This Banana Nut Bread is an easy recipe that requires just 10 minutes of prep! It’s moist, sweet, dense, and loaded with mashed banana and chopped walnuts!
There are plenty of ways to use overripe bananas: a Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie for breakfast (or maybe this Strawberry Smoothie is more your style?), Banana Cream Pie for dessert and of course (everyone’s favorite), this moist and flavorful Banana Nut Bread!
This nutty banana bread is another delicious variation to add to your great book of banana bread recipes. Everyone has that, right? 😉 It’s perfectly dense, moist, and sweet and has so much banana flavor.
Banana nut bread ingredients:
- Bananas: use very ripe bananas for the best flavor. The browner the better! You will need 475 grams (or 1 ¾ cup) mashed banana. If you fall short, you can substitute the amount missing for extra Greek yogurt to compensate.
- Granulated Sugar: takes the sweetness up a notch and helps bring out the sweet flavor of the bananas.
- Unsalted Butter: gives the banana bread moisture and flavor depth. Make sure you use unsalted butter so you don’t end up with an overly salty bread.
- Greek Yogurt: the acidity in Greek yogurt results in an even more moist, tender texture.
- Eggs: binds all the ingredients together and gives the banana bread stability.
- Vanilla Extract: adds a touch of warm sweetness.
- All-Purpose Flour: I recommend spooning the flour into your measuring cup and leveling it off with your finger so it doesn’t get too packed in. Too much flour will result in a dry loaf. Or use a kitchen scale!
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda: help leaven the bread so it’s not too dense. Using both baking powder and baking soda also helps the bread get that golden-brown color.
- Salt: cuts the sweetness and brings out the flavors in the banana bread.
- Chopped Walnuts: you can also use chopped pecans if that’s what you prefer. If you don’t like nuts at all, simply omit these from the recipe entirely.
How to make banana nut bread
- Mix the wet ingredients: in a large bowl, mash the bananas. Whisk in sugar, melted butter, and Greek yogurt. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
- Add the dry ingredients: to the banana mixture, add in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir until there are no more white streaks, then mix in walnuts.
- Bake: transfer the batter to a greased loaf pan, then bake at 350ºF for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, cover the pan lightly with foil if it’s starting to brown on top, then bake for another 20-30 minutes.
- Cool and serve: remove the baked bread from the oven, allow it to cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes, then transfer it to a cooling rack or cutting board and let it cool completely before cutting and serving.
How to quickly ripen bananas
If your bananas just aren’t quite ripe enough, here are a couple of ways you can fasttrack the ripening process:
- Baking method: This is the faster of the two options, so if you’re shorter on time, I would go this route. Simply line your bananas up on a baking sheet and bake them at 300ºF (150ºC) for 15-20 minutes. After they bake, let them cool so they’re not too hot to handle, then peel them and proceed with the recipe.
- Paper bag method: If you’re working with more time (a day or two), place the bananas into a paper bag with other riper fruit such as avocados, apples, peaches, etc. Their proximity to the ripe fruit will cause the bananas to ripen faster.
Can I use frozen bananas?
You can use frozen, but thawed bananas!
Frozen bananas are one of the best ways to keep super ripe bananas on hand at all times without them going bad. Bananas will last for 6-8 months in the freezer, so if you do a lot of baking with bananas, ripen a bunch at one time, then store them in a ziplock baggie in the freezer.
When you’re ready to get baking, all you have to do is take however many bananas you need out of the freezer for any given recipe, let them thaw, then proceed as instructed.
How to freeze bananas
If you’re not quite sure how to handle your overly ripe bananas, check out my detailed guide on how to freeze bananas.
It takes 5 minutes, you’ll never have to let bananas go to waste again, and you’ll always have ripe bananas on hand for baking!
Should I use baking powder or baking soda in banana bread?
Both! The role of the baking powder is to balance the acidity of the Greek yogurt. The role of baking soda is to help leaven the bread so it isn’t too dense.
Why does my banana bread sink?
If your banana bread is sinking in the middle, it could be undercooked.
Sometimes the top of the loaf starts to brown early so it may look done. However, that doesn’t always mean that the banana bread is cooked all the way through. If you take it out too soon, the center of the banana bread won’t have enough structure and it will collapse back in on itself.
To check that it is fully cooked, I recommend using a toothpick to poke the center of the loaf. If it comes out clean, it’s good to go. If it still isn’t fully baked but the top of the banana loaf is getting too brown, cover the pan with foil and continue to bake.
Tips and tricks for making banana nut bread
- If you don’t have quite enough mashed banana, you can substitute whatever amount of banana you’re missing for Greek yogurt instead to ensure that you have the right ratio of wet to dry ingredients!
- Use very ripe bananas. The riper they are, the sweeter they will be and the more banana flavor you’ll have!
- Don’t overmix the batter. When you mix in the dry ingredients, mix only until there are no more white streaks. Banana bread is already pretty dense, so if you stir too much you’ll eliminate any air present within the batter and overwork the gluten in the flour and the banana bread may come out tough, dry, or gummy.
- Check your leavening agents. Make sure that the baking soda and baking powder that you use aren’t expired. If they’re too old, your banana bread may be dense.
- Use other mix-ins. I love the chopped walnuts in this recipe, but feel free to use other mix-ins such as chopped pecans, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, or a combination. Whatever you use, make sure the total mix-in amount is 1 cup.
- Make a healthier version. If you’re looking to swap this recipe out for a slightly healthier one, check out my healthier classic banana bread recipe instead.
- Make muffins. You can make this banana nut bread batter into muffins by baking the batter in a lined standard sized muffin tin for 24-28 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
How to store banana bread
Baked and cooled banana bread will last in an airtight container, ziplock bag, or wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for 3 days, in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To enjoy again, simply microwave to warm if frozen or serve at whatever temperature you like!
More sweet bread recipes
- Cinnamon Apple Bread
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Streusel Banana Bread
- Cream Cheese Filled Bueberry Lemon Bread
- Monkey Bread
- Coconut Bread with Cream Cheese Glaze
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Banana Nut Bread
- 4 ripe bananas (475 grams peeled or 1 ¾ cup mashed)
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar (133 grams)
- ½ cup melted, unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt (85 grams)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour (260 grams)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional) (110 grams)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a loaf pan with non stick spray (I used a loaf pan that measures 8×4" at the bottom and 9×5" at the top — a 1.5 quart capacity)
- In a large bowl, mash bananas well.
- Whisk in sugar, melted butter and Greek yogurt. Add eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined.
- Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and stir just until there are no more white streaks. Stir in walnuts.
- Spread batter into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes, then cover lightly with a piece of foil (if golden brown on top) and continue baking until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20-30 more minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes before removing and cooling completely on a cooling rack or cutting board.
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