My mom's moist banana bread recipe is my absolute favorite and truly the best. It's super moist and soft because it uses cake flour instead of all-purpose flour, and lots of overripe bananas. It's the only banana bread recipe you'll ever need!
This recipe was originally published on February 23, 2016. It was updated with new photos and information on January 18, 2024.
- Cake flour. Cake flour is finer than all-purpose and has a lower gluten content so it results in a soft banana bread. In Japan where I grew up, "flour" generally refers to cake flour, and rarely do you see all-purpose flour in stores. This is why both my mom and I used cake flour for all baked goods.
- Baking soda. I use baking soda in this recipe to help this homemade banana bread rise.
- Salt. Use fine salt in this recipe. I use pink Himalayan salt but you can also use fine sea salt.
- Butter. This recipe calls for salted butter. Creaming the butter and sugar together gives the bread a lighter, tender texture. You can substitute it with a neutral flavor oil, like avocado or light olive oil for a more dense banana bread.
- Light brown sugar. Adds sweetness and a hint of caramel notes to this simple banana bread recipe.
- Eggs. Use large eggs to add lots of moisture.
- Bananas. Use overripe bananas that are very brown and spotty. You can mash the bananas with a fork, or potato masher, or use a food processor for an extra smooth batter.
- Plain yogurt & milk. This is my favorite buttermilk substitute! Sour cream and milk is a great option too. The yogurt is a necessary acidic ingredient to react with the baking soda, so don't skip it!
- Vanilla. Use pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste for the best flavor.
How to Ripen Bananas
Don't have overripe bananas on hand? Here are two ways you can ripen your bananas quicker:
- Bake them. Place unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet and bake them at 300°F (150°C) for 15 to 20 minutes. The skin should turn black. Cool them to room temperature before using them.
- Use a paper bag. Place the bananas in a paper bag with an apple and close the bag. Both bananas and apples emit a gas called ethylene that will help the bananas ripen quicker. Keep them in the bag for 24-48 hours.
If you ever end up with leftover overripe bananas, put them in a freezer bag to store them for another day. Defrost them whenever you want to bake this super moist banana bread!
How to Make Banana Bread
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 320°F (160°C), or 350°F (175°C) for light metal pans, and grease or line a 9-inch loaf pan.
Step 2: In a bowl, sift together cake flour, baking soda, and salt. If adding mix-ins, take a couple of spoonfuls of the flour mixture into a separate bowl and toss the walnuts with it. Set aside.
Step 3: In a large bowl, cream together softened butter and sugar. Add the eggs, mashed banana, yogurt, milk, and vanilla and mix until combined.
Step 4: Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir only until combined. Fold in the flour-tossed mix-ins and pour into the prepared loaf pan.
Step 5: Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes and test for doneness with a skewer (spaghetti works well too!). Let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store any leftover banana bread in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Try to slice only what you're going to eat in one sitting, rather than slicing them all at once, to prevent the banana bread from drying out.
How to Freeze Banana Bread
Wrap each slice with a couple of layers of plastic wrap before putting them in a freezer bag or airtight container. You can store them in the freezer for up to 2 months. Defrost them in the fridge overnight before serving.
You can add nuts, chocolate chips, and even blueberries. My mom always adds walnuts to her banana bread and they're my favorite! If making banana nut bread, toast the nuts in the oven first and let them cool completely before folding them into the batter. If you're adding any mix-ins, toss them with a couple of tablespoons of the mixed dry ingredients. This helps to keep them from sinking to the bottom of the pan, and get evenly distributed!
I highly recommend using a metallic loaf pan because it conducts heat better than glass. Dark metal pans absorb more heat than light metal pans, so the exterior of the banana bread will brown before the center cooks through. If you're using a dark metal pan, bake your bread at 325°F (160°C), and 350°F (175°C) for a light metal pan. Whichever loaf pan you're using, bake your banana bread for about 1 hour 15 minutes.
Test for doneness by sticking a toothpick, skewer, or spaghetti into the center. If it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, it's ready to be taken out of the oven.
Yes! If you're like me and you keep extra overripe bananas in the freezer, let your bananas defrost first before mashing them to use in this recipe.
Absolutely! You can bake them at the same temperature for about 20 to 25 minutes for delicious banana muffins!
More Banana Recipes
- If you want more moist banana bread recipes, try my chocolate banana bread or gluten-free banana bread recipe. They're both just as easy to make and incredibly moist!
- My banana cupcakes and chocolate banana cupcakes are both delicious, require no eggs, and are soft and tender.
- If you're looking for something more impressive, go with this banana upside down cake!
Moist Banana Bread Recipe
- 2½ cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup salted butter softened at room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1½ cups mashed overripe bananas about 4 medium bananas
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts, chocolate chips, or other mix-ins optional
- Preheat the oven to 320°F (160°C) for dark metal pans or 350°F (175°C) for light metal pans. Grease and line a 9-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, sift together cake flour, baking soda, and salt. If adding mix-ins, take a couple spoonfuls of the flour mixture into a separate bowl and toss the walnuts with it. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together softened butter and sugar. Add the eggs, banana, yogurt, milk, and vanilla and mix until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir only until combined. Fold in mix-ins if using, and pour into the prepared loaf pan.
- Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes and test for doneness with a skewer or spaghetti. Let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.