This banana bread recipe is moist, tender, and delicious but also forgiving where substitutions are possible depending on your preference or what is available. Making banana bread at home should be easy — easier than chucking overripe bananas (just kidding).
Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
8½” x 4½” loaf pan
¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (227.5 grams)
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups mashed bananas, about 3-4 overripe bananas (see note 2)
¾ cup brown sugar (150 grams) (see note 3)
½ cup coconut oil (see note 4)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Turbinado or demerara sugar, optional
- When my recipe calls for milk and vinegar (or lemon juice), what I am making is a substitute for buttermilk. Buttermilk makes baked goods tender and lighter; however, I never buy an entire carton simply because I don’t use it too often. To make buttermilk at home, combine a scant cup of milk with a tablespoon of vinegar, stir it, and let it sit for about 5 minutes until it starts to curdle. You can also use sour cream or yogurt thinned out with water or milk to the consistency of buttermilk (which is thicker than milk).
- Use only overripe bananas which have gone so soft, have brown or black spots on them, and have developed a lot of freckles. These make the best banana bread for their sweetness, moisture, and flavor.
- Brown sugar, because it contains molasses, makes this banana bread moist and more flavorful. You can use granulated sugar as well.
- I highly recommend that you use coconut oil. Aside from its health benefits, it just makes it better with just a hint of coconut in the final product. If it has solidified, melt over low heat. Other options would be melted butter or oil (e.g., canola or vegetable).
- For a healthier version, you can also substitute all-purpose flour with white whole wheat flour for half of the amount or one for one.
- Optional mix-ins are chopped walnuts, chocolate chips, or raisins.
- Make the buttermilk substitute by combining milk and vinegar in a bowl, stir, and let it curdle for about 5 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Grease an 8½” x 4½” loaf pan with oil or butter and line with parchment paper with two sides that overhang for easy lifting after baking.
- In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients — flour, baking soda, and salt — and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork.
- Add the sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Whisk until combined.
- Add in the dry ingredients.
- Using a spatula, gently fold until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Gently fold the mix-ins (if using) at this time.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Sprinkle a generous amount of turbinado sugar (if using) for a crunchy top.
- Bake for about 55-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs.
- Let it cool slightly before removing from the pan and slicing.
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