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Photograph by Victoria Jane, Food Styling by Mallory Lance, Prop Styling by Alexandra Massillon
  • Active Time

    15 minutes

  • Total Time

    1 hour 10 minutes plus cooling

At BA everybody has their favorite banana bread recipe. So we made each of them (14 to be exact) until we came up with a collective favorite. This easy recipe requires very little prep time and always comes out perfectly. In short: “If you’ve been making other banana breads,” says former test kitchen director and cookbook author Carla Lalli Music, “you’ve been doing it wrong—that’s all there is to say.” We won’t argue.

The key to tender, ultra-moist banana bread is in the details: Dark brown sugar has a higher molasses content than light brown, which helps the crumb stay soft and supple for days. It’s essential to use just-softened butter since using melted butter would cause a dense, oily crumb. We’re also partial to adding a dollop of mascarpone to give the quick bread some tangy lift, but sour cream or whole-milk yogurt will do the job equally well.

For effortless prep use a stand mixer (an electric hand mixer will work too). And as for add-ins, we think you can’t do better than chopped chocolate and walnuts, but this is your banana bread, so feel free to swap these out for an equal measure of dried cranberries, pecans—or add nothing to the banana mixture if you prefer a smooth loaf with no interruptions. However, if you like an extra crunch, follow Carla’s advice and sprinkle the top with raw or even regular white sugar before baking. Spread thick-cut slices with cream cheese or more softened butter for serving, and store any leftovers in plastic wrap or our favorite reusable containers.

For a heartier loaf, opt for this one made with whole wheat flour and peppered with poppy and sesame seeds, or for a version easier to mete out through the week, go for Quinoa-Banana Muffins. Finally, if a decadent baked banana situation is what you’re after, make our Double Banana Cake.

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What you’ll need


Makes one 8½x4½" loaf

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

cups all-purpose flour

teaspoons baking soda


teaspoon kosher salt


cup (packed) dark brown sugar

cup mascarpone, plain whole-milk Greek yogurt, or sour cream


cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature


large eggs


large very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1½ cups)


cup chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (optional)


cup chopped walnuts (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat 8½x4½" loaf pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a generous overhang on long sides. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

    Step 2

    Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat brown sugar, mascarpone, and butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend after each addition and scraping down sides and bottom of bowl as needed.

    Step 3

    Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. Add mashed bananas and mix just until combined. Fold in chocolate and/or walnuts, if using. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan; smooth top.

    Step 4

    Bake bread until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 60–65 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let bread cool in pan 1 hour. Turn out bread and let cool completely (if you can resist) before slicing.

    Editor’s note: This recipe was originally published in August 2014. Head this way for more of our best banana recipes

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Reviews (1331)

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  • This was good not great. I think it needs more spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla).

    • Anonymous

    • 12/4/2022

  • This recipe came out perfectly - I only had a 9x9 pan, which cooked evenly in 45 minutes.

    • Anonymous

    • Southampton, NY

    • 11/7/2022

  • This my go to recipe for when I have over ripe bananas. It is my husbands favorite snack. I love the taste when made with mascarpone cheese. I am always suggesting this recipe to my family & friends.

    • SinceeLu

    • Espanola, New Mexico

    • 10/23/2022

  • This is an absolute winner for all those over-ripe bananas that I had stored in the freezer. After they thawed they had a lot of liquid which I used in the recipe. I used full-fat Greek yogurt plus the optional chocolate chips and toasted walnuts. YUM! There's a reason it's called BA Best Banana Bread!!

    • charliaz

    • Scottsdale, AZ

    • 10/21/2022

  • It’s the best banana bread ever. I tried with yogurt, mascarpone. It’s very moist and get better after the next day. I experimented mixing it with pecans and chopped apple, Valhorna chocolates, delish!

    • Alice C

    • Dublin, CA

    • 10/14/2022

  • I LOVE this recipe. I’ve made it with mascarpone, Greek yogurt, sour cream….all variations have turned out perfectly. It’s one of the best recipes and it’s my go-to banana bread recipe.

    • Shanzi

    • Fountain Inn SC

    • 9/23/2022

  • I don’t know why some people are complaining about this recipe. If you don’t like the ingredients or recipeDON’T make it. If you have a recipe you’ve been using and like why even leave a bad review about this recipe? I’ve made this recipe multiple times and everyone loves it! making it again today with my son.

    • Mimi

    • Texas

    • 9/4/2022

  • Just made this banana bread and added fresh blueberries instead of the chocolate. So good!

    • Lisa

    • Dayton, OH

    • 7/31/2022

  • What a shame - there are no weights detailed. I no longer make recipes that don't have weights detailed. 2 large eggs? What does that mean? Your large or my large or someone else's? 3/4t kosher salt? No, no, no. You can't measure salt like that. Weights, please!

    • Carolyn Hettich

    • Highland Park, NJ

    • 7/29/2022

  • I'm a big fan of banana bread and found the King Arthur Flour recipe of the year from a couple of years ago to be about the best I'd ever made. I would love to make this one, but the kosher salt ingredient is too ambiguous. Diamond Crystal and Morton's are probably the 2 most common kosher salts, but they absolutely require different measurements due to the very different textures. Which is it for this recipe? It would make a tremendous difference in the final taste.

    • Zelly18

    • New York City

    • 6/30/2022

  • Full disclosure, I didn’t make this just laughing as I read this. I’ve been making my Aunt G’s for 55 years with crud I and buttermilk and NO brown sugar! When I tell you that my daughter made it weekly in her NYU dorm kitchen and could have sold it well… buttermilk is always the answer! ❤️

    • Rebecca

    • Atlanta

    • 6/30/2022

  • Why so much sugar? One third cup should be plenty with the natural sweetness of the bananas.

    • Anonymous

    • Camden ME

    • 6/30/2022

  • What is the purpose of the generous overhang of parchment paper? There is no other mention in the recipe, so it seems pointless.

    • András Király

    • Hungary

    • 6/1/2022

  • I’ve made this plenty times with amazing results and everyone always loves it but for the first time I tried to make it adding in the salt Big mistake the salt sank to the bottom half of the cake and there are still grains of it in that bottom half as well making it really salty and texter of that kosher salt is really contrasting from the moist rich texture it’s very off putting I would recommend making eating this with a home made caramel sauce it goes so well with the banana

    • Amoata bakes

    • London UK

    • 6/1/2022

  • Agree with the fullproof-ness of this recipe. I’ve been making it for years with subs along the way and it’s been amazing.

    • Emmy

    • Nashville, TN

    • 5/31/2022