Banana Nut Bread Recipe

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Use up your ripe bananas with this easy classic banana nut bread recipe! This loaf is moist, flavored with cinnamon and walnuts, and tastes just like Grandma’s. I love having a slice with a cup of coffee for breakfast.

Super Moist Banana Nut Bread

I just absolutely love this easy recipe for from scratch banana nut bread. It has a perfect combination of flavors. There’s a lovely hint of cinnamon and vanilla that complements the banana flavor so well. Oh and speaking of that banana flavor – the super ripe bananas add such a delicious flavor to this homemade loaf that you can’t resist!

I love that this simple one bowl banana bread isn’t overly sweet. The combination of sweetness from the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and ripe bananas is just right. It definitely feels and tastes like quick bread, not like a cake, which means it’s perfect to have for breakfast with a Starbucks latte. 

Even though it’s a quick bread, it holds its shape wonderfully. You can spread butter and jam on it without it breaking apart or crumbling. Even though this bread holds up well to toppings, the buttermilk makes it very moist so that you can eat it alone without butter. This buttermilk banana bread is just perfectly balanced and moist.

I love adding walnuts because they have a perfect tender crunch. I really think they’re the best nuts for banana bread. They’re totally optional though, so feel free to leave them out (or add more) depending on your preference. You could even make banana bread with chocolate chips instead if that’s what you’d prefer!

This banana walnut quick bread won’t disappoint. My sweet neighbor even said that she’s going to start using this recipe instead of her mom’s, which has to be one of the best compliments I’ve gotten. I know I’m biased, but I really do think this is the best banana bread recipe in the world!

If you love easy banana desserts, be sure to check out Paula Deen’s banana pudding while you’re here. It’s another great recipe to use up ripe bananas.

Ingredients

Bananas: The bananas you want to use are brown and spotty. The loaf will taste better if the bananas don’t have any green on them. With banana bread, the rule of thumb is the riper the better. I normally set bananas aside for banana bread once they’re ripe enough that I wouldn’t want to eat them plain.

Flour: All purpose flour is the best flour to use here because it has the right amount of protein in it. There’s enough that it will hold its shape, but not so much that the loaf will be tough. You’ll end up with a delicious loaf that holds together and has a tender crumb. Just be sure not to overmix the batter so that you don’t activate the gluten.

Granulated Sugar and Brown Sugar: Using a combination of granulated sugar and brown sugar gives you the best balance of flavor and texture. White sugar is sweeter, so you’ll get sweetness from that. On the other hand, brown sugar has molasses in it which contributes a caramel flavor and makes the loaf more moist.

Butter: Because butter is solid at room temperature, it contributes to the structure of the loaf. That helps add some leavening power. You could use a neutral flavored oil instead, but the loaf will be noticeably more moist and more dense (it won’t rise as much).

Eggs: Eggs are used to help hold the loaf together, and they help add volume.

Buttermilk: The acid in buttermilk reacts with the baking soda to create the leavening power in this bread. When those two combine, they create a reaction that yields a light and fluffy loaf. Since buttermilk also slows down gluten formation, it helps make sure that you have a tender loaf.

Baking Soda: Baking soda reacts with the buttermilk to create the leavening power. If you don’t have buttermilk and are substituting it with something else, the baking soda won’t have an acid to react with, which would mean the loaf wouldn’t rise and would have a metallic taste. In that scenario you’d need to substitute the baking soda with baking powder. You’d need to use about 3 times as much baking powder though.

Walnuts: I love making banana bread with walnuts because they add a delicious flavor and a tender crunch. You can also substitute the walnuts with pecans (or even chocolate chips) if you like.

Flavor: A combination of ground cinnamon, salt, and vanilla extract flavors this bread perfectly. Cinnamon is a warming spice. Salt enhances the flavors and balances the sweetness. Pure vanilla extract adds the best vanilla flavor (since this is a baked dessert, you could use artificial vanilla extract with good enough results).

The labeled ingredients for banana nut bread.

How To Make Banana Nut Bread

Start by preheating the oven and preparing the loaf pan. Add the sugars and butter to a large mixing bowl, and use a handheld electric mixer to beat them until the butter is pale and fluffy. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)

Adding the butter and sugar to the large mixing bowl and beating together until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs in one at a time and mix until incorporated.

Scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl then adding and beating in egg in at a time.

Add the mashed banana, buttermilk, and vanilla. Mix until incorporated.

Adding the mashed bananas, buttermilk and vanilla into a large mixing bowl and beating until incorporated.

Sift in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix until almost incorporated.

Sifting the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into the wet ingredients and beating until just incorporated in a large mixing bowl.

Add in most of the chopped walnuts, and stir to combine, scraping down the sides as needed.

Adding the chopped walnuts to the batter and folding in with a spatula while scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl.

Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan, and top with the remaining walnuts.

Adding the bread batter to a prepared pan then topping with the remaining chopped walnuts.

Bake uncovered in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool for a bit before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, cooking times, and helpful tips, etc.

Cooling the bread in a pan for 10 minutes then transferring to a cooling rack.

Should I Use Baking Soda Or Baking Powder In Quick Bread?

The choice between baking soda and baking powder depends on whether or not you have an acid ingredient in the recipe. Since this recipe uses buttermilk, baking soda is the right choice because it can react with the acid in buttermilk to create leavening. The trick with quick breads is to get them in the oven quickly so that all of the bubbles that release from that acid reaction  are trapped inside the baked goods, which is what creates the height.

Can Bananas Be Too Ripe For Quick Bread?

No. You want to use overripe bananas to make the best banana bread, there’s no such thing as bananas that are too ripe for banana bread.

A whole banana bread loaf on a cutting board topped with golden brown walnuts.

How To Not Overcook It

When you’re checking for doneness with a toothpick, it’s done baking when a crumb or two still sticks to the toothpick. If you wait until no crumbs stick, then it’s already overbaked.

Is It Common For It To Crack On Top During Baking?

Yes! It’s super common in quick breads. It happens when the bread has already started to set in the oven, but it still rises a bit more while it’s baking.

A thick slice of moist banana nut bread with a layer of butter on top.

Why Is My Banana Nut Bread So Dry?

Banana bread can end up too dry if you use too much flour, bake it for too long, or if you overmix the batter (which activates the gluten). Since this recipe uses buttermilk, it’s a lot more foolproof and more likely to yield a moist and tender banana bread.

What Happens If You Cut It Too Early? 

If you cut banana bread before it has a chance to set, it’s more likely to crumble. It’s best to wait about 10 minutes before removing it from the pan, and then let it finish cooling on a cooling rack before you cut into it.

An overhead shot of glistening banana bread with a small dish of butter and a bundle bananas to the side.

How Do You Keep It Moist?

The best way to store banana bread to keep it fresh is to store it in an airtight container at room temperature. I place a paper towel in the bottom of my tupperware, then store the banana bread on top, then place another paper towel on top of the bread before closing the lid. This helps absorb the extra moisture. Keep in mind that quick breads are very moist, so they tend to only last for about 3 days at room temperature.

Keep In Touch

I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime

Pin this recipe for later!

A Pinterest pin image with a picture of banana nut bread, with title text at the top.

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If you like this recipe, be sure to check out all of our breakfast recipes! Some reader favorites are:

Yield: 10 slices

BEST Banana Nut Bread Recipe {One Bowl Banana Bread}

The best banana nut bread recipe.

Use up your ripe bananas with this easy classic banana nut bread recipe! It’s moist, filled with walnuts, and tastes just like Grandma’s.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick, room temperature)
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 2 large ripe bananas (mashed, 1 1/4 cup)
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup walnuts (roughly chopped, divided)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9x5 loaf pan with butter, then set aside.
  2. To a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter. Use either an electric hand mixer or the paddle attachment on a stand mixer to beat on low until they are combined, then turn the speed up to medium-high. Beat for about 4 minutes (or until the butter starts to look pale and fluffy). Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add in 1 egg at a time, then beat on low until the egg is just incorporated. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Add in the mashed banana, buttermilk, and vanilla. Beat on low until it’s fully combined.  
  4. To the bowl with the wet ingredients, sift in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Beat on low until almost incorporated (it’s better to err on the side of having a few dry spots than to overmix).
  5. Use the rubber spatula to fold 2/3 of the walnuts into the batter while scraping down the sides to incorporate the remaining dry ingredients. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 of the chopped walnuts over the top of the batter, and place the pan into the preheated oven. Bake for 47-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Let the bread cool for 10 minutes. After it has cooled a little, loosen the edges with a butter knife before removing it from the pan and transferring it to a wire rack to let it finish cooling completely before slicing and serving

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

1/10

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 369Total Fat: 18.4gCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 2.8gSugar: 21.8gProtein: 6.5g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

Tag @KeyToMyLime on Instagram so we can see your delicious meal!

This banana but bread is extremely delicious! It’s sure to be a family favorite recipe. Be sure to try it the next time you have ripe bananas to use up.

The best banana nut bread recipe.

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