Old Fashioned Banana Bread Like Your Grandmother Made

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This old fashioned banana bread recipe is so simple anyone can make it.

Although I love to profess that I don’t like sweets, some things I do like and old fashioned banana bread is one of them.

My grandmother was a terrible cook. But she had a repertoire of 7 things she could make better than anyone else: mashed potatoes, shrimp dip, turkey dressing, Nova Scotia fish chowder, apple pie, banana bread and cherry balls

She made old fashioned banana bread. It wasn’t eggless, like the trend is now. It wasn’t healthy. But it was SO moist and it tasted like it was full of banana.

And it’s one of those sweets that we miss now that she’s gone.

Classic banana bread recipe cooling on a wire rack

Old Fashioned Banana Bread

I’d love to take credit for this recipe but I didn’t write it.

In fact I didn’t even make it.

As I was working away in my room writing when I heard my mother tinkering in the kitchen.

It caught my attention because my mother hates to cook (although she makes great pineapple carrot muffins), so what was she up to?

If you want a good classic banana bread you have to make it yourself. Nothing beats homemade and so that’s what she was making.

Christmas Muffins

And although she hates to cook banana bread if pretty tough to screw up:

  • Put dry ingredients in one bowl, mix with a fork.
  • Use a hand mixer to blend remaining ingredients in other bowl.
  • Fold two bowls together.
  • Bake

But my mother understands one crucial point to old fashioned banana bread – the bananas MUST be overripe.

Not just yellow bananas with a bit of bruising.

You want to put the bananas in a paper bag so the starchy banana turns to sugar – that makes homemade banana bread moist and sweet.

Homemade banana bread sliced on a dark background

Homemade Banana Bread Equipment 

As I’m not a baker there are a few things I realized you do need that some people may not have. 

Loaf Pan

If you’re in North America the standard loan pan is 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 x 2-1/2 inches – usually rounded up and called a 9×5 loaf pan.

If you want to buy one yourself this one is less than $10 and available for Prime shipping.

It is the default for recipes so if you’re unsure what you have it is probably this size.

Although my mother has a fully stocked kitchen we had to borrow this. If you don’t have a loaf pan I’m sure someone you know has one.

Hand Mixer

Even when I left my life to travel I kept some appliances. My beloved Kitchen Aid food processor, Vitamix, knives and of course my cast iron pans.

But I realized I’ve never bought a hand mixer because I don’t bake so I never hand mix.

But I did find this one for under $25 and the reviews are as good as the expensive ones.

Homemade banana bread sliced on a dark background

How to Store Banana Bread

On the kitchen counter banana bread will keep up to a week, wrapped tightly in aluminum foil.

We don’t use plastic wrap because someone is always digging into it. Aluminum foil is easier to rewrap.

Do not put it in the fridge as it will dry out. Believe me you’ll eat it before it goes bad. 

Although it doesn’t need butter because it’s already so moist, I still add it with a sprinkle of sea salt.

How to Freeze Banana Bread

If you’re going to bake, the smart thing to do is double this old fashioned banana bread recipe.

Eat one loaf now and and put one loaf in the freezer. It will keep for a few months if wrapped in a few layers of plastic wrap.

Instead of freezing the whole loaf, bread it out into thirds so you can pull just a bit at a time when you need it.

Some people freeze individual slices, but in my experience you can never eat just one piece of banana bread.

Old fashioned banana bread on a tray, one slice is buttered

Banana Bread Substitutions + Variations

I am a homemade banana bread purist. I don’t think the original recipe needs to be changed. However…if you must

  1. Add 3/4 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips.
  2. Swap part of the white granulated sugar for brown sugar.
  3. To cut the fat replace half of the butter with apple sauce.
  4. Add spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves.
  5. Add flavours like real vanilla – definitely NOT artificial.

Reader Banana Bread Substitutions

On Pinterest this old fashioned banana bread recipe has been getting rave reviews. Also many people have shared their substitutions:

  • Cooked for 60 minutes at 325 on convection.
  • I made this but substituted Splenda brown sugar blend for sugar.
  • Loved this! Next time I’ll add cinnamon.
  • SO DELICIOUS!! I used 1/2 brown sugar and 1/2 sugar and I added Vietnamese cinnamon to the flour. Definitely a keeper!! 😋😋
  • Absolutely delicious. I added about 1/4 or 1/2 cup of buttermilk.
  • Easy recipe and turned out great. Didn’t have vanilla so skipped that but added 1/2 cup of walnuts.
Old fashioned banana bread on a tray, one slice is buttered

Old Fashioned Banana Bread

Yield: 1 standard size loaf
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

This classic banana bread recipe is just like the one your grandmother made.


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 large over ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 350F.

With a hand blender or mix master blend butter and sugar together. Add eggs, vanilla and mix. Add mashed banana.

In a separate bowl, use a fork to mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, walnuts and sea salt.

Fold in ingredients of first bowl with mashed banana. Do not over mix.

Use non-stick spray on a standard size loaf pan (8-1/2 x 4-1/2 x 2-1/2 inches). Add banana bread ingredients.

Bake for 1 hour, or until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.

Let cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 servings Serving Size: 1 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 316Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 227mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 2gSugar: 23gProtein: 5g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although BaconisMagic.ca attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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Join the Conversation

  1. Margaret VanBlarcom says:

    Great recipe and one of my favorite things. Thanks for sharing!! Love the fact that you included substitutions.

    1. This is the best Banana Bread recipe I have ever tried. Made it twice and it turned out awesome. My oven is hot so the edges burned a bit the first round so the second time I turned the oven off at 50 min and left the loaf in the oven for another 10 to 15 and it was perfectly cooked. Thank you for sharing!

  2. She also made good apple crips and peanut butter cookies!

    1. Oh and I went half white and half brown on the sugar. 🙂

  3. I followed it to the letter. But I should have listened to my own self about combining everything. Bad idea to put the walnuts in with the flour. Flour got in every nook and cranny of the walnuts. And …. usually people put a little vanilla in banana bread. Otherwise, good!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      This is my fault! I did not specify that you put the walnuts in at the end. I’m changing the recipe right now!

    2. Elaine Ausmus says:

      Made this banana bread this morning using 1/2 C of white sugar and 1/2 C brown sugar and a tsp. of cinnamon. It was perfect and so delish!!! 🙂

  4. Eliece Pinnock-stdenis says:

    Best Banana Bread ever!!

  5. Doesn’t say when to add vanilla. I added it to banana mixture.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Thank you for this! I fixed the error.

  6. Hands down the BEST banana bread I have EVER made and I’ve used several recipes.

  7. Turned out great. I put walnuts and some chocolate chips in.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Thrilled it worked out so well for you!

  8. Gary Thordarson says:

    Just made a loaf of this for my wife. I had four over ripe bananas, so this is the one I found. I went half and half brown and white sugar, two teaspoons of Molina Mexican vanilla, added a half cup of buttermilk so I also added quarter cup extra flour. 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips and it turned out to be a perfect loaf. I wish I could add a picture here, because I don’t currently have Instagram. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  9. I made this, and it was delish!!! Definitely making it again. Very moist, and just how I remember my grandmother’s tasting.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Oh I’m thrilled to hear you loved it.

  10. Are any adjustments needed if I need to omit the walnuts due to allergy?

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      You should be ok just to omit.

  11. Thank you

  12. By far the best banana bread recipe I’ve tried! I had some butternut squash puree left over from a butternut squash bread I made so I used a cup of that with 3 bananas. Also put a little streusel on top. Pecans of course. Definitely will keep this recipe. Thanks!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Oh that sounds incredible. Thanks so much for taking the time to share.

  13. If I want to make these as muffins not a loaf, what would be the cooking time?

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I’ve never made them as muffins but the timing would be considerably less as muffins are much smaller. You’d need to keep an eye on them. But if you make them I’d love to hear how long they took.

      1. make these as muffins all the time. It yields about 18 regular-sized muffins, and I bake them at 350° for 25 minutes.

  14. This does not say when to add the walnuts.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Have a look again 🙂 You add it with dry ingredients.

  15. omg, the best banana bread I have ever made !!
    Thank you for sharing
    will be makin this again… and again 🙂

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Oh I am so thrilled!

  16. Can you use vegetable oil instead.of butter?

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I’ve never done that before but you could do a 1-1 substitution although the fat will be slightly higher and it won’t have as rich a taste as oil is a neutral flavour.

  17. Tammy Szulc says:

    Made this banana bread tonight and it was delicious! I did make a few tweaks. I added 2 tablespoons of 2% milk to butter/sugar/banana/vanilla and mixed by hand. Use a 10″ x 5″ loaf pan, lined only the bottom with parchment paper and used cooking spray on the 4 side of the pan. Baked for 50 minutes at 350°. Next time I’ll use a half a cuo of walnut since it was a little too nutty for my liking. Excellent banana bread recipe that I’ll be using again soon!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Wonderful to hear! You may also like the pineapple carrot muffins, they are also a hit.

  18. Absolutely moist and delicious. I made the Banana bread yesterday afternoon and it is just about gone. Very easy to make. I will keep this recipe and use it the next time I make Banana bread. Thank you for sharing this with us. I used all Splenda brown sugar since I am a Diabetic. It came out really good and tasty!!!

  19. I made this and only used 2 large Bananas and added some Cinnamon. It turned out great , very moist and a crunchy crust….😋😋

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      So thrilled to hear this!

  20. Can you tell me how many, approximately, cups of banana that would be?

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      We always just measure by the number of banana, it’s fool proof as long as they are over ripe.

  21. CHOW HOUND says:

    My banana bread was already overcooked at just 40 min. Might want to be sure and check yours after about 30 min.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Every oven operates differently, especially with varying altitudes so I always check on baked goods starting at 15 minutes before it’s supposed to be done.

  22. Phil Bremer says:

    So, it says butter at noon temperature, that mean I can’t make in the morning 🤔

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      OMG this recipe is years old and NO ONE caught this! Thank you I’ll fix it 😄

  23. I made this today it was yummy. I added cinnamon just love it.

  24. What temp used temp other person used hope it works out

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      The recipe states 350F

  25. Made the banana bread to the exact recipe, and my oven gets really hot so I put it in for 40 min instead of 1 hour and it was already burnt and it didn’t rise at all 🙁

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Hot ovens are tough when it comes to baking as you need time. To remove the guess work I’d use a thermometer to preheat the oven so you know the temperature is correct. They aren’t expensive, usually under $10 and would help you in the future.

  26. Made this today and also did the half and half sugars and added some nutmeg and cinnamon – turned out amazing! I like the idea of adding streusel to the top and will try that next time too. Thank you for sharing – now a favorite!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Thrilled it worked for you!

  27. I make these as muffins all the time. It yields about 18 regular-sized muffins, and I bake them at 350° for 25 minutes.

  28. Barbara Cooper says:

    This seems better. I would put walnuts on top. I like walnuts.

  29. Yummy! Under the instructions it says to add walnuts with flour but I added them in at the end along with raisins. This recipe works for me every time. Thanks!

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