This moist and flavorful Old Fashioned Banana Bread is loaded with real bananas, pecans, raisins and chocolate chips.
How to Make Old Fashioned Banana Bread
One of the recipes that all home cooks should know is this family favorite recipe, Old Fashioned Banana Bread.
It’s perfect for snacking, dessert or for sharing–think potlucks or giving away anytime of the year.
But most of all what I love about this recipe is that it’s also a great way to reduce waste which occurs when market bananas start to turn a nice shade of brown. You might be tempted to toss them in the trash but don’t. This is the perfect color for making banana bread.
Cooking Tip: If you don’t have time to make banana bread now but don’t want to waste your ripe bananas freeze them. Place them in a sealed plastic bag and store until you’re ready to use them–up to 6 months.
Must-Have Banana Bread Ingredients
As you might have guessed, the star ingredient for this recipe are bananas. You can use yellow, light brown or black (sans mold, of course). It’s best if you avoid green bananas because they lack the sweetness and depth of flavor that ripened bananas have. Plus, they lack the moisture that is needed to tie all the ingredients together.
Could you use frozen bananas? Absolutely! I usually have a bunch or two hiding in the depths of my freezer just for this occasion. What I love about frozen bananas is that they are super sweet and easy to squeeze right out of their peel. Just let them thaw a bit before mashing and you’ll be all set to make some amazing banana bread.
Rest of the Ingredients…
The other must-have ingredients are: nuts (pecans or walnuts), raisins and chocolate chips.
Now, if this sounds too much to you or you don’t like one or more of these ingredients, that’s fine. You can definitely leave out or mix and match other ingredients to your taste. Or…you can just make it totally banana-only bread–it’s all up to you!
Make a loaf of Old Fashioned Banana Bread today and freeze it to eat later. It can be stored up to nine months for optimum flavor.
Banana Bread Ingredient Variations
Want to substitute any or all of the above ingredients (except the bananas, of course)? Why not give these alternative ingredients a try:
- dried cherries
- dried apricots
- dried pineapple
- dried currants
- strawberries, sliced/diced
- fresh cranberries, chopped finely
- macadamia nuts
Supplies to Make Banana Bread
Here are some of the the supplies you’ll need to make Old Fashioned Banana Bread.
The more traditional version of Old Fashioned Banana Bread is made with large loaf pans.
My favorite choice of Large metal loaf pans measure 9×5 inch and work great for this recipe, although you can also use several mini loaf pans (approx. 6″ X 3.5″ X 2″), too. The key here is regardless of the size, you will want to fill them no more than 3/4 of the way full.
You can also use a cake pan, muffin tins, etc. Just keep in mind that the baking time will vary based upon the volume and size of the baking vessel you use.
But what if you only have glass loaf pans? The important thing to note is that glass conducts heat faster, especially with sweet breads, so that the outside of the loaf will brown faster on the sides, with the inside taking much longer to cook. So to combat this problem, try turning down the temperature of the oven by 25 degrees or so and extend the bake time, accordingly.
Cooking Tip: Regardless of what size, shape baking vessel you use for this recipe, it’s always best to check the doneness of your loaf with a toothpick that is inserted in the center of the loaf. It should come out with little to no crumbs attached to it.
A potato masher is definitely a great tool to have on-hand for mashing bananas or you can opt for a fork or metal or wood spoon. My favorite tools to use are either the old fashioned metal wire version (1) or an ergonomic gripped plastic one (2), for those who worry about scratching their pans or need something easy to hold. Both work extremely well for this task–easy peasy.
Cooking Tip: Also, be sure to also have on-hand measuring cups, measuring spoons, two large bowls (one for the batter and the other to mash the bananas).
Storing Banana Bread
To store your Old Fashioned Banana Bread, first wrap it in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. You do not need to refrigerate it if you will be eating it the next day or so.
For the Freezer: Use the same process when freezing it for later. The aluminum foil is easy to mark on with a Sharpie so you can note the date you made it. Store it up to nine months.
But if your family is like mine, this loaf won’t last that long. Enjoy!
For more delicious dessert ideas, be sure to check out Wisconsin Homemaker’s Recipe section, as well as these family favorites:
- Zesty Lemon Pound Cake Recipe
- Double Chocolate Quick Bread
- Bishop Cake Recipe
- Fruit Clafoutis (French Oven Pancake)
- Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Old Fashioned Banana Bread
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 6 bananas mashed
- 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1 cup raisins
- 2/3 cup chocolate chips
- non-stick spray
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease loaf pans with non-stick spray.
- In a large bowl add the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, white sugar, salt and brown sugar. Mix well using a whisk or fork.
- Add the wet ingredients: vegetable oil, eggs, milk and vanilla. Mix well using a whisk or spoon.
- Mash bananas in a medium bowl and add to the batter.
- Then add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.
- Divide the batter between the loaf pans, filling them no more than 3/4 of the pan or so for each.
- Place in the oven and bake approximately for about an hour. Be sure to start checking with a toothpick in the center of the mini loaves around 45 minutes. The large loaf will take longer to bake, so if necessary give it about an additional 10 minutes or so before checking it again.
- Once the toothpick comes out clean, remove loaf pan(s) from the oven.
- Allow the loaves to cool about five minutes or so before inverting on a cooling rack. If necessary, run a knife around the outside of the loaf to release it.
- Finally, let the loaves cool completely before eating and/or wrapping to eat later. Enjoy!