Here is an easy and moist Banana Bread Recipe. It is loaded with bananas, tangy-sweet raisins, and toasted walnuts. It is my favorite banana bread recipe of all time, and it always gives me use for my overripe bananas.
There is something so comforting about eating the most delicious slice of warm banana bread straight out of the oven. As a little girl, I would look forward to the holidays. I have so many fond memories of visiting my grandma and sampling her homemade goodies. Her banana bread was always my favorite.
This banana bread recipe stays moist for days. It also makes for a thoughtful and delicious gift idea for the holidays.
Ingredients for Banana Bread:
Here are the ingredients you will need to make the best banana bread: flour, sugar, almond extract, shortening, eggs, milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, and very ripe bananas. Adding walnuts and raisins is optional but adds great taste and texture, turning it into banana nut bread.
Can I Omit Walnuts and Raisins?
YES! The recipe will still work without the raisins and walnuts. To substitute the raisins and walnuts, try adding in nuts, chocolate chips, or coconut flakes.
How to Ripen Bananas:
The banana peel should be almost black. The bananas will be soft on the inside.
Some bakers claim you can ripen the bananas by baking them in the oven. Ripening is a biological process that transforms the fruit, making it sweeter and less acidic. Baking whole bananas in the oven, in my opinion, will not work.
- 24 Hour Counter Method: Place a bunch of bananas into a paper bag and set them on the kitchen counter for 24 hours. Bananas emit ethylene that causes ripening. Adding an apple to the bag will speed up the process.
Can I Freeze Overripe Bananas?
How to Freeze Bananas: place the un-peeled bananas in a freezer-safe bag, remove any excess air and freeze up to 3 months. You can use thawed bananas for banana bread. You can also freeze a whole banana bread with the same method!
ALWAYS add cinnamon and nutmeg
Adding 1/4 teaspoon each should do the trick.
The Extract is the secret
Depending on the flavored bread, add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract, or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.
Substitute for healthy ingredients
Replace some of the flour with whole wheat flour or rolled oats (gluten-free people?) For every 1 cup of sugar, replace with 1/4 cup honey. Replace shortening for butter.
Instead of shortening, replace the shortening with 1 cup butter or margarine plus two tablespoons.
Suggested Baking Times for Different Pans
Here are some baking times to help guide you if you want to bake your banana bread in a different pan than usual.
- Remember the type of pan (metal vs glass, dark metal vs light metal), the height of the pan, how much you fill the pan, the ratio of wet ingredients to dry ingredients, etc. will all have an impact on your baking times. Make sure to use the clues above to help you judge doneness, along with the times below:
- For banana bread baked in a 9″x5″ loaf pan, it takes about 60 minutes (or more) to bake at 350 ºF
- For banana bread baked in an 8.5″x4.5″ loaf pan, it takes about 75 minutes to bake at 350 ºF
- For mini banana bread baked in mini loaf cake pans, it takes about 30 minutes at 350 ºF
HOW TO CHECK IF IT’S BAKED ENOUGH
Banana bread can be tricky to check if it is baked through and done. Here are some clues to help you know if your bread is done.
- the edges should be a deep golden-brown and pulling away from the sides
- the bread should bounce back when pressed gently with your fingertips
- a cake tester (metal skewer or wood skewer) inserted into the center of the bread should come out clean
How to Make Banana Bread:
This is the easiest banana bread recipe. You can mix it in a stand mixer or a hand mixer and you can even make it work with a hand whisk. There is no fancy equipment required.
- Preheat the oven to 350 ºF. Butter and flour an 8½” x 4½” loaf pan OR a 9″x5″ loaf pan, then line the bottom with a rectangle of parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer, cream together the shortening and sugar for at least 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl often to make sure the mixture is evenly whipped.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing in between each addition.
- Add the milk and mashed banana. Mix well, scraping the bottom and sides to incorporate everything.
- Dump in the flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg and fold it in with your spatula.
- Stir in almond extract.
- If you prefer you can add in either 250 mL (1 cup) chocolate chips or 250 mL (1 cup) chopped walnuts or chopped pecans.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf cake pan. Smooth the top to even it out.
- Bake for 60–65 minutes for a 9×5″ loaf or up to 75 minutes for an 8.5″x4.5″ pan, until the edges are a deep golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350 ºF. Butter and flour a 8½" x 4½" loaf pan OR a 9"x5" loaf pan, then line the bottom with a rectangle of parchment paper. Set aside.
- 2. In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer, cream together the shortening and sugar for at least 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl often to make sure the mixture is evenly whipped.
- 3. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing in between each addition.
- 4. Add the milk and mashed banana. Mix well, scraping the bottom and sides to incorporate everything.
- 5. Dump in the flour, cinnamon and nutmeg and fold it in with your spatula.
- 6. Stir in almond extract.
- 7. If you prefer you can add in either 250 mL (1 cup) chocolate chips or 250 mL (1 cup) chopped walnuts or chopped pecans.
- 8. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf cake pan. Smooth the top to even it out.
- 9. Bake for 60–65 minutes for a 9x5" loaf or up to 75 minutes for an 8.5"x4.5" pan, until the edges are a deep golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Use the largest bananas you can find for this recipe:
- Make sure the bananas are very ripe (black even).
- If you are using frozen bananas for this recipe, please make sure you do the following:
- defrost the bananas
- peel the bananas and place in a strainer set over a bowl
- press very gently to squeeze out the liquid
- either discard the banana liquid OR place the liquid in a saucepan and boil it down to a couple of tablespoons, stirring often so that it doesn't burn. Add this banana concentrate to the bananas and proceed with the recipe.
- If you want to make fancier banana bread, add any of the following:
- add 250 mL (1 cup) chocolate chips
- add 250 mL (1 cup) chopped walnuts or chopped pecans
- You can also use a thermometer to check if your cake is done baking and the internal temperature should register around 212 ºF or 100 ºC when it's done.