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Always Moist Banana Bread Recipe (Easy, Great Flavor)

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This easy moist banana bread recipe has two “secret” ingredients that give it great flavor and texture so it keeps well and freezes well.

moist banana bread

Make sure to use ripe bananas!

One of the most important things you can do for the best, moist banana bread is to make sure to use really ripe bananas.

The sometimes overwhelming sweetness and squishy texture of extra ripe bananas make them perfect for making banana bread. Overripe bananas also have more nutrients.

overripe bananas

How ripe is too ripe to use?

Don't be afraid of black spots on the skin, or skin that's entirely black. I've even used a few over the years that I poured out of the skin because they were so soft.

With very ripe bananas, you can also cut back on the sugar in the recipe.

Bananas freeze well, too. If you have ripe bananas but no time to bake, simply slip them out of their skins and into a freezer bag or container.

moist banana bread with nuts

How to Make Banana Bread

Have you ever eaten banana bread that was dry, or maybe it starts out good when it's warm but by the next day it's gotten hard?

If so, you need to try this moist banana bread recipe. Some recipes add extra bananas, but this can make the bread too sweet or gummy in texture.

Instead, we use buttermilk – or sour milk, sour cream or plain yogurt. These add extra flavor, moisture, and acidity to activate the leavening.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup mashed bananas, fresh or thawed
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk or sour milk
  • 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flax
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup nuts, unsweetened coconut, or chocolate chips – optional

Directions

Preheat oven to 350℉ and prep two 8×4 or 9×5 loaf pans.

I use stoneware pans to bake my banana bread. Because of the sweetness of the bananas, I grease them and put a strip of parchment in the bottom to prevent sticking.

Cream together butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add in buttermilk and mashed bananas and mix until smooth.

Add the flour, and then sprinkle the flax, baking powder, baking soda and salt over the top of the flour.

The flax is our second somewhat unusual ingredient. It adds a subtle nutty flavor to the banana bread, even if you don't add nuts.

Once all the dry ingredients are in the large bowl, mix everything together until just blended.

Mix in nuts or coconut if desired – or – wait until batter is in the pans and sprinkle some nuts or coconut on top. Pour the batter into two loaf pans.

My youngest is not a big fan of nuts, so I often make one loaf with and one without nuts. By sprinkling nuts on top of the loaf, it's easy to see which is which.

banana bread batter in loaf pans

Bake for around 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. (I love my extra large grid cooling rack. Nothing falls through and it's very sturdy.)

two loaves of banana bread on wire rack

Buttermilk or Sour Milk?

Buttermilk is great if you have it on hand, but you can also use regular milk. You just need to sour it first.

To sour fresh milk, add 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to 2/3 cup room temperature milk. Allow the milk to stand for five minutes.

Alternatively, you can use raw milk that has naturally soured. Do not use pasteurized milk that has gone bad. It rots instead of souring.

How to Store Your Banana Bread to Keep it Moist

Don’t slice bread fresh out of the oven. It should rest for 10-15 minutes before serving, just like meat. This traps the moisture inside the bread, and allows it to completely set up and finish baking.

Of course, if you’ve got a group hovering by the oven and the whole loaf is going to disappear right away, this is a moot point.

Store your banana bread in a sealed container at room temperature for several days. There's no need for refrigeration unless you live in a very warm climate.

Breads can be frozen. Make sure to wrap/seal them well to prevent moisture loss, or they can become dry and possibly freezer burned.

If you like, slice the bread before freezing. Pack 1-2 slices per package (use wax paper between slices to prevent sticking) for single servings.

Use frozen bread within a month or two. Write the date on the package with a sharpie marker, or on a piece of masking tape attached to the container.

When you want to eat the bread, allow it to come to room temperature while still wrapped. This allows moisture inside the packaging to be reabsorbed by the bread.

sliced banana bread with butter

Substitutions

If you want gluten free moist banana bread, I have used Namaste Gluten Free Flour blend instead of wheat flour with good results.

Want a more caramelized taste and texture? Substitute brown sugar for the granulated sugar. It's also okay to experiment with the amount of sugar, or substitute a low calorie sweetener like Swerve.

You can add a teaspoon of vanilla extract if you like, or try chocolate extract if you are adding chocolate chips.

If you want moist banana bread muffins…

Use 24 standard muffin cups and fill about 2/3rds full. Bake at 350℉ for 25 – 30 minutes.

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Always Moist and Delicious Banana Bread

Moist and delicious homemade banana bread recipe with two “secret” ingredients that give it great flavor and texture – not dry and crumbly!

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 loaves 1x
  • Category: quickbread

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup mashed bananas, fresh or thawed
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk or sour milk
  • 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flax
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup nuts, unsweetened coconut, or chocolate chips – optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease two 8×4 or 9×5 loaf pans.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add in buttermilk  or soured milk and mashed bananas and mix until smooth.
  3. Add the flour, and then sprinkle the flax, the baking powder, the baking soda and the salt over the top of the flour. Once all the dry ingredients are in the bowl, mix everything together until just blended.
  4. Mix in nuts or coconut if desired – or – wait until batter is in the pans and sprinkle some nuts or coconut on top. Pour the batter into two loaf pans.
  5. Bake for around 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  6. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

Buttermilk is great if you have it on hand, but you can also use regular milk. You just need to sour it first.

To sour fresh milk, add 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to 2/3 cup room temperature milk. Allow the milk to stand for five minutes.

Alternatively, you can use raw milk that has naturally soured. Do not use pasteurized milk that has gone bad. It rots instead of souring.

Store in a sealed container for up to one week, or freeze for longer storage.

Keywords: banana, breakfast, snack, quickbread

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homemade banana bread

Gluten Free Banana Bread and Other Quickbread Recipes

We have several other quickbreads on the site, including:

Gluten Free Banana Bread sweetened with honey and stevia

Rhubarb Bread

Cranberry Orange Bread

Cheesy Garlic Zucchini Bread

Mom's Best Zucchini Bread

Let me know if you try the recipe, or if you have any questions.

You can tag me on Pinterest at @commonsenseidea or Instagram at @commonsensehome.

Originally published 2013, last updated in 2020.

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3 Comments

  1. Oh, man this banana bread looks so yummy…and guess who just happens to have a few overripe bananas! Thank you!

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