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 noon 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.

Did you make this recipe?

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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.

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

  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.

  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.

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