This Easy Banana Nut Bread recipe gives us what we need right now: options and freedom. Add what you have, add what you will and swap it what you might have on hand. This banana bread bakes up a delicious crumb, that is perfectly sweet, spiced with the perfect amount of add-ins.
If you’re anything like me, I’m guessing you have 3 or 4 depressing-looking bananas sitting on your counter right now. Or that might’ve been last week and you already threw them in the freezer.
If so, this recipe is for YOU.
What You’ll Need for Easy Banana Nut Bread
- All-purpose flour. This is obviously our base!
- Butter or oil. This recipe allows you to use butter or oil. I used olive oil and it was delicious. A neutral oil will also work (avocado oil, vegetable oil or canola oil).
- Nuts. Your choice of nuts is great! And you can also leave it out in case you don’t have any. Think pecans, walnuts, chopped walnuts or pine nuts.
- Seeds. Again, super optional. You can use pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, millet—your choice!
Ground cinnamon. I love the flavor of cinnamon and banana.
- Brown sugar or white sugar. You can use either and it’ll work great. The one pictured was baked with brown sugar.
- Eggs. Important. Have you read this post from The Kitchn that discusses egg replacements. Pretty interesting. Haven’t tried it with this recipe.
- Bananas. I like to use 1 1/2 cups of mashed bananas. That equaled to about 4 small ripe bananas.
- Baking soda. I like using adding it to the banana because bananas are super acidic and it just activates the heck out of it.
I discussed this above a bit but here is the breakdown of what you can substitute:
- Nuts – use what you have in your pantry. Pictured, I used walnuts.
- Seeds – skip it all together or use what you have. I used pumpkin seeds.
- Chocolate chips – you can skip it OR you can use whatever you have. I used some random semi-sweet chocolate chips I had.
- Butter or oil – I used olive oil but have made this plenty with melted butter. Other oils like avocado oil, vegetable oil or canola work as well.
- Brown sugar or white sugar – Both work. I used brown sugar but have made this recipe with white sugar, too.
- Rum or bourbon – You could add 1 tablespoon to up the flavor. I personally didn’t use it for this recipe but it would be delicious.
Can You Use Frozen Bananas for Banana Bread
Quick answer: absolutely. But there’s a caveat. You don’t want to use them straight from the freezer. Allow them to thaw in the fridge overnight OR thaw them in a bowl on your kitchen counter. And then you’ll notice some residual liquid at the bottom of the bowl; dump that out and then continue using the and smashing the bananas.
How to Freeze Banana Bread
Freezing banana bread couldn’t be simpler. All you have to do is let it come to room temperature completely. And then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. When I’m freezing it, I like to do two layers of plastic wrap. I like to label it, add a date and then keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Store banana bread on the counter for up to 1 week. I just wrap it in plastic wrap. It’s actually better the second or third day, in my humble opinion.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar or granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas , (from 3-4 very ripe bananas)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, (optional)
- 1/2 cup melted butter or neutral oil, (I used olive oil)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup chopped nuts, (your choice and optional)
- 1/4 cup seeds, (your choice and optional)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips, (optional)
To Make Banana Bread
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 8x4-inch loaf pan; and set aside.I also like to put a piece of parchment that spans just the center length with its ends coming out for easy release.
- In a small bowl, mix the all-purpose flour and salt.
- Place the bananas on a cutting board and mash them using a fork. I find this the easiest way to mash 'em up.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the mashed bananas, baking soda, oil (or butter), sugar, vanilla extract and eggs. Fold in the flour mixture, until just combined, being sure not to over mix. Next, fold in nuts (if using), the seeds (if using) and chocolate chips (if using).
Add the Topping (if you like):
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. If you like, you can add a sliced banana on the top, along with a sprinkling of seeds as garnish. Transfer to the oven to bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow the bread to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then invert the loaf and cool it on a cooling rack. The banana bread will stay delicious and hydrated for up to 5 days when securely wrapped in plastic wrap.
- To Freeze Banana Bread: Cool completely to room temperature. Wrap tightly in two layers of plastic wrap, label, date it and transfer to the freezer for up to 3 months.
If you make this easy banana nut bread recipe, let me know on Instagram!
Looking for more baking recipes? Here are some of my favorites: