The enticing aroma of bananas will permeate your kitchen with this Banana Walnut Bread. A warm slice of this slathered with butter is one of those comfort moments that will take you back to grandma's breakfast nook. You'll find this easy bread recipe to be super moist, perfectly dense, and delightfully satisfying.
Banana Bread Recipe with Walnuts
This classic banana nut bread recipe is taken from a torn and tattered Hallmark Recipe Organizer that my mom wrote out for me years ago. So it's been tried and true through several generations. I am so pleased to share one of my favorite family treasures with you here in this post. A few other family bread recipes that you will want to grab are Grandma's Dill Bread Recipe, Homemade Dinner Rolls, and Sweet Cornbread.
Ingredients for The Best Banana Bread
- All-Purpose Flour. All-purpose flour has a lower protein content which results in a lighter bread texture.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda. Both of these ingredients are leavening agents which help it to rise.
- Salt. Salt is an essential baking ingredient that enhances the overall flavor and balances the sweetness. But it will not taste "salty."
- Granulated Sugar. The measurement is perfect for the right amount of sweetness.
- Eggs. Eggs help produce a lighter, fluffier result.
- Buttermilk. This gives baked goods a softer texture.
- Butter. Melt the butter as it will produce denser bread that is less crumbly.
- Bananas. These are the star of the show.
- Pure Vanilla Extract. Vanilla intensifies the flavors in baked goods. Without it, cookies and cakes would taste flat and boring.
- Walnuts. Adds a crunchy nutty aspect to the bread. You can leave these out if you prefer. It doesn't change the finished result.
How to Ripen Bananas
Overnight Method. I've got good news on how to speed up the ripening process. Put the bananas in a brown paper bag and close it loosely. Bananas release a plant hormone called ethylene which builds up and circulates within the bag. This is what hurries along the process. It takes anywhere from 12-24 hours. You can also place an apple or a tomato in with it which helps as well.
Oven Method. If you're impatient like I usually am, there is a much quicker way to get your bananas ripe. Preheat the oven to 250°F. Place unpeeled bananas about two inches apart and bake for 20 minutes or until they are evenly browned on the outside. Let the bananas cool completely before using them in the recipe. Just to note though, naturally overly ripened bananas are sweeter with a more intense banana flavor.
Can You Freeze Ripened Bananas?
Yes, and it is a great opportunity to keep the ones that have sat too long on the counter. Instead of throwing them out, place unpeeled ripe bananas in a large freezer plastic bag and squeeze out all of the air. They will last in your freezer for up to three months. Thaw completely when ready to use.
How to Make Moist Banana Nut Bread
- Mash the Bananas. This recipe calls for two cups of mashed bananas which works out to be about four large bananas. If the bananas are good and ripe, all that is needed is a fork. Peel and slice in half, then use the fork to press down on them until they are nice and mushy.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine beaten eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla.
- Gently fold in the mashed bananas.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ones. Be careful not to overmix.
- Pour the batter into a prepared loaf pan.
- Bake at 350°F until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Tips for the Best Banana Bread
- When you're mashing the bananas, leave some larger chunks. Don't smash all of them to a pulp. This will add character and extra banana flavor to the baked banana bread.
- Use very ripe bananas. Picking the right bananas is really the key to flavor and a moist outcome. Really ripe bananas have more sugar and add more flavor. Choose brown spotted ones that show just a little yellow peeking through.
- Remove the buttermilk and eggs from the refrigerator and give them about 30 minutes to come to room temperature. This creates an emulsion that traps air in the batter. Therefore, when the bread is baking, that trapped air will expand and produce a fluffier baked good. Remove these ingredients from the refrigerator and give them about 30 minutes to come to room temperature.
- Make sure to use fresh nuts. They tend to go rancid when they are exposed over time to warm temperatures. If you plan on using them right away, store them in your refrigerator. For longer storage, place them in your freezer in an airtight container.
- You can make your own buttermilk if you don't have any on hand. For each cup of buttermilk, use one tablespoon of either white vinegar or lemon juice and add enough whole milk to measure one cup. Let it stand for a good 5 or 10 minutes. You could also use one cup of plain yogurt as a substitute.
- This recipe uses melted butter instead of softened butter. If you cream softened butter with sugar you will get a more cake-like and finer texture. The melted butter produces dense bread and is less crumbly.
- Baking time varies per oven, so timing your bread is not the best option. At about the 50-minute mark, insert a toothpick in the center and see if it comes out clean. If not, try it every five minutes until it does.
- Let the baked bread sit for three to five minutes in the pan before turning it out on a cooling rack. If the bread sits too long in the pan, it will collect condensation and can become a little soggy on the sides and bottom. Also, the rack helps as well because of the air circulation.
What Can I use If I don't have a loaf Pan?
A muffin tin is perfect if you want to make this recipe into individual muffins. You could use a bundt pan or a 9x9 square cake pan. Just make sure and adjust your baking time as these will all be done at different times.
Can this bread be made ahead of time?
Yes! Banana bread actually tastes better the next day because the natural sweetness and moisture from the bananas actually absorbed into the bread more into the second day. You might want to make a double batch though. Because if your house is anything like mine, no one can resist the warm bread straight out of the oven. Banana bread will last on the counter at room temperature for up to four days.
Can you Freeze Banana Nut Bread?
Absolutely. Just make sure you let it cool completely and wrap the loaf tightly several times in plastic wrap so that the shape is held together and the freshness is locked in. Then place the wrapped loaf into a large ziplock bag for extra protection. In this way, the banana nut bread will stay fresh for 2-4 months in your freezer.
Is Classic Banana Nut Bread Recipe Healthy?
I would love to answer this question with a definite yes. But most banana breads are full of sugar and white flour which aren't the healthiest of ingredients. If you want to cut back on these, there are some substitutes. The texture and final result will not be the same but you can feel good that it's somewhat healthier.
- Substitute honey for sugar. For every cup of sugar, you can use ½-2/3 cups of honey and reduce the liquid by a quarter. Also, use very very ripe bananas to add natural sweetness.
- Substitute half of the all-purpose flour for half white whole wheat flour. This will make the baked banana bread drier and heavier but it definitely can be done.
- Walnuts and Pecans are the most popular for banana bread. But really you can use a variety of nuts. Macadamia, cashews, or hazelnuts would work great as a substitute.
- Add one cup of chocolate chips to the batter.
- Raisins or craisins are a great addition.
- Sprinkle in ½-1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
And there you have it, warm banana bread fresh out of the oven ready for a brunch get-together, an afternoon break, or a midnight snack. There is nothing about this piece of heaven that is wrong, no matter how you slice it.
More Bread Recipes
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Banana Nut Bread Recipe
A warm slice of this Banana Nut Bread slathered with butter is one of those comfort moments that will take you back to grandma's breakfast nook. You'll find this bread to be super moist, perfectly dense, and sure to satisfy.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 60 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 1 Loaf 1x
- Category: Bread
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 ¼ cup Sugar
- 2 large Eggs, beaten (room temperature)
- ¾ cup Buttermilk (room temperature)
- ½ cup Butter (melted)
- 2 cups ripe mashed Bananas (about 4 large)
- 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 cups Walnuts, coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 ¼ cup sugar.
- In a medium mixing bowl, Combine the 2 beaten eggs, ¾ cup buttermilk, ½ cup melted butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Gently fold in 2 cups mashed bananas.
- Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk mixture. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ones only until combined. Be careful not to overmix.
- Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes to one hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let sit for 3-5 minutes in the pan before turning it out. Place the loaf on a metal rack to cool slightly before slicing.
- Slather with butter and ENJOY!
- Choose brown spotted ripe bananas that show yellow peeking through.
- How to speed up the ripening process: put the bananas in a brown paper bag and close it loosely. It takes anywhere from 12-24 hours.
- Just be careful to use fresh nuts. They tend to go rancid when they are exposed over time to warm temperatures. If you plan on using them right away, store them in your refrigerator. For longer storage, place them in your freezer in an airtight container.
- Make sure buttermilk and eggs are at room temperature when you start. Remove these ingredients from the refrigerator and give them at least 30 minutes to come to room temperature.
- Substitute for buttermilk: use one tablespoon of either white vinegar or lemon juice and add enough whole milk to measure one cup. Let it stand for a good 5 or 10 minutes.
- Use melted butter instead of softened. It produces a denser bread that is less crumbly.
- To freeze: Let the loaf cool completely and wrap the loaf tightly several times in plastic wrap so that the shape is held together and the freshness is locked in. Then place the wrapped loaf into a large ziplock bag for extra protection. It will stay fresh for 2-4 months in your freezer.
- Serving Size: 1/10th of Loaf
- Calories: 414
- Sugar: 33 g
- Sodium: 249 mg
- Fat: 19 g
- Saturated Fat: 7 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 10 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 58 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 7 g
- Cholesterol: 62 mg
Keywords: banana walnut bread, banana walnut bread recipe, banana nut bread recipe, moist banana nut bread