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The Humble Banana Bread

It really is a humble little bread, isn't it? It isn't a grand dessert, given a starring role on restaurant menus. But it's delicious, just the same--for a snack, or yeah--for breakfast! It's the kind of thing you picture your grandmother or your mom making, and it brings you right back to their kitchens--or at least for me, it does. And I don't know about you, but when I get a craving for banana bread, I've got to have some.

The only thing standing in the way of banana bread is my kids, the little monkeys. They eat all the bananas! I've had to start hiding some from them, just so we can have banana bread or these muffins, which we all go crazy for.

This recipe is from an old friend, and it's definitely our favorite. This is the one my husband asks for when he gets a craving for banana bread. And even better--it makes two loaves. I love getting more for my work, don't you? You can freeze one, if you like--just wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then foil, and I throw it in a freezer bag for good measure. It's a moist bread, buttery and tender, and just right.

If you have buttermilk and want to use that instead of plain milk, it's delicious that way, too. The original recipe calls for three cups of sugar, but I cut it down to two and a half cups. And add nuts if you like! I'd add nuts, and a lot of them if the kids didn't find them so revolting. What is it with them?! I ended up adding some walnuts to the top of one loaf, anyway. One of my favorite ways to have a slice is to pop it in the toaster, and then put peanut butter on it. Because peanut butter makes so many things better. It's right up there with bacon, cheese and chocolate for their food enhancing capabilities.

Perfect Banana Bread


1 cup unsalted butter -- softened
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk or buttermilk
3 cups banana -- mashed
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Cream butter and sugar.
Add egg and and vanilla.
Then add milk and mashed banana.
In a separate bowl; sift and stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Do not over mix.
Pour into a greased glass loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, to 1 hour 25 minutes or until nicely browned and done when checked with a cake tester.

Yield: 2 loaves
Preparation time: 10 minutes



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Reader Comments (47)

Banana bread is one of the gatekeeper's to happiness. It is just my favorite regardless of how simple.

I love staying at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki (the big pink palace) and at night the hotel delivers hot banana bread and butter to your room! Yummy.

June 19, 2008 | Unregistered Commenternoble pig

HOW did you know just last night I told my husband I was making banana bread with the nanners that are now just a little too ripe? Psychic!

June 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterApril in CT

Banana bread is the taste of home, I think. Everyone loves it and is happy to see it. Beautiful loaves!

June 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

Cathy! I want to stay there! Most I ever got was a truffle on my pillow. A good one, but still...

April, spooky! It must be a sign. And since I don't have any overripe bananas, it's all in your hands, hehe.

June 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElle

It is sooo long since I've had banana will be great for the summer picnic's!

June 19, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterrecipes2share

I have both buttermilk I need to get rid of and ripe bananas, so it must be fate! I have a recipe that is my standard, but its probably time for me to branch out, don't ya think? This one looks great & just made my stomach rumble :)

June 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

I've really been wanting to make banana bread lately, and this makes me want to make some even more!!

June 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah

I'm so jealous of all of you that have overripe bananas! I have to hide mine and hope that I don't forget them there. hehehe.

June 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElle

Elle, I just loooove our loaf breads! They are always delicious and just beautiful! I am adding this one to my to do list:)) Yum!

June 19, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterfarida

Beautiful pictures Elle... Banana bread is one of my absolute favorites and this is making my mouth water!

June 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPam

these look so good elle and i have the same problem here with nuts! the only way i get around it is to pulverize them into practicaly powder and then put them in!

June 19, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterbunny

You did a great job on this, Elle! It looks so moist and tender - the perfect bread combo! Your pictures are always so delicious; I'm addicted to your blog :D.

June 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSophie

Banana bread may not be considered a "grand dessert," but wow, you sure made it look like one!! Yum!!

June 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVeggieGirl

I love this widget! It's printable and so much easier to save uber good recipes like this banana bread!

June 19, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercakewardrobe

Bunny, great idea! Though I'll bet my husband would wince in pain and run from the kitchen if I told him I was pulverizing nuts. (SO sorry! The 13 year old in me could not resist.)

Sophie, thank you so much!

Cake--it's a great widget, isn't it? solves the printing problem! Key is the place to go.

Thanks, everyone! :)

June 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElle

That's a great idea to put peanut butter on banana bread! How delicious :)

June 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTiffany

Im always looking for new ways to use up banana's. Umlike you I always seem to have left overs (Hubby doesn't like them and there's only so many my 1 year old daughter and I can eat!). This banana bread looks delicious!

June 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

i could eat toasted banana bread for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert (a little vanilla ice cream does wonders), or snack. you know, i've never, ever slathered a slice with peanut butter, but what an idea! golly gee, that'd be delicious! on the rare occasions that i have bananas beyond salvaging, this is by far my favorite thing to make. :)

June 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGrace

There is nothing humble about your banana Bread. It looks wonderful.

June 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRhyleysgranny

Are you reading my mind? Seriously now...I was just looking at the rotting bananas thinking that I needed to make something like this. You have officially given those (and everyone elses) bananas new life!

June 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAMY VIG

Thanks, guys!

Amy, so weird! I must be the only person here that has to go out of her way to get brown bananas, haha!

It must be that you guys are sending overripe banana vibes into the universe. And I'm just super sensitive to all of your needs.


June 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElle

Now this looks sooooo good! The texture looks so moist and the colour is so inviting, yum.

June 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJeena

Life would be sad indeed without banana bread. I made some banana, pb, and chocolate muffins yesterday. Not exactly low-cal, but definitely worth the calories. And your muffins look incredible too!

June 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSusan from Food Blogga

Banana bread is one of my favorites and yours looks really good! I like to eat it for breakfast, even if it is sometimes full of chocolate chips. :) I am going to have to try it with peanut butter next time.

June 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

Wow wow wow! This looks fab! I love the one with the walnut topping especially :)

June 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMrs Ergül

I would be very suspicious of anyone who didn’t like banana bread! The only way I can get my little darlings to eat nuts is to grind them very fine (like bunny) and throw them in. They don’t know they are in there, but the flavor is there, so everyone’s happy.

June 19, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertoontz

Banana bread is the best, precisely for its humble nature! And I agree, buttermilk is the way to go for a good crumb.

June 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTrisha

u got that rite..banana bread is humble, not pretentious and needed in every household. only person standing btw me and my bread is mum. haha! she's a sucker for it.

lovely recipe. i've got that down right beside my own. thanks elle :)

June 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdiva

all hotels should serve hot banana bread at night. also, someone should bring some to my house. i would pay out the ass for that service.

June 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermichelle @ TNS

Banana bread was once a very coveted treat in my childhood home. My mother, who is vehemently opposed to baking (she claims as result of growing up in an environment void of baking in Taiwan) used do to be elated when an aunt from the other side of the family would make banana bread. As a result, I always thought of it as a very sophisticated treat!
But in my own home now, I can make (or get) it anytime I please, and I can't wait to try this recipe.

June 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercookinpanda

Elle, it may not the most sophisticated thing in the whole world, but it's amazing! I love banana bread and these loaves are making me dream.

June 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia Scarpin

This is so yummy recipe!!!! xxGloria

June 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGloria

i love banana bread!!! i will definitely put this on my to try list :-)

June 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDhanggit

man your baking up a storm over here! i actually just got done making a batch of these. threw in a cup of ghiradelli 60%cacao chips couldn't resist...guess their taintd now. Your recipe looks awesome tho esp. w. addition of buttermilk :)

June 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertaste memory

Mmm, this looks so good Elle! I love moist banana bread with walnuts. :)

June 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLori

I think the banana bread batter is always the best part. Yum.

June 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterrenae du jour

My husband and I just finished inhaling a slice each of this and it's awesome! My only regret is I only had enough nanners for one loaf, but oh..I will be making this again soon because it certainly won't last long. It's buttery moist and just perfect.

Hubby was napping while it baked and between snores he woke up said "That smells good." then passed back out and back to snoring. So even before it came out of the oven it was getting good reviews.

June 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterApril in CT

I believe it is apparant that I love bananas :) this bread looks so good. I especially love the walnuts on top!

June 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHoneyB

Ya gotta love another good banana bread recipe. I make the stuff pretty much weekly, and I always seem to have some in the freezer. And since this one is "perfect" I will have to try it out!

June 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRecipeGirl

I don't think I've ever had banana bread--can you believe it? It looks so moist and yummy!

June 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVicarious Foodie

There's something about banana bread that makes everybody go wild. I have about 20 lb. of bananas in my freezer just waiting for a good day to tackle the banana bread frenzy.

June 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commentergiz

Thank you, everyone! April, I'm thrilled that you and your husband enjoyed it!

Giz, I envy your 20 pounds of bananas in the freezer. :)

June 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElle

That banana bread sounds fabulous! I love banana bread, it's so comforting and satisfying, love it!

June 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLyB

I have never met a banana bread I didn't like. And now that I've read this recipe, I'm about to have a canary to have some. Unfortunately, I'm at my desk at the ofc, so it's not in the cards right now, so the canary population is no longer safe....

June 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBMoreSweet

I love banana bread. It is one of those great breakfast treats of all times. My problem is I always burn my mouth trying to devour it while it is still hot.

Looks so good!

June 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

My roommate recently bought bananas in bulk and put them in the freezer. After I mentioned that they'll now come out mushy and liquidy, he donated them to my cooking endeavors. I might just have to try making this - right after I explore making some ice cream.

June 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGarrett

Hi Elle

How much walnuts did you and did you toast and chop them before you sprinkled on the top.

March 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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