Grandma’s Banana Nut Bread

My grandma’s recipe for banana nut bread is a classic banana bread recipe packed full of mashed bananas and chopped walnuts; it can be prepped in 10 minutes and bakes up super moist and dense. A family favorite!

A stack of banana nut bread slices on a pink tea towel.

Growing up, there was never a lack of things to eat at my grandma’s house. There were tins filled with pizzelle and biscotti that were never empty. I mean, never. They were always sitting, filled to the brim, on the last step near the dining room.

My favorite days were the ones when I would walk in and see my grandma in the kitchen, surrounded by loaves upon loaves of pepperoni bread. My second favorite day was banana bread day. Smelling the air infused with bananas and warm bread was intoxicating. These also got churned out many at a time. And nothing could beat a thick slice slathered with soft butter. Divine.

I’m thrilled to be sharing her recipe with you; this bread is super moist, packed full of banana flavor, and best of all – it comes straight from my grandma’s kitchen. Which makes it the best banana bread ever, naturally.

A photo of labeled ingredients for banana nut bread.

The Secret to Super Moist Bread

There might not be anything worse than dry banana bread, am I right? The lineup of ingredients for making my grandma’s banana nut bread is pretty standard, but there are two key ingredients in this recipe that ensure it stays supremely moist:

  • Vegetable Oil: The first key in keeping the bread incredibly moist and maintaining a tender crumb.
  • Bananas: Look for bananas that at the very least are spotty brown, but the browner the better! The riper the bananas, the sweeter it is and the more moisture it will impart.

A bowl of mashed bananas next to a bowl of banana bread batter with chopped walnuts.

Recipe Success Tips

A few extra notes to ensure you are sitting down to the absolute best banana bread that you’ve ever had…

  • As mentioned above, be sure to use the ripest bananas you can find. It amps up the flavor, plus ensures that the bread retains ultimate moisture.
  • Make nut substitutions if you’d like. Walnuts are a classic, but pretty much any other nut will work – try pecans, peanuts, anything! You can also omit the nuts if you’d prefer, as well.
  • Add chocolate chips if you’re feeling it. You can swap them in for the nuts, or do half and half.
  • 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.

Side by side photos of banana bread batter and baked loaves.

As you might be able to tell, this banana bread recipe doesn’t make a super-high loaf, but it’s one of the things I love most about it. It’s condensed, moist and packed full of flavor. It makes a perfect breakfast bread, and is also an amazing dessert to have with coffee.

I feel so fortunate that I was able to spend so much time with my grandma as I grew up, and that I have so many incredible memories tied to her house and to the food that she made.

Each time I make one of her recipes and have a simple smell bring me back to her kitchen, I know she is thrilled that I’ve carried on making so many of the recipes that our family has loved over the years, including this banana bread.

An overhead shot of a sliced loaf of banana nut bread.

If Banana Bread Is Your Jam, Try These Recipes:

If you make this recipe and love it, I would so appreciate it if you would take a moment to leave a rating below. Thank you so much!

Grandma's Banana Nut Bread

Servings 18 servings
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 40 minutes
Total 50 minutes
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Author: Michelle
My grandma's recipe for banana nut bread - a classic banana bread recipe packed full of mashed bananas and chopped walnuts. A family favorite!

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8x4-inch loaf pans; set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes:

  • Be sure to use the ripest bananas you can find. It amps up the flavor, plus ensures that the bread retains ultimate moisture.
  • Make nut substitutions if you'd like. Walnuts are a classic, but pretty much any other nut will work - try pecans, peanuts, anything! You can also omit the nuts if you'd prefer, as well.
  • Add chocolate chips if you're feeling it. You can swap them in for the nuts, or do half and half. 
  • 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

Nutrition:

Calories: 219kcal
Fat: 10g
Saturated fat: 5g
Cholesterol: 18mg
Sodium: 100mg
Potassium: 144mg
Carbohydrates: 28g
Fiber: 1g
Sugar: 14g
Protein: 3g
Vitamin A: 45%
Vitamin C: 2.4%
Calcium: 13%
Iron: 1%

Did you make this recipe?

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

Originally published in 2010, this has been updated to include new photos, a helpful video tutorial, and more in-depth recipe tips.

[photos by Ari of Well Seasoned]