How to make the best banana bread: An easy recipe

There are few things more satisfying and good for the soul than a good, warm slice of banana bread. With our ultimate recipe, discover how to make banana bread below.

There are few snack foods better than the humble banana bread.
There are few snack foods better than the humble banana bread.  © unsplash/Cody Chan

Steaming and perhaps slathered with butter, banana bread is one of those simple pleasures that all-too-often gets overlooked for being "basic."

Yet, it is the ultimate afternoon snack, breakfast treat, or nighttime dessert, perfectly pairing with a good mug of strong coffee or a balanced cup of tea. Plus, it's incredibly easy and quick to make as well.

If you're a fan of good food and sweets, you'll be a fan of banana bread. So how do you make banana bread that's soft, fluffy, and tasty?

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With this banana bread recipe, you'll find the hidden secrets of this delicious delicacy.

How to make the best banana bread: Recipe

There is very little really needed for a good banana bread. Ultimately, it's about high quality ingredients and a little bit of love, nothing more and nothing less. With a few simply pieces of equipment and some basic techniques, you'll be baking banana bread that's delicious, moist, and perfect alongside a nice cup of coffee made from newly roasted coffee beans.

Here's the equipment you'll need when making banana bread:

  • Rubber spatula
  • Wooden spoon
  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Big mixing bowl – 2
  • Small pot
  • Bread baking pan
  • Potato masher
  • Baking paper
  • Whisk

Banana bread is one of the easiest and simplest recipes to pull together, and is a great activity for a lazy weekend.

Feeling peckish? It might be time to make a loaf of banana bread!
Feeling peckish? It might be time to make a loaf of banana bread!  © Unsplash/No Revisions

Banana bread recipe | Ingredients

The ingredients required for banana bread are neither expensive nor difficult to find. Instead, they are basic things that you are likely to already have in your kitchen, plus bananas. Of course, feel free to add additional bits and bobs as wanted. Do you like chocolate chips in your banana bread? Add a few!

Here are the ingredients you need to make banana bread:

  • Self-raising flour, 2.5 cups
  • Brown sugar, 1 cup
  • Butter, 1/2 cup
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 overly-ripe bananas
  • Pinch of salt

On the proportions: This recipe will make enough for one full loaf of banana bread, serving around 8 portions. If you need to make more or less, adjust the quantities proportionally.

Banana bread recipe | Instructions

It's incredibly quick and easy to make banana bread, and requires basically no skill or technique. You don't need fancy equipment, complicated knowledge, or anything that'll cost you time or much money. Instead, simply follow the steps we have laid out, and you'll have a lovely loaf in no time.

Here's how to make banana bread

Step 1: Having greased and lined your bread pan with a little bit of butter and some baking paper, preheat your oven to 350°F.

Step 2: Mix together your self-raising flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl until thoroughly combined.

Step 3: Peel and mash your bananas until they are as liquid and runny as possible, with minimal lumps.

Step 4: In a small pan melt your butter, then in a separate mixing bowl combine your eggs (which have been whisked), melted butter, and mashed bananas. Mix thoroughly, until smooth and slightly gelatinous.

Step 5: Combine your wet and dry mixtures in the bigger of the two bowls, mixing until fully wet and saturated. You don't want any dry flour, and you want everything to be perfectly mixed.

Step 6: Transfer your mixture into your bread pan and bake for about one hour, or until you can stick a skewer or toothpick into the center and it will emerge dry.

Step 7: Let it cool for at least 30 minutes before removing it from the pan. Slice up and serve toasted with melted butter.

As you can probably tell, this is hardly a difficult recipe. In the end, it's simply a matter of mixing everything together and then baking it at the right temperature for the right amount of time.

How to make gluten free banana bread

If you want to make your banana bread gluten-free, simply substitute the flour for a gluten-free flour blend, preferably with almond meal in it for extra flavor. You could also include gluten-free rolled oats to create a more interesting texture and make it taste better. Keep in mind, though, that if you use gluten-free flour, you will likely need to add baking powder if you want it to rise.

What is banana bread?

Is banana bread really "bread," or is it actually cake?
Is banana bread really "bread," or is it actually cake?  © Unsplash/Jeff Vanderspank

Banana bread is a sweet bread/cake typically made from bananas which have been mashed and added to a simple cake mixture.

While usually referred to as a "bread," it is actually more of a cake simply due to its high sugar content and the fact that it is typically made with self-raising flour or baking powder, rather than yeast.

Originating from the United States in the early-mid 20th century, mostly around the 1930s as a result of the Great Depression, banana bread is now extremely popular across the world. In countries like Australia and the United Kingdom, it is a standard in most cafés and bakeries.

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Interestingly, due to American colonialism in the Philippines, banana bread is incredibly popular there. A legacy of this fact is that the Philippines are, to this day, one of the world's biggest banana exporters.

There are many varieties of banana bread, some of which include additional ingredients to provide different flavors and textures. Ultimately, though, the basic recipe remains more or less the same.

How to store banana bread

Much like your standard cake or bread, banana bread is likely to go a bit stale if left sitting around for more than a day or so. As a result, it is important that you store it appropriately if you can't eat it all at once. It won't be hard to store it, though, so don't worry.

Here's how to store banana bread

Option 1: Banana bread freezes well as long as you cut it into slices beforehand and wrap each slice separately in cling wrap.

Option 2: Wrap your banana bread in cling wrap, making sure to get it as airtight as possible. Store it in a bread box or in the fridge.

Option 3: Wrap it in aluminum foil and store it in the fridge.

Option 4: Put the banana bread in an airtight container and store either out in the open, in the fridge, or in a cupboard.

There are no tricks to storing banana bread, just simply do what you would do for any cake or bread when trying to keep it from going stale.

Banana bread is perfect for a Sunday morning.
Banana bread is perfect for a Sunday morning.  © Unsplash/Anfal Shamsudeen

How long does banana bread last?

Unfrozen but packaged well, banana bread can last up to around a week. Of course, the better you store it, the less stale it will get and the longer you can keep it. If you really want it to last a long time, you can keep banana bread for a long time if you simply freeze it.

Nuts and chocolate with banana bread can be awesome

One of the best things about banana bread is how versatile it can be if you're up for experimenting. Feel free to put whatever you want in there. We recommend walnuts, chocolate chips, or even dates. Play around with the recipe, making an afternoon snack that's elevated, endlessly comforting, and a little more unique than just your standard loaf.

Still, a basic banana bread will really hit the spot, especially if you've used good-quality bananas. Make yourself a nice homemade cappuccino, spread ungodly amounts of butter on a beautiful grilled slice of banana bread, and settle down for a cozy afternoon snack.

Cover photo: unsplash/Cody Chan

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