In 2020, people all over the world rediscovered the art of making banana bread, and that led them all to wonder how to make banana bread moist.
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Banana bread recipes first started showing up in cookbooks when baking powder and baking soda became popular in the 1930s. In fact, the first appearance of banana bread in a mainstream cookbook was in 1933 when Pillsbury put banana bread in its Balanced Recipes cookbook.
Then, in 1950, banana bread showed up in a cookbook put out by the Chiquita Banana company. In the 1960s, home cooks started baking more than ever, and because banana bread is so easy to make, people started falling in love with this delicious quick bread all over again. Banana bread doesn’t contain yeast at all.
It’s easy to find about a zillion banana bread recipes in cookbooks and all over the internet, but making a banana bread loaf that is nice and moist is an art form, it seems.
All too often, when we bake banana bread, it can turn out somewhat dry. While definitely still delicious, most people want moist banana bread.
The good news is that we found the perfect banana bread recipe.
This classic banana bread recipe gives you banana bread that has a golden-brown crust and is fluffy and moist inside.
Are you ready? Get your coffee and softened butter ready, because we are about to discover the best banana bread recipe of all time.
How to Make the Best Moist Banana Bread
If you’re looking for the best moist banana bread recipe, you need to know the secret to moist banana bread.
Here it is: bananas that are so ripe that you would normally throw them away are the secret to the best moist banana bread. The perfect bananas for a loaf of banana bread will have peels that are black.
The riper the bananas are, the more moist your homemade banana bread will be, and the banana flavor will be out of this world.
Mushy, overripe bananas have tons of sweetness and they’re perfect for making the best banana bread recipe.
That’s it. Well, and a few other key tips, which we will share with you in this article.
Tricks and Tips for Moist Banana Bread
Besides super ripe bananas, there are definitely some best practices to keep in mind to get super moist banana bread.
- Over-rip bananas. As we’ve already mentioned, making sure your bananas are overripe is key to moist banana bread. In fact, your banana peels should be black. The blacker your banana peels are, the better your banana bread recipe will be. Overripe bananas give the best banana flavor.
- Frozen bananas. If you have some bananas that have turned black and you don’t want to make banana bread right away, that’s no problem. All you have to do is remove the peel and pop them in the freezer. You can even freeze your overripe bananas up in ice cube trays or plastic bags if you want. Then, when you’re ready to make your banana bread, pull the frozen bananas out of the freezer and let them thaw.
- Thoroughly mashed bananas. Another secret to getting perfectly moist banana bread is to make sure you thoroughly mash your bananas. To do this, you can use a potato masher, fork, or even a hand mixer. You can even use a food processor and process the ripe bananas on the pulse setting. This is incredibly important if you don’t want your banana bread to have banana bits that are mushy.
- Gently folded ingredients. When you combine your wet and dry ingredients, the key is to very gently fold them with a spatula. You don’t want to over-work your dough. When you fold your ingredients in gently, you will have super tender banana bread.
- Don’t overcook your banana bread. This recipe specifies 60 minutes in the oven, but you can check your banana bread at 55 minutes. When a clean toothpick comes out clean, your banana bread is ready. Pull it from the oven quickly so that it doesn’t become dry.
- Use walnuts. You can use pecans in banana bread, and a lot of people do. However, walnuts are exceptional with banana bread. Walnuts have a hint of bitter flavor that perfectly balances out the sweetness of the banana bread.
- Don’t let it sit in the loaf pan. Some cooks leave their banana bread in the loaf pan for too long because it’s convenient. However, for the best moist banana bread, the key is to remove the banana bread from the loaf pan about 10 minutes after you remove it from the oven. If you leave your banana bread in the loaf pan for too long, you can end up with a soggy bottom.
- Measure ingredients accurately. It’s important to get the ingredient ratio right when you’re making banana bread. Don’t pack your measuring cups because you can end up with too much of one ingredient or another. Using a spoon, place into the measuring cup your dry ingredients. Then, use the back of a knife to level off the ingredients.
- Cream the sugar and butter. If you used your electric mixer to mash your bananas, be sure to thoroughly clean and dry the mixture well before you use it to cream your butter and sugar.
- Don’t undercook your banana nut bread. If the middle of your bread is sunken, it usually means that you removed it from the oven too soon. This is a tricky process, but it’s super easy if you remember to use the toothpick trick to test and see if your banana nut bread is done. Even if the banana bread looks done on the outside, remember that your banana bread needs minimally 50 minutes to cook, with 55 being the most ideal amount of time.
- Leave it an extra 2-3 minutes. Once your toothpick comes out clean, leave your banana bread in the oven for just 2-3 more minutes with the oven door open wide. This will ensure that the bread is thoroughly cooked without drying it out. The bread will settle and tighten up.
- Consider add-ins. There’s no reason you can’t add some extra stuff to your banana bread recipe. For example, chocolate chip banana bread sounds pretty good!
- Brown sugar. Consider substituting a bit of brown sugar for the white granulated sugar. Brown sugar can give banana bread a great flavor, and you can use either light brown sugar or dark brown sugar.
- Don’t omit the sour cream. Sour cream is essential to make your banana bread super moist.
- Use real butter. Some banana bread recipes call for margarine but be sure you’re using real butter.
- Wheat flour. For banana bread, most recipes call for wheat flour. To use an alternative flour such as almond flour, be sure you find a recipe that specifies that because the ingredient ratio will usually be different.
- Use unsalted butter. When you’re buying your butter, be sure you aren’t buying salted butter. You need unsalted butter for most baking recipes, including banana nut bread or a banana muffin recipe.
- Greek yogurt. If you want, you can substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream. This results in slightly more healthy banana bread.
- Spice things up. You can add spices like cinnamon to your banana bread to give it even more flavor. Cinnamon imparts a wonderful spicy flavor to your banana bread, and cinnamon gives your bread a nice holiday flair. Also, anytime you cook with cinnamon, you have that wonderful cinnamon aroma in your home.
- Make a mini loaf. You can make mini banana bread loaves, but be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly. A small loaf will take a lot less longer to cook than a full loaf.
- Make pumpkin bread. You can use this same recipe to make a delicious loaf of pumpkin bread.
Why Banana Bread Fails to Rise
It’s inevitable and it has happened to the best of us. Occasionally, our banana bread recipe fails to rise. Here are some of the reasons this can happen.
- Too much (or too little) baking soda. This is where carefully measuring your ingredients comes in handy. If you don’t get the baking soda exactly right, your banana bread won’t rise properly.
- Expired baking soda. Don’t be tempted to use expired ingredients. It’s not worth it if you end up with a failed recipe.
- Overmixing. If you overmix your dough, it can result in your banana bread ending up flat. Remember to gently fold the ingredients together. This will also ensure that your banana bread is moist and not dry.
- Too much of the wet ingredients. It’s as easy to incorrectly measure the wet ingredients such as the butter as it is the dry ingredients. It can be tempting to add more butter, because who doesn’t love butter? Unfortunately, if this happens, the wet ingredients in your banana bread recipe can weigh down the bread, giving you a loaf of banana bread that is flat.
If your banana bread sinks in the middle, it likely means that you didn’t cook it all the way through before pulling it out of the oven.
Ingredients in Banana Bread
The best banana bread recipe has the following ingredients.
- Sugar (white granulated sugar or a mixture of the white sugar and some brown sugar)
- Butter (real butter, not margarine)
- Pure vanilla extract (not imitation)
- All-purpose flour (don’t use self-rising flour)
- Fresh lemon juice
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Chopped walnuts (or pecans in a pinch)
- Overripe mashed banana
How to Quickly Ripen Bananas
What do you do if you want to make a banana bread recipe but you don’t have any overripe bananas? Here’s how to get your nice and ripened quickly so that you can make banana bread.
The first solution is the most obvious. Just leave your bananas sitting out on the countertop until they ripen. You can even use one of those banana trees if you have one, but you can also just use a bowl or fruit dish.
However, what if you want to make banana bread right now and your bananas are bright yellow with no sign of ripening in the next couple of days? Well, we have a solution for you.
If you need blackened overripe bananas now, just pop your bananas in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. Bake them at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Watch them closely because you don’t want your bananas to become hard and dried out.
How You Should Store Banana Bread
One problem with banana bread is that even if you follow all of the best tips for making moist banana bread, you can end up with dry banana bread if it sits out overnight. For one thing, you should never store your banana bread in the loaf pan after baking it. Storing banana bread in the loaf pan after baking will make it dry.
Here are some ways to store banana bread so that it stays delicious and moist.
- Let your banana bread cook on a plate or wire rack before you refrigerate it.
- Make sure your banana bread is sliced into even thick slices. Thicker slices are slower to dry out.
- If you have leftover banana bread, pack the leftover slices in plastic wrap while the bread is still a bit warm. This will help keep it from going dry. Aluminum foil and airtight containers work, too. Just be sure that your banana bread is wrapped up tightly.
- Gently lay the sliced banana bread in a freezer bag. Press it carefully to remove all of the excess air and close it completely.
Banana bread that is wrapped in plastic will stay nice and moist on the countertop for three or four days. However, in the refrigerator, banana bread will keep for up to seven days.
Tips for Freezing Banana Bread
It’s great to have some sliced banana bread in the freezer to pull out when you want a comfort food treat or when you have company over.
When you freeze your banana bread, it stays good and moist for three months.
To freeze banana bread, make sure the bread is thoroughly cooled before you put it in the fridge or freezer. Wrap it up well with plastic wrap and put the slices into a freezer bag.
To serve your frozen banana bread, simply allow it to thaw at room temperature or in the fridge until it is soft.
Our BEST Moist Banana Bread Recipe
- 2 medium overripe bananas mashed
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup melted butter unsalted butter
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract not imitation
- 2 eggs
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 cup
- sour cream
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts walnuts or pecans
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- While your oven is heating, grease a loaf pan (9×5-inch).
- Using a large bowl, mix the sugar and butter together. Add the vanilla extract, eggs, and lemon juice to the mixture and mix together well.
- In another bowl, combine the baking soda, flour, salt, and baking powder. Using a whisk, mix it together thoroughly.
- Add dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix well until smooth. Do not overmix.
- Mash your bananas with a potato masher or fork. You can also use a hand mixer if you want your bananas to be extra smooth, but don’t overmix them.
- Fold the bananas, walnuts, and sour cream (the banana mixture) into the other mixture. Gently fold it in without overmixing.
- Spread the mixture into your greased loaf pan.
- Bake your banana bread at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 55-60 minutes. Use the toothpick test to see if it comes out clean after being inserted into the center of the loaf. That’s how you know your banana bread is done.
- When your toothpick is clean, open the oven door and turn off the oven. Allow the banana bread to sit in the oven with the oven door open for another 2-3 minutes.
- Remove your banana bread from the oven. Allow it to cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes, then remove it from the pan.
- Place the banana bread on a wire rack and allow it to cool completely.
Watch the video below to learn the secret to making the perfect banana bread.