Start to Finish: 45 minutes
Servings: 1 large loaf
Difficulty: Beginner

Yellow cake mix supplies almost all the ingredients you need for a light, moist and easy banana bread. Use the ripest of bananas to add moistness and dense banana flavor; cook them in the oven for a ripening shortcut. Even the laziest or most time-crunched of cooks can produce this almost homemade bread for breakfast or any other occasion.

  • One 16.5-ounce box yellow cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 to 4 mashed ripe bananas

Heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Use an electric mixer or a wooden spoon to mix all the ingredients together. Pour into a greased 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes and then invert onto a rack to finish cooling.

Tips

For a different shape, bake the bread in muffin tins or in a Bundt pan. Leave it in the oven just 20 minutes or so if in muffin tins, or bake for 45 minutes in a Bundt pan.

Make a nutty version of banana bread by adding 1/2 to 1 cup of chopped nuts; walnuts and pecans are good choices. A 1/2 cup of chocolate chips turns the bread into a dessert. For extra sweetness, top with a glaze made with powdered sugar and a few tablespoons of milk. Butter-pecan or white cake mix also works to make the bread. Substitute the oil with butter for a richer bread, or with applesauce for a lower-fat version.

Whenever you notice your stash of bananas browning, store them in the freezer to make this bread on a moment’s notice. Peel and place the bananas into zip-close bags for easy storage. They stay fresh for about 3 months and can be used for this bread, for smoothies or for pancakes.