Banana Bread

Banana bread is oh-so-simple... yet like many simple recipes, requires a few out of the ordinary ingredients to bring it from potentially boring to memorable. A hint of spice, honey for sweetness and moist texture, and one final touch—a few spoonfuls of jam—distinguish this tasty bread from run-of-the-mill versions.

Our guarantee: This moist, dense banana bread is a deep golden brown, with mild-to-medium banana flavor and a light touch of spice.

Prep
20 mins
Bake
1 hr 10 mins
Total
1 hr 30 mins
Yield
1 loaf
Banana Bread

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan; or a 12" x 4" tea loaf pan.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, beating until smooth.

  3. Add the mashed bananas, jam, honey, and eggs, again beating until smooth.

  4. Add the flour, then the walnuts, stirring just until smooth.

  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing the top. Let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.

  6. Bake the bread for 45 minutes, then gently lay a piece of aluminum foil across the top, to prevent over-browning.

  7. Bake for an additional 25 minutes (20 minutes if you're baking in a tea loaf pan). Remove the bread from the oven; a long toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center should come out clean, with a few wet crumbs clinging to it. The tester shouldn't show any sign of uncooked batter. If it does, bake the bread an additional 5 minutes, or until it tests done.

  8. Allow the bread to cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Remove it from the pan, and cool it completely on a rack.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Want to make this gluten-free? For great results, substitute King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour for the all-purpose flour in this recipe, no further ingredient changes necessary. Be sure to bake thoroughly; gluten-free baked goods often need a bit more time in the oven.

  • Be sure to use ripe bananas; their peels should be bright yellow, with no green showing at all, and beginning to turn brown. For more pronounced banana flavor, use extra-ripe bananas, ones whose peels are mostly black-brown.
  • An easy way to mash bananas is to peel, cut into chunks, and place in a zip-top plastic bag, leaving about 1/4" open at the top of the bag for air to escape. Gently knead/flatten/squash the banana chunks with your fingers.
  • To make banana bread French toast: Cut your several-day-old loaf into 3/4"-thick slices. Dip the slices into your favorite French toast batter, and cook in a skillet or on a griddle. For added crunch, crush 2 to 3 cups of cornflakes in a wide shallow dish, and dip both sides of your battered banana bread slices into the flakes before cooking.
  • For a reduced-sugar version of this bread, cut the brown sugar in half, to 1/3 cup. For an even greater reduction, use just 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Each version will retain its moist texture, and taste fine — simply less sweet, more banana-y.
  • Interested in learning more about ancient grains — and how to use them? See our complete guide to baking with ancient grains.