Best Banana Bread

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Best Banana Bread

I love this recipe so much I’ve made it four times in the past month. Four times. And I’m not usually one for banana bread. (Zucchini bread holds the number one spot in my heart when it comes to quick bread.) The original recipe, which is from Cooking Light, is called Classic Banana Bread; I’ve taken the liberty of renaming it Best Banana Bread. Because it really is.

Best Banana Bread 2

I kept the original recipe intact and only made a couple changes:

  • Increased the vanilla from 1 teaspoon to 1 1/2 teaspoons, and also added 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste and 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract.
  • Added 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon…not really enough to be able to pull out the flavor of cinnamon, but enough to add a little intrigue to the background.

This bread definitely has that classic banana bread taste and texture; it is softly scented of banana and vanilla, with a soft, moist crumb. I thought it was perfect in its simplicity, but if you’re in the mood to jazz up the flavor a bit, you could add walnuts and/or increase the amount of cinnamon.

For the past few months since I’ve discovered this recipe (ok, truthfully, it was last Easter), it has been my go-to whenever I find myself with over-ripe bananas…which is usually at least two or three times a month. And we still can’t get enough!

Do you have a favorite banana bread recipe?

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Best Banana Bread
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 1 (8½ x 4½-inch) loaf; about 12 servings
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
  • ⅓ cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
  • Cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
  3. Place the sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the banana, yogurt, vanilla extract, vanilla bean paste, and almond extract; beat until blended. Add the flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist.
  4. Spoon batter into an 8½ x 4½-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  5. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
Recipe adapted slightly from Cooking Light's recipe for Classic Banana Bread.

Mini Loaves & Muffins: This recipe is really versatile. It also makes 3 mini loaves (5¾ inches long X 3 inches wide X 2 inches deep), and they take between 35 to 40 minutes to cook at 350F; or it makes 12 muffins and they take between 25 to 30 minutes to cook at 350F.

Update (1/17/2013): Because of the large number of people who have emailed me asking for the full recipe with the changes I made, I updated the post to include it here…enjoy!

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  1. says

    I adore banana bread and muffins. I’ve been particularly addicted to a vegan recipe as of late (the website is under construction- will send you the recipe when its back up!!). I will definitely give this one a go

  2. says

    Four times in one month? Well, we don’t have to worry about you getting your share of potassium, do we? LOL Banana bread is pure comfort in loaf form. I can’t blame you for wanting a slice again and again.

  3. Tammy says

    Do you have a complete recipe of the one you use. Do I have to cut and paste the old recipe and then put in your changes?Thank you for your response.

  4. says

    Doncha love it when you find the BEST recipe? I’ve tried so many ones for banana bread (I went on a rampage and tried almost thirty recipes this year, no joke) and finally found a favorite but of course I have to try this one! I know that you do not say “best” lightly and I trust your judgement. Pinned!

  5. Carla says

    Just wanted to say thanks for publishing this recipe!! Added a dash of nutmeg and cloves and it tastes amazing! Makes a perfect loaf!

  6. says

    This is an amazing recipe. I really love the addition of almond extract to the recipe, although I never use vanilla paste because I’m a cheap-o. I’ve literally made this 3 times in the past month and my roommates LOVE it. In fact, I just started my blog and I made this recipe the first recipe I posted on it!!! (: I’ve been following your blog for a while and it’s always been a great source of delicious food. Thanks so much!

    PS: if you want to check out the little baby food blog post that spawned from yours, here it is:

    • says

      Tracey, I am so honored! Thank you so much, I can’t even say how much that means to me. Your blog is beautiful and I wish you the best of luck with it. Your Melt-In-Your-Mouth Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Sugar Frosting look amazing – I just shared them on my Facebook page! xo

      • says

        Wow, thank you so much, I really appreciate the share! I don’t have an official FB page for my blog so I can’t really share back that way, but I liked your FB page on my personal FB (: Thanks again, for both the recipe and the FB share!!

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