Perfect Banana Bread


In my short time as a food blogger, (exactly 6 months actually!) I have really loved seeing all the creativity out there when it comes to recipes. It is great to know there is a creative twist on almost everything you could imagine. And I love that. I too love coming up with my own twist on things and letting my creativity flow… Once in awhile, however, you just need a perfect standard recipe. You know- a classic that will be in your family for years and years. And I’m telling you- this Banana Bread is it.

We all need a go to recipe right? Because when it comes to breakfast/snack “quick-breads” a perfect loaf of Banana bread always wins. And I am telling you this one is amazing, full of lots of banana flavor and not even a little dry. Nothing is worse than dry-banana-less Banana Bread am I right?

This recipe (originally from Cooks Illustrated,) contains a step I’ve never seen before. You warm the bananas, drain their juices, turn the juices into a reduction, and mix that back into the batter. May sound a teeny bit putz-y but it is so worth it. This bread was like no other I’ve ever made. And I topped it off with a crunchy cinnamon topping which made me love it even more. So bookmark this one in the “recipes I will make very soon” folder. You will be so glad.


Perfect Banana Bread


  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 5 large, very ripe bananas (about 2¼ lbs.), peeled
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cinnamon Topping:

  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 350? F. Lightly spray a loaf pan (about 9 x 5 inches) with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt; whisk together and set aside.
  2. Place 5 bananas in a microwave safe bowl; cover with plastic wrap and make several slits in the wrap to act as steam vents. Microwave on high until the bananas are soft and have released liquid, about 5 minutes. Transfer the bananas to a fine mesh strainer set over a medium bowl and let drain, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes (you should have ½-¾ cup liquid).
  3. Transfer the reserved banana liquid to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced to about ¼ cup, 5-10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the bananas and the reduced banana liquid. Mash with a potato masher or whisk until fairly smooth. Whisk in the melted butter, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the banana mixture. Fold together gently, just until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula.
  5. To make crumb topping, mix dry ingredients. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. (Use hands to break up the butter if necessary.) Sprinkle generously over the top of the batter.
  6. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 55-75 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool at least 15 minutes in the pan before removing. Continue to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.
Nutrition Information:
Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

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Adapted from Cooks Illustrated


  1. Five bananas? Wow. No wonder it’s packed with flavor. The reduction step sounds fascinating and worth the extra patience, but that aside, sounds like my basic recipe (though I usually use 3 incredibly overripe bananas). I usually prefer butter in my quick bread recipes, but I’ve known a few who swear by oil, oil and butter or applesauce instead.

    Congrats on six months!

  2. I made a similar one recently, i loved it, i wasn’t the only one, this bread is soooo but sooo good!! I’d love to eat yours, looks delicious!!

  3. This sounds delicious! I remember the days of mush it all together and bake…a good way to use bananas, but not nearly as tasty!

  4. I’ve noticed upon thawing overripe bananas that have been frozen for later use, the fruit releases quite a bit of juice…I wonder if this could be a successful juice extracting alternative to microwaving the bananas…

  5. Samantha- I used frozen bananas, and yes they were pretty liquidy upon thawing. I microwaved them as well though, and extracted a bit more. Either way would be OK I’m guessing :)

  6. I just made something similar, I guess two great heads think alike:))) Very delicious Audra, I love addition of the cinnamon topping! Congrats on the 6 mo. I wish you many many more:))

  7. I just stumbled onto your blog one day browsing and now I love it! This banana bread is the first recipe of yours I’ve tried–and you’re right, it’s perfect! Thanks for the recipe! I’m excited to try more of yours…keep them coming!

  8. I took the time to make this banana bread for a neighbourhood brunch – it was delicious – the only changes I made was to decrease the sugar to 1/2cup and add one cup of raisins. Raves by all. Thank you so much.

  9. I love this banana bread! It’s baking in the oven as we speak (and it smells DELICIOUS!)

    I made some for my friends last December and they L-O-V-E-D it. Never got so many compliments! Haha.

    Small changes I made: added chocolate chips, use 2 tbsp of butter + 5 tbsp of applesauce, decrease sugar to 1/2 cup (since the applesauce is already sweet and b/c of the addition of chocolate chips), and added little bit of cinnamon. Decided not to do the cinnamon topping just ’cause. hehe.

    Very moist and very yummy. So much that last week when I made it, my roommate’s dog ate two-thirds of it /: Luckily he’s a big dog so the chocolate chips didn’t affect him.

    Made it three times:1st & 3rd time– lots of liquid from the bananas so it reduced really well and became all concentrated with banana flavor. 2nd & 4th time– not much liquid so wasn’t able to reduce very much. Although they had brown skins from being in the fridge, I think it’s because the bananas weren’t very ripe when they were first put in the fridge.

    1. It will be very thin in a 9×11. I recommend a loaf pan or an 8×8 if you want more of a snack-cake style!

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