Banana bread has always been one of my favorite comfort foods. As a kid, I remember my mom always keeping a bread basket of over-ripe bananas above the fridge to use for banana bread or banana chocolate chip muffins. As an adult, I got in to the bad habit of buying bananas, and then forgetting to eat them. And that’s when banana bread became one of my favorite go-to recipes. (Although now I buy slightly splotchy bananas on purpose and save them for banana bread…)
I love bringing banana bread to work or an early morning get-together with friends. It’s moist and delicious, with a strong banana flavor. And as the boyfriend’s former roommate once told me after she went to put cream cheese on a slice for breakfast, “this is Emily’s banana bread, it doesn’t need any stinking cream cheese!” (Which, by the way, was one of my favorite compliments to date!)
The secret to this recipe is to keep bananas long past the point of wanting to throw them away. The best flavor comes when the bananas are so brown that they’re almost black. If they’re squishy on the inside (not bruised), that’s even better. Just don’t let them grow mold, and watch for signs that they have cuts in the peel because you don’t want to attract fruit flies.
Banana bread is best served the day after you bake it and will last in a sealed container for about a week. If you have extra bananas on hand, the recipe doubles beautifully. Just be sure to space them at least 6 inches apart to allow heat to circulate in your oven. And if you don’t like pecans, you can substitute walnuts or even chocolate chips!
Click below for the recipe. Have a question? Feel free to ask in the comments. And thanks for reading!
Yield: 1 loaf, 12-16 servings
Begin by assembling your ingredients.
You are going to need:
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3-4 extremely ripe (overripe) bananas
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
You are also going to need:
- Small bowl
- Stand or hand mixer
- Rubber spatula
- Loaf pan
- Baking spray or butter and flour for the pan
First, pre-heat your oven to 350° F.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and stir in the vanilla.
With the mixer running on low, add the bananas, one at a time. The mixer will mash the banana, and mix it in to the batter. If using a hand mixer, mash the bananas with a fork in a small bowl, and then mix in to the wet ingredients. (The mixture will look curdled due to the bananas, but don’t worry because it’s supposed to look like that!)
Add the flour mixture all at once, and mix until blended. Fold the pecans in to the batter using a rubber spatula.
Butter and flour (or spray with baking spray) the loaf pan, and pour in the batter. Smooth the top of the loaf with a rubber spatula. Bake the bread in your preheated oven for approximately 1 hour or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes, and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.