The most sought-after bread recipe online is [fill in the blank].

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What’s the most searched-for bread recipe online?

Hint: an example is pictured above.

With nearly 1.2 million searches every month for the recipe, this particular bread is obviously a favorite of foodies everywhere. Or maybe it’s simply the Holy Grail of bread recipes: much sought after, never found.

I’m sure by now the visual clue above has given you the answer: banana bread.

Yes, banana bread. Not sandwich bread, or whole wheat bread, or baguettes, or no-knead or zucchini. Just that comfortable old denizen of years gone by – dark, moist, tasty banana bread.

It stands alone atop the search charts. It’s what American bakers are looking for.

So, who cares? Well, here at King Arthur Flour, we do. We’ve always got our eyes peeled for trends, hot baked goods (both literally, and figuratively), and anything else that can tell us what you, our customers, want and need.

My particular area of responsibility here is our online recipe section. While previously I wrote King Arthur’s cookbooks, now I tend our flock of nearly 2,000 online recipes: making sure they’re clear, correct, and garnering good reviews.

I also create new recipes where I find holes. For instance, one of the most searched-for cake recipes online is Red Velvet. Does our recipe site offer a Red Velvet Cake recipe? Not yet… Ditto whole wheat muffins. Apricot coffeecake. And raisin scones.

Like the old E.F. Hutton ad from the ’70s, when you speak… I listen.

Thus my recent focus on banana bread.

Do we have a banana bread recipe in our King Arthur Flour recipe archives?

You betcha. In fact, we have two very highly rated banana bread recipes.

The one you see pictured at the top of this post is our 100% whole wheat Heavenly Healthy Banana Bread, with 41 five-star reviews.

And this one, our Guaranteed Banana Bread, a more traditional white-flour version, albeit with a secret twist.

Customer five-star reviews: 34.

And then there are the banana bread recipes on our Baking Circle community: a total of 32 different recipes, last time I checked.

Including this Decadent Banana Bread, posted by community member robynechristmas20.

Super moist, super tasty. Just waiting for a smear of cream cheese.

So, did you enter one of those 1.2 million online searches for a banana bread recipe last month? Or, are you on a lifelong search for the PERFECT banana bread, like I am?

If so, I can’t say your search ends here. After all, one baker’s perfect banana bread is another’s “feh…” But the following Heavenly Healthy Banana Bread is the most popular version on our site, so give it a try. Even if it doesn’t make your list of bookmarks, I guarantee you’ll enjoy the experiment.

Are you a nuts-in-banana-bread person, or not? Apparently there are two camps: the purists (no nuts, no spices), and the adventurers (nuts, cinnamon, nutmeg…) If you fall into the latter group, check out this $9.95 nut grinder. We’ve been selling it for YEARS, and it never seems to wane in popularity.

Just a simple turn of the handle…

…yields nicely chopped nuts. Turn the handle one way for a finer dice (left); the other, for more coarsely chopped nuts.

Next, the bananas. Aren’t these lovely?

TOO lovely. Save them for your bowl of cereal.

The best banana bread is made with overripe bananas. The riper they are, the sweeter and more “banana-y” they taste.

Trust me, these bananas will be SUPER-sweet.

What if you’ve got a hankering for banana bread, and can’t wait for those pretty yellow bananas to turn brown?

Banana flavor to the rescue! Just 1/4 teaspoon intensifies the banana flavor of not-quite-ripe-enough bananas.

Ready to bake? Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Let’s start with the bananas. We’re looking for 1 1/2 cups of mashed bananas for this recipe, but how would you know how many bananas that is, until you mash them?

Luckily, 1 pound of unpeeled bananas mashes down to just about 1 1/2 cups of banana purée. So, peel those bananas (about 3 medium-large), break into pieces, and put into your mixing bowl.

Mix until well blended. There’ll probably be some random small chunks of banana floating around in there; that’s just fine.

Scrape the bananas out of the bowl into another bowl or cup, and set them aside.

Put the following into the bowl:

1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, light or dark
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix until well combined.

Add 1/4 cup honey, 2 large eggs…

…and the bananas. Mix until well combined.

Time out for a tip: Most banana bread recipes call for mashed bananas, right? So after I made this bread the traditional way, by mashing the bananas first, I wondered, why bother? Why mash them first, when they’re going to get all mashed up with the other ingredients, anyway?

Try this: beat the butter and sugar together until smooth. Then add the vanilla, salt, baking soda, and banana chunks, beating until very well combined. You’ll have a few scattered bits of banana, but no more than if you’d mashed the bananas first. Finally, beat in the honey and eggs. Worked just fine. Time saver!

Remember, if your bananas weren’t quite ripe enough – 1/4 teaspoon banana flavor is a loaf-saver.

Next, the final key ingredient: flour. Choose 2 cups (8 ounces) King Arthur 100% Whole Wheat Flour, either Premium, or White Whole Wheat. The two are nutritionally equal; milder White Whole Wheat lacks the traditional, more assertive flavor of Premium.

Beat gently, just to combine.

Add 1/2 cup chopped nuts, if desired. Walnuts are traditional; pecans are good, too.

Grease an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan. Don’t have that size loaf pan? Then grease your 9″ x 5″ loaf pan; your loaf will just be a bit shorter/flatter.

Spoon the batter into the pan, smoothing the top, and/or tapping the pan gently to settle the contents.

Let the bread rest at room temperature for 10 minutes; this gives the baking soda a good chance to get going.

Bake the bread for 50 minutes.

It’ll dome nicely. Bake for an additional 10 minutes; a long toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center should come out clean.

If you have an instant-read thermometer, use it. When the center of the loaf climbs over 190°F, it’s a good bet it’s baked all the way through.

Remove the bread from the oven. After 10 minutes, loosen its edges with a heatproof spatula or table knife, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely.

It’s tempting, but don’t cut the bread until it’s cool.

This is a rather close-textured bread, and slices nicely without crumbling. As I mentioned earlier, a smear of cream cheese (and dab of strawberry jam, or fig-walnut preserves) wouldn’t be amiss.

Nor would peanut butter, for all you PB & B sandwich fans out there.

Read, bake, and review (please) our recipe for Heavenly Healthy Banana Bread.

Print just the recipe.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. Ricardo Neves Gonzalez - FMP-FASE - Petrópolis, R.J. - BRAZIL

    I always prefer over riped bananas instead of use chemical flavors. Here, we only have easy way to buy, chemical flavors, undesirable!
    I have a question that follow me in my work. Why you always notice this confectioner´s treat as a BREAD, Banana Bread, instead of truly Banana Cake? It´s not leveaned, none bread starter. It´s made the same way we make cakes, then why we call it BANANA BREAD?????????????

    Ricardo, here in the states we tend to call most things made in the shape of bread – in a loaf pan – and leavened with baking soda or baking powder – “quick” bread, rather than cake. Banana bread, zucchini bread, and lemon poppyseed bread are all examples of this. So – that’s why. :) PJH

    Reply
  2. PLC

    I made both versions of the banana breads. Both get great reviews and requests for the recipe. People are surprised when I tell them the secret ingredient in the KA Guaranteed Banana Bread. I make Heavenly Healthy Banana Bread with white whole wheat. I have put walnuts, pecans and toasted almond slices in different batches for different people. All versions are good! I also use the KA pans and make 3 small loafs. Just the right size for small households! Thanks for an excellent recipe.

    And thanks for your endorsement – sounds like you’re a veteran banana-bread baker! PJH

    Reply
  3. iahawk89

    Yum! I’m making some today. Actually, one of my favorites is the one you included on the maple flav-r-bites bag years ago. I always add the maple or cinnamon bites to my banana bread. An no nuts!

    Reply
  4. Barbara

    I knew I should have bought those bananas while grocery shopping this morning…this will have to wait til next week (the end of next week so the bananas can get nice and ripe!).

    Reply
  5. invenanet

    Why did you put the loaf pan on a cookie sheet instead of setting it directly on the wire oven rack?
    You can definitely put the pan directly on the rack. Using a baking sheet, especially in our higher wall ovens can make taking the loaf in and out of the oven easier. ~ MaryJane

    It’s also a “just in case” if the pan isn’t QUITE big enough – remember, when I take the pictures, I’m testing the recipe. A baking sheet lined with parchment has saved me many an oven cleanup when testing recipes in different pans! PJH

    Reply
  6. beadgalsarita

    The last time I made banana bread, I made muffins and put in peanut butter chips and chocolate chips. Hands down, it was the best banana bread I’ve ever made :) Even the hubby who’s not big into banana bread agreed!

    Reply
  7. lishy

    I just made banana bread, but used peanut butter instead of butter, and added chopped peanuts. My cousin called it Elvis bread. So yummy! I love love love both of your banana bread recipes and so do my kids, thank you for making sure we always have the best recipes right at our fingertips, literally. Awesome job!!!

    Reply
  8. TrishaT

    I was one of the searchers! I don’t know if it was last month but I have been on a quest for a go-to banana bread recipe. I like one that has a lot of honey and a cinnamon sugar top, so perhaps the one you featured here is the one for me. I had some yummy banana bread in my son’s class, and the teacher told me she followed the recipe in the Joy of Cooking. That is a place I hadn’t looked. I’ll have to try that one too.

    Reply
  9. Joe

    This has been my “go to” banana mini-muffin recipe for about a year now. I almost have it memorized. We use chocolate chips as well as cinnamon and nutmeg. We use the white whole wheat. My kids(8 and 10) rave about it and beg me to make them.

    Reply
  10. Diedre

    This is basically the recipe I use, but with half the butter, and I add chocolate chips. I’ve also used with one egg instead of two and it came out fine. I combined the KA whole wheat flour with some flaxseed meal for more fiber and nutrition. Yummy.

    Reply
  11. kaf-sub-michaela0326

    When we don’t use up all the bananas, I stick them in the freezer (in the peel) and defrost them when I am ready to bake banana bread. I just cut off one end of the banana peel and squish the defrosted banana right into the bowl. Sweet and easy

    Reply
  12. cmunoz

    Bananas can be peeled and placed in the freezer till you have enough time to make the banana bread. Upon thawing, they separate out so there is a lot of water. You can put it in, judging how wet the batter should be by eye. But if it is just too gross, you can add some applesauce to get the right moisture for the batter. The applesauce trick also works if you have fewer bananas than the recipe calls for, or if your friends find the over-ripe banana flavor too strong.

    Reply
  13. "Linda S"

    Ooh….you’re getting me in the mood for banana bread again…!

    I was never a fan of it until I tried the one from America’s Test Kitchen’s Baking Book…theirs also uses very overripe bananas. They claimed they found the best formula, and I had to agree it was wonderful. I even used it to make banana muffins, their recipe made one 9″ loaf, but it also easily made 12 standard muffins, I just lowered the baking time to about 25-30 minutes till a toothpick came out clean.

    I can’t agree more to the need for OVERRIPE bananas in these breads! I admit, they look SO bad that you can’t imagine doing anything but throwing them away, but it really makes the difference. I used about 4 small bananas when I made it, some SO ripe they were oozing liquid….yuck! :-D But the end result was delicious! You can really taste the banana.

    So…for those who can’t wait….believe me…let ‘em get ripe! You can always plan to make it the next week, buy some already ripening bananas and leave them out till then…it’s worth the wait!

    For those “impatient” folks, ATK DID also say if you need to hurry things up a bit, you can put the unpeeled bananas on a sheet in the preheated oven for 15 minutes while you are gathering the rest of your ingredients. The skins will blacken, but the insides will have ripened.

    I haven’t tried it myself, but it is supposed to speed up the process of starches turning to sugars, great if you’re stuck with bananas that just aren’t ready to be used.

    I think there will always be individual tastes as to what the “best” banana bread is, but who cares? They’re ALL great!

    Reply
  14. Alison

    I’m with Michaela – don’t worry about how ripe they are – stick them in the freezer right away when you buy them. They’ll turn black, and when you defrost them, squeeze them right into the bowl. No second bowl to wash, and they’re perfect for banana bread!

    Reply
  15. amgbooth

    I HATE bananas. You know I love you if I will peel a banana for you. But I used to make a banana bread that even I would eat. It is the best recipe EVER. It came from Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Cookbook. It was a blender banana bread recipe. If you ever come across it, give it a try.

    We’re glad you found a recipe for discerning banana tasters (and bakers). Thanks for sharing your favorite! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  16. "A Place to Reside"

    I just finished tinkering with my favorite banana bread recipe to make it a bit healthier. If only I’d read this first I would have saved myself some work. :-) I’m looking forward to trying this one. And I agree that peanut butter and banana bread is always a very good idea.

    Reply
  17. "John VN"

    I will have to try this one. I have around 20 banana plants in the yard and it seems that I spend the summer and fall in banana land. I have tried all kinds of additions including cream cheese, chocolate, pecans, dried mango, pineapple, and cranberries.

    Reply
  18. Betty

    This quick bread is delicious, and very easy and quick to put together. I tried the bit about not mashing the bananas but just putting them in with everything else and letting the machine do the mashing for me, worked out excellent!

    Just a tip for anyone else…non-purist that I am…I like to toast nuts in many recipes, it gives them a much better flavor and is super simple to do. Just put them in the oven at 350 for 10 mins and you’re good to go. They develop a much deeper flavor that way and just give that little extra something special.

    Thanks for all the great recipes and tips!

    Betty, so true about toasting the nuts; I also like to toss them with a bit of melted butter and salt before toasting. If you can stand the extra calories, this treatment takes them over the top! Thanks for connecting here- PJH

    Reply
  19. Laura

    Very nice recipe, I made it for the weekend breakfast. I added raisins to it and sprinkled the top with mini chocolate chips and stirred them in a little.

    Reply
  20. smith5436

    I made this bread at the end of last week before leaving on a trip so that I could use up the over-ripe bananas that I had on the counter. I doubled the recipe and replaced all the butter with applesauce. I made one large loaf and three small ones. It was “The Best Banana Bread” I had ever made. I took a small loaf with me on the plane to visit my daughter. It traveled well and survived only till the next morning.

    Reply
  21. llc333

    Very good. I added cinnamon, your cinnamon chips & banana oil.

    My question is I did not see the temperature to bake. I guessed 325 degrees?

    Glad it worked out for you, despite the blog post neglecting to indicate temperature! It’s a versatile recipe; 350°F is what the recipe says, but if 325°F worked for you, stick with it. Thanks for letting us know about this omission – PJH

    Reply
  22. llc333

    Thank you for adding the degrees. I have another question. I checked with an instant read thermometer & it read 190 degrees yet the bread was still quite moist in the middle so I needed to continue baking.

    Would that have anything to do with be using a lesser baking degree?

    Thank you.
    Because a bread of this nature is more on the dense side and has a heavier crumb, it may seem a little underdone at 190. It is fine to let it go a few degrees above 190, but trust that it will be perfectly baked when cooled and cut. If you decreased your oven temperature, that would not keep it from reaching the right internal temperature, but it will affect the amount of time it takes to get there. ~Amy

    Reply
  23. WW Baker

    I just made these as muffins and changed the recipe a bit and they turned out GREAT! My bananas were perfectly over-ripe. I used 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup applesauce (I added the applesauce in with the eggs.) I also added cinnamon (1 tsp but I think it needs more) and 1/4 cup freshly ground flaxseed (in with the flour). I baked the muffins for 25 minutes, turned the pan around at 15:00. I forgot to put aluminum foil on top but everything is OK. My daughter says it is the best muffin she ever had, though it is bumpy. :)
    I think next time I will add toasted sunflower seeds or fresh blueberries.

    Reply
  24. Melba B.

    I am a purest (no nuts, no choc. chips) and I swear by the recipe from the old Amy Vanderbilt Cook Book also. My daugher, who is now 37, has eaten it since childhood and will not accept it made from any other recipe. I have tried other recipes but nothing compares.
    Never use anything but the ripest, and sometimes darkest, bananas. This recipe calls for Cream of Tartar, which might make a difference too.

    Reply
  25. angel

    hi, if i use the mini loaf pans for this recipe, what will that mean for the time to bake — will it decrease?

    anyone out there who has tried baking this using the mini loaf pans?
    Bake at the same temperature but check for doneness after 20-25 minutes. Bake longer if needed and check in just a few minutes. I do not know if anyone in our test kitchen has baked this in smaller pans. Enjoy! Elisabeth

    Reply
  26. xmas57

    It’s hot in Virginia today, yet I had some very ripe bananas that were calling out “banana bread.” My solution was to use this recipe and bake mini-muffins in my toaster oven. The recipe made 42 mini-muffins and they are perfect bite sized treat. I baked them at 350º for about 15 minutes. The whole wheat flour, dark brown sugar, and honey make for a tasty muffin!

    What a great idea! Toaster ovens and the Zo bread machine (perfect for desserts and entrées, as well as breads) are wonderful during this hot weather. PJH

    Reply
  27. Pat

    My favorite addition to any banana bread recipe is a few tablespoons of finely diced crystallized ginger. I have also used cinnamon baking bits from KAF.

    I like to bake banana bread in one channel of a 3-channel lasagna/bread pan. It’s a long, skinny loaf, so you get more, smaller slices and can feel more virtuous for having several pieces. It also takes much less time to bake (about 45-50 minutes) and you are less likely to ever wind up with a gooey middle. I got the pan from KAF, so it’d be great if they were to publish baking times for that pan too.

    One last thing – if batters made with ww flour are supposed to sit for 10 minutes, it seems like you wouldn’t need to preheat the oven until you finish mixing the batter. I’d like to see that change made to all recipes for which it applies. Reducing our carbon footprint while preparing an indulgence gives us one more reason to feel virtuous.

    Any excuse to use ginger in a recipe is good enough for me! My mom used to make “tea loaf bread” in a canape pans growing up and the combination of banana, pineapple, and some whole wheat flour launched the bread to the top of my “favorites list”. I’ll have to try some crystallized ginger bits next! Thanks for the inspiration and suggestions: I like the idea of delaying the oven a bit and being a more mindful baker. I’ll put in the request to see if we can do that in the recipes it pertains to; same with the 3-channel pan! Kim@KAF

    Reply
  28. kedicik

    hi, i tried to post this on the recipe too but i guess i couldnt manage. it looks tasty so i am going to try this but there is one thing i want to ask. When is it a bread (recipe) and when is it a cake (recipe) ?
    Your review did post, actually. This is “quick” bread. A quick bread is similar to cake in that the main leavening agents are chemical (baking powder and/or baking soda). Breads such as sandwich breads are leavened with yeast. If you have any futher questions, please call our Bakers’ Hotline at 1-855-371-2253. We are here every day! Elisabeth

    Reply

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