My simple flavorful banana bread recipe has been evolving for years. For a while, it had everything but the kitchen sink – coconut, lime, chopped dates, and nuts. I used to make this for bake sales for my sons’ preschool. I was always so flattered when people would buy the entire loaf. After the first time this happened I would deliver whole loaves and slices so they could be sold either way. It was very good bread but started to not be banana bread. It got very complex then sort of came out the other side to become simple with the focus on maximizing banana flavor.  Now I prefer a very simple recipe.

simple, flavorful banana bread loaves

A couple of tricks for simple flavorful banana bread.

There are a couple of tricks to get the most banana flavor for simple flavorful banana bread.  One thing I noticed is that bananas that have been frozen give more banana flavor than fresh, even the black ones. Cook Illustrated found this too and came up with an interesting solution. They cook the bananas in the microwave then let them cool and use the bananas and the liquid in the batter. I started to do that too, and because I do not like lumps of bananas in my banana bread, I puree the cooked bananas and liquid. Once the pureed bananas have cooled, I add the sour crème, vanilla, and eggs.

For the banana bread, I have found Becel margarine creates a nicer texture than butter. Normally I am butter all the way kind of gal. I discovered the Becel improvement by accident when I had lots of over-ripe bananas and no butter. Many recipes I have tried have you add softened or melted butter. I prefer the results when I cream the margarine with the sugar. Creaming is not just stirring the fat and sugar together. It takes time,5-10 minutes with the electric mixer.  The creamed mixture looks light and fluffy. I don’t know the chemistry, but I think the fat completely wraps the sugar crystals, so they don’t all dissolve when the wet ingredients are added creating a lighter, cake-like, texture for the banana bread.

Simple, Flavorful Banana Bread
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  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 very ripe bananas (microwaved, 2 -3 minutes, cooled and pureed)
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 8 Tbsp Margarine (I like Becel)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. This makes ! loaf for a 9x5 (top opening) loaf pan
  3. Line loaf pan with cooking parchment and grease them.
  4. Measure flour, salt and baking soda into a bowl.
  5. Cream together margarine and sugar.
  6. Mix together, eggs, cooled banana puree, sour cream and vanilla.
  7. Slowly add banana mixture to creamed margarine and sugar. Scrape side of bowl often,
  8. Slowly add flour mixture. Do not over mix.
  9. Pour into lined loaf pan.
  10. Bake for 50-55 minutes at 350F
  11. Check for doneness with toothpick
  12. Cool on a wire rack.

For more delicious baking check out this post for Tasty Gingerbread Muffins and Delicious Recipes for Blackberry Season

Don’t forget to Pin this for when you have those blackening bananas

simple, flavorful, Banana Bread, #bananabread #banana #baking #homemade

9 Replies to “Simple, Flavorful Banana Bread”

  1. This looks sooo good! I will be saving this recipe for later. Thinking of maybe adding chocolate chips to it because the kids love that. Thanks for the tip on the bananas. I had heard of microwaving to help them ripen quicker, but I didn't know they would be more flavorful if you freeze them first!
  2. Oh my goodness I love how you've hacked this recipe! Esp that you started by hacking the Cook's Illustrated already-hacked-to-perfection recipe! My hubby is a diehard CI fan and our resident gourmand, so if he ever hankers to make BB, I'll have to be sure he makes this and not the CI version! :)
  3. Look good. I havé à family récipé with a nice story and i invite you to visit my blog, don’t worry, i havé à translate button! 🙋‍♀️ Phrenssynnes

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