Ripe bananas are destined to become nothing other than the best version of bread there is—a loaf of banana bread! Follow these simple steps at home to bake ultra-moist banana bread with sour cream. You’ll simply combine the right ingredient ratios in one bowl before pouring the batter into a prepared loaf pan. This easy home-cooked banana bread loaf is simple and perfectly sweet!
This is one of my favorite loaf bread recipes. Who doesn't love a moist banana bread recipe? It's super easy to make a favorite among family and friends. It's also one of my favorite recipe suggestions for beginner bakers!
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How ripe should bananas be for banana bread
Bananas should be yellow and heavily mottled or spotted with dark brown or black spots. This is an indication they are overripe, making them sweet. This is the perfect stage at which to bake with them. Be sure the bananas are not completely mushy and/or moldy, though.
I often find myself buying a bunch of bananas, placing them just out of sight from my family, and patiently waiting several days until they become perfectly overripe, mottled with big, dark spots of brown and black and smelling suhweeeeet.
How to ripen bananas for banana bread
If you are the kind of person who thinks ahead to when you want to bake this moist banana bread recipe, buy a bunch of bananas and simply let them sit on your counter or hanging on the banana hook of your fruit bowl for several days until they become heavily spotted with dark brown or black spots.
However, if you are like me and somehow never seem to think ahead and you find yourself with a bunch of unripe bananas, never fear! I've got a trick to get those bananas perfectly ripe and soft so this banana bread can be baked and enjoyed today. (Hint: it only take 15 minutes!)
Simple Sour Cream Banana Bread
Lots of friends tell me they have the best banana bread recipe that's been in their family for generations.
Now, it is not that I don't believe them, it's just that for me, basic banana bread is pretty straightforward and should not require fancy ingredients.
It is one of those recipes that should not be fooled around with too much, in my opinion. Of course you can add in walnuts, you can add in chocolate chips, or if you're feeling a little wild and crazy you can even throw in walnuts and chocolate chips.
But at the end of the day, simply put, basic banana bread should be nothing more than simple, straightforward, easy and oh so delicious.
Here are the highlights of what makes this recipe so awesome:
- Minimal ingredients, nothing fancy
- This really could be a one-bowl recipe because you mix the wet ingredients then dump in the dry (no need to mix those together in a separate bowl ahead of time) however, you do have to mash the bananas separately... So it's a two-bowl recipe which is still pretty darn nice
- Takes just a few minutes to put together and pop in the oven
- Uses up fruit you may have thrown away anyway
Ingredients & substitutions
- Unsalted Butter: I always recommend using unsalted butter because different brands and styles of salted butter often contain varying levels of salt. By using unsalted butter, you can control the amount of salt that gets added to the recipe. Be sure to remove your butter from the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to baking so your butter can come to room temperature. Trying to mix cold butter into other ingredients will not work and you'll end up with chunks of butter throughout the batter
- Sugar: regular granulated white sugar works best here
- Eggs: two large eggs are required. Remove the eggs from the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to baking to allow them to come to room temperature. Just like with butter, cold eggs will not incorporate well or evenly into the other ingredients, making for an uneven batter
- Vanilla extract: I love using Mexican vanilla, but use whatever kind of vanilla you have available
- Mashed banana: you will need about 2-3 large bananas that are overripe. This means that the bananas are yellow, not green, and heavily spotted with black or brown spots
- All-purpose Flour: to ensure this moist banana bread stays moist, measure the flour properly by weighing it with a kitchen scale or spooning the flour into the measuring cup, never packing it down. Level off the top using a knife or the end of spoon
- Baking soda
- Salt: I use kosher salt most of the time when baking but feel free to use whatever kind of salt you have available
- Sour cream: sour cream is key to a moist banana bread! Use full-fat sour cream. It can be substituted for full-fat plain Greek yogurt instead
What makes banana bread moist
Them moisture in banana bread comes from a few sources. First, the bananas themselves contain high amounts of water and help keep this loaf bread moist.
This recipe also contains sour cream, an essential ingredient to creating moisture and richness.
Lastly, the ratio of flour to wet ingredients such as eggs, banana and sour cream is critical to maintaining a moist banana bread. This is why it is really important to measure your flour properly by scooping it into the measuring cup and leveling off the top without packing it down into the cup. You can also weigh the flour on a kitchen scale to ensure you get the proper amount of flour in the recipe.
Tips for Making the Best Banana Bread
A couple of tips for this recipe:
- To mash the bananas, simply place the peeled bananas in a bowl and mash with a fork. No fancy potato masher or other equipment needed. I like to leave some pieces of banana in there - feel free to mash to whatever consistency suits you best!
- I use an 8x4 loaf pan, whereas I've seen many other recipes call for 9x5. This isn't the hugest of deals, but my personal preference is to have a taller loaf of banana bread rather than a shorter, denser loaf. Feel free to use whichever size you have on hand
- My daughter is allergic to nuts (plus Bryant and I don't care for them much in our banana bread) so I do not include them as an ingredient. You can add in ½ cup chopped nuts or even ½ cup (or more if you're feeling wild and crazy!) of chocolate chips at the very end before you pour the batter into the loaf pan. I would recommend folding the nuts or chips into the batter rather than mixing them in with your mixer.
Next Level Banana Recipes
And, if you're tempted to try your hand at yeast breads, check out my Classic Easy Amish White Bread Recipe. It's super simple and a great intro to baking heavenly bread at home!
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups mashed overripe banana about 2-3 medium to large bananas
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup full-fat sour cream may be substituted with plain Greek yogurt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a 8x4 loaf pan with butter or line with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract by mixing with a handheld electric mixer or stand mixer on medium speed until well blended and smooth.
- Stir in the mashed bananas.
- Add to the bowl the flour, baking soda, and salt, mixing on low speed until just combined.
- Add in the sour cream and blend well on low to medium speed.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool (if you can bear to wait) and dig in!
- Once completely cool, wrap the loaf tightly with plastic wrap and store at room temperature up to 4 days
- If you have leftovers (doubt it!), store them tightly wrapped in plastic wrap in the freezer. Not sure for how long, since this has never happened to me, although I'm sure it'll keep for at least 3 months