My mom's banana bread is my absolute favorite! It's the best. It's super moist because it uses cake flour instead of all-purpose flour, and lots of ripe bananas. It's the only banana bread recipe you'll ever need!
Mom's Banana Bread
My mom has never been a big baker. Especially when it comes to making things from scratch.
In our house, all cakes came from a box and I loved them all! My favorites were the yellow cake and devil's food cake from Betty Crocker.
The one thing she did bake from scratch was banana bread. She uses none other than Betty Crocker's recipe and it's delicious!
I've been using the same recipe as my mom since I started baking in college, but along the way, I've made a few adjustments.
Cake flour vs. All-purpose flour
The original recipe called for all-purpose flour but I love using cake flour in my 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.
Cake flour is finer and has a lower gluten content so it results in a soft, very moist banana bread.
Butter or oil in banana bread?
You can use either butter or oil when making this banana bread recipe!
If you are dairy-free, you could use a neutral flavor oil, like refined coconut oil or olive oil (not extra virgin). That said, butter adds amazing flavor.
Creaming the butter and sugar together gives the bread a lighter, tender texture. Using oil will make moist and dense banana bread. Both options are delicious!
How ripe do the bananas need to be?
Whenever you're baking with bananas, you want very ripe, spotty bananas! The banana peel should be pretty brown.
I usually peel overripe bananas and put them in a freezer bag to store in the freezer. I defrost them whenever I want to bake my mom's banana bread recipe!
You could use a blender or food processor to pureé it for a smooth batter. Otherwise, mash the overripe bananas to get little chunks of bananas.
Buttermilk substitute: Yogurt + Milk
Many banana bread recipes use buttermilk, which gives baked goods moisture and fluff. Yum! The problem is, buttermilk isn't available in many countries.
Buttermilk is an acidic ingredient used to activate the baking soda in the recipe. The reaction creates bubbles and leads to fluffy banana bread.
My mom always used whole milk, but milk isn't acidic so it doesn't activate the baking soda. If the baking soda doesn't get activated you're left with a metallic aftertaste.
Many people like to add vinegar or lemon juice to milk and letting it curdle for a buttermilk substitute. That method's never worked for me, so I always substitute buttermilk by mixing yogurt and milk at a 1:1 ratio. Sour cream and milk works well too!
Mix-ins to add to banana bread
My mom always adds walnuts to her banana breads and remain my favorite mix-ins! Pecans are also a great option for nuts.
If making banana nut bread, toast nuts in the oven before making the banana bread batter. You want them to cool completely before folding them into the batter. Toasting them makes them extra crunchy and aromatic.
If you're not a fan of nuts in your baked goods, you can also add chocolate chips or fresh blueberries! I also suggest adding a swirl of Nutella or a cinnamon streusel on top!
Here's a good tip: If you're adding any mix-ins, toss it with a couple tablespoons of the dry ingredients. This helps to keep them from sinking to the bottom of the pan, and get evenly distributed!
The baking temperature will be different, depending on what kind of loaf pan you use.
If your loaf pan is a dark metal pan, the pan absorbs more heat than a light metal pan. That means the exterior of the banana bread will brown before the center cooks through.
If you're using a light metal pan, bake your banana at 350°F/175°C. If you're using a dark metal pan, preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C.
Whichever loaf pan you're using, bake your banana bread for about 1 hour 15 minutes.
When is my banana bread done baking?
So as with any quick bread or loaf cake, test for doneness by sticking a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, it's ready to be taken out of the oven.
If your toothpicks are short, use a skewer or a piece of spaghetti. They're longer than toothpicks, making them the perfect tool to use for banana bread.
Other banana recipes!
- Chocolate chip banana bread (GF/DF)
- Banana cupcakes (V)
- Chocolate banana cupcakes (V)
- Banana coconut upside down cake
- Banana pudding (V)
More quick breads and loaf cakes!
- Double chocolate banana bread
- Lemon poppy seed cake (GF/DF)
- Pumpkin bread (GF/DF)
Mom's Banana Bread
- 1 9-inch loaf pan
- 2½ cups cake flour 312.5g if using Bob's Red Mill gluten-free 1 to 1 baking 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 over ripe bananas about 4 medium bananas
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts optional
- Preheat the oven to 320°F/160°C (350°F/175°C for light metal pans) and grease or line a 9-inch loaf pan.
- In a bowl, sift together cake flour, baking soda, and salt. If adding walnuts (or other 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 into the wet ingredients and stir only until combined. Fold in the walnuts and pour into the prepared loaf pan.
- 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.
Did you know that bananas weren't introduced to the U.S. until the early 1800s?
Cuban red bananas were being sold only in the ports of New York and Boston until the 1830s. They then gradually gained popularity as an exotic tropical fruit.
The modern-day banana bread as we know it wasn't introduced until the 1930s!
Nice! Love banana bread!
The idea of using milk and yogurt is interesting. I add premade vanilla pudding, and 1 tsp vanilla extract to my recipe for one loaf. I watch the cooking at the end very closely. My wife and I prefer our banana bread to be very moist so I cook it to just barely done. Literally, 2 minutes too long can make a noticeable difference.
Oh I'd love to try your idea of adding vanilla pudding. I like using cake flour because it makes the bread super moist and tender. Nothing worse than dry, crumbly banana bread, am I right? 😉
Joy Bizony says
Love it! I use sour cream for a kick instead of yogurt!
So happy you love this recipe! Sour cream is a great addition for sure😋❤️
That was delicious! I did sour cream / lactose free half & half (I didn't have milk on hand). Also used a glass pyrex dish at 325 for an hour and 10 minutes.
I never cook, but was inspired by a bunch of bananas that were going bad on my counter and could only find cake flour at the store right now. Your's was the first cake flour banana bread recipe that came up and it did not disappoint!
Thanks for sharing!
I'm so glad you liked it Tina! Thank you for your lovely comment❤️
Catherine Dunn says
Instead of using the yogurt can, and how much butter milk can I use
I would skip the yogurt and milk, and instead use 1/2 cup of buttermilk.
how much pudding do you use per batch
Thank you for this recipe! Tasted great and definitely moist! I used brown sugar instead of white. Used sour cream and milk like you suggested. My go to BB recipe!
So sorry for the late reply! Thank you SO much for trying out my recipe! So happy you liked it 🙂
I made these in to muffins and added chocolate chips. The absolute greatest banana muffins I've ever made. I'm going to have a real problem during this quarantine!! 🤣
Genius idea! I sometimes add chocolate chips to this banana bread too and it's sooo delicious! I'm so glad you liked them❤️ Hope you have loose fitting sweatpants to keep you comfortable😉😂
Hi Heather did you adjust the baking time when you used muffin tins? Thanks!
How long did you bake them in the muffin tin?
Just made this for my mom yesterday! So funny how all moms I know love this so much. I used the Starbucks copycat recipe. Pretty similar except no yogurt, uses 3 bananas and 2c flour
If we have buttermilk, would the measurement for it be 1/2 cup instead of the 1/4 cup milk and 1/4 cup yogurt?
Nikha M says
specifically what type of yogurt? I currently have pineapple yoplaid an vanilla chobani greek yogurt? Will any of these work?
Plain yogurt would be best in my opinion, but I think vanilla greek yogurt would work great too!
Stella Carlson says
lol!!! I used just plain yogurt!!!
Stella Carlson says
I also used 3 bananas because that's just what I had and the bread turned out so moist!!! Thanks for the awesome recipe! definitely my favorite banana bread recipe yet!!
Thank you so much Stella! I'm SO happy you like it!!❤️
It's been 2 years since I posted a banana bread recipe... maybe I should post another with a twist on the original?🤔
Anjali Saigal says
This is my favourite recipe for banana bread. I like how you use yogurt and milk instead of buttermilk, as its not as easily available here.
Thank you for this recipe!
Thank you Anjali! It makes me so happy to hear that you love this recipe!
Jazzy's Mama says
Oh yum, I love banana bread. Great idea using the cake flour! I also love using yogurt in my banana bread.
I can't wait to give this recipe a try.
Thanks! I hope you like it 🙂
I made this banana bread using sour cream and it turned it out just perfect! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Thank you Rosemarie! I'm so glad you liked it!!❤️
I made this recipe and its perfect every time 🙂 Thanks for sharing this precious recipe.
Thank you so much Rosemarie! I'm so happy you like it!!❤️
Jhuls | The Not So Creative Cook says
Ai, I love anything baked goods with bananas. Your banana bread looks so moist and yummy! I’m gonna take half of this now!😁 Or better the whole thing. Happy Fiesta Friday!
Happy Fiesta Friday Jhuls! I'm definitely on team bananas too! Good luck fighting Tristan for the loaf😂
Banana Bread looks so moist with perfect crumbles and texture. I make this very often my kids favourite bread.
Thank you Pavani! Banana bread has been a favorite since I was a kid too😊
Thanks Ai! Saving it for my pin board called "FiestaFriday"
Thanks so much Rita!❤️
Angie | Fiesta Friday says
Mom's recipes are the best and so special. Thanks for sharing yours, Ai! XO
Thanks Angie! They really are so special aren't they? 🙂
I adore banana cake, I rarely had one I didn't like. Yours looks absolutely perfect, I can just imagine the taste!
Karin Hermann says
Family recipes are always the best <3
There's a reason why we keep making it over and over again, right? 😉
Stephanie Poon says
can i use greek yogurt instead of plain yogurt?
Yes! The texture will be a little fluffier and less moist compared to if you used plain yogurt, but it'll be delicious 🙂
I love this, would definitely love to try this with my wife on a weekend ...looks yummy
Thanks Matthew! Hope you and your wife enjoy it 😉
zeba durrani says
This looks perfect Ai. I like using cake flour in my banana bread too. Will try out your recipe. Thanks for bringing it to #FiestaFriday party.
Thank you Zeba! Hope you like it 🙂
Alisha Ross says
It’s funny cause I think people believe that just cause we’re food bloggers means that we have all of the time in the world to cook dinner. I find myself scrambling every single night! These recipes are awesome and will be a total life-saver!
Glad you like the recipes 🙂
this recipe is awesome
made this today and everyone told me
it is so fluffy ans moist
Thank you Phoebe! So happy you love it!!❤️
What a wonderful recipe. I could only find cake flour on one trip to the grocery store so I got cake flour. Then I saw that I had three very ripe bananas. i found a use for both in this great recipe. I used buttermilk one time and sour cream the next. Both incredibly moist and a fine start for the day. Now I know where to use cake flour.
Thank you so much for making my banana bread, Ron! I'm glad you liked it😊
I made this yesterday. Reduced the sugar slightly to 160g and used white sugar instead of light brown sugar since I didn’t have any. Turned out really well and everyone in the family loves it! Thanks so much for this recipe.
Yay!! I'm so glad everyone enjoyed it! Thank you so much for your comment and rating❤️
Hi, how much is 1/4 cups of plain yogurt in grams? Is it 61.3 grams?
Hi Jieling! I guess I forgot to add the grams of the yogurt and milk... 61.3g sounds about right since 1/4 cup is 60ml.
Hi! I found your recipe as someone who moved to Japan three weeks ago and I frantically searched Google for "banana bread cake flour" as, as you said, all-purpose flour is not a thing here. Thank you so much for such a simple lovely recipe. My little boys are loving the taste of home. I also wanted to share for others who might be in a position like mine that three teaspoons of baking powder works in place of baking soda, which I've also found to be elusive. Thanks again.
Hi Nikki! Thank you so much for the lovely comment! A little taste of home is so important and super helpful to feed the soul in a new environment😉 And good to know that 3 teaspoons of baking powder is a good substitute! Hope you and your family are enjoying your new home❤️
Paul Brown says
This sounds wonderful and I’m making it tomorrow night! I love your recipes and have tried quite a few of them.
Thank you! I hope you enjoy it!
I loved this recipe and have also altered it on occasion. Today I added Reese peanut butter chips, PB2 powder and instead of milk used Starbucks Caramel Macchiato Creamer. It was a HUGE hit! Thank you for sharing this recipe!
That sounds delicious Monica! Thank you so much for the lovely comment and rating!!