Have bananas turning dark and spotted on your kitchen counter? Good for you. Don't toss them, don't hesitate, just grab flour, sugar, and eggs and you're making banana bread. Homemade banana bread really does come together very quickly, and it's hard to imagine a homier snack or treat or brunch offering. Let's face it, banana bread is a very close cousin of cake, and cake is always welcome.
You can make this bread with a standing mixer, but if you do, use the paddle attachment and do not overbeat. Overbeating a quick bread batter results in tough breads and muffins. You want to still see faint streaks of flour and mashed banana.
See the variation for banana muffins!
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, heavy (whipping) cream, or sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest, or 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
- 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (optional) for sprinkling on top
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with butter or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and whisk to mix. Set the flour mixture aside.
- Place the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat them until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla. Blend in the mashed bananas and buttermilk along with the orange zest or cinnamon, if using.
- Using a wooden spoon, add the flour mixture to the banana mixture in batches, mixing until each addition is just incorporated. At the end the batter should be barely blended (it will be thick).
- Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top, if desired.
- Bake the banana bread until a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into the load comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let the banana bread cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn the loaf out of the pan and let it finish cooling upright on the wire rack.
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Mini Banana Bread Loaves
Easy Variation: Banana muffins! This banana bread can become banana muffins in a matter of seconds. Follow the instructions below, just use a regular sized muffin tin instead of a loaf-pan. Place a paper liner in each of the 12 muffin cups and fill them three quarters full of batter. Top with mini chocolate chips if you like, and pop the muffins in the oven for a decreased baking time of 23-27 minutes. The muffins are done if they spring back when touched in the center and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Be sure to let the muffins cool in the tin on a wire rack 5 minutes before turning them out one by one and letting them cool upright on the rack.