It’s moist. It’s delicious. It’s banana bread on crack. 

Six blackish bananas, a handful of walnuts and some brown sugar — all bake up into a loaf that hits somewhere between a rich breakfast quick bread and a banana-dense cake.

It’s easy, too. I didn’t even need a whisk. My almost-3-year-old helped me mash, stir and, of course, taste…although she starts a little earlier in the taste-testing than I do (flour, vanilla, baking soda…she licks it all).

I’ve tried this recipe several times since I spotted it on In a pinch, I’ve gone with five instead of the recommended six bananas. Although the results were still delicious, the bread is most moist and flavorful with the max amount of ripe fruit.

In this batch, I replaced the vanilla with dark rum. However, as much as I love the rum, it doesn’t really make that much of a difference at a teaspoon or two. I’d stick with the pure vanilla extract and save the rum for something more…rummy-ish, like Bobby Flay’s rum caramel sauce or Martha’s buttered rum meltaways.

The cinnamon chips are great, though — in quick breads and cookies, especially. They kind of melt into the banana bread, adding a sweet-spice dimension.

Warmed, with a little honey-cinnamon butter or even plain, just as it is…there are few better ways to spend the morning. Or mid-day. Or whenever I pass through my kitchen and spot the loaf, smelling like banana nirvana.


Banana Banana Bread

adapted from

Note — I mash the bananas in a gallon-size freezer bag or plastic wrap until most of the big chunks are mush. I like to leave a few little chunks for texture.

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. kosher salt (or ¼ tsp. regular salt)

1 tsp. cinnamon

Dash nutmeg

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup light brown sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten and at room temperature

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas (about 6 large bananas)

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

1/2 cup cinnamon chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with Pam spray. 

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In a separate bowl, briefly cream butter and brown sugar (with hand-mixer, whisk or a plain old spatula, all have worked for me). Stir in eggs, vanilla and mashed bananas until well blended.

Stir flour mixture, nuts and cinnamon chips into banana mixture — stir just to moisten. Do not overmix.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth with spatula.  

Bake in preheated oven for 55 – 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean (try a few spots to get an accurate reading, just in case you hit a moist spot of banana).

Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Keeps for up to two days if stored at room temperature, longer if refrigerated.