Straight from my grandma’s kitchen, this banana nut bread recipe is a tried and true family favorite. This quick bread takes 10 minutes to prep, is loaded with mashed bananas and chopped walnuts, and bakes up super moist and dense.

Four slices of banana bread stacked on top of each other on a pink cloth napkin.

I’ve tasted a lot of banana bread in my lifetime, and I can confidently say this is the best banana bread recipe I’ve ever had. 

This recipe has been in my family for decades, and every time I make it, I’m transported back to my grandma’s vanilla-scented kitchen, where I sit at the table munching on a thick slice of warm banana bread slathered with butter. 

This banana bread is:

  • Made with basic baking ingredients
  • Simple and quick to prep
  • Packed with intense banana flavor
  • Ultra-moist and perfectly dense
  • A versatile base banana bread recipe
  • Great any time of day – for breakfast, snack, or dessert

Power Ingredients

Ingredients for banana bread prepped and labeled.

Avoid dry, flavorless banana bread with two key ingredients that keep each slice moist and flavorful.

  • Vegetable Oil: Instead of butter, my grandma’s recipe uses vegetable oil, creating a moist, tender crumb.
  • Bananas: The best bananas for banana bread are very ripe (the riper the bananas, the sweeter they are) and spotted brown – the browner, the better.

How to Make Banana Nut Bread

It truly could not be easier!

First up, mash your bananas. I like to use a fork; it doesn’t need to be perfect; totally okay if it’s a little chunky!

A bowl of mashed bananas next to a picture of banana nut bread batter.

Then, whisk together your dry ingredients. Whisk together the sugar, oil, vanilla, and eggs in a separate mixing bowl. Add the mashed bananas to that mixture and mix gently. Finally, add the dry ingredients and fold gently to combine. If using, gently fold in the chopped walnuts.

Divide the batter between two 8-inch loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown and a thin knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Side by side photos of two loaf pans, the first with the batter in the pan, the second with the baked loaves.

Banana Bread Success Tips

For perfect banana bread every time:

  • Use the ripest bananas you can find. If you don’t have ripe bananas on hand, try this tip for ripening bananas in the oven from AllRecipes.
  • Cover the baking bread with foil. If you notice the tops of the loaves begin to get too dark before the centers are cooked through, cover the loaves with foil about halfway through baking.
  • Don’t worry if the bread doesn’t rise much. This recipe is for very dense banana bread and doesn’t make super-high loaves, but it’s one of the things I love most about it. Each slice has an ultra-concentrated banana flavor and is delightfully moist.
  • Before storing, let each loaf cool to room temperature. Wrap the cooled bread tightly in plastic wrap and store it at room temperature for up to 5 days. To freeze, wrap in plastic wrap, then tightly in foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature before serving.

Banana Nut Bread Variations

This base banana bread recipe is customizable. Keep total add-ins to about 1 to 1.5 cups.

  • Loaf Pans: If you don’t have two 8-inch loaf pans, add all the batter to one 9-inch loaf pan. The baking time will increase, so I recommend checking on it around 55 minutes, though it may take longer.
  • Nuts: Walnuts are traditionally used in banana nut bread, but almost any other nut will work. Try chopped pecans, hazelnuts, cashews, almonds, or peanuts. If you prefer, you can also omit the nuts for nut-free banana bread. 
  • Cinnamon: A little touch of cinnamon can add something extra if you like an extra punch of flavor. Try starting with ½ teaspoon and go from there.
  • Chocolate Chips: I love adding chocolate chips to banana bread. Peanut butter, white chocolate, or butterscotch chips are also delicious options.
  • Dried Fruit: Add raisins, cherries, cranberries, blueberries, or apple chunks.
  • Muffins: Instead of banana nut bread, use this recipe to make banana nut bread muffins! For about 18 muffins, line a muffin pan with paper liners and fill each about ¾ full. Bake at 350 degrees for 24 to 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Three slices of banana nut bread laying on a pink cloth napkin in front of the remaining loaf.

If You Enjoy Banana Bread, Try These Next:

Watch the Banana Nut Bread Recipe Video:

If you make this banana nut bread recipe and love it, remember to stop back and give it a 5-star rating – it helps others find the recipe! ❤️️

Grandma’s Banana Nut Bread

My grandma’s recipe for banana nut bread – a classic banana bread recipe packed full of mashed bananas and chopped walnuts. A family favorite!
5 (236 ratings)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
  • teaspoons baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup (198 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (99 g) vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 medium ripe bananas, mashed (about 1⅓ cups or 303 grams)
  • 1 cup (113 g) coarsely chopped walnuts

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8×4-inch loaf pans; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Add the bananas and stir gently to combine. Add the flour mixture and stir until completely blended. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the walnuts.
  • Divide the mixture into the two loaf pans. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. If the loaves begin to get too dark before they are done in the middle, cover with foil. Allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. The bread can be stored, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, at room temperature for up to 5 days. To freeze, wrap in plastic wrap then in aluminum foil and freezer for up to 3 months.

Notes

  • Loaf Pans: If you don’t have two 8-inch loaf pans, add all the batter to one 9-inch loaf pan. The baking time will increase, so I recommend checking on it around 55 minutes, though it may take longer.
  • Bananas: Use the ripest bananas you can find; they should be covered in brown spots. The riper the banana, the sweeter the bread, and the moister it will be.
  • Nuts: Walnuts are traditionally used in banana nut bread, but almost any other nut will work. Try chopped pecans, hazelnuts, cashews, almonds, or peanuts. If you prefer, you can also omit the nuts for nut-free banana bread. 
  • Cinnamon: A little touch of cinnamon can add something extra if you like an extra punch of flavor. Try starting with ½ teaspoon and go from there.
  • Chocolate Chips: I love adding chocolate chips to banana bread. Peanut butter, white chocolate, or butterscotch chips are also delicious options.
  • Dried Fruit: Add raisins, cherries, cranberries, blueberries, or apple chunks.
  • Muffins: Instead of banana nut bread, use this recipe to make banana nut bread muffins! For about 18 muffins, line a muffin pan with paper liners and fill each about ¾ full. Bake at 350 degrees for 24 to 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Storage: Wrap the cooled bread tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 5 days.
  • Freezing: This bread freezes exceptionally well. Wrap in plastic wrap, then tightly in foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
  • Converting to Muffins: If you’d like to turn this banana nut bread into banana muffins, line a muffin pan with paper liners and fill each about ¾ full. You should get around 18 muffins. Bake at 350 degrees for 24 to 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Nutritional values are based on one serving
Calories: 219kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 18mg, Sodium: 100mg, Potassium: 144mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 45IU, Vitamin C: 2.4mg, Calcium: 13mg, Iron: 1mg

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!

This recipe was originally published in 2010.

[photos by Ari of Well Seasoned]