Recipes
The Best Banana Bread Recipes for Every Type of Cook
Banana bread. So hot right now.
04-16-2020
Avery Lowe
Avery Lowe

Banana bread’s versatility makes it a beloved comfort food. It was one of the first baked goods I thought of making during this stay-at-home stint, and I’m not alone: “Banana bread recipe” is one of the most popular search terms around the web (and on our sites) right now.

Our library of recipes, from the classic to the unique to the health-conscious, will inspire you to make that loaf you’ve been craving—and others you might not have thought of.

From left: Ultimate Banana Bread, Best Banana Bread, Banana Bread for Kids

Ultimate Banana Bread: for the cook who's looking to go the extra mile

This recipe takes the best elements of a classic banana bread and ramps it up a notch. The ultimate banana flavor comes from extracting some of the bananas’ liquid, which is then simmered and reduced for ultraconcentrated flavor. There’s even a final sliced-banana topping that is guaranteed to make this loaf the prettiest on the counter. [GET THE RECIPE]

What You’ll Need:
1¾ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon table salt
6 large very ripe bananas
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 large eggs
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup walnuts (optional)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar

The Best Banana Bread: for the traditionalist

This recipe is one to keep in your back pocket, as your go-to basic banana bread that tastes anything but. With a predictable ingredient list and a simple dump-and-stir technique, it’s been a hit for more than 20 years. [GET THE RECIPE]

What You’ll Need:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon table salt
1¼ cups toasted walnuts
3 very ripe bananas
¼ cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Banana Bread for Kids: for the young chef

All of these baked goods will impress the whole family, but this recipe was specifically designed for kids to take the lead in preparing it. Our America’s Test Kitchen Kids test cooks had kids come in to the Test Kitchen and cook through the recipe so they could give their stamp of approval. [GET THE RECIPE]

What You'll Need:
Vegetable oil spray
2 cups all-­purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3 very ripe bananas (skins should be speckled black)
¾ cup sugar
2 large eggs
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
¼ cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

From left: Low-Fat Banana Bread, Vegan Banana Bread, Gluten-Free Banana Bread

Low-Fat Banana Bread: for the cook who's looking for a lighter loaf

Reducing fat should never reduce flavor. Our innovative techniques, such as roasting the bananas to bring out natural sweetness (which reduces sugar in the recipe) and using fat-free cream cheese combined with a touch of oil, will introduce health-conscious baking practices into your repertoire. Let this loaf lead the way! [GET THE RECIPE]

What You’ll Need:
4 large ripe bananas
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1¾ cups all purpose flour
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 ounces fat-free cream cheese

Vegan Banana Bread: for the dairy-free cook

This recipe started with a discovery: Ripe but firm bananas—those that look good enough to eat—are the best for vegan banana bread. These bananas are starchier than overripe ones, so they allow for a naturally open crumb and sturdy structure without needing to use an egg substitute. This bread comes together in a flash and requires no traditional vegan tricks. [GET THE RECIPE]

What You’ll Need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup organic sugar
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3 ripe but firm large bananas
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
⅓ cup plain almond milk yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ walnuts (optional)

Gluten-Free Banana Bread: for the gluten-free cook

Biting into banana bread that has subtle flavor can be a major disappointment; Banana bread should have deep banana flavor. Luckily, our gluten-free recipe packs in a large number of bananas—five—to utilize the bananas for extra moisture that is often lacking in gluten-free baked goods. And to counteract any density issues, the batter is stirred constantly for one minute to ensure proper aeration. [GET THE RECIPE]

What You’ll Need:
9½ ounces (2 cups plus 2 tablespoons) America’s Test Kitchen All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Blend 
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
5 large very ripe bananas
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large eggs
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
½ walnuts (optional)

From left: Reduced-Sugar Banana Bread, Grape-Nuts Banana Bread, Banana-Chocolate Chip Snack Cake

Reduced-Sugar Banana Bread: for the cook who's keeping an eye on their sugar intake

For a banana bread recipe with half the amount of sugar as traditional recipes, we took advantage of the abundance of natural sugars found in overripe bananas. We found that three bananas was the magic number, and we replaced the granulated sugar found in many recipes with Sucanat, since its pleasant molasses flavor married well with the other flavors in the bread. [GET THE RECIPE]

What You’ll Need:
7 tablespoons (2½ ounces) Sucanat
2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3 large very ripe bananas
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large eggs
¼ cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup walnuts (optional)

Grape-Nuts Banana Bread: for the cook with food nostalgia

Grape-Nuts cereal is a cherished and nostalgic breakfast food for many, traditionally enjoyed by New Englanders in the form of Grape-Nuts pudding. Inspired by the longevity of the cereal’s fame, we decided to merge two breakfast worlds to create this bread. We highly recommend it toasted with butter. [GET THE RECIPE]

What You’ll Need:
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
¾ cups Grape-Nuts cereal
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed banana
½ cup whole or low-fat milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large egg

Banana-Chocolate Chip Snack Cake: for the cook with a sweet tooth

Who says banana bread has to be eaten for breakfast or brunch? This snack cake has a fluffy, tender crumb—perfect for cake lovers and those with more of a sweet tooth. It has bits of semi-sweet chocolate throughout as well as a topping of cream cheese frosting to set it apart from the classic breakfast staple. [GET THE RECIPE]

What You’ll Need:
2 cups all-purpose flour 
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1½ cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 to 3 bananas)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup whole milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips