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Best Banana Bread Recipe

Preparation 10 min Cook Time 45 min Total Time 0:55

Several years ago, Elise Bauer's terrific banana bread at Simply Recipes became my go-to recipe. I loved her rustic one-bowl, one-utensil technique, which seems just right for a homey quickbread. Over the years I substantially reduced the sugar and made a handful of other additions and modifications, such that now when someone asks me for a banana bread recipe I want to share this one instead of the original.


  • 4 large, very ripe bananas
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon brewed coffee (if you have it)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • A 3-finger pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (OR 1 1/4 cups plus 1 Tablespoon whole wheat pastry flour), spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped dark chocolate (I like Green & Blacks 85%)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the center. Grease a medium (8-cup/9 x 5 x 3 inch) loaf pan. In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Mix in the melted butter. Crack the egg into the bowl near one of the sides, tilt the bowl slightly, and use the fork to lightly beat the egg. Add the brown sugar, vanilla, and coffee to the bowl and mix with the fork to combine well.
  • Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the batter. Add the flour and mix with the fork until just combined. Add the chocolate and walnuts and mix just until they're well distributed in the batter.
  • Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes to one hour, until a tester inserted in the center comes out cleanish. It's fine if it has some banana or chocolate on it, but lots of wet batter ain't right. Cool in the pan on a rack for ten minutes (before unmolding to cool completely, if you're positively made of steel).
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