Ultimate Banana Bread

Prep Time
Cook Time
1h 45m
Ready In

"This banana bread is very bananey and looks really pretty with the bananas on top. A bit more work than the usual but worth it. Recipe source: Cook's Illustrated"

Original recipe yields 10 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (138.1 g)
  • Calories 340.9
  • Total Fat - 14.5 g
  • Saturated Fat - 6.7 g
  • Cholesterol - 66.1 mg
  • Sodium - 260.7 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 49.6 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 2.8 g
  • Sugars - 24.8 g
  • Protein - 5.4 g
  • Calcium - 21.8 mg
  • Iron - 0.8 mg
  • Vitamin C - 6.2 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.1 mg

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 2

Spray a loaf pan (8 1/2 x 4 1/2) with non-stick spray.

Step 3

In a large bowl whisk the dry ingredients (flour - salt) together.

Step 4

Place 5 bananas in a separate bowl, cover, and microwave until bananas are soft and have released liquid (5 minutes). Transfer bananas to a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl and allow to drain, stirring occasionally (15 minutes) - you should get about 1/2 cup - 3/4 cup liquid.

Step 5

Transfer the liquid to a saucepan and cook over medium high heat until reduce to 1/4 cup (5 minutes). Stir the microwaved bananas in the reduced liquid and mash with a potato masher until mostly smooth. Whisk in the butter, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla.

Step 6

Stir banana mixture into the dry mixture. Fold in walnuts, if using. Scrap batter into prepared loaf pan. Slice remaining banana diagonally into 1/4 inch slices. Shingle banana slices on top of loaf in 2 rows, leaving 1 1/2 inch wide space down center. Sprinkle with the granulated sugar evenly over the loaf.

Step 7

Bake for 55-75 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let loaf cool in pan for 10 minutes and then turn out on a cooling rack and let finish cooling for at least one hour.

Tips & Variations

No special items needed.



I made this using 1 to 1 ratio gluten free all purpose flour and I lined the pan with parchment paper and this turned out perfectly moist and delicious!!

review by:
(5 Jul 2020)


This bread recipe is really lovely as it is moist and has just the right amount of sweetness. I mixed all by hand with a wooden spoon being careful not to over-mix so as not to overwork the gluten, but because I forgot to add the vanilla extract, I had to mix again at the very last minute and mixed it more than I wanted to. We really loved the bananas that overlays the top. Yum! This is a really nice twist on an old favorite and a make again. Thank you ellie for sharing.

review by:
(7 Feb 2016)