basic banana bread

You don’t make banana bread because you want banana bread, you make banana bread because you have some bananas that are about to go bad. So the last thing you need is a fussy recipe. This is something you want to make quickly and without having to buy ingredients, unless you can get them from the deli across the street. And the only ingredients you can buy at the deli across the street are beer, cold cuts, or wild cherry pepsi, which don’t traditionally figure into banana bread recipes.

Some banana breads can be very moist. This is not one of those. It has a more robust and delicate crumb. It isn’t dry, but it’s not all up in your face, so you can have it for breakfast. Or with butter. Or especially warm, with a scoop of ice cream.

Basic Banana Bread
A simple banana bread recipe.
Recipe type: Dessert
Makes: one 9 x 5-inch loaf
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 heaping teaspoon ground ginger
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup plain, whole-milk yogurt, not totally cold
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature, beaten lightly
  • 3 ripe bananas, lightly mashed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Set out your dairy and eggs. Place baking rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease the sides of a regular size bread dish (9 x 5 x 3") and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, and spices. Then, using the paddle attachment and lowest setting on a stand mixer, or a wooden spoon, lightly beat the butter, and then add the eggs and yogurt. Gently fold in the banana mixture and the vanilla. Finally, add the flour in thirds and stir just until combined.
  3. Spoon batter into prepared bread dish and cook for about an hour, until a toothpick comes out clean and the top is golden brown. Keep a close eye toward the end of cook time.
  4. Remove from oven and cool for 30 minutes before serving. If tightly covered, the bread will last for several days at room temperature.



  1. Hélène says

    Hello !

    I’m french and I would like to try this recipe but I need to know if it’s UK or US tablespoon in order to calculate in grams, can you help me ? Especially for the butter, I hesitate between 85 grams or 100 grams..

  2. Agnes says

    Hey – what exactly IS the cooking time? And did you really mean ‘pour’ the batter? Cause mine was more like ‘putty’ the batter… It was almost dough!

    • says

      Hi Agnes, In the recipe I say “about an hour” for the cook time. That means about 55 – 65 minutes, depending on your oven. As for the texture, perhaps you’re right and I should change it to “spoon the batter.” Thanks for the input!

    • Elizabeth says

      Hi Evan, Sounds like we’ll have to agree to disagree! Ground ginger and cloves are pretty common kitchen staples, but if they’re not appealing to you, feel free to leave them out.

  3. Gaye says

    Just wondering if the butter could be replaced by margarine and the yogurt with non dairy milk like soy for a dairy free version? If not do you have a better replacement suggestion?

    • Elizabeth says

      Hi Gaye, Thanks for checking out the recipe! Though I haven’t tested it, I think a non dairy version would be fine with those substitutions; I might consider a thicker substance for the yogurt sub –– maybe full-fat coconut milk? If you do make it, I hope you’ll drop by and let me know how it turned out.

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