I know the internet is brimming with banana bread recipes, and many claim to be the "best", but I can tell you that once you try by best ever banana bread recipe, you will forever be converted! This banana bread is truly incredible, with no-fuss ingredients and a simple method, but tastes absolutely divine.
It has the perfect amount of sweetness, a rich caramel-y banana flavor, a moist texture without being muddy or dense, and a cinnamon crunch topping which makes the crust even yummier than normal.
WHAT MAKES THIS THE BEST BANANA BREAD RECIPE
So what makes this recipe special? Here are the simple tweaks that make the biggest difference:
- The butter is browned. I know this adds some minutes to the process, but it is well worth the effort. Browned butter adds a lovely caramelized, nutty flavor and aroma that works wonders in banana bread
- The sugars are dissolved in the butter with the help of heat. Just like I do with my best browned butter chocolate chip cookies, I like to stir the sugars into the browned butter while still hot, on the lowest flame, for 1-2 minutes. This initiates a caramelization process for the sugars, and they also develop a nice caramelized flavor through this step. (note: we are not actually caramelizing the sugars, we are just stirring them into the butter on low heat for 1-2 minutes)
- The recipe uses sour cream for added richness and moisture. Sour cream is a magic ingredient in cakes as it makes the batter riches without making it runnier, and the same is true for banana bread. It also reacts with the baking soda to give the banana bread a better rise
- A cinnamon sugar mixture is sprinkled on top to give the crust a lovely crispy texture
Here's everything you will need to make this banana bread (scroll down to the recipe card for the exact quantities):
- Unsalted butter
- White sugar
- Brown sugar - both light or dark will work
- Eggs, cold - they can be replaced by flax seed eggs if you avoid real eggs
- Extra ripe bananas - the spottier, the better!
- All purpose flour - you can also replace this with 50/50 all purpose and whole wheat flour, but I like it best with all purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Sour cream - this will make your banana bread rich and moist! If you don't have any, you can use plain greek yogurt
- Cinnamon powder - optional
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST EVER BANANA BREAD
Check out this short video in which I have demonstrated how to make this banana bread:
First, preheat your oven to 350F (conventional) and prepare a loaf pan with parchment paper and butter / oil.
Place the butter in a nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Melt and stir until the butter browns - you will know when you see brown specks on the bottom of the pan and the butter develops a nutty aroma.
Immediately turn the heat to the lowest setting and add the white and brown sugars. Stir on the lowest flame for 1-2 minutes until the sugars begin to dissolve in the butter (they won't completely dissolve - don't worry. The heat is activating their caramelization process, nothing else. Doing this for too long or at high heat will cause the sugar to crystallize, which we don't want).
Remove from heat and wait for 3-5 minutes. Then add the cold eggs and vanilla and whisk for 1-2 minutes until a really smooth, silky mixture is formed.
Mash the bananas in a separate bowl and add them to the batter, stirring to combine.
Next, sift in the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda and salt) and gently fold with a rubber spatula until combined. Lastly, fold in the sour cream, and your batter is ready!
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and sprinkle over the cinnamon sugar mixture (optional). And into the oven for ~50 or so minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached.
Serve and enjoy the best banana bread ever!!
This is a great base banana bread recipe which you can spruce up in any way you like. Here are some ideas:
- Turn it into banana cake instead of banana bread by baking in a 9" cake pan
- Fold in chopped walnuts for a walnut banana bread. I recommend always toasting your nuts before adding them to cakes or breads as they taste infinitely better that way
- Fold in chocolate chips or Nutella for a chocolate banana bread
- Add peanut butter chips for a yummy peanut butter version. This is one of my favorites!
- Add 2-4 tablespoon of espresso for a coffee banana bread
- Replace the cinnamon sugar mixture on top with a cinnamon streusel mixture for a proper crumb
- And so on!!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You can replace it with greek yogurt, or make your own sour cream at home using cream, milk and lemon juice
You can replace the eggs with flax seed eggs. For 2 eggs, mix 2 tablespoon ground flax seeds with 6 tablespoon of water, stir and refrigerate for 10 minutes until the mixture becomes gloopy
Yes, you can! See the variations section above for different ideas for how you can switch up this banana bread
You can store the banana bread for ~2 days at room temperature in an airtight container, or refrigerate for 5-7 days
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