’ve ever seen. 🙂

  15. Nadia says:

    OMG!!! I made your banana bread recipe and it was such a hit, so good. My family loved it. I want to make it for some family and friends for the holidays as gifts. I was wondering , can I substitute the walnuts for raisins or berries, for those who are allergic to nuts?

    Thank you for sharing your gift with us. You are amazing!!!

    • Resha says:

      I’m so happy you loved the recipe, isn’t it killer? You could absolutely sub the walnuts with anything you’d like, it’s a pretty forgiving recipe 😉 Enjoy hun!

  16. Ruth says:

    I’ve been looking for a great banana bread recipe for years and have found some that are good but not what I was looking for….until I stumbled upon your recipe. While a little bit of work, it is well worth the extra effort! Love the sugary, banana laden crust and the light interior. Awesome.

    One thing I did differently was to use a hint from your apple pie recipe (trying that next) and I used the microwave to condense the banana liquid. Oh, and I accidentally used salted butter and it didn’t seem to matter.

    Thanks for sharing your talent and recipe, this will be added to my Christmas must make recipes.

  17. Kathy says:

    I have made this recipe many times and my family thinks I am Martha Stewart!! Every time I make it they say its better than the last time. I find that freezing and then defrosting makes the bread moister. Also I can collect more ripe bananas over time. Make this, your friends and family will love you. Also does well in mini loaves.

  18. RG says:

    Stumbled across your recipe in my search for a moist banana bread. Given all the ingredients, I figured it would be delicious. Turned out super dry though. Followed recipe exactly.. baked around 60 mins. 🙁

  19. Zindzi says:

    Do you recommend a metal pan, or can I use a glass loaf pan?

    • Resha says:

      i recommend a metal pan, but you should be able to use a glass pan just fine. just keep in mind that it may affect its doneness by a few minutes. either it will cook slightly faster or slightly slower. depends on the thickness of the glass. is it pyrex?

  20. Teresa says:

    I’ve made this twice and it is indeed the best banana bread. I generally scoff as EVERY! banana bread you find says “the best” and they’re often terrible. This is the creme-da-la-creme of banana bread recipes.

  21. Kiara says:

    Hi! First things first, I find your blog absolutely amazing, and already tried a few recipes with great success 🙂
    But this one is giving me a hard time. I feel like I followed every step correctly, but the banana bread never cooked fully, even after one and a half hour in in the oven at 350 degrees.. Would you have any clue of what could have happened? Thank you very much, Cécile

    • Resha says:

      hmm, you might want to invest in an oven thermometer to make sure your oven is reaching 350. and if that isn’t the issue, it could be the thickness/material of your baking pan. is it a thin aluminum one, or a thicker one? I’ve made this loaf in a thicker loaf pan and it took much longer than the suggested baking time, so that might be a possibility. if that isn’t the case, i’m really not sure what the problem may be. when you stick a toothpick in the center of the loaf after the suggested baking time, is it still coated with smooth shiny batter? or is the batter kinda pasty dull and dry?

  22. Michelle says:

    This is a really drawn out way to make this, but it looks worth it.

    I feel like I get the same results just from heating and mashing my bananas.

    Either way, another well explained recipe 🙂

  23. Renee says:

    I just made this and it was delicious! I think I was too nervous about over stirring the mix so I had quite a few small banana chunks left, but it was a good texture balance.

    • Resha says:

      LOL I understand the nerves, but just remember it’s the stage when you add the flour that you don’t wanna overmix. the proteins in the flour would get overworked and create too much gluten…giving you super tough, leathery bread. ew. but you can pulverize the crap out of the bananas lol 😉 glad it still worked out for you though!

  24. Tanya says:

    Oooohhhh I am so excited! My whole family LOVES banana bread and I am forever trying different recipes. I have never heard of this method, I can’t wait to try it, thank you. So glad I found your blog today 🙂

  25. diana says:

    OH MY GOD! This is the best thing I’ve ever eaten period! Thank you so much for the recipe! I’m going out to get a real loaf pan and some more bananas just so I can make this again as soon as the bananas get ugly 😀

  26. This looks awesome. Been following you on twitter for a while, and checking out your blog. Really like what you’re doing, and as a photographer I appreciate your natural light photos. I have read you complain about your apartment’s lighting, but it must be decent at least part time, because the banana bread picture at the top of the post is awesome. It’s got me heading to the store this afternoon for ingredients!

    • Resha says:

      Awwwww!! Thank you so much, you’re very sweet 🙂 I can’t wait to get a new place with better lighting, kitchen lighting if possible. that would be so sweet lol. Enjoy your banana bread!!

  27. Manuel says:

    I was for real just wondering why you haven’t uploaded this tho! Glad you did.

  28. This recipe looks fantastic! I love the idea of intensifying the banana flavor by reducing the banana juice and also adding the rows of banana on the sides of the bread! I’m adding this to my Must Make list of recipes!

    • Resha says:

      It’s so intense. It tastes like something you’d have to buy at a specialty shop, it’s seriously perfect. Let me know how it works out for you!

  29. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve made this recipe before and I also have to agree it was the best banana bread I’ve made by far! I didn’t use the nuts in this recipe but your pictures look so good and I think I will try to add the nuts next time! ^_~

  30. Dijah says:

    Yooooo Resha I gotta give this a try!
    I make a banana bread every other week because I just love ’em and they’re the easiest thing for me to granny taught me, but she didn’t tell me about putting them in the microwave…girl I gotta try this, and i’ll definitely report back and let you know how it turn out. Good looking out : )