Start to Finish: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Servings: 9-by-5 inch loaf
Difficulty Level: Beginner

Banana bread is a moist, flavorful quick bread that makes for a good snack or light breakfast. Quick breads are so called because they depend on chemical leavening, in this case baking soda, instead of yeast to help them rise in the oven. This recipe is adapted from a recipe by Tina Ujlaki, published in Food and Wine.


  • 4 overripe bananas
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare a single 9-by-5-by-3 inch loaf pan by greasing it with butter, oil or shortening or spraying it with nonstick cooking spray.

In a bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Add the sugar and continue to mash. Add the oil and keep mashing until combined. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and stir until just combined. Gently fold in the walnuts.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and place the pan in the oven. Bake it for about one hour, or until a toothpick or other tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes away clean.

Let the bread cool for 10 minutes, then remove the loaf from the pan. Serve warm or let it cool and serve it later. Store banana bread in the refrigerator.


Use 1/2 cup of butter, or one stick, in place of the oil. You may also experiment with using other neutral-tasting oils, such as safflower or sunflower, as a substitute for the canola.

Add chocolate chips, pecans or raisins in addition to or in place of the walnuts. Or omit the walnuts, if you like.


For full banana flavor, use bananas that are mostly brown with only a few spots of yellow left; less-than-overripe bananas will leave your banana bread tasting bland. You can even use bananas that have turned completely black, as long as they haven’t started to mold.