Ultimate Banana Bread

Moist and delicious banana bread loaded with tons of banana flavor! This is the only banana bread recipe you’ll ever need. Packed full of mashed bananas, cinnamon and crunchy toasted walnuts. When I first saw this recipe and saw how many bananas it called for I knew that it would be a hit. Many banana bread recipes only use about 3 bananas total, but with this recipe 6 are used! You read that right-6 bananas! In order to use so many bananas in the recipe without it turning into pudding, the excess moisture needed to be removed. In order to achieve the most banana flavor the bananas are heated in the microwave to release their juices. The banana juice is then reduced resulting in a concentrated banana liquor intensifying the banana flavor without making the bread too wet.

One Year Ago: Hearty Chili Con Carne 

Ultimate Banana Bread

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  • 1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 large very ripe bananas (about 2 1/4 pounds), peeled
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8½ by 4½-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.
  3. Spread the walnuts onto a baking sheet and place in preheated oven 5-7 minutes until fragrant. Shake the baking sheet halfway through baking so the nuts will toast evenly. Remove nuts from oven and set aside to cool completely.
  4. In a large microwave-safe bowl, place 5 bananas in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Cut several steam vents in the plastic wrap with a paring knife. Microwave on high power until bananas are soft and have released liquid, about 5 minutes. Transfer bananas to fine-mesh strainer placed over medium bowl and allow to drain, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes (you will have ½ to ¾ cup liquid).
  5. Transfer banana liquid to a medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced to ¼ cup, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir reduced liquid into bananas, and mash until somewhat smooth. Whisk in butter, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla.
  6. Pour banana mixture into flour mixture and stir until just combined with some streaks of flour remaining. Gently fold in walnuts. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth surface with a spatula.. Slice remaining banana into ¼-inch-thick slices. Place banana slices on top of either side of loaf, leaving 1½-inch-wide space down center to ensure an even rise. Sprinkle loaf with granulated sugar.
  7. Bake in preheated oven 55-60 minutes until golden brown or toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool bread in pan on wire rack 15 minutes, then remove loaf from pan and continue to cool on wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers at room temperature wrapped in plastic wrap.

Yields: One 9-Inch Loaf

Source: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, July 2010

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18 Responses to Ultimate Banana Bread

  1. Look how pretty that is with the row of bananas! Love the idea of toasting the nuts.

  2. ChgoJohn says:

    You’re right. 6 bananas in 1 loaf makes this a killer banana bread recipe.

  3. jennknee says:

    You are officially my hero.

  4. geet says:

    Oh wow…I absolutely love banana. Your picture makes it even more tempting.

  5. Banana Bread is the best! 😀

  6. That´´s a lot of bananas – bet it tastes great!

  7. I have some bananas that I froze because they were getting too ripe. I am going to give this recipe a try with those. It looks delicious!

  8. That looks great! I love the banana reduction…talk about intense flavor! Yum!!

  9. Everyone needs a great banana bread recipe. This sounds delicious and looks perfect. Cook’s Illustrated is one of my favorite cookbooks!

  10. Lisa says:

    I love your blog and recipes. Just made Pumpkin Scones–absolutely delicious! Can’t wait to try the banana bread!

    • Christina says:

      I love that you enjoyed the pumpkin scones…Thanks so much for letting me know! I hope you enjoy the banana bread too…let me know how it turns out for you! 🙂

  11. Donalyn says:

    That looks awesome – putting on my “to-try” list!

  12. Karen says:

    I made the banana bread and, as promised, it was the ultimate. Thank you for the recipe. I am now eying the chili recipe… yummmmm

  13. Pingback: Orange-Spice Banana Bread | Sweet Pea's Kitchen

  14. Maria says:

    I made the banana bread, but probably should have read the entire directions first! I ended up up mashing all 6 bananas and skipping the steps to microwave and cook the banana liquid. It still came out amazing!! Two thumbs up!!

    • Christina says:

      Ha! I admit I have gotten myself in some sticky situations by only skimming the recipe before starting. I am so glad to hear that it turned out for you though! 🙂

  15. Pingback: Banana Walnut Blondies | Sweet Pea's Kitchen

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