This old fashioned banana bread recipe is so simple anyone can make it. And bonus, it’s a naturally gluten-free dessert!
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.
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.
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.
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 Equipment
As I’m not a baker there are a few things I realized you do need that some people may not have.
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.
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.
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.
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
- Add 3/4 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips.
- Swap part of the white granulated sugar for brown sugar.
- To cut the fat replace half of the butter with apple sauce.
- Add spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves.
- Add flavours like real vanilla – definitely NOT artificial.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at noon temperature
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 4 large over ripe bananas, mashed
- 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 and mix. Add mashed banana.
In a separate bowl, use a fork to mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt and walnuts.
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.