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This easy banana nut bread is so moist and delicious! Topped with caramelized nuts and loaded with walnuts and mashed bananas my easy banana bread recipe is a family favorite that tastes great for breakfast or as a snack. A perfect way to use overripe bananas!

Looking for banana recipes? Try my Banana Nut Muffins, Chocolate Banana Bread, or Easy Banana Muffins!

Close-up of a loaf of banana nut bread with a slice cut off on a rectangular white plate next to a white and blue dish towel.

This is truly the best banana nut bread recipe! Made with 1.5 cups walnuts and 3 mashed bananas this recipe is loaded with flavor and crunch. My family loves a thick slice of banana bread for breakfast or as a quick snack in the afternoon. It also freezes well!

This well-loved recipe makes a lovely, moist loaf that keeps fresh for days and combines a classic quick bread recipe with a crunchy, sweet topping to bring banana bread to the next level of deliciousness!

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Customizable: Feel free to add chocolate chips, other chopped nuts, or pumpkin pie spice to adapt this recipe to your taste.
  • Easy: This recipe is super easy and perfect to make together with your kids. The maple walnut topping adds some extra crunch and sweetness.
  • Freezer-friendly: This bread can easily be frozen – whole or sliced.
A loaf pan, lined with parchment paper, filled with banana nut bread batter.

Ingredient Notes

Here is an overview of the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe. Scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom for quantities.

  • All-purpose flour: Make sure to measure the flour correctly.
  • Baking soda: Acts as a leavening agent to make the bread rise. Make sure to use baking soda, not baking powder.
  • Ground cinnamon: Adds warm, aromatic spice to the banana bread.
  • Butter: You need butter for the batter and the topping. I recommend using unsalted butter.
  • Brown sugar: Provides sweetness and a subtle caramel flavor.
  • Eggs: Use large, room-temperature eggs.
  • Yogurt: This adds moisture and keeps the bread fresh for days. I use plain yogurt. You can also use Greek yogurt or vanilla-flavored yogurt.
  • Bananas: The star ingredient, providing flavor and natural sweetness. You need about 3 medium-sized very ripe bananas (about 1 1/2 cups of mashed banana).
  • Walnuts: Add a satisfying crunch and nutty flavor to the bread. They need to be coarsely chopped and are used in the batter and the topping. Feel free to use the same amount of pecans to make Banana Pecan Bread.
  • Maple syrup or honey: Sweetens and caramelizes the walnuts for a delicious topping.

Julia’s Tips & Tricks

  • Banana chocolate chip bread: To make a Banana Chocolate Chip Bread reduce the nuts in the batter to 1/2 cup and add 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips to the batter.
  • Use Overripe Bananas: The riper the bananas, the sweeter and more flavorful your bread will be. Use bananas with brown spots or even blackened skins.
  • Properly Mash the Bananas: Mash the bananas thoroughly to a smooth consistency. You can use a fork or a potato masher. Any lumps will affect the texture of your bread.
  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Make sure that your eggs and butter are at room temperature. Room-temperature ingredients blend together more easily, resulting in a smoother batter.
  • Don’t Overmix the Batter: Mix the wet and dry ingredients until just combined. Overmixing can lead to a tougher, denser bread.
  • Test for Doneness: Insert a toothpick into the center of the bread. It should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs but not wet batter when your bread is done.
  • Cool Before Slicing: Allow the bread to cool in the pan for about 10-15 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack. Slicing too early can make it crumbly.
  • Wrap and Store: Once cooled, wrap your banana nut bread in plastic wrap or foil to keep it moist. It often tastes even better the next day as flavors meld.
A slice of banana nut bread on a white plate.

Recipe FAQs

Is banana nut bread good for you?

Although banana nut bread contains healthy bananas and nuts it also contains sugar, butter, and flour so you shouldn’t eat the whole loaf alone.

Can you use not ripe bananas for banana bread?

Overripe bananas with brown spots like in the picture above are best for making sweet and moist banana bread but you could also use yellow bananas. When bananas ripen, the starch is converted into sugar so yellow bananas are not as sweet as brown ones and your bread will not be as sweet as it would be when using overripe bananas.

Can you freeze ripe bananas for banana bread?

Yes, you can! A great way to always have perfectly overripe bananas on hand for baking is to freeze ripe bananas for later use. You can freeze them in their skins or peel them. For banana bread, I prefer to peel the bananas before freezing and I also put them whole and not cut into slices in an airtight freezer bag. This makes it easier to measure the bananas. To defrost them just take out the bananas with your butter and let them come to room temperature together. They will be very soft and might look a little bit gross but work perfectly for banana bread.

A sliced banana bread on a wooden board.

Make-ahead, storage, and freezing

To store: Banana bread will last unrefrigerated for up to two days and refrigerated for one week. Always store banana bread in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic foil.

To freeze: Once cooled wrap the whole loaf tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost it unwrapped on a wire rack at room temperature for 4 hours. You can also freeze slices wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 1 month.

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5 from 10 votes

Best Banana Nut Bread Recipe

This easy banana nut bread is moist, topped with caramelized nuts, and loaded with walnuts. A family-favorite recipe for breakfast or a snack
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 16

Equipment

  • 1 Loaf Pan 9×5-inches

Ingredients 

  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • 3 medium bananas, mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnut

For the Caramelized Nut Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, or honey
  • ½ cup walnuts chopped

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Line the pan with a strip of parchment paper leaving an overhang to easily lift out the bread.
  • Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together for about 4 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, mixing 20 seconds after each addition. Then add vanilla extract, yogurt, and mashed bananas. Mix until incorporated.
  • Transfer the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and combine until just incorporated and no flour pockets remain. Fold in the nuts and transfer the batter to the prepared pan.
  • To make the topping, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in maple syrup and whisk to combine. Add chopped walnuts and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. Distribute the topping evenly on top of the batter.
  • Bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Cover the pan with aluminum foil after 30 minutes.
  • Let the bread cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 5-10 minutes. Then lift the bread out of the pan and let cool completely on the rack.

Notes

  • Banana chocolate chip bread: To make a Banana Chocolate Chip Bread reduce the nuts in the batter to 1/2 cup and add 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips to the batter.
  • Use Overripe Bananas: The riper the bananas, the sweeter and more flavorful your bread will be. Use bananas with brown spots or even blackened skins.
  • Properly Mash the Bananas: Mash the bananas thoroughly to a smooth consistency. You can use a fork or a potato masher. Any lumps will affect the texture of your bread.
  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Make sure that your eggs and butter are at room temperature. Room-temperature ingredients blend together more easily, resulting in a smoother batter.
  • Don’t Overmix the Batter: Mix the wet and dry ingredients until just combined. Overmixing can lead to a tougher, denser bread.
  • Test for Doneness: Insert a toothpick into the center of the bread. It should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs but not wet batter when your bread is done.
  • Cool Before Slicing: Allow the bread to cool in the pan for about 10-15 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack. Slicing too early can make it crumbly.
  • Wrap and Store: Once cooled, wrap your banana nut bread in plastic wrap or foil to keep it moist. It often tastes even better the next day as flavors meld.

Nutrition

Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 155mg | Potassium: 178mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 271IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg
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About Julia Foerster

Hi, I'm Julia! Born in Germany, I call Canada now my home and love to share my favorite dishes with you! Here you'll find hundreds of recipes, all made from scratch, with lots of tips and detailed step-by-step instructions.

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12 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made with honey topping and sour cream instead of yogurt; (that’s what I had on hand ). best banana bread ever

  2. Hi! question, when you say to cover the bread for 30 minutes is that after i take it out of the oven or 30 after it cooks and the rest of the cooking time with the foil on top? thanks!

    1. You cover it after it has been in the oven for about 25 minutes. This prevents the nuts from burning. Take it off after you take the bread out of the oven. If you never had problems with your oven browning the top of cakes too much you can also just skip the foil.

  3. Hi, I followed your recipe but cooked in a glass pyrex 8.5 x4.5 x2.5 pan. The center came out undercooked twice so I ordered the Wilton Medium Loaf Pan. Will the metal pan solve my problem?

    The bread is absolutely moist and delicious so I want to get it right so I can enjoy the entire loaf. Thanks, Allen

    1. A glass pan will definitely cook differently than a metal pan. Glass doesn’t heat up as quickly as metal but will become very hot once heated up. I’m sure the metal pan will solve your problem! Let me know how it works out for you, Allen! – Julia