jacked-up banana bread

[Psst! I introduced my Ultimate Banana Bread, a new recipe, in April 2020.]

Confession time again! You see these babies? The brown, spotty, past their prime and about 36 hours from luring in fruit flies bananas? I love them. They’re my absolute favorite. I know, I know how gross that is. I know, I know that most people would pick those up only to walk them over to the trash. I know, I know you’re horrified that I could love something so rotten, and for all of these reasons, I am forced to live my life as a closeted freckled banana eater.

The list of people who know my secret are as follows: Alex, but he married me anyway; my mother-in-law, who was about to throw some old bananas out one day and I gave myself up, yelping “wait!” at the last moment; the lady at the bodega where I get my yogurt and fruit each morning, who watches me sift daily through the bright, yellow ones on top for the sordid, unlovable ones at the bottom of the pile; Molly, who I confessed my banana sin to in a moment of cream cheese-frosted camaraderie; and now you. Go easy on me, please.

smashy smashy

My love of the spotty banana, unfortunately, conflicts with one of my other loves — banana bread. You see, exactly when the bananas hit their bread-making prime time, I don’t want to share them with anyone. I’m serious. I haven’t made it in years. But, I’m feeling generous this week, and also in need of a treat, and yes, I know so-called calorie-watching on top of my other aches and pains sounds an insult to, well, you know, but if I can’t exercise for so many weeks, something is going to have to give. Yet, seven days into this I’m itching for a little something-something, something small and tame and when I saw this recipe on Elise’s stunning site, I thought, for once, “well, maybe I could share.”

jacked-up banana bread

Oddly, and perhaps complimentary, enough, I found myself using Simply Recipes for this bread the way I use Epicurious: rummaging through each and every comment until I’m certain the adjustments I’m itching to make will work. And then? I jacked it up. I replaced white sugar with the light brown variety, and cut back on it, too; I added a splash of bourbon, salted butter and then doses of cinnamon, nutmeg and even cloves. And also, though it goes without saying by now, mixed it with one hand. I hope Elise’s friend’s friend doesn’t mind that I bastardized her recipe, I just couldn’t resist gilding the lily, as usual. And that one tablespoon of bourbon? This is no time to fixate on accurate measurements.

jacked-up banana bread

It was just what the doctor ordered. [Actually, no, the doctor this morning ordered six full weeks in the sling, but let’s just talk about that another time, okay?] Let me rephrase: this is how I interpreted what the doctor ordered, and can you blame me? This is the height of banana bread perfection and all those little extras manage to add something fantastic without overwhelming the base flavor. It’s my new go-to recipe and Elise, you did my adored bananas proud.

freckled bananas, freckled banana owner

Elise’s Friend Heidi’s Friend Mrs. Hockmeyer’s Banana Bread, As Jacked Up by Deb
Adapted from Simply Recipes

No need for a mixer for this recipe — need I say more?

[Psst! I introduced my Ultimate Banana Bread, a new recipe, in April 2020.]

3 to 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup (75 grams) melted salted butter
3/4 to 1 cup (145 to 190 grams) light brown sugar (depending on the level of sweetness you prefer, I always use the smaller amount)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla
1 tablespoon (15 ml) bourbon (optional)
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon (3 grams) cinnamon
Up to 1/2 teaspoon (1) nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 1/2 cups (190 grams) flour

Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, vanilla and bourbon, then the spices. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to one hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

Note: Due to my unhealthy obsession with tiny things, I split this into two mini-loaf pans. It took 45 minutes to bake two perfect halves, but of course, may run longer or shorter in your oven.

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789 comments on jacked-up banana bread

  1. You are wrong, those bananas are NOT passed their prime. As far as I am concerned they are right in their prime for eating. Once they get passed where you have them, I will consider them for banana bread or pancakes, but right there where they are right now…they’re perfect.

    So I guess I too share in your love of the unloved bananas.

  2. Well, of course you can’t hold a tablespoon and pour bourbon at the same time with one hand. And you are so careful to tell us how you divided the batter into two mini pans and how long it took to bake. I’m sure you were equally careful to measure out exactly one tablespoon. Right. I am right about that aren’t I? I mean two would change everything. Oh, I’m sure you wouldn’t use two tablespoons and not tell us. I mean you’ve just made this dark confession. You would never do that. Right. Right!
    Fun post.

  3. Oh, a day too late! My nanners were well beyond this but I was still looking for a good recipe for them. Hubby tossed them when I wasn’t looking. I think I need to print this out and head to the store… ;)

  4. I think, according to Chiquita, that you like perfect bananas:

    “I’m Chiquita banana and I’ve come to say – Bananas have to ripen in a certain way- When they are fleck’d with brown and have a golden hue – Bananas taste the best and are best for you – You can put them in a salad – You can put them in a pie-aye – Any way you want to eat them – It’s impossible to beat them – But, bananas like the climate of the very, very tropical equator – So you should never put bananas in the refrigerator.”

    Nice banana bread!

  5. Cupcakes


    Im a fan of the bright yellow-slightly green on top banana. MMMM (i want 1 now damnit) Does it count that i always buy a lot of them and make sure there are a few stragglers left for just such an occasion?

    anyways.. i made the recipe thats been in my family for ages.. this 1 tho i gotta say… its gonna give it a run for its $. Bourbon seems like such a natural thing to add.. like, why didnt i think of it sooner? Its like Bananas Foster.. but in bread form.. Oh MAN… a warm slice of your bread, deb, with some vanilla ice cream? OYI

    OK on a side note here… My step family is jewish and me being the goy that i am tried to make matzo ball soup for the 1st time..

    Do they like a big open pan to cook in so they can fluff up? I cooked mine in like a 3qt pot and they didnt poof up. They were more like lil chewy small size golf balls.. instead of the nice light fluffy 1s my aunt makes. Shes on vacation till mid December so i figured id ask you. OO a new idea for your site.. “ask deb”
    Anywhoo, suggestions or whatever would be much appreciated.

  6. Oh MY. You know how I feel about banana baked goods, and this one is definitely going on my to-do list! I love your addition of salted butter, and the bourbon! Amen to that. Brandon, Mr. Woodford Reserve, will heartily approve. Thanks for sharing your beloved freckled bananas, Deb.

  7. Maggie, thank you for putting up those lyrics, I would have had to google them otherwise.

    Deb – Bananas and bread, great combination, but where are the nuts? Or is that a sin? Oh and finally I know that I needn’t throw out my bananas once they’ve passed the edible phase of bright yellow into the speckled baking goodness.

  8. I think everyone has a different banana scale! I am terrified of anything other than almost-green bananas, though for my banana bread I’ll let them get brown, soft, and almost oozing. Eew. Or yum. I’m not sure. Whatever it is, it’s good for banana bread.

    One of my favorite things to do to banana bread is replace the flower with oat bran that I buy in the bulk food section of my market. It really, really lightens up the bread. I have to admit I’m not good at measuring things… I usually put in around half flour/half bran, taking out a bit of butter or whatever other liquid is in there to compensate. I’ve also added yogurt to my banana bread – mmmmm.

  9. Hi Cupcakes –

    (I hope it is okay to post a reply here! I didn’t see another way to respond to this comment)

    I also like soft fluffy matzoh balls. After you chill the dough, do not, I repeat, do not, apply any pressure to it (I.e., no rolling, shaping, or other perfecting-type motions). Just break off a chunk, lightly push in any large straggling bits and drop them in the pot. The less you fiddle with them, the lighter they will be. I think it all depends on preference – my brother loves them light and fluffy, whereas my dad roles them between his palms to get hard little marbles!

  10. I too like the slightly green, no brown bananas! However, the kind you like are NOT unloved, just loved in a different form…baked in something! I’ve been making several different recipes of banana bread recently. I think one of the best I’ve found has been one that is actually for a banana cake but I morphed into bread. The post will be coming soon. Not to worry…the recipe is from a guiltless desserts class I attended, so It’s not too bad for ya!

  11. I buy bananas and then wait until they go that brown before I eat them. My boyfriend (transplanted to NY from Georgia) has this amazing southern tiramusu recipe with vanilla wafers, whipped cream, and bananas cooked in bourbon and brown sugar– I think your recipe is the bread version of that. Hmm, I’m working from home today; maybe I could whip this up at lunch…for lunch…

  12. Six weeks? Yikes, I don’t know what I’d do. I’m sorry Deb! As for the bananas, my husband likes them like that too, or even blacker, or green for that matter. He just loves them. I myself like them very underripe, a hint of green. I won’t eat them after about 2 days.

    The bread looks wonderful. :) I love love the smell of banana bread baking. Well who doesn’t.

  13. Theresa

    Hi Deb – I commented on one of your posts earlier saying that I am a beginning cook and asked you to recommend some cookbooks for beginners. Well, this will be my husband & I’s first Thanksgiving in our home and we have decided to make dinner on our own. I found some excellent recipes on but most of them have serving sizes quadruple of what we need. I know how to cut the ingredients down, but then how should I adjust the cooking time? Thanks so much for your help! I am sure that I will become a regular commenter (questioner) in the next week! By the way, I hope you feel better soon!

  14. Theresa

    Oh, I almost forgot to ask, have you tried any recipes for biscuits, rolls, croissants, etc. that you would recommend for Thanksgiving? Maybe something with cheese and/or garlic?

  15. I am a speckled banana lover too, and always daring to tread on the thin line between banana perfection in speckled form, and banana wine because they have gone too far over the edge. If they don’t simply fall apart and I have to actually use my teeth to cut through it, it’s too ripe!

    And yes, Banana Bread is a fav, and Elise’s recipe does look divine, but I really need to manage self control to make it in my house as well.

  16. Celeste

    If you make these into muffins in a non-stick pan, then you won’t have all of that pesky one-handed slicing and wrapping of the loaf to do. I’m just saying. :o)

    I need my bananas tinged with green. Freckles hit the trash every time (sorry!).

  17. Jessica


    If you want an easy garlic cheese biscuit recipe, try the one that I made earlier this week out of the Betty Crocker catalog:

    Garlic-Cheese Biscuits

    2 c. Bisquick
    2/3 c. milk
    1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
    1/4 c. butter, melted
    1/4 tsp. garlic powder

    Preheat oven to 450. Whisk bisquick, milk & cheese together in a bowl until a soft dough forms; beat vigorously 30 seconds. Drop dough by 10-12 spoonfuls about 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. In a small bowl, combine butter & garlic powder until well mixed; brush on warm biscuits before removing from cookie sheet. Serve warm.

    I made these earlier this week with the vodka cream pasta recipe that Deb posted a few months ago and both were fantastic. These biscuits couldn’t be any easier and if you wait to cover the leftover bisuits until they have completely cooled off, they save really well (the melted butter dries and doesn’t leave them soggy). Enjoy!

  18. Jessica

    Oops, that would be a Betty Crocker cookbook, not catalog. Also, I sprinkled some minced garlic into the dough before combining which further upped the garlic flavor.

  19. Jezzie

    Yes! I love ’em. I have the same problem with bananna vs bannana bread…by the time they are ready I am eating them.
    What’s funny is my g/f eats them even further past the freckled stage! No hope for bread.
    How sweet of you to assume that I was vacationing, and not that I, too, was engaged in the equivalent of throwing myself down a flight of stairs.
    Dear girl, I think a vacation is a bottle of wine and a game of checkers.
    Que sera, please continue picturing me someplace quiet, in a hammock, with a mountain view. *sigh* I can almost feel it. Oh, and I’ll take along a slice of that yummy homeade bread, with a wee drop o’ the brandy on the side :)

  20. Sweet Potato

    Freckled and speckled is the ONLY way to eat a banana. While they’re green, there’s no flavour (at least, not a yummy ripe banana flavour). The secret is to keep DH from eating them while green so I can have some speckly ones left for me or for banana bread. I try to buy them on the verge of freckles for this reason, to his everlasting disgust. This recipe looks scrumptious… but I would have to make it muffins for easy freezing (and thus less tempation to gobble it all over the weekend).
    Take it easy on your shoulder,
    Sweet Potato

  21. deb

    Christine – Well, I am glad to hear it’s not just me, and this seems the perfect time to admit that well, I could go another day on these, possibly two. I bet nobody sympathizes with me now, eh?!

    Tanna – For once in my life, I actually measured the booze. I was so worried about leading you guys astray. That said, next time I’ll add another tablespoon. But, er, we already expect that from lushes like me.

    Karen – I remember one we had this swarm of fruit flies in our old apartment and Alex is like “NOW can we throw them away?” I had to cave. It was pretty gross.

    Birdita – Amen!

    Luisa – Oh, the bourbon will be brought on. In theory. In practice even half a glass of wine is putting me to sleep while I am still hitting the Advil – bad Deb! As for the six weeks thing, yes, quite sucky. But, yesterday was coincidentally the first day I could actually say I felt better (must have been all that complaining on Wednesday that did it), so that kind of made me forgive the bad news. Six weeks of my current state, this I can handle.

    Jenifer from Memphis – It had better. It’s not very coordinated yet, though. I dribbled yogurt down my shirt this morning like a toddler. So sad!

    Maggie – Best comment ever. That was awesome.

    Cupcakes – Ecch, no green! Sadly, I am not a matzo ball expert because my mother or Alex’s mom always makes it for us! But, I will try it this winter, promise. And report back.

    An Ask Deb feature? Hm. Alex likes the idea. I find myself answering questions over e-mail a lot. Maybe I should post those too. I’ll tell you what: email me questions, I’ll see what I can answer. (I’m no expert, mind you.) We’ll consider this an informal experiment for now.

    Molly – Yum, Woodford Reserve, I will have to try that again. We’re more the Basil Hayden types ourselves, but I used Knob Creek in the bread. We’ve had it for two years and barely made a dent. I know this is bourbon blasphemy, but I find it a wee harsh. Perfect for baking, though!

    Kirs – I don’t mind nuts in baked goods at all, but they’re such a divider, I’ve just started skipping them. I mean, nut-likers will eat it either way, right? In addition, I’m saving the second loaf for when my parents come for dinner on Sunday, and mom can’t eat nuts. See what a good kid I am?

    M – Even funnier that I spelled lily wrong and had to go back and edit it AND I’m using the new Firefox with the built-in field spell-checker. But thank you.

    Rachael – My rule is that if I have to stick my nail in to start peeling the banana, it’s not ripe yet. Right now, half of you are going “gee-yewww!” I actually think a little whole wheat flour in this might be nice – I like some grit in my breakfasty foods. I might play around next time. And also, of course it’s okay to post a reply in the comments!

    Claire – Sounds great. Banana bread is pretty easy to make low-fat and sugar because most of the moisture and sweetness come from the bananas themselves. Can’t wait to see yours.

    Browneyedgirlie – Thank you. And you have excellent taste in bananas.

    Carly – Oh my GOD that tiramisu sounds amazing. Oh share, please share!

    Tammi – Six weeks brings me to Friday December 22nd. Alex says we can go ice-skating December 23rd. Not bad, right? Right?

    Theresa – I hope I helped you with today’s (Friday’s) post. As for cutting recipes down, I do it all the time. Surprisingly, the baking time is rarely very different, but you should begin watching it at the halfway point, just the same. Good luck!

    Married Girl – E-mail me your Qs. I’ll try my best! You guys have way too much faith in me.

    Eryn – You have excellent taste. But I probably still won’t share with you, hee.

    Liz – Try it! And then, let me know how it compares to that one you like more than CI. I’m curious.

    Leslie – Alex would LOVE those muffins. The boy thinks you can add chocolate chips to anything. Thanks for the link.

    Jocelyn – Yeah, I saw. But, we’re taking Alex’s sister out to celebrate that she passed her bar exam. And people bumping into my arm as they would at a crowded club? Makes me want to slug them with my good arm. What a sight THAT would be, right? What are doing for your birthday? I know JUST what to give you. ;)

    Kate – I am thinking that to lighten this recipe up, adding another banana, dropping the sugar to ½-cup, and then replacing that 1/3 cup of butter with yogurt (with fat, I think is best), would really really work. Just a thought! I’d hate to think of anyone being deprived of banana-y goodness.

    Celeste – I like the way you think, despite your affection for tinged green bananas. You must learn to love the freckle! :)

    Jessica – Sounds yum. But now I have to figure out how to make Bisquik at home! (I suspect salt, flour, baking soda…)

    Jezzie – I will totally eat them past the freckle state, too. I hope you get that vacation real soon!

    Sweet Potato – Freezing is key! I’ve got the other loaf in there right now, awaiting a better reason to eat it than just “snacking.” Oh, the joy of mini-loaf pans.

  22. C

    So bizzare that I was hoping to come here and find a banana bread recipe because I have some freckled bananas just waiting to be used. Thanks for the share!

  23. sassy

    another thing I learned was coconut – try some dry unsweetened, or better yet, fresh grated or thawed, frozen fresh grated (chewier than the dry one) in your banana bread – it is to die for!

  24. AngAk

    Great recipe. But why are you all tossing those lovely ripe bananas? toss them in the freezer instead for your next batch of bread.

  25. Emmi

    I made this exactly per recipe… except, second time substituted ALL flour with whole-wheat flour as an experiment. What with all the spices and somewhat inexact bourbon measuring (as per your recipe, of course!), even my bf, king of all things white, fried or greasy, loved it. A little darker and grittier than white flour. But I liked it better all the same. Do you think it would be de trop to use more than 3 or 4 Bananas?

  26. I’m making this recipe right now…..I didn’t have any bourbon, just rum left over from the Christmas cakes….think that will be all right? I must say, it’s making the house smell lovely!

  27. That’s really funny how here in America, almost everyone I know won’t eat/buy a banana that’s not mostly green.

    Where I’m from (Singapore) those bananas up there would still be in their prime or not yet prime enough because there seems to still be some green on it. To each culture their own I suppose…

    This looks like a good recipe to follow, although I might wait a little more on the bananas!!

    Love this site! LOVE IT.

  28. Kay

    I’ve been experimenting with MANY banana bread recipes recently, and yours was among the four I tried yesterday. I really enjoyed the spices and bourbon in yours, but I think a tsp of baking powder (in addition to the baking soda) would really help lighten it up. [Your loaf came out quite a bit denser than some of the other loaves I’ve tried.]

    Just a suggestion, but other than that, I’m a frequent lurker of your site. :)

  29. chris

    Sweet mary mother of pearl. I don’t bake, except for banana bread and pumpkin bread, which I bake extremely well, thankyouverymuch, but after making probably a dozen different banana bread recipes (including Elise’s), this one takes the cake. Just when I thought I’d found the perfect (for me) banana bread recipe, boom! I get my hair knocked back and now I’m questioning everything.

    Ok maybe not, but damn this is a great recipe. Bravo.

  30. margot

    I mash my over-ripe bananas, pour each mashed banana into the individual compartments of a muffin tin and freeze them. After they are frozen, pop them out and put the “banana patties” into a freezer bag and store in your freezer. When I get the urge to make banana bread, a smoothie, whatever banana thing I want, I just get them out of my freezer.

  31. Finally, I have done a Smitten recipe justice! Its taken years as I have been reading for longer than I can remember and now I have the excuse to drop you a comment! I had three freckled bananas calling out to me this morning, one sister staying with my for a holiday and one small toddler who loves “badas”. I didn’t have baking soda, my baking powder was out of date so I used self-raising instead. My fan assist oven always cremates anything I try to bake slowly but this time everything came together and I just tried my first slice and this loaf is heavenly. Its slightly denser looking than yours, but thats the way they like their banana bread Downunder, I know this is going to be a hit at tea this arvo, and I WON’T be disclosing the nature of that secret ingredient, no one needs to know the banana bread their toddler is devouring contains a cheeky hit of Jack Daniels!


    I had been craving banana bread for about 2 weeks. I had a tried and true recipe, and seeing that I really totally suck at measuring stuff, and it had worked out in the past I was set on using this recipe. Then … I thought … no way! I have been reading all the super fantabulous recipes on SK and she HAS to have a better recipe. OH EM GEE! This banana bread makes me happy in my pants! It is SO moist, SO flavorful, SO perfect.

    One million times thank you … I can’t wait to be bold enough to cook another of your recipes.

  33. I’ve wanted to make this ever since I came across the recipe a few months ago, but I kept eating my bananas before they got ripe enough. Whoops! Anyway, I finally managed to control myself long enough to actually get a loaf made, and man, is this recipe ever a keeper. I added some shredded coconut, which gave it great texture, and I plan on experimenting with chocolate chips if I can ever get three ripe bananas all together in one place again. Thank you!

  34. kate

    i have to admit, i’m a bit of a banana purist. so when you mentioned that those bananas were past their prime, i was thinking to myself, oh the minute those were yellow all over, they were headed to banana bread heaven. mostly green with a touch of yellow for me.

    and this banana bread recipe… it *was* heaven. i think i’ve finally found a recipe that could knock my mother-in-law’s version out of my husband’s head. at least for a day or so.

  35. Kate

    I tweaked it a little – whole wheat flour, oat bran, flax seed meal, light on sugar, added walnuts, used Jack Daniels because we didn’t have bourbon… but oh my, they are delicious, and I especially love that they aren’t sticky/gummy in that way that banana bread so often is. And they didn’t taste gross-healthy-uncooked in the way that wheat flour substitutions so often do.

  36. Karen

    Had bananas that were a BIT past the freckled stage so ready for bread. I like even smaller things than you, apparently, so made this recipe into muffins.Could not skip the nuts, so added some walnuts. Baked for about 23 minutes (checked at 18, dry toothpick at 23, a couple more minutes would have probably made the crusts just a little more crunchy). They were delicious — moist and banana-y. Made exactly one dozen perfectly sized muffins.

  37. WOW! Deb you sure know how to bastardize a recipe! With 4 bananas not mashed to a complete mush, but still sort of chunky and not measuring the booze, this recipe is going down in the hall of banana bread fame. Nice work!

  38. Davina

    i have this friend who is emotionally scarred from bananas. When she was five, she left a banana in her kindergarten lunch bag for 3months and now cant stand the smell let alone the taste of bananas. i must admit, i take great pleasure in eating a ripe freckled banana in front of her… must be the sadistic tendencies emerging from within lol.

    must try this recipe. yum :)

  39. Sarah

    I almost blasphemed during Lent because of this recipe. BRAVO!
    I wasn’t a banana bread freak until I made this recipe. I had three black banana peels filled with near-liquid banana.
    Of course, my poor, dear husband was devastated he’d have to buy a fifth of bourbon, so I could use two tablespoons of it. The sacrifices he makes …
    I doubled the bourbon. Next time, I’ll quadruple it to see if I can breathe fire.
    I also like Leslie’s idea of making muffins with a dollop of strawberry jam. I might try that as well.

  40. ny celiac

    I just baked a gluten-free batch of this banana bread using my basic standby GF flour mix ( = 1 part rice flour, 1 part tapioca starch, & 1 part cornstarch with about 1/2 tsp. guar gum/xanthan gum added per cup of mix), and it is delicious – a moist, even crumb and fabulous flavor with the spice blend + bourbon! I make banana bread often, and I will definitely use this recipe (with gluten-free adaptation) again.

  41. Tazie

    Getting ready to hit the last click on smitten..just to drool over the pics if nothing else. Viola! Hit the surprise me link (*love it*) and of all coincidences, I have a bunch of brown bananas on my counter and this is so lovely. And a nice reason to buy a bottle of bourbon. And I’m going to bread, bed with good thoughts.

  42. Alli Cat

    Added medjool dates that were left over from x-mas and a big hand full of chopped pecans. Like the others I was also very liberal with the bourbon. can’t wait to cut into them. I have also tried the Jamaican Banana bread from one of those food magazines, having rum, coconut, nuts and lime, it came with a coconut/lime glaze topping, it too, was delish. You could put bourbon in almost any thing and it would taste great.

    Love the blog, wish I had time to do one too.

  43. jellyfish

    I’m not sure what I’m looking for but I often try different banana bread recipes- usually I just find them online and the only deciding factor is whether or not I have all of the ingredients du jour. I tried this recipe today for the 2nd time and WOW, I think it’s the best recipe I’ve ever had. I pretty much follow the recipe, however I give it the California twist of about 1/4 C oat bran and 1/4 C ground flax seed. Since I don’t have bourbon, I replace it with spiced rum (I bet dark rum would be good, too!) and I keep accidentally splashing in more than the recipe calls for. This recipe’s a keeper, thanks!

  44. Sonia

    Deb: I want to thank you for not just this receipe, but all the other ones you post. I have made several of your receipes and they have never let me down. I love all of your comments, feedback, tips, pics and notes – they are most helpful! I know that if I follow your directions, everything will turn out yummy. I have a loaf of banana bread baking in the oven and it already smells delicious. Thanks for all your hard-work. I truly appreciate it!

  45. Just want to let you know, you’re the first place I go searching for a particular recipe and, sure enough, you’ve got this banana bread recipe than I need to try! I made your Jewish Apple Cake recipe and it’s a favorite!! I also love bananas ripened just as you do… these babies are also great frozen for fruit smoothies…Yum!!

  46. OK, I have started searching your website first when I am looking for a recipe… before Cook’s Illustrated!!! I know– wow, right? Their recipe called for buttermilk which I didn’t have, so yours won. And I am so glad it did. It is, hands down, the best banana bread I have ever made (or eaten) in my entire life. Everyone loves it. It is so incredibly moist! I’ve made three loaves in as many days (everyone’s been leaving with a big chunk of it, but I have eaten my fair share). Yaaay, Deb! Thank you thank you thank you!

  47. Just baked this on friday, and blogged about it this morning. didn’t have the right sized loaf pan, but it worked out perfectly anyway. So good!!

  48. Hi….

    I just finished making this bread for the 2nd time in 2 weeks. Great recipe. I just came across your blog and am quickly falling in love with it. Your recipes are tempting, simple and approachable, yet very appealing for us die hard culinary fans. Very tough to do. Well done. I also have your graham crackers in my oven right now. Thanks for sharing.

    For the bread, I added walnuts, used 3/4 cup sugar, used rum instead of bourbon as that is what I had on hand. Baked for 45 minutes as suggested in one large loaf. Perfect!

  49. just done some midnight baking…had some super old ‘nanas in the bowl and was mulling over recipes til this one :D 8x super mini loaf tins later, bite-size yums!

  50. alliec

    i really like this recipe. i’ve been adding 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips to it. it’s a lot of chips but i like my banana bread to be quite chocolaty. i also added 3/4c of oats when the bananas have been a bit bigger.

    also, i was craving this bread (which i’ve made once a week for 4 weeks now) a couple of days ago and i didn’t have bananas. so i decided to try making it with about 1 1/3 c. unsweetened apple sauce and 1 finely diced royal gala apple. i added a little extra brown sugar since the sauce was much less sweet than ripe bananas. it turned out really really well.

    anyhow. long story short: this is a great recipe and i’m looking forward to trying different flavours. next up is mango puree, still, of course, 1 cup chocolate chips.

    thanks so much for posting it. i had been looking for a good banana bread recipe for a while now. this is a keeper and i’m writing it in my recipe book as soon as i post this (now really long) comment.

  51. Charlotte

    I made these into muffins (substituting the bourbon for Cap’n Morgan’s) and put the Baileys frosting (from the former ‘Irish Bomb’ recipe) on top. Seriously good. I loved how the clovey-ness of the muffin contrasted with the Baileys frosting.

  52. ‘Keet

    This makes an amazing banana bread – really light, but moist, and delicious without any topping. The first time I made this, I loaded it with chocolate chips. I regret that a bit, because I didn’t realize just how good the banana bread would be (and the chocolate I was using wasn’t especially good, but I don’t think any chocolate can really fit with this cake). I just made it again, and I love it. I replaced bourbon with a healthy splash of rum, since I never measure alcohol or vanilla in batters unless it’s really necessary. It gave it a wonderful warm flavor, but I’m curious about what other liquors might do – next time I might add cachaca instead (and lighten up the sugar), or some armagnac if I can get my hands on it. I actually think that this recipe could work with a splash of good dark beer or stout – I can’t wait to try!

  53. Alexis

    I made this with a 1/2 cup of agave nectar in place of the sugar and it was delicious. Thanks for another great recipe!

  54. angi

    mmmmm! made this yesterday and it was so good!
    I’ve made banana bread muffins before, but the loaf turned out way better.
    it was gone before I got a second slice!

  55. kris

    My 4 year old is gobbling it up (I made it without booze but will have to give it a try next time) and my 7 year old is eating it(he’s picky about baked goods). Thanks for a yummy revised recipe.

  56. tanya


    I want to make this bread, but I was wondering whether I should add lemon or vinegar to the baking soda. Or are the bananas acidic enough? (I’ve never made banana bread before so I don’t know how they work in baking).

    Also, I only have a 5 by 9 loaf pan. Do I have to make more batter to accumulate it or will the recipe quantity be enough to fill one?

    Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!

  57. tanya

    Thank you very much for the prompt reply, Deb!

    The reason I asked about acid is because my understanding is that soda needs to react with an acidic compound in order to release carbon dioxide, which makes the dough rise. I wasn’t sure whether bananas are considered such compounds.
    Cannot wait to try the recipe tomorrow.

    Thank you!

      1. Alexia

        This is interesting and makes sense about the acid, and though I’m clearly an anomaly here, my loaf didn’t rise! I put the dry ingredients in a jar to take to my boyfriend’s place since he has no baking supplies, so some of the dry ingredients got mixed (should have packed them separately), but I generally kept the sugar and flour separate. Wonder what happened. I’m going to try it again this week sans transport.

        1. Ana

          I’m so curious where this commenter was from. I think she was talking about eno salt or fruit salt. a type of soda i’ve seen used to raise recipes in india which does require acid to activate it!

  58. Sandra Elsen

    thanks for a fabulous recipe! i just needed a boost to the old fashioned kind, and this was the ticket.
    i also store my blackened bananas in the freezer until i’m ready to make bread. that way i keep the straglers until ii finally have 3-5 ‘nanas ready.

  59. Sandra

    Girl you should see the bananas we use for our bread! Not spotted but down right black, my mother says, the riper the better.

  60. Shellward

    Yummm-O! I woke up this morning with a craving for that warm, spicy-sweet flavor of banana bread and I remembered your “jacked-up” version from the last time I was studying your website looking at what my friends and I call, food porn. It was surprisingly simple! I didn’t have salted butter, but I read somewhere that it’s like 3/4 tsp/stick, so I just added 3 healthy pinches of kosher salt to my melted butter- just right. The aroma filling my house was almost too much to bare for the hour it was in the oven. The brown sugar makes the crust so crunchy and lovely when it first comes out of the oven. Even the next day it is still very moist, but not chewy-an excellent balance. I will make this again, maybe with some toasted walnuts, as I gravitate to the ripe banana table at the supermarket more often these days :)

  61. Lauren

    Hmmm I made this last night with extra cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, and Scotch whisky instead of Bourbon – it smelt and tastes delicious but I think the whisky adds a slightly odd aftertaste that I can’t quite put my finger on and am not sure I’m a big fan of. I think I’ll try it again wihtout the alcohol but maybe with the chocolate chips, and perhaps using veg oil instead of butter…and maybe even cutting back on the sugar a little more (makes me feel sooo smug when I do that!). This bread has a lovely colour, crust and texture and is definitely breadier rather than cakier, which is what I look for in a banana-themed baked good.

  62. Thank you Deb! I made a loaf last night with a few modifications: to compensate for the chopped semisweet chocolate bits I added, I reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup and used 1/3 cup of brummel yogurt spread in place of the butter. It came out perfectly, and the spices were just right. I’ll definitely be making another loaf again soon! Oh, the variations…

  63. Jenny

    Congratulations on your most recent recipe!

    As for this one, I had all of these things in my house (minus two of the bananas for which the recipes calls – I used 2 bananas, but I made up for it with double… ok triple the bourbon) and I whipped these up into some mighty tasty muffins.

    My dad is also a fan of the freckle. He spent many years in the Army in South America, and he says a banana isn’t truly ripe until it’s brown and spotty. His problem is that he can’t eat them fast enough once they’re that way, so he’s been looking for a banana bread recipe. I’ll definitely be sharing this with him. Thank you!

  64. Rose

    I’ve had banana bread in the past and always loved it, but have never made it myself. After having an intense craving for it for two days straight (currently in the 9th month of my pregnancy) I started scouring the internet for recipes. After browsing through handfuls of recipes, I thought to myself – “I should try Smitten Kitchen — every recipe I’ve tried from there has turned out good,” so I came here and found this one, and then proceeded to ask my husband to accompany me to the store at midnight. I whipped up one loaf without the bourbon right when we got home. It was well worth it, though my husband did think I was a bit crazy to be baking in the middle of the night he kindly bit his tongue knowing that he wouldn’t get any if he criticized too much. This is the best banana bread ever. I don’t think I’ll need to look any further for a “better” one. It turned out super moist and since I’ve been thinking about it ever since, I picked up some more “over-ripe” marked down bananas from the store today so that I could make two more loaves tomorrow…if I can make it that long.

    Congratulations on your new addition!!

  65. Nicole

    Another total winner! I was essentially trying to folow this recipe to a T, with the exception of adding a chopped Scharfenberger dark chocolate bar, but realised after I got it in the oven I had forgotten the egg. It was still fantastic! This may be because I used the larger number of bananas – in my frantic searching on the internet while my presumed doomed loaf was baking, I discovered that bananas are sometimes used as egg replacer in vegan recipes. Who knew? Anyway, fantastic. Thanks! And congrats on that gorgeous little pookie you have there. Enjoy every minute, they grow so fast!

  66. Kaety

    I had 3 blackened and shriveled bananas wasting away on my counter, and now they have been transformed into glorious morning muffins! I have to admit that I, too, can never quite “gild the lily” as you so aptly put it! So I added 2/3 c. shredded unsweetened coconut and 1/3 c. hemp seeds (going for texture and a little extra fat) and used just a little less flour. I was also out of nutmeg, so used 1 1/4 t. cinnamon. I baked the 12 muffins on the “speed bake” setting (i.e. convection) for 30 minutes. My 2 1/2 year old daughter said “we baked great muffins, Mommy!”. Always a great way to start the weekend. Thanks for the great recipe!

  67. Hannah

    No! The speckly bananas are the ripe ones! If they’re plain yellow, they’re underripe. And that bread looks and sounds delicious—I’m dying to try making it!

  68. Heidi in DF

    Thanks for a terrific recipe! I made a double batch of this yesterday and baked up half of it into a dozen muffins that were done in 30 minutes while the other half baked in a loaf took an hour and a half (or more).

    I’m in sorta high altitude Mexico City but didn’t make any changes to the recipe (except using the smaller amt of sugar) and it turned out fine (although they are a leetle on the flat side, but the flavor is great, so I don’t care). I’m thinking I might reduce the sugar even more when I make these again because they are SUPER sweet (maybe because of the ripeness of the bananas).

    I’ll be sharing the loaf this weekend for a Halloween gathering…wrapped it and popped it in the freezer…hoping it will be fantastic after a little toasting…

  69. Guigo

    That recipe is, as usual regarding SK, fantastic! Thank you so much for that.
    So fluffy and so rich. Just perfect.

    Try adding 2 tbs of honey to the recipe. I did and I can tell you it gets even better.

  70. MomTo3Boys

    My boys and I made a loaf of this on Saturday. We admittedly added 3/4 cup of semi sweet choc chips too. I also used King Arthur 100% white whole wheat flour (it made it healthier right??) It was SO YUMMY! I have 3 boys–ages 7, 11 and 13. The first loaf was gone in less than 3 hours! I made the biggest offender (my oldest son) whip up another batch on Sunday. That one was gone in about 4 hours. Today is Monday and my youngest son just whipped up another loaf (totally satisfied our math requirement for homeschooling today!)…there’s still 3/4 of it left so I have to run now to make sure I get my fair share! Thanks for the recipe Deb!

  71. Jessica

    I’ve used this recipe a lot within the last few months-I made a few and wrapped them in pretty cellophane as Christmas gifts. I really love this recipe. I add a 1/3 cup of chopped walnuts, as well as some extra on top.

    I want to try making mini banana bread muffins and have a few questions!

    How I should adjust the baking time, or even the temperature? Also wondering if I should half the recipe..and if not, and have extra dough left over, would it freeze well?

    Thank you!

  72. Amanda

    I have been lurking on this blog (and Simply Recipes too) for awhile and loving the recipes (oh, the photos) but this one has taken the cake. Faced with the prospect of 20 frozen bananas, I made one loaf hesitantly…bourbon? cloves? thinking I would just fall back on the original recipe. I should have known better, it was devoured in 10 minutes with the only complaint being “it needs more bourbon”. Lovely recipe, lovely blog. Thank you.

  73. Maddy

    Awesome! I just got a loaf pan for Christmas and needed to make something with it and this was exactly what I had in mind! I added a little less than 3/4 c sugar, added 1/2 c oatmeal along with the flour, and sprinkled in blueberries at the end to make it breakfast-y.

  74. Mariana

    I just made this because I was really starving and there was nothing in my house but overripe bananas and the ingredients for banana bread! Lucky me- right?

    I was short one banana, but they were huge. I put some peanut butter in there to make up for it- hopefully that will be successful. I also put a teaspoon of cocoa and a tablespoon of really strongly brewed coffee. Bananas and coffee are both tropical and you wouldn’t BELIEVE how delicious they are together. But you probably knew that, amirite?

    Anywhoozle. As an 18 year old aspiring baker- I gotta say your site has come in handy for me all of the time :D It’s so hard to find reliably delicious recipes online, but all of your recipes give me a great spring board with which I can mess around and put my own twist on things! Thanks a bazillion.

  75. Susan

    I always have over-ripened bananas in the freezer. I used a couple to make this recipe (my husband was happy to see a few less in my collection). Wow, this was some of the best banana bread I ever tasted. I did add some toasted walnuts. I’m going to make another batch into mini-muffins w/cream cheese frosting to take to work. I’m sure everyone on their post-holiday diet will hate and love me :-). Thanks for this very excellent recipe, Deb.

  76. Angela

    OMG!!!I have made banana bread before, but my husband has never raved about it like this recipe!! He said it tasted like the one his Aunt made for him when he was a young boy. The texture and taste were perfect!! Made 3 little loafs yesterday and now have only have one slice of one loaf left!! Put nuts on the top of the loafs to make it look pretty!! Did not use the alcohol because we didn’t have any (it sounded good) but still tasted great.

  77. Sarah Docherty

    I made this tonight and it was SO GOOD. I just so happened to have four almost blackened bananas in our freezer (I couldn’t just throw them away!) and they were the perfect ones for this. Super moist, uber flavorful — I loved it (and so did my fiancee)! Thanks, Deb!

  78. Emily

    I have made a million banana bread recipes in my life…but honestly…this one was the one that will make me stop trying others! My husband said “this is the best banana bread I’ve ever had!” Thanks!!

  79. Dara

    Oh my goodness, this recipe was heavenly. I followed the recipe exactly and am so happy I did. I will be using this one consistently from now on.
    Also I am so thankful to have happened upon your blog! Its quickly becoming a permanent fixture in my life.

  80. Randi Lynne

    The banana bread recipe I typically use is the one from Elise. I just made the jacked-up version and really like it. I normally add some cinnamon to mine, but really liked the flavor of the nutmeg and cloves. I added one tsp of instant espresso and instead of 1 tbsp bourbon I used 1 tbsp of my rum vanilla extract. I really liked the flavors you recommended. Thanks for a great adaptation to a wonderful recipe. :)

  81. Eliza

    These were good, but I think my bananas werent quite ripe enough. I made them with 2/3 whole wheat flour… and of course, doubled the recipe. They’ll be school lunch bound for the next few weeks. I’m sure I’ll make them again.

  82. anjela

    Just made your banan bread recipe and it did not rise at all. I don’t know what’s wron, except that I’ve made other babana bread recipes before and the only thing different this time is that you also have to add a teaspoon of baking powder, in addition to the teaspoon of baking soda. I think that it is simply difficult for that many bananas to rise otherwise.

  83. Aya

    So at around 1:30AM I realized that if those 4 spotty bananas on the counter will not be eaten today (which they will now, cause I’m not a big banana fan and my husband goes with the slightly green phase) They’ll have to be tossed out. It’s almost 3:00 AM now and the house smells like heaven.

    We didn’t have any pan suitable for this so I baked it in 4 coffee cups and got banana rolls. We are about to eat one before we go to sleep.

    Thanks! this recipe is lovely!

  84. Susie

    I’m about to make this for the second time, and just read all the comments. Last time I used 1/2 whole wheat flour and added some walnuts and (unintentionally) forgot the cloves … what’s my plan today? I’m thinking about that 2nd T of bourbon, but actually one of the things I loved about the last one was that it didn’t taste like bourbon, the little bit just made it taste more … wow! A great recipe.

    When I was a kid in the 50s, Chiquita had an ad campaign with, and a contest for, little pieces of doggeral they called Bananagrams. The one that always got quoted in my house was “Bananas are best/With freckles on their vest!”

    And I, too, have started to come to SK the way I go to Epicurious. Thanks for all your great work!

  85. melzor

    My boyfriend and I made this on Saturday, and it came out OH so delightful!! I tossed in some pecans I had lying around for an extra-jacked up. :) Needless to say, the banana bread did not live to see the next day.

    PS- I discovered this site about a month ago, and I adore it! So many wonderful ideas and advice for this fledgling of a cook.

  86. Amanda -_-*

    My kids eat so many bananas that I rarely have any that get to the brown, or even freckled stage. My husband bought something like five huge bunches of bananas a week ago, and I had exactly 3 1/2 bananas that reached the freckled stage. I made banana muffins with them this morning, using this recipe (substitutions: half whole wheat flour, and no bourbon). For whoever it was asking about time/temp to cook muffins, I baked them at 350 for about 25 minutes. Delicious!

    Had I read through the comments before making them, I would have subbed yogurt for the butter, as my husband has been having weight issues lately, that seem to have coincided with my finding this website several months back. Oops!

  87. A reviewer suggested adding blueberries to this recipe. After having a successful loaf following the original recipe, decided to mix things up with the addition of blueberries. This added too much moisture and resulted in a loaf doughey on the inside and burnt on the outside. Stick with the original!

  88. Jessica

    Oh my, this was such a delight. Took less than an hour to whip up, and I took a shower and did a load of laundry while it was baking…what a successful/productive Friday night!!! I left out the bourbon (not a fan of boozies in my baked goods) and cloves (had none) but added some chocolate chips and boy, am I ever pleased with myself. Had to bake it in an 8×8 pan because I had no loaf pan, but I imagine it’s just as good as a brownie-esque batch as it is a loaf…only baked it for 40min to compensate. This is my second recipe I’ve made with SK and I’m already hooked…last week was Martha’s Mac & Cheese, which was just unbelievable.

  89. Hello! This is the first recipe I have tried here and I would like to report that it smells delicious! Tastes just how it smells, too. It was nice and bready, not too sweet and full of banana flavor. Thanks!

  90. Just made this with some alterations to make it just a bit more health conscious….and it turned out DELISH!! Less sweet than my own personal recipe but much more complex flavors.

    I used 1/2 c. white flour, 1/2 c. cake flour and 1/2 c. wheat flour. I also only used a beaten egg white (instead of a whole egg). Instead of using the 1/3 c. butter I only used 2 tablespoons and supplemented with some home made apple sauce.

    Love this recipe! Especially the addition of the bourbon and all that nutmeg!

  91. Laura

    This was wonderful! I made it tonight, and used Ener-G Replacer instead of egg which made no difference I don’t think. My batter was too flour-y, which might be because my bananas weren’t ripe enough, so I added two tablespoon water and about a 1/2 cup of soymilk. The end result was marvelous and the spices were just perfect. Very moist bread too. I might add a bit more sugar next time, and less flour. Also, nuts and chocolate chips would be good in this bread too.

  92. Dalya

    I made 2 of these using this fabulous recipe! And it was my first time making this type of baked treat. They came out fabulous, not overly sweet and very moist. And damn, these loafs are *really* dense!

  93. Eliza

    I actually followed the recipe this time (with the exception of a white whole wheat and whole wheat flour mix)… YUM! I used the full cup of brown sugar. SOO good.

  94. Erin

    My favorite version of this is as written but no cloves, subbed butterscotch schnapps and added walnuts, best banana bread ever.

  95. DG

    This was delightful. I’m ashmed to admit how long it’s been since I’ve baked without my Kichen-Aid stand mixer, which made this such a lovely low-tech endeavor. Seriously, one small bowl for melting butter and then beating the egg, and then one larger bowl for mixing everything up…easy as pie. Except, actually, much easier. I only had white suger, so I added a heaping spoonful of molasses to the mix and used closer to two tablespoons of bourbon (Makers’ Mark, yum!) Also mixed in about a cup of semi-sweet choc chips at the end, and sprinkled a handful of pecans and a bit of course maple sugar over the top before putting it in the oven. Perfect, easy, delicious.

    1. Alyssa

      This is my absolute FAVORITE variation. The molasses and the whiskey is delicious. I’ve also used rum in place of whiskey when I didn’t have whiskey and use that instead every time. Barbancourt or Wray & Nephew is za-zing. This jacked-up banana bread is truly the best ever.

  96. Elizabeth Cooper-Garcia

    I think I just found a new favorite banana bread recipe. This recipe was so easy. One large bowl, one small bowl, a fork and a muffin pan. Just 30-minutes in my covection oven and viola! One thing I changed for lack of bourbon…I used whiskey. What a wonderful recipe!

  97. Elisabeth

    Another banana recipe to add to my collection. Yay! I love bananas. Thanks for posting and sharing! Do you think I could substitute whole wheat flour for plain flour? Would it still be as moist?

  98. deb

    Hi Elisabeth — If you scroll up in the comments, commenters 52, 95, 111, 114, 116, and 124 all have made partial or whole whole wheat flour substitutions and reported their results. Most seemed to like it, at least as a partial swap.

  99. Gail

    If I add nuts or (gasp) chocolate chips, should I increase the baking time? By how long do you think? Tx!

    Love, love this blog.

  100. Gail

    Also, I freeze my old bananas, but I assume thawed mushy bananas are ok here, right? Or does the water content change or something? tx tx

  101. Gail

    Thank you, Deb. Dorkily enough, I feel cool that you responded to my query. You are like a baking rock star in my book! :)

  102. sarahjrslm

    I had freckly bananas sitting on my counter, and was looking for a banana bread recipe. My go to website thses days is yours…nothing has let me down yet! I didn’t have light brown sugar, or loaf pans. So, I used 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, and 1/2 cup white sugar. I also added in some chocolate chips, and baked in muffin tinsl The backing time was shorter– about 30 minutes. They rose beautifully. Breaksfast food for the next 2 weeks! Can’t wait.

  103. Kerry H.

    This was fantastic! I used four bananas and dialed the brown sugar back to 1/2 cup since I wanted to avoid a super sweet bread. I used 1 c. white flour, 1/2 cup wheat bran, a handful of oats just for kicks, and about 2/3 cup. pecans I had leftover from something else. I love the spice combo you suggest here–great :)

  104. Stephanie

    Our favorite non-farmer’s-market produce place (had to specify) had 10 over-ripe bananas in one of their $.99 bags. Huge bananas, too. So my 4-year-old and I decided we should stock ou rfreezer for the summer smoothie season! Then, got home and I thought: we definitely have enough for Banana Bread. Where would I look for a recipe? Smitten Kitchen, of course!
    It was SO good, as you know. Carmelized around the edges, incredibly moist…
    My subs: Wheat-free, so I used a semi-random combo of whole-grain spelt flour, brown rice flour, and some chick-pea flour. Plus about a teaspoon of xanthan gum to make all of that hold. And I had only dark brown sugar, so I used a combo of that and unbleached organic sugar. Used the bourbon, too, though a “scant” tablespoon ’cause kids are eating it.
    My mini-loaf pans are smaller than yours, so I got 3 loaves! BTW, I bought them immediately after making your Honey Cake…

    I think I’d next time I’ll dial back both the sugar and the butter just a teensy bit, but that’s really the only change. You’re awesome!!!

  105. Turner

    I add blueberries to this all the time and we love it. I use frozen ones (formerly fresh that I’ve stashed in my freezer.) Makin’ it that way today, in fact. Can’t wait to dig in!

  106. Taya

    Great, great recipe! I tried it yesterday and the only thing I did was differently was that I added some mini chocolate chips, and I made the six mini loafs rather than one large one. I am definitely making this again!!

  107. Celia

    OMG Deb! This experience was amaaaaaaaazing! I had the exact bananas you were describing in my fruit bowl. I came on here because you’ve become my go to for delish recipes! I loved how stupidly simple this one was (mash, mix, dump, bake). When my husband bit into his first piece he simultaneously let out an “Oh…WOW”. And to boot, my kitchen smelled wonderful all evening! Thank you!

  108. CupcakesbyCatherine

    This looks to be a really great recipe…I have an eternal fondness for banana bread. My favorite thus far is a basic banana bread like this one with walnuts and chocolate chips added :) One can never go wrong with banana and chocolate!

  109. Momto3boys

    Just wanted to say that I am making this again with my 3 boys (minus the burbon of course) for the 10th time this year! It is such a basic, yummy, fool-proof recipe and I just wanted to thank you for giving it to us!

  110. joant

    Hi, Deb Yes – delish. Very moist…but I’m thinking I actually could have let it go for an entire hour. Next time I will. BTW- perhaps it was so moist because I replaced the butter with 1/2 apple sauce; 1/2 yogurt. Still…yummy. Loved the spices and bourbon. Thank you. P.S. Chinatown’s got 3 lbs of bananas for a buck! Whadda deal. )

  111. joant

    OK, Deb – I figured it out. Gosh only knows you really can’t mess with baking. Sooo…I think between the vanilla, bourbon (yum)…and the very wet ingredients of applesauce & yogurt…I shoulda added another 1/2 cup of flour. (I went to Elise’s site…I love the 2 of you). Funny…I’m going to be over by Chinatown today. I hope they have some very brown bananas…I can’t wait!

  112. aj

    hey Deb. I’m a sucker for new banana bread recipes, can’t wait to try. I have 6 frozen ones and another 6 on the counter. FYI — when you freeze bananas and then let them thaw, they create the best banana liqueur ever! Also, if you’re ever looking for small gift-sized loafs — short yam cans are perfect. Fill to the last line before the top and you’re good to go.

  113. ella

    YUM. I just finished a hot out of the oven muffin version of this. I didn’t have bourbon so I actually added 2 tspns of irish cream. Also added a hardy handful of toasted walnut crumbles, and substituted half of the ap flour for whole wheat flour. Accidentally doubled the nutmeg. They came out awesome. Thanks you Deb for your inspiring recipes!

  114. Hilda

    Hi Deb!
    I love your website (:
    I’ve made your banana bread a few times but on all occasions it has failed to rise. Unfortunately, it looks a little sad haha
    The baking soda isn’t old and I was just wondering why it keeps coming out so flat?
    I used a 10x20cm loaf pan (approx. 4x8inch) and a 23cm round cake tin and it really doesn’t rise at all.
    Although the taste is wonderful, I would like to know how to get it to rise and look like a lovely loaf of bread
    thanks so much (:

  115. Joy

    Yaaay!! Unfortunately I’m a one armed baker for now. I thought I had to give up baking until my arm is better but no, Smitten Kitchen comes to my rescue again! LOL! I can whip this up with one arm???? Oh let me run and get the over ripe bananas today! I cant imagine a week going by without baking something…anything! Thanks Deb!

  116. Becca

    Freezer, yes. Just the other day, I took some bananas out of the freezer for my banana nut bread. I think the color of the bread is darker, and it looks so much more appetizing when you use over-ripe bananas. This recipe looks great! I’m going to try it the next time I make one.

  117. I’m new here, but already thoroughly smitten. Sad to say, I apparently od’ed on bananas at a very young age and since then their taste and texture when fresh (no matter their relative ripeness) has always turned my stomach. BUT! my early passion abides in other forms. Strangely, I love artificial banana flavor in candy and pudding. Less strangely, I love good banana bread. And this is great banana bread. You had me at bourbon.

    I made slightly oversized muffins, which became cupcakes with the addition of chocolate chips, and adjusted the cooking time downward (25-30 min). Amazing. I included two cakes and the recipe (with your website address) in the Bennington Potters’ batter bowl (blue) I gave two friends last night in celebration of their marriage. Thanks!!

  118. Sorry, I should have omitted the bowl reference– not trying to plug, just to conjure an image (’cause the muffins looked so snug and lovely, and I was so pleased with how everything came together!).

  119. Jiffy

    No banana is safe. This recipe is amazing! I used cupcake tins, to avoid running the oven for an hour in my 112 degree heat. Only took 20 minutes, and they are the perfect size. (Well, the perfect size for me to have 3 before bedtime last night…)

  120. I am not a fan of spotted bananas (unless they’re in pb& banana sandwiches.) Which works well for having bananas available to make bread with since the window I’ll eat them plain is so small (its a texture thing I think.) Often our grocery store will have past-their-prime-bananas for really cheap (40 cents for a large bunch) so I’ll buy some just to make bread with. We have some baking in the oven right now.

  121. Theresa

    I know I’m a late comer to the party, but I had to comment. This is my first official Smitten recipe, though I’ve lost many hours clicking “surprise me” since I discovered you. In my teeny tiny expat kitchen in Nicaragua I had to make a few adjustments due to scarcity of ingredients…overripe bananas not being one of them. There are mounds of ripe bananas in the store as they’re fried in butter and served in all their crispy-caramely-ripe-banana goodness with the standard beans and rice and eggs breakfast. I had only white sugar, cinnamon, Flor de Cana, and baking powder on hand and even though the temperature settings on my gas oven are “1…2…3…4….5” the recipe came out beautifully. I attribute this to your “jacked up” view on life. Flor de Cana is the incredible Nicaraguan rum, best sipped on the rocks with a teeny bit of lime, which added the most incredible flavor to the bananaey goodness that is this bread. Thank you again, I’ll soon be testing out more of your recipes in my little kitchen on the surface of the sun!

  122. Mary Ann Z

    No one even wants to wait for the bread to cool! It smells so good! Added a 1/4 cup of buttermilk, because I had it on hand. Also used 1 cup flour and 1/2 whole wheat, so I thought the buttermilk would keep it moist. One of my favorite cooking sites always.

  123. Kelly

    Definitely with you on the banana thing: if there’s any green on them — ANY — I won’t touch them. I rely on the fruit flies to tell me when they’re ripe!

    Trying this with dark rum (no bourbon) and a sprinkling of chopped pistachios on top…

  124. Melissa

    Yummy. Made this yesterday; only had rye whisky and whole wheat flour and two bananas; but added 2/3 a bag of dark chocolate chips and it’s the most blazing banana bread ever. Delicious.

  125. Brigitte

    I stumbled upon this site as I was looking for my favorite banana bread recipe that I somehow misplaced. I no longer need to look for the lost recipe- this is the BEST banana bread by far! I doubled the recipe and substituted brandy for the bourbon. Maybe next time I might add a few pecans or walnuts. I like my bananas just yellow for fresh eating. When the bananas begin to freckle I’ll let them darken some more and pop them in the freezer-peel and all. When the urge for banana bread overtakes me, I simply take them out of the freezer and let them partially thaw and “squeeze” them out of their peelings- hardly any mashing needs to be done. Thank you for sharing your recipe. It is my new favorite and I will put it in a “safe” place. I’m thinking I’ll probably even have it memorized before long : )

  126. Roschi

    Hi Deb – I’m from Sri Lanka and I just started following your blog. I think it’s absolutely fab! Tried out my first recipe from your blog – this one – and was highly thrilled with the end result. My friends who came over finished the entire thing – and honestly, the beauty of it was the speed with which you could throw it together. Fabulous. Thanks so much – you are gifted! Bless you.

  127. AmberGale

    hm. I seem to be having the same issue as Hilda #148. It’s rising, but in a flat, flat plane. And I only used 3 bananas, so I’m not sure why it’s not rising. Maybe I need more baking soda? Or add some baking powder for extra lift?

  128. Sarah in Austin

    Thank you for a delicious recipe! I’ve made it a few times, usually with my 4 year old helping. It always turns out scrumptious. Again, thank you for sharing!

  129. Kayvie

    Wonderful recipe! Even though my friend and I didn’t have any vanilla extract, bourbon, cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves (don’t even ask – we weren’t at home…), this was wonderful. We did add chocolate chips (figues). Such a moist cake – many thanks! xK

  130. Graham

    I must say, this is my first recipe from Smitten Kitchen and apparently first post.

    I always try to make a recipe once before I start tweaking with it. Unfortunately, being above the 49th parallel, I had only Rye Whiskey instead of Bourbon Whiskey.

    All I must say is that without any nuts or chocolate, I didn’t think a banana bread could be so satisfying! Thank you for this amazing site.

  131. Liz

    How do you think this would fare as cupcakes? I have a baby shower request, and I can’t get my fingers on a good banana muffin/cupcake recipe.

  132. Erin

    I just made this with gluten free flour for my mom and it is AMAZING! I think that I will have to bake a regular batch for us to keep at our house once my mom takes the rest of this loaf home. Delish, as usual.

  133. Dana Marie

    So delicious!

    I didn’t have any bourbun and wanted to make sure it was still moist, so I substituted ~1 tablespoon low fat sour cream. Also threw in some chopped up semi-sweet chocolate bar, after being cornered at work and talked in to it :)

    The mini-loaves have flown; already gone and I haven’t even been at work for an hour.


  134. Lindsay

    I just made this – I made them into muffins, and couldn’t resist adding chocolate chips. I put a few pieces of pecans on top, looks pretty. This is my new go-to banana recipe. So moist and flavorful! 10/10! Thanks.

  135. This banana bread was such a hit that I had to bake it two weeks in a row. I always thought that banana bread was just okay, but the addition of spices, brown sugar and burbon change just okay to craving banana bread. Thanks for all the fabulous recipes. I use to bake all the time, but stopped for many years, your site has inspired me again. Thanks!!!!

  136. Cayla

    Just pulled my banana bread out the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. I couldn’t even wait any longer before I cut a slice. This is the best banana bread I’ve ever had. I added toasted walnuts to mine. I’ve tried so many different recipes, to the point where I was losing all hope for THAT one recipe….this is IT!!!! Thank you so much!!!!

  137. sixtyfive

    Made this a few days ago and stashed most of it in the freezer. Had a hankering for a decadent dessert just now, so I took out a slice (it can be sliced from the frozen state if you’re careful) and put it on a plate. Then caramelized a couple of spoonfuls of white sugar to make a little sauce, stirring in a few pieces of salted cashew at the end. Poured the sauce over the aforementioned slice. Sliced half a fresh banana over that, and finished with a squirt of whipped cream. Looked and tasted like something you’d have to pay 7.50 for at a fancy restaurant.

  138. Gabby

    my ski team bought waayyy to many bananas at fall camp this year so naturally ( since were all a little picky about ripeness) I have been nominated to bake chocolate chip banana bread. Actuallly… i could have nominated myself… and suggested it… maybe because i absolutely LOVE banana bread…. and chocolate(:
    anywho everyones always starved after a long day on the hill so hopefully this will fill up their bellies!!
    thanks for another fabulous recipe (i love the spices)!

  139. Chelsea

    This is the best banana bread recipe ever!!
    I did tweek it just a bit (thanks Cayla for the idea :-)…I browned the butter and then added the bananas and the brown sugar to the browned butter and let it all cook together for a few minutes. The house smelled heavenly at this point and I was tempted to skip making the bread and just pour that over ice-cream…but since I had already measure everything else out I stuck with it :-) Needless to say best banana bread ever :-) Thanks for recipe and ideas!

  140. This is fantastic. With half whole wheat flour, it’s rugged enough for breakfast but still delicious enough to have warm, with fresh whipped cream, for dessert. I cooked the butter, brown sugar and bananas ahead of time until a little thicker and used only 1/2 cup of sugar (plus a little turbinado on top). It baked for exactly 50 minutes in a 5×9 (?) loaf pan. Definitely my new go-to banana bread recipe. Thanks Deb!

  141. Julia

    New comments are probably not necessary at this point, but I have some useful gushing to do about this recipe. I have gone as far as 3 tbsp bourbon, and I think that’s the magic number: noticeable kick, but not overly boozy, and not too much extra liquid. Also, last time I made this, I used all whole wheat pastry flour, and the texture held up fine (and it’s, like, healthy!). A cup of pecans adds excellent crunch & flavor. And like many others, I brown my butter, because, hell, why not?

    As good as the banana bread is, I’m not sure I’ve ever tasted anything more ambrosial than the batter.

  142. kathy in St. Louis

    Julia, thanks for your thoughts on the increased amount of bourbon and the browned butter. I, too, made this bread tonight — in fact, a double batch, most of which is baking right now — and I browned my butter, but used two tablespoons of Korbel brandy instead of bourbon, which we don’t have. Oh! And I used one-third white whole wheat flour to two-thirds AP.

    The big change, though, was that I used my new blend of cinnamon sugar, which I made for gifts this year. I whisked up a big batch of sugar with white and brown sugars, Vietnamese cinnamon, cassia, vanilla extract, and kosher salt, and I used this instead of the brown sugar and all the spices. So, it’ll probably be either awesome or a dud.

    Deb, what I love about this recipe is that it makes the large amount of banana do the work of some of the sugar and fat. SO many banana bread recipes rely heavily on too much white sugar and plain oil, which add nothing special. This is most certainly a banana-forward formulation. Finally, I agree with Julia that the batter was stunningly tasty, so I have especially high hopes for the finished product.

    Thanks for this, Deb.

  143. Sarah

    I made this last night with all whole wheat flour, brown rice syrup for sweetening, 3/4 cup chocolate chips, and no bourbon. Yum! Myself and my housemates have devoured most of it less than 24 hrs later. Thanks!!

  144. Leah

    My first time commenting- I love Smitten Kitchen… your webwsite is my hobby, and my point of relaxation throughtout hectic days. The batter of this banana bread is amazing, it’s baking right now! I can’t believe you only have three “bananas” recipes in all your archives (I already made the “monkey cake” for my daughter’s b-day party). Why?
    Awaiting your cookbook, an avid fan in Israel!

  145. Gina

    After folowing this recipe to the tee for about 10 times, I decided to get crazy and add some golden raisins to the mix. I coated them in flour before I mixed them in so they didn’t sink to the bottom. My loaf is cooking right now and I can’t wait to try it! My house smells soo good! Thank you for the inspirational and fun approach to coking.

  146. Beth

    I swapped the bourbon with some freshly-brewed espresso and the result was sublime. I love this site. Your writing and recipes are lovely and lip-smacking.

  147. I made some this morning, swapped bourbon for brandy (because that’s all we had), and added some chocolate chips. I also made some honey-butter. Delicious! Especially when it’s still slightly warm from the oven.

  148. Shilpa

    I’ve been using your website as my go-to place for recipes for a while now, but this is the first time I’ve felt I had to post. I don’t think my apartment has ever smelled this good before! I made muffins from this recipe (perfectly filled a 12-cup muffin pan) with 2/3 whole wheat flour, and subbed ground cardamom for the cloves. Delicious, and I can’t wait to take them to work this week! Thanks for the great recipe!

  149. Melanie

    I made this, raved to all my friends that it was the best and went to make it again today and noticed that I forgot the spices last time… BUT it was by far the BEST banana bread that I have ever had. So if you forget or want to leave out the cinnamon, etc. it will still be fantastic… LOVE YOUR WEBSITE!!!

  150. RobynB

    I make this almost every week with our extra bananas that are past OUR ideal for eating, and freeze the loaf if we don’t eat it that day. It’s lovely to have these gold bars in my freezer, ready for any occasion. I make it with only half a cup of sugar, and all KA white whole wheat flour, and usually add toasted pecans and/or chocolate chips. And today, I was out of vanilla and had an inspiration so I used Buttershots (butterscotch schnapps) for both the vanilla & the bourbon – YUM! This is absolutely my go-to recipe along with your sour cream choc-chip coffee cake. You’re the best!!

  151. Meghan

    This is absolutely amazing! I made muffins instead of a loaf so that I could eat it faster. (23 minutes was the cooking time for me.) I used a little less bourbon and one banana that wasn’t truly ripe enough to be used for bread, and it was still awesome. My boyfriend couldn’t restrain himself and ate three muffins in a sitting. I may never look for another banana bread recipe again.

  152. Nadia

    Dear Deb,

    I have made this recipe into muffins EVERY WEEK for the last 3 weeks, and I see no end in sight. They are ridiculously easy, and ridiculously yummy! My husband takes 3 muffins to school each day, and comes home looking for the crispy-chewy chocolate-chip cookies from your site as well! And NOW I have the raspberry buttermilk everyday cake in the oven! And on Saturday, I’m making your lemon bars!!! Look what you’ve done! Thank you. Thank you thank you thank you. You’ve turned a kitchen-shy college wife into a bonafide smittenkitchen cook :).

  153. KentishSarah

    I’ve just taken this out of the oven and it smells incredible!

    It only took 40 minutes to bake in a large loaf tin but seems to be done. Am planning to try it with caramel sauce and vanilla ice-cream later. Yum!

  154. Lara

    I had some free time and bananas that were almost over-ripe and finally was able to use this recipe today. The bread tastes as delicious as it smells while baking. It was also unbelievably easy. I think next time I will try adding some walnuts. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  155. Shelli

    Loved showing up at synagogue committee meeting at 9 a.m. and announcing the muffins had bourbon in them. Moreover, loooooved how easy this recipe was. As noted, I made muffins (came out with 12 using almost filled ice cream scoop method) and they cooked up pretty quickly – just over 20 minutes. I used the toothpick test and texture was perfect. Not surprising, another winner!

  156. Zi

    I haven’t tried it yet, but wow does it smell delicious!! :D I can never really leave a recipe alone, so I added and changed up some things: 1/2c honey {fresh from a hive upstate}, a handful of oats, a couple dashes of ground ginger, 1/2 as much butter {unsalted}, with some walnut oil to compensate, and some extra burbon. :] I also topped it with oats and some chopped dark montgomery cherries soaked in burbon {and boiled in them for a couple of minutes}. I didn’t realize the cherries would burn, but some of them were fine and it ended up looking more balanced after picking out the casualties… I gnoshed on some and they were VERY burbony… and tasty! :D Finally, I made some almost-vegan caramel sauce with some arrowroot, vanilla soy milk, 2 pats of butter, 1c of cane sugar, and some extra dark maple syrup and drizzled it all over the top. It looks so good!!! I can’t wait to try it in the morning! Let me know if you’d like a photo! I’m going to be taking some anyway to play with my external flash. ^_^

  157. runitoff

    I made this banana bread twice in 3 days, and I have eaten almost all of it. The first time I made it without the cinnamon and it was incredible although I could have put slightly less than 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg in, it was quite strong. Today I made it with the cinnamon, and its good, but I liked the first batch more, I can hardly taste the bananas today. Could be that spanish bananas, which take weeks to ripen are not as flavourful as american ones? Great recipe though, it´s replaced the sour cream one I have been using for years!

  158. DanielleR

    another sleep deprived groupie saying thanks for this recipe. can’t wait to bake this baby, but i’m going to do it the alex way with chocolate chips. sinfully delish.

  159. The Mrs

    First, I’d like to tell you that I adore this website. The pictures of everything are all so fantastic, and everything that I’ve made has turned out wonderfully.
    I made this banana bread last night (my bananas were even more ripe than yours!!) I used 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour and added a little bit of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Its fantastic! Thanks for sharing!! :)

  160. Mickie

    My first batch is baking. The bourbon smells heavenly. Fan-freaking-tastic. I can’t wait to eat them! I have serious doubts that my dozen muffins will last long enough for my toddler to get any for breakfast. Ah, what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him, right? Besides, kids shouldn’t have bourbon anyway. Mostly.

  161. Katie

    I made this banana bread last week for an office party, it was gone within minutes! I’ll admit I ate two slices just myself. It is my new favorite recipe right now- it’s one of the best banana breads I’ve ever had. I plan to make it again already tomorrow! I used four bananas and left out the bourbon.

  162. Making this for the 632nd time…not really, but probably close! SOOO love this recipe, it’ll become one of those passed down to the kids and grandkids!

  163. Sarah

    I have made this three times now in the past three weeks and my fiance and I love it. We add raisins and I use Bushmill’s Irish whiskey but I think I’m going to have to the mini pans so I can make one with chocolate chips too!

  164. Katherine

    I just found your blog yesterday and upon waking this morning to find some browned ba-nay-nays on my kitchen table, went straight to the computer to see what recipes you had on the subject.
    And don’t feel guilty about your weird love of mature bananas. On Friday, a coworker was trying to get rid of hers when I piped up, “You could just make banana bread!”
    She tossed the bananas on my desk with a roll of her eyes, “Oh honey, I don’t have time for that!”
    Well I do and I am trying your recipe this morning, sans the bourbon, only because I don’t have any!. But next time…

  165. Kim

    What?!? Those bananas are perfect! Perhaps still a bit too ripe, even! There’s nothing wrong with you, I say! Must make banana bread now….

  166. Zoe

    I made this today with my friend, and we were in awe of how amazing it smelt and looked. I am going to tell people to use this recipe for sure!

  167. Stephanie

    These are amazing!! I made them for the kids to eat for breakfast through the week. They aren’t going to last the day because they are going so fast. Great recipe.

  168. i made this as a loaf and as muffins and i must say, i prefer the muffins! it is too gooey of a bread to cook all the way through (without over-doing the edges). SO YUMMY though. it’s now on permanent rotation in my house. thank you!

  169. Courtney

    I’m new to the site and am set on making your banana bread and homemade oreos tonight!! What an incredible site!! I’m so glad I found it and can’t wait to start reading my very first blog!

  170. Lea

    I love, love, love this recipe!! I love how it comes out super moist and yummy!! Today was my fourth time making this bread and I accidentally added way too much flour! I didn’t know how to fix it so I added one more banana and an extra egg. I was so scared it would be so nasty but it still came out good!!! I love adding walnuts to the top of the loaf. So yummy!! Thanks for the great recipes!! Can’t wait for your book!

  171. Yani

    This is such an awesome recipe!! I’ve made banana bread before using an online recipe, and it came out too moist. This time it came out perfect! I added some chopped walnuts to the batter and also sprinkled some on top for decoration. I’ll definitely keep this recipe on hand whenever i have spare bananas. I cant wait to check out your other recipes. the pictures make everything look so yummy and the directions seem easy to follow.

  172. Joy

    Normally banana bread is quite dense, but this was light and fluffy. I added 2 handfuls of mixed, broken nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews) to the mixture. A one-bowl wonder, so a doddle to clean when it’s all over.

  173. Michelle

    I made this bread twice. Once as written and the second time with mango and rum subbed for the banana and bourbon. Excellent recipe!

  174. Eliza

    Mmm. This time I used all KA white whole wheat flour and added 2 cups of plump juicy blueberries (from last year’s harvest in the freezer). YUM! (I always use frozen bananas too).

  175. I LOVE this recipe! I am a BIG FAN of freckles. Actually it’s the only way I buy bananas now that I found the “Re-Wraps”… I buy trees of freckled wonders(the clerk always asks if I am making banana bread and I tell her I own a monkey, “It’s my own ritual of getting these treasures home”)… You see we are BIG FANS of hot cereals, Oatmeal, etc…AND there is NOTHING so delicious as a ripe banana in it…We even eat baked or broiled oatmeal as desserts, with those ripe bananas hidden within like buried treasures…Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe…My banana basket mountain of bananas is a BIT TOO HIGH today and begging to be pruned… It’s nice a cool here in CT today SO let the baking begin!!!

  176. mamamousie

    This is now THE banana bread recipe in our house–and believe me, we have tried many. I substituted Captain Morgan Spiced Rum for the bourbon, because that’s what I had, and then tripled the recipe. Four kids (two are teens) just demolished an entire loaf before it was even completely cooled. It never stood a chance. Thank you for yet another remarkable recipe.

  177. Holly B

    This is an excellent banana bread recipe!! I’ve made it twice and skip the bourbon, add a healthy pour of molasses (which gives it a nice dark, rich colour) and a handful or two of walnuts. It’s perfect! Thanks so much for sharing :o)

  178. Anna

    Thank you Deb for another terrific recipe! It’s one of the most delicious banana breads I ever made. I did add a tsp. of baking soda as per someone’s suggestion in previous comments and I didn’t have/use the bourbon. It came out moist, flavorful and absolutely delicious! Next time I’m going to double or triple the recipe since there is almost nothing left and it’s out of the oven for less then 2 hrs.

  179. I used The Kraken dark spiced rum in place of the whiskey – highly recommend it when ‘spicing’ things up a bit (or, like me, out of whiskey. Which happens far too often in my household.) Cheers!

  180. Amanda

    I saw a recipe from (gasp) America’s Test Kitchen where they took unripened bananas ( I believe 4…maybe 5???), microwaved them to extract the juices and age them, then took the juices and reduced them to a syrup, and added that back in with the wet ingredients.

    I haven’t tried their recipe but for some reason I felt the need to throw that out thereif in the event someone wanted to attempt one of those little tips that push this recipe further.

  181. Marlene

    Absolutely my family’s favorite banana bread… and I have made many over the years. Didn’t add the booze this time, but the bread was just incredible without it… and loved the melted butter mixed with the bananas in the beginning of the recipe. Usually have remnants of a loaf around for a few days, but this one was gone in a matter of hours. Thanks for the new and delicious pig-out, comfort food addition to my family!

  182. Teresa

    Made this on Sunday morning along with the perfect blueberry muffins. Froze the loaf to take camping with us on Labor Day. My husband couldn’t help stealing a piece before I froze it and said it was really good. I used Maker’s Mark, his favorite bourbon. Thank you for this recipe!

  183. Tried this recipe tonight with a few substitutions based on what I had available. I couldn’t help but lick the bowl clean after I threw it in the oven! So I was surprised when, after baking, it tasted like something was missing. Perhaps the number of changes I made were too many, but I also felt like it just didn’t rise much at all, which could be due to the possibility that my baking soda has expired. Still, this is one of the most delicious-sounding banana bread recipes I have come across, and look forward to trying it in the future with less alterations.

  184. James

    A colleague asked me to bake this for her with walnuts. I do not have loaf pans, but she offered to buy me some in exchange for baking her the bread. I do not have the pans yet, but I could not resist. This recipe and the freckled bananas on my counter called me. I just pulled this (in muffin form) from the oven, and I had to get a fresh bite.


  185. Annie Noodle

    I made this fabulousness yesterday, and I think it’s my new favorite banana bread recipe (though I did leave out the bourbon). Just wanted to say thanks for sharing! I’m looking forward to trying about 8 thousand more of your recipes.

  186. tanja

    Made these for my daughter this week. Baked them in a muffin pan. Then I put one in her lunch, accompanied by a little butter & honey in a separate container. She gets to “jack-up” the bread herself. Huge success!

  187. Brenda

    Recipes that use over-ripe and/ or frozen bananas become known as banana ‘witness relocation programs in our kitchen. This one tops the list!

  188. Evelyn

    Oh wow. Just used this recipe to make muffins and they are amazing. I used Gentleman Jack and maaaybe used a little more than a tablespoon and used half whole wheat for the flour and had just 3 ripe bananas that worked perfectly. Might add some nuts next time for a little crunch but there’s no denying that this is the best banana bread recipe I’ve tried, thanks!

  189. Wow.. I just felt like a Chopped competitor in the desert round. In twenty minutes I through together my batter and tossed it in the oven. I added a cup of yogurt to mine and replaced the cloves with all spice.. I also added some honey… hmm…

  190. Brent

    Hi Tanya (and Deb)–

    It’s actually the brown sugar that serves as the acid in the baking soda + acid leavening combination. More specifically, it’s the molasses in the brown sugar. I suspect that if you substituted all of the brown sugar out for white sugar, you’d get a flat banana bread.

    If you want to skip the brown sugar, you’d have to substitute baking powder instead. Baking powder always works because it has the baking powder and an additional acid for it to react with.

  191. loved this! i made this recipe with my two year old and it was perfect! the lack of fancy equipment (we used 1 bowl + wooden spoon) was very kid friendly. we tweaked it a bit to fit what we had in our kitchen and added chocolate chips. it was delicious and moist even though we only had 1/4 cup butter!

  192. Amanda

    Hi Deb,

    I’ve read your blog for years but never comment. I’m giving birth to twins in November and am trying to plan what I can bake/freeze in advance so I can bring the L&D nurses some treats. Will this banana bread freeze well once baked? What else do you recommend making and freezing ahead of time (cookie dough I have down, and will make a couple of different kinds of cookies to bake at the very end).


  193. Leda

    Thanks for the recipe! I’d been meaning to try it for a while and finally did. The flavor was amazing. We sat down and had it with tea (and beer) as soon as it was out of the oven. Next time I’ll add the real Bourbon, but this time I just used Bourbon Vanilla. :) Any other good ideas for “tea time” cakes and baked goods perhaps in mini form?

  194. Sheliza

    Holy smokes! This bread is roll-your-eyes-back-in-your-head kind of good! I’m not sure if I can resist its call while it’s cooling…

    Thanks for this, Deb!

  195. Michelle

    I’ve been meaning to try this one for awhile, but like you I always eat the bananas instead ;-). Finally I sacrificed my uber-ripe bananas this morning and it was SO worth it! My recipe is further jacked up by subbing maple syrup for brown sugar and plopping the batter into a muffin pan. Result: adorable, tasty, portable little mini-loaves! muy delicioso. Thanks!

  196. LA

    Just made this and it was declicious! I have a lot of bananas (thank you Costco), so I put in 4 where I probably should have only used 3, so it was a little on the heavy side. Next time I’ll use 3 and hopefully it should be a little fluffier… But I’m about to go for my third slice now! Thanks!

  197. Ruby

    I love banana bread and this looks like another keeper. I like to leave bananas on the counter until they are really browned then I just chuck them in the freezer peel and all. When I need them I just pull out the amount I need and by the time they defrost they are basically in the mushy shape you need them anyways.

    Also, I have an absolutely decadent recipe for roasted banana ice cream. Yum – more brown bananas needed and then roasted. Wouldn’t the bourbon be great in this as well? Next time I’ll make it with bourbon.

  198. ash

    I halved the sugar (substituted with maple syrup) and replaced the butter with peanut butter. YUM. still supremely moist and gorgeous slathered with more peanut butter.

  199. hk

    Just made this recipe :) This was the second time Ive made it- first time was phenomenal. The boyfriend took it to the office and it was gone in a cinch! This batch is for my mom, who heard that I made it earlier and purposely left two bananas on the counter for the past few days. I wont lie, Ive checked other recipes, but strangely they dont call for cinnamon or nutmeg- two key ingredients I was looking for!

    Thanks for this!

  200. Julie C

    Mmmm…. I doubled the recipe (if you are going to have the oven on for an hour, you might as well get two loaves instead of one) and poured in a generous glugg of Gentleman Jack. Delish…! Thanks for another great recipe….

  201. Have made this mutiple times after scribbling the recipe down into a notebook that I could bring into the kitchen (have a very strict don’t bring the laptop into the kitchen policy ‘cos I’d end up dropping it into the sink or something). Two years later, after making it multiple times, I needed to check the ingredients online while I was in work to make sure I had everything on my shopping list that I needed. And for the first time noticed that it says baking SODA and not baking POWDER. Oops, that’ll teach me to try and write quickly and not check what I’ve written afterwards. Not really knowing what banana bread is supposed to be like, I never noticed there was anything wrong, although I did wonder why it was called banana bread when it was obviously cake. Still love it – in cake or bun form it’s delicious. Now that I’ve read through the comments I can even see that the question I had (about what acid will react with the baking soda for leavening purposes) is answered and someone mentioned something intriguing about maple syrup. I may just have to make it again tonight just to try that variation out.

  202. jenn!

    After forgetting that we had bought bananas, I suddenly had a surplus on my hands and decided to whip up some banana bread (as you do.) I normally search through this site, Serious Eats, and The Kitchn first when looking for a recipe, and then came across this bad boy and had to try it out. These are in muffin form, as I somehow do not have loaf pans (?!). (~25 min @ 350 for 6 muffins.)

    I’m not even finished eating the first muffin I pulled from the tin, piping hot from the oven. I HAD to exclaim about these. SO GOOD. There was no bourbon in the house, but somehow a bottle of peach brandy (?!) so that went in as a replacement, otherwise it’s faithful to the recipe. The one thing that’s killing me, though, is that these taste exactly like the “buttermilk spice” muffins I would LUST AFTER that were served at a chain restaurant called Mimi’s Cafe. These are bringing back childhood (well, teenagerhood) memories. I am in love.

    My boyfriend just housed two of these while I was typing this out, by the way.

  203. this banana bread has changed my life. well, i mean, not the way my husband or children changed my life, but the way a new pair of boots can change your life. only better.

    but. i added some roasted walnuts. who knew this banana bread could be better?

  204. Jena

    I made this recipe today as mini muffin sized for my toddler to eat as snacks, minus the bourbon but plus nuts – scrumptious!! It made exactly 50 mini muffins, baked for 12 min. Quick & yummy, plus I can freeze the ones we haven’t already gobbled up warm. Win-win-win

  205. Have tried MANY banana bread recipes over the years – this one is by far the BEST! THX. Bourbon and the spices really transform this banana bread into something special. I also added chopped walnuts.

  206. Diana Griffin

    I have six weeks in a cast and deciding I wanted a treat, I went looking for banana bread! I am excited about the Bourbon addition!

  207. Mellissa

    This was the BEST banana bread I’ve ever eaten. Amazingly moist and the taste was out of this world! My banana bread-obsessed husband is in full agreement. Fabulous!

  208. Jean Kelly

    Delicious! My house smells amazing and the loaf tastes even better. Used dark brown sugar, mixed spices and rum because that’s all I had. The banana skins were 75% black so made a great flavour for the bread. This recpe is a keeper! Thank you!

  209. Julie

    This should be obvious from all the rest of the comments saying the same thing, but this is the best banana bread recipe that exists. With or without bourbon, with or without extras like walnuts or fruit (I’ve done blueberries or chopped strawberries) or chocolate chips, this is just the best. I’ve made it more times than I can count. The only constructive advice I can give is that it’s better to err on the side of four bananas rather than three. Thank you, Deb, for another perfect recipe!

  210. Sabina

    Hey Deb! I’m a long time lurker and love your site but this time is the first time I thought I’d actually comment! I was craving banana bread today so made this, and it was SO yummy…I put chopped strawberries in with the batter so they turned all gooey and yummy on the inside.

    Just one question, though – what kind of flour did you use? I used plain (thinking that there was baking powder involved so no need for self-raising!) and it turned out really heavy…don’t get me wrong, it was delish. And I do LOVE a heavy cake (guilty!). But I was surprised that it wasn’t as light as I was expecting! Having never made it before I’m not sure where I went wrong…any ideas?

    Thanks again for the recipes! I love this site xx

  211. Sabina

    Ooh, p.s., I used ladyfingers bananas instead of normal big ones, but I used 5 instead of 4…would that have been an issue?! x

  212. Keri

    I have been using your site for awhile now, a friend had recommended, and I am definitely “Smitten” by it! ;-) I go to your site first now when I’m looking for a recipe. So, THANK YOU!
    This recipe was fantastic! I like banana bread, make it almost every time I have overly ripe bananas, but had yet to find a recipe that wasn’t just another banana bread. The last time I tried a recipe it was too dry and bleh. I had yet to reuse one of those recipes…until now. I admit though, I did tweak it slightly. I used white whole wheat flour, and didn’t have bourbon. However, my vanilla is the good stuff, from Mexico, so it’s made with alcohol. Since I was using the WWW flour, I added about 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce. I also decided I wanted muffins instead of a full loaf of bread, and baked them @375 degrees for about 18min. The result? Oh so delicious and moist muffins! Fabulous!

  213. Susan

    Well..I had terrible luck with this recipe. I questioned the amount of flour in it because others I’ve read use 1.75 – 2.00 cups mostly, but I used the amount in the list. Then I also added a generous tbsp of rum (no bourbon on hand). It was doughy in the center after 1.33 hrs of baking. The flavor is devine. It is most likely my oven as it didn’t feel hot enough to me when I put in the pan and I didn’t take the time to hunt for my oven thermometer. ( I’ve been playing with baguette recipes and I think I might have done some damage to the element splashing water in it to create steam. Shoot! I worried that this might come back to bite me) Well..everyone else here seems pleased with the recipe, so I’m blaming the oven because your recipes always work for me. I’ve been lusting after your banana bread crepes, but seem unable to tolerate milk products I went for this instead because I had the freckled bananas. I am bummed.

  214. Lisa

    This is my absolute go to recipe for banana bread. Every time I make it everyone says its the BEST banana bread they’ve ever had. And I have to agree.
    This is the first time commenting in your website, but it’s my favorite for sure. I’ve been following you for over three years now and cant wait for your cookbook!

  215. janie

    I have made your apple sharlotka several times already with great success. I have one in the oven now and will bake the banana bread right after. Thank you for such lovely recipes. Between yours and Elise’s recipes my family thinks I’m a STAR baker :) Thank you so much for sharing.

  216. Ayu

    hi Deb, when i add the melted butter to my banana, the mixture looks…curded, like scrambled eggs. is this normal? thank you.

  217. deb

    Hi Ayu — Yup, that’s fine. It’s not really curdled, it’s just that the bananas aren’t fully pureed. Hope it baked up just fine.

  218. Irene

    This recipe, like many others on this site, was a winner. I made some substitutions (just because that’s what I had on hand). I didn’t have any bourbon, so I used dark spiced rum. I used white whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour. Egg beaters instead of eggs, and agave nectar (about 1/3 cup) instead of brown sugar. (Because of this, I lowered the temperature by 25 degrees). The consistency came out perfectly! Thanks again, for yet another great recipe!

  219. jmarie

    oh is this so good with just a bit of butter and toasted a bit (or fresh from the oven!). YUM!

    thanks for another great recipe!

  220. Jenney B

    I live at 9,000 feet so bread is my nemesis, but i had 4 yucktastic bananas so I had to try this. I used Hungarian flour and it turned out perfect! You have made me so happy. Is the bourbon for flavor or does the alcohol do something for the recipe? I used scotch cause that’s all we had.

  221. Chris

    Hi Deb,

    When I sliced the bread, I saw that the bottom has a thick layer of fat (I’m assuming it’s the butter). My ingredients were all room temperature, and the only changes I made was to use Jack Daniel’s whiskey. I made it again and it still ended up with the bottom having an “oily texture”. Do you have any idea why it’s like this? :( Thanks

  222. Chris

    Deb, unfortunately I don’t have it. I added my butter in when it was still warm. Maybe that’s y it sank to the bottom. But thanks anyway!

  223. Just made them – can’t wait to take a bite. I added chocolate chips and some flax seed. Btw, I have a mini obsession too – made half into mini muffin bites, less guilt. Thanks for all your wonderful recipes!

  224. Lia

    Can I swap some of the all purpose flour for pastry flour? i have some from a pie crust and don’t know what to do with the rest.

  225. … aaaaand I only ONLY eat’em green. Yum. But brown? Near KEEEEL me. Only because … well … you don’t want to know. =D

    But I’ma make this tomorrow, instead of chocolate chip cookies, with my one last egg. sigh. need eggs but my CSA comes Wednesday and I can no longer tolerate eggs from the supermarket. Is it just me?!

    Anyway, thanks 2006 Deb. <3

  226. kristal

    yum, I swapped out 1/2 c of flour for 1/2 c wheat bran, bran-banana muffins, and Jack Daniels for the bourbon, ty for the recipe Deb

  227. Hilary

    I made this in a cake tin, not a loaf tin, and with dark brown sugar instead of light. It’s delicious, but I’m wondering whether the substitution affects only the flavour or if it might alter the texture of the bread as well? Deb, any thoughts?

    Thank you so much for the recipe, in any case, it’s wonderful.

  228. Havanna

    Made a double batter today for a loaf and some muffins. Worked beautifully. Subbed Frangelico for the bourbon and added pecans. Most delicious, thanks Deb!

  229. A billion thanks to the commenter that said she subbed yogurt for butter. I NEVER thought of that. I subbed a full fat yogurt for all of the butter, used freshly milled wheat flour, and these were sublime! I was shocked that these were still so moist and amazingly flavorful. I’m guessing butter is mainly added to baked goods for the flavor? I’m going to try subbing yogurt for fat in other baked goods after this. Oh, also added some chopped pecans and coarse sugar to the top and made muffins instead, 350 degrees for about 22 minutes. Thanks so much for my go to banana muffin/bread recipe!!

  230. Mrs Journs

    I always thought I made a pretty good banana bread until I made this. Definitely my new bana bread recipe, deliciously moist with plenty of flavour. I’ve never been a big fan of nutmeg but loved it’s flavour in this cake. A great recipe.

  231. I was crawling the web looking for a new banana bread recipe. I love my usual recipe, but I’m craving something new, ya know? Stumbled upon this and now I’ll have to try it! Bourbon? Genius! Salted butter? Now that’s what I’m looking for!

    Oh, and I always use bananas so overripe they’re black. Yep, black. As in, “these bananas are rotten, black, gooey, slimy bananas” (and definitely collecting fruit flies). Nasty I know, but for bread? They are perfection.

  232. Jackie

    I stumbled upon this recipe about a year and a half to two years ago. I’ve been meaning to come back and tell you just how much I love you! This is amazing! Even my husband who’s not too fond of baked goods or sweets like it. I too am not a huge nutmeg person, so I just decrease it. So yummy, and moist. I only remembered to come back and write this because I woke up wanting banana bread because the weather seems yucky out. Guess my diet will have to wait again :)

  233. Steph

    Just made this with 1/2 wheat flour, and subbed half the bananas with grated zucchini and half the butter with applesauce. You know, since I’ve been making this every couple of days with our garden zucchini overflow, I had to make it a little less guilty. Still awesome!

  234. Jenny

    I just made these, and have to admit that I did pour a little heavy on the Bourbon…so tasty!!! And I too split them into mini’s-used muffin tins and the loaf pans. Thanks for the fun recipe!

  235. Just seen this as the perfect recipe for my very very ripe (actually black) bananas. Don’t have bourbon at home, so i’m going to see what alcoholic substitute is suitable!
    Thanks :)

  236. morgan

    Made this yesterday and it is wondercul! I roasted the bananas in their peel @350 for 30 – 40 minutes. They turn black but are even sweeter.

  237. I just made this for breakfast with some really black bananas. Then I threw in 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, for the kids, you know? It’s fantastic. 3 hours later, the loaf is gone…

  238. Heather

    About every other week I see bananas starting to go bad in the corner of our kitchen, and I am starting think someone has a plot out to get me because they know if they leave them there I will resort to baking banana bread (someone left enough for 2 loaves this week…) Whenever I use this recipe it is gone before the next morning. Absolutely delicious!

  239. Liz

    This is the best banana bread. Of. All. Time. I think I end up making it every two or three weeks and it’s gone by the end of the day. Even more irresistible with chocolate chips. Thanks for the fantastic recipe. It’s perfection.

  240. Megan

    Deb, just wanted to thank you for this recipe and all the other ones. I feel like an accomplished cook when I make your recipes, since they never seem to fail. This banana bread (made with bananas that had been brown and in the freezer for a loooong time) was fantastic and a hit with kids, spouse, and co-workers. Thank you.

  241. Amanda

    So the folks I’m housesitting for left ELEVEN overripe bananas on the counter. Since I really only eat them when they’re green, they went into a triple batch of this, made into muffins for easy freezing. I swapped the bourbon and cloves for rum and cardamom, just based on what was around, and this is hands-down the best banana bread recipe I’ve ever made. Thank you SO MUCH! :D

  242. Jeffrey

    Substituted some flaxseed meal for the flour (about 1/4 of it, by weight), also added 1/4 cup or more of whole flax seeds after the four, and sprinkled more on top. Success. Perhaps a tad “too” moist, but not really a problem.

  243. Carmen

    Has anyone made this without egg? My son is allergic. Would appreciate any suggestions/tips. Thank you! I’m not sure if someone already asked this but I didn’t see the comment…..

  244. Maggie

    Uhh like I said on the new post: this recipe has to be the greatest ‘nanner bread recipe of all time. Mine always looks much flatter than your photo, but the flavor and texture never disappoint despite short stature. I’ve made it so many times I know it by heart now. You really can’t beat something that can be made in a single bowl with just a stirring/scraping implement.

  245. Burt

    Try skipping the nutmeg and adding 1/4 cup good cocoa powder. If the batter is dry, put in a tablespoon or two of milk (even better use half-and-half).

  246. Naomi

    Just made this and it was awesome. I added a few chocolate chips (because I have trouble baking anything without chocolate), which went great with the bourbon! And I want to echo Megan’s comment above (#302). I always feel confident when I attempt your recipes and the end result always makes me feel like a pro (which I’m definitely not)! I can’t wait for your book to arrive in the mail (I pre-ordered it in April!) and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you’ll add Montreal to your book tour! A second Canadian stop is definitely warranted…Montreal’s closer to NYC than Toronto is, and the restaurant scene here is AMAZING!

  247. Megan S.

    I just made a double batch and didn’t have bourbon so I put in a little extra vanilla. This is by far the most flavorful and moist banana bread I’ve ever made. I made a mean one before but this recipe blows it out of the water. BIG bonus points for the ease of the recipe too — anything that can be made with a demanding toddler at my feet is a winner in my book. I come here for recipes that I know will not fail. By the way that Apple Cake of yours is a big hit here too.

  248. K

    Deb, I have made this so many times since you first posted it that I know the recipe by heart. Last night I changed it up for the first time and tried using olive oil in place of the butter. I’ve never gotten into the EVOO-in-cakes thing because I’ve always been worried its flavor would overpower. Well, in here, with all the banana goodness, it didn’t! It’s moist and perfectly banana-y, and we’ve already eaten half the loaf between two of us.

  249. Charlie

    Just made this. Very nice even though I didn’t have bourbon and ended up using Baileys!!! Hope I don’t have any explaining to do when it goes into my toddler’s lunchbox!

  250. Charlie

    @ Megan S. I couldn’t agree with you more. The circumstancsd for me were the same and all of the recipes here have been a success for me (a rare thing!). This and the BBC food site are my first calls, every time. Thank you Deb!

  251. Shari

    I made this today and it is delish! I added Mini chocolate chips to jack it up even more! Hahaha. Thanks for such a good recipe.

  252. Ainslie

    Three 14 yr old boys ate both mini loaves in about 2 minutes, one of them said it best, “This banana bread kicks ass.”

    I followed to the letter (Jim Beam) and crumbled walnuts on top.

  253. kate

    As previous posters have said it seems a little much to even comment at this point, but after having this bookmarked for ages I finally got to try it! I made two batches, the first with my three remaining bananas that were so very old and the second with fresher ones. Both turned out oh so delicious, though I think my old bananas were probably even too old for Deb -they were seriously ancient- and turned the loaf very dark. Especially as I really enjoy recipes that use alcohol (because who doesn’t love cooking with booze?? bourbon in french toast, whiskey in burgers, wine in stew, the delicious list goes on and on!) I will be using this as my go-to banana bread recipe forever.

  254. I happy to report that your blog has become my “go to” for recipes when I want to try something new or I’m unhappy with the recipes I have already. So today, I browsed and found not only this wonderful banana bread recipe (I have two, mini loaves in the oven right now!) but also the Winter Squash Soup with Gruyere Croutons, which I will make early next week. I used rum emulsion instead of bourbon, just because I don’t have bourbon, but I do have rum emulsion; I also used unsalted butter so added 1/2 tsp salt to the mix and I added 1 cup of toasted walnuts – because I just have to have walnuts in my banana bread. I can’t wait to taste them later!

  255. Sarah McK

    I haven’t tried it yet, but it set up nicely, looks gorgeous and smells out of this world good. I didn’t have any bourbon so I subbed in a bit of rum :) Can’t wait until it won’t burn my fingers to try!

  256. Diana

    Bananas foster is a favorite around here, but kind of rare, so this sounds good to me. I will use also rum instead of bourbon (a) because I have it on hand and (b) because that’s what we use to “burn bananas”, as my kids say when they’re asking for bananas foster. Love the addition of the cloves…I hope I have some in the spice cabinet. And I agree with other posters – the bananas in your pic are just right for eating. The ones I’m going to use for this bread are much browner than that. Off to mash…

  257. Sie

    Thanks for the post, Chris, I was wondering how much salt to add with only unsalted butter. Now I just have to decide bourbon or dark rum…life is full of those tough decisions. I (what a lush) have both on hand…

  258. Al


    if I may add, the recipe is wonderful and the result is a great moist banana bread. I have omitted ground cloves and bourbon, and to be honest could have done the same with cinamon and nut meg. When bananas themselves are so aromatic why to conceal that with spices? I will definately keep your recipe but will use nuts instead of spices next time. Thank You for your wonderful site and amazing recipes!

  259. donnasalvini

    I made this today without the nutmeg, cloves, or vanilla. I found I was out of vanilla just after I started. :-( But I did add 1/4 cup of organic cocoa and 1/2 cup of finely ground hazelnuts. I also used whole wheat flower. It was magnificent.

  260. Katy Newton

    I made this last week with bananas that were splitting open and disintegrating in my hands. The flavour is absolutely gorgeous. This is a very cakey sort of bananabread – it’s much lighter than the damp-textured banana bread I’m used to. I had the last bit just now with a shmear of sour cream and it was just gorgeous.

  261. Chia Cat

    Deb – I wanted to share a twist on this recipe. I slightly adapted what you had below by swapping out the bananas for pumpkin puree and I added some cardamom. It was delicious!!

  262. chickadee

    I am personally a finicky banana lover, must be spot free! However, after maintenance made an appearance to repair my poor freezer door (don’t ask). and in the rush of cleaning all that hard to reach stuff off the top, I came across my long discarded (but still perfect for baking) bananas! About to try this recipe sans the bourbon, not because I want to though!

    P.S. Love this site! I practically bowed to you last month when I was in pumpkin heaven/hell (could go either way depending on how you see it)

  263. Brent

    This is a great recipe, but 1 tsp of baking soda is probably too much. Baking soda needs acid to neutralize the soapy flavor and give the bread lift. Here, 3/4 cup of brown sugar (which has acid from molasses) only neutralizes about 1/2 tsp of baking soda. I would either cut the baking soda to 3/4 tsp or bump up the brown sugar to 1 cup–that probably would be sufficient to neutralize all the soda and keep the lift.

  264. Carolina S.

    I just tried this recipe last night. It taste really good (next time i will use less sugar). My only problema is that it looks awful on the inside!! Kind of black and mushy (too much banana?)

  265. Abbey

    This was a great recipe! I used smaller sized pans and burned my bread slightly but it was still good. I could tell that if I hadn’t burned the bread it would have been amazing! Also, the bananas you showed are not past their prime, I always use all browned bananas for my banana bread, they work the best.

  266. mary fogo

    Hey ladies! It should be noted that the speckled bananas not only carry the uber super banana flavor, but they also are the healthiest ones out there! New studies show that the speckled “ripe” bananas have significantly higher amounts of goodness in there for you.

  267. Kim in Kansas

    I’m finding this recipe amazingly flexible. I substituted whole wheat flour for 1/2 cup of the all-purpose and found it gave a nice chewy texture. I tried it with shredded Gala apples in place of bananas and that was terrific, too. Now I’m wondering if I could sub shredded carrots? Will I need to add more oil/butter to keep the bread from becoming too dry? Many thanks!

  268. Payal

    Deb, I’m another of the lurkers but am compelled to comment over this recipe. It’s a cold winter morning in Delhi and we had a hailstorm to add to the general frozenness. I woke with the urge for something warm, spiced and fragrant and this hits the spot – and how. My husband has just pronounced himself the luckiest man in the world given that he got out of bed as the trays were emerging from the oven. Baked these as muffins, subbed whiskey instead of bourbon but otherwise followed your specs entirely. A cup of coffee, a side of fresh strawberries and we’re in heaven. Brilliant work.

  269. Tehpet

    Ive tried this recipe twice now, and both times, I’ve ended up having to cook it WAY longer (this time I went to an hour and a half before finally giving up in frustration because the crust was starting to turn black) trying to make the middle actually cook through. Which, incidentally, it never has. I followed the recipe absolutely to the letter (minus the bourbon) the first time, and the second time tried the simpler version from which this one was adapted. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I bake quite frequently, and ever have issues, so I’m pretty confident it isn’t my oven.

  270. Anthony

    I decided to try your zucchini bread recipe because it looked good and I love the name of your website. As I was making it I noticed that I had some well aged, fully brown, bananas. I now have both in the oven and my home smells like heaven. Didn’t have bourbon so I subbed it with 2 caps of Crown Royal, put the bottle away and noticed the Frangelico; 1 more cap landed in your recipe. Only had 3 small bananas though so I think the added moisture will be ok. I’m excited!

  271. Supriya

    Hello from Mumbai! I’ve been contemplating making this for so long now. Finally put it together today and I was delighted it came out as well as it did! It has a beautiful crust and a lovely texture inside…mostly. I bake in a little electric OTG which makes temperature control fairly difficult. So while the bread was great on top and halfway down the middle, I found the texture a bit gummy (?) right in the centre, at the thickest part. Also the bottom was nearly burnt. Does anyone else bake in an OTG? Any solutions? Deb- any words of advice?

  272. Arlene Sarner

    I’ve now made dozens to Smitten Kitchen recipes, all with outstanding results. This is my go to website whenever I’m looking for a recipe, so I wasn’t surprised that this Jacked Up Banana Bread was as yummy as everything else I’ve tried. After decades of making my grandmother’s recipe I was looking to try something new. I had a mango so I added that, left out the bourbon, and delighted my book group and family with my new favorite banana bread recipe. Thanks again, Deb.

  273. Janet

    I found your blog through The Pioneer Woman’s site. I made 2 loaves of your bread yesterday (including the bourbon). The first was devoured and I put the second away for breakfast this morning. I sliced it up and brushed both sides with bacon fat and crisped up both sides. Served it with maple syrup and fresh whipped cream and a side of bacon and eggs. From the way the men folk are stretched out for a nap, I’d have to say it was enjoyed by all. What a wonderful recipe!

  274. When my bananas get like this I like to freeze them! Then I thaw them before I make them into banana bread and OMG they are even more fragrant and amazing. And I am going to make this for my son’s birthday party at school tomorrow…except I will exclude the burbon…since 2 year olds don’t need that. Maybe I will sip it while I bake though.

  275. Suzie

    This has been my FAVORITE banana bread recipe and I had it memorized. Recently, however, I was diagnosed with celiac disease (join the club, eh?) and was completely bummed when trying to make this loaf again. I used different GF pre-mixes and it always tasted funky. With sorghum-based, it tasted like diet food. With bean-based ones, it was gritty. Buckwheat-based came out flat. I don’t want a gluten-free subsitute for banana bread; I want 100% authentic, smooth, craving-inducing BANANA BREAD. Alas, it was not to be & I was stuck eating GF banana bread that I tried to fool my self into enjoying…

    Recently, I had been playing with this flour with some luck & made this banana bread. It came out indistinguishable from the banana bread I knew and loved. I have one college-aged, male roommate that LOATHES anything gluten-free since it tastes like diet food. Roommate’s reaction: “oh, that’s really good!” Me: “It’s gluten-free.” Roommate: “Seriously?” Me: “Ya.” Roommate (muffled by third bite): “No $h!+!”

    I am happy again. :) Two loaves of coconut bread now in the oven: one GF, one wheat. We shall see how this goes…

  276. Made it this morn – very good (but, what banana bread isn’t?)! I didn’t have any Jack Daniels, so I used Jim Beam. Does that change it to “Beam Me Up Banana Bread”?

    I dbld the amount, but it still was not a strong taste of bourbon. Next time I will use less sugar (used 3/4 cup) and more bourbon. Maybe I’ll even put some in the bread. :)

  277. Catherine

    This looks amazing. Mine’s in the oven as I write. Didn’t have bourbon so switched it for Goslings Black Seal rum and I added 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. I have to have nuts in my banana bread. Can’t wait!

  278. Pooja

    Hey, Deb! I made this cake today & it was beyond awesome! I think my search for a banana recipe ends with this. Its the perfect color, the perfect texture & it rose beautifully. Thanks!

  279. Scott

    Third time with this one and I can’t keep it around, gone before it cools… :)

    Ditched the bourbon added chocolate chips last time around the crowd yells for more.

    Fantastic stuff here girl keep it up.

  280. neen

    This recipe intrigued me so I made it. To be honest, the spices overpowered the banana flavor and I used 4 bananas. It did come out very moist and I loved the texture.

  281. Lisa

    I wanted to make your new crackly banana bread, but realized I didn’t have millet, so ‘resorted’ to this recipe … for a banana bread fiend, this is amazing. My second loaf in about 4 days is now in the oven. Since I had just 2 bananas, I added snack pack of applesauce. And, inspired by making your coconut bread last week, I added left over coconut, and by then I was on a roll and added raisins and flax seed too. Oooh. Yummm. Tonight’s has the aforementioned applesauce, coconut, raisins and flaxseed, along with some grated apple, sunflower seeds, and some wheat germ. Your recipe is not just perfect but a perfect springboard … I’m ready (sorry), in about 2 more loaves I will christen it as a fruit and fibre bread!! BTW, 1 bowl is perfection!

  282. Jane

    I just made this for the second time ths week, and likely the hundreth (is that a word?) time ever, and I just needed to write to say a big THANK YOU. This recipe has never failed me, and seems to taste better every time. You are officially a baking genius!! (and make the rest of us seem like one too)


  283. Jane

    Oh!! wanted to mention…..I almost always substitute coconut oil (Nutiva is my favorite, hands-down) for the butter in this recipe. The coconut flavor isn’t at all detectable, which I think is a good thing in this case; and seems to always end up with the right amount of moisture.

    Other than that, no tweaking! Sign of a perfect recipe :)

  284. Nicole P

    I have NEVER seen a banana bread recipe that calls for nutmeg! I just made this and tried a piece.. And then tried another piece… And then tried another piece, and now I can definitely say that WOW what a great addition to a classic! I left out the bourbon, though. Thanks!

  285. lmb

    made these yesterday as muffins- threw in a handful of pecans and shredded coconut for moistness, skipped the bourbon. made 20 muffins, baked about 20-25 minutes. Delicious!!

  286. Michelle

    these are baking as I type! substituted maple syrup for the bourbon (and used the lesser amt of sugar so that it wouldn’t be too sweet) and threw in some chopped walnuts … we’ll see how it turns out!

  287. I always stress out with banana bread recipes that call for 2-3 ripe bananas or 3-4 ripe bananas etc. I never really know how much I should put in because over here, bananas can really vary in size and hence effectively rendering a recipe useless. And I have failed in so many banana bread recipes because of this. Wondering if anyone can offer me a sort of approximate in the form of cups, how much mashed bananas to make the best bread for this recipe?

    1. deb

      Jayne — When in doubt, I always go higher (and these days, make this mostly with 3). It will only make it more moist and lovely. Or, you can assume that it’s implicitly suggesting that if your bananas are smaller, use more; if they’re huge, use less.

  288. Korinne

    WOW! This bread is deeeelicious!! I had been wanting to try some new banana bread recipes out, and right before I started one from some foreign website I figured I would scroll through the smitten kitchen banana section… I couldn’t be happier that I did. I should always know to trust smitten kitchen :)

    I chopped up and sprinkled some of your sweet & spiced candied pecans on half the bread, my boyfriend does not like nuts in baked goods :(.. YUMMM. Another one for the archive.. i <3 smitten kitchen

  289. Elizabeth

    Mmmm…this is in the oven as I type! I have thought about making it many times (the recipe sounds delicious but the title, I confess, is what really lured me in), but I also LOVE spotty bananas, and between that, and, well, nursing school, I just haven’t gotten around to baking it in the last couple of years.

    Today, the stars aligned…I am almost done with school (and starting to breathe a sigh of relief) and I managed to practice restraint and NOT eat one of the four spotty bananas on top of the fridge.

    I subbed 1/2 whole wheat flour because it makes me feel better about buttery baked goods, and whiskey since I had no bourbon (sigh). I can’t wait to try it! Hopefully I won’t have to wait another two years to try the crackly banana bread, which I’m totally jazzed about too.

    Love your site…and book!

  290. Carol

    I’m going to bake this today. I have this bourbon flavored vanilla from trader how’s that will work out, I think, since I am a vanilla junky (I splash the stuff in rather than measure it.) I like my banana bread moist and dense, so I hope this fits the bill.

  291. Wendy

    This was a nice quick and easy recipe. I used pumpkin liquor instead of bourbon, 1 cup regular flour and 1/2 cup coconut flour, added 1/4 cup of chocolate chips and sprinkled about 1 tsp of brown sugar on top before putting it in the oven. It’s in there now and the biggest tester (my 15 year old son) will be home soon to test it.

  292. Lucy

    I made muffins instead of a loaf, used half whole-wheat flour, and jacked it up further with walnuts and Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips. The fourth banana makes a huge difference — my daughter said the muffins taste like caramelized banana. Sooooooo dense and moist and rich.

  293. Colleen

    I only had 2 bananas, but I defrosted and pureed some frozen mango pieces. I added that and exchanged bourbon for sweet, dark rum. I halved the nutmeg, and upped the flour by a few tablespoons (since the mango was wetter than the bananas.). So fantastic!

  294. Made this bread, went back to see if I copied the ingredients wrong and had not. The bread was a heavy rock and after one bite threw it out. Will try one more time. What could I have done wrong?

  295. Polly

    They are baking now! Wow…they smell delish!
    I added a block of cream cheese…couldn’t find my ground cloves and didn’t think whole cloves would taste very good. :-)
    Oh, yeah…I said “they”…because I doubled the recipe! I had 6 super mushy ‘nanas that the kids were trying to throw away yesterday.
    Thanks for the recipe…my house smells amazing!

  296. Jenn

    Trying this recipe now. It smells AMAZING! And I’m so excited to eat it already. Hope it turns out as good as others are saying it is! :D Woohoo Bourbon!

  297. Pareech

    I’ve made this recipe four times and it is the best banana bread recipe I’ve ever found. I used it for a charity event and it was a best seller. The only modification I have made, is I use 1 tablespoon of Jack Daniels per banana, 5 super ripe bananas (if I compare my bananas to the picture, mine are almost all black) and I omit the ground cloves.

  298. Just baked this and my entire home smells delicious. And the taste…YUM! So moist. I didn’t have cloves or bourbon but the next time I bake this, and there will be a next time, I’m going to be sure to have all of the ingredients. Now to keep myself from eating the entire loaf…

  299. Rachel Y.

    Hi. I LOVE your challah recipe so I thought I would check out your banana bread recipe. Not being a fan of cloves or nutmeg, I skipped those, (1.5 tsp cinnamon) but I did cut the sugar a little and add a tsp of Grand Marnier because I have no bourbon. (I’m not sure I have ever even tasted the stuff.) It turned out AMAZING! Thanks for the recipe and for the inspired ‘secret ingredient!’

  300. Livia Labate

    Just finished baking two loaves and they turned out delicious. I added crushed chestnuts to one loaf and I like the variation. Yum. Great recipe, thank you.

  301. I used a square 8×8 pan since I can’t find a loaf pan and cut the baking time down to about 30-35 minutes. I also cut the bourbon and cloves (didn’t have any). I added some chocolate chips. Turned out beautifully!

  302. Jaymee

    I love this recipe but I usually use local raw honey instead of brown suger, it is healther and makes it so moist and whole wheat flour instead of white. To go the extra mile in healthy for my kids ill add wheat germ and flax seeds.

  303. I’ve made this several times b/c my husband prefers it to the Bisquik one I grew up with and have a soft spot for. It’s pretty great. But I have figured out our variation nirvana: 1/3 of flour as almond meal, Malibu coconut rum for bourbon, cardamom in place of nutmeg, and 1/2 cupish of flaked coconut. Then you bake it, spread it with almond butter and die happy. Aren’t quick breads grand? (Love your site…I’m just a lurker.)

  304. Emma

    This was, seriously, the best banana bread I have ever had. Oh my goodness. I’m not sure if it had something to do with how overripe the bananas I used were (they had fallen on the floor and were preeeeetty busted up and brown) or just this recipe being absolute perfection but the bread… dear LORD the bread (more accurately- muffins). I added walnuts, raisins (soaked in rooibos tea), and almonds to half of the batter (divided household); they didn’t need it but the nuts were good.

  305. Sofia

    This was by far, the best banana bread I have ever had. I tend to cook a lot and my “creations” usually end up with some sort of a disaster. I surprisingly did not burn, or make a mess of the bread. I’m going to have to make another loaf soon because my family ate it up before the day was over. My brother (a VERY picky eater), loved it! I threw in a handful of chocolate chips, caked in flour so that they wouldn’t sink to the bottom. I love your site! thank you for the delicious recipe!

  306. Joshua

    Freckles are the perfect eating color, but they need to be nearly completely brown before I throw them in a banana bread! The cake ends up super-moist and naturally very sweet.

  307. Monica

    I noticed around midnight last night that my bananas were at the ”ack! Must. Bake. Now!” stage, so I finally tried this, your delicious-sounding jacked up version. The only difference in mine was that I had no bourbon in the house, so I subbed in some maple Crown Royal. My kitchen – whole house, rather – had not smelled that fantastic in a while (in terms of baked goods, anyway). Very yummy, will definitely be making again!

  308. Alanna

    Up there, you said, “nut-lovers will eat it either way,” but it’s not true! I really don’t like bananas. Unless they’re well-disguised, they make me gag. Without the nuts, it’s too banana-y, and I can’t choke it down. I don’t know why the nuts make a difference, and my issue is certainly less important than allergies! But if you making banana bread as a gift, it might actually be important to ask their preference before assuming they will eat it either way. Of course, I can always pawn it off at work, but I don’t think that’s what a gifter would want me to do with it!

  309. Kerri

    I’ve got some Maker’s Mark bourbon infused with dates (let sit for several weeks, then strain and bottle) – it’ll be pure magic in this. Mmmm…

  310. Jess

    Skipped the bourbon, switched to whole-wheat flour and added walnuts. I baked for 50 minutes, and then maybe 30 more minutes, but the tester would still come out with moist bits. In the end I stopped baking because the top was getting very brown! For some reason it also didn’t rise as much as I thought. Now I realize everything was due to the fact I put in a 1tp of baking powder instead of baking soda!! Oops! But then now I have an unusually dense and moist banana bread, since two of four bananas I used were also very, very ripe to the point of being mushy. I think next time I may reduce the sugar amount even more (for this I used 3/4 cup *unpacked* brown sugar) – just to give it a barely-there hint of sweetness. I want this more for a breakfast substitute than an afternoon snack. I really should try the healthier revamp version of this recipe, the one with crunch millets!

  311. Dana Martin

    I made this recipe today, and love the results. Like so many others, I had no bourbon in the house! I substituted amaretto, which turned out great. My only concern was that it took longer than 60 minutes in my oven to get the middle of the loaf cooked, and then the outside was just a little over done. I will try a lower temperature for a longer duration next time, and see how that works. I will definitely make this again because the flavor is superior.

  312. Jen

    I just made this last night for the second time in a week, having had this in the back of my mind to try since forever. I baked them as muffins, and they take surprisingly long for muffins. 30 minutes for me, though if anyone is doing it for the first time, I’d be wary of telling them to not at least test starting at 20. This recipe works well divided into 9 muffins, which I like, so that I can bake it in my microwave sized countertop oven (I overlap a pair of 2×3 muffin pans to make a 3×3) and not heat up the kitchen as much as the regular, big, under-the-stove one would.

    I forgot the second time around and thought it was 3 or 4 bananas instead of 2 or 3, and 4 works just fine. I also added chopped walnuts and chocolate (very little, 1/4 to 1/3 cup of nuts, and someone like 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips the I chopped up smaller.) I also halved the cinnamon the second time so the nutmeg comes out stronger. That was more my liking. I need to try it with some booze, whole wheat or some bran, and the yogurt substitution!

  313. Norman Cruz

    Mmmmmm….. Spotty bananaaaaaaassssss….. And I ALWAYS go for the spotty ones and pass over the unblemished ones. Spotty bananas RULE!!! May try this recipe in the near future as I got some spotty bananas yesterday and plus, it’ll give me an excuse to buy Bourbon, lol. ;)

  314. Abi

    I had some bananas that were passing even the spotted state. =/ Still were good in the recipe! I skipped on the bourbon but had some left over dark chocolate pb cups I chopped into chunks and threw them in. Perfect! I now know why you put them into two separate pans… that one loaf was pretty much gone in one night!

  315. Oh my! I made this recipe today, I must say wow! This is the best banana bread I’ve ever had! It’s so easy and the addition of bourbon makes it amazing! Thank you so much for sharing!


  316. Wow, my bananas for the bread were so ripe, the stems fell off the top. They are so much more aromatic when the fruit flies are a day or so away. I’m trying the bread for the first time. I’ll write back after the consensus is in.

  317. My husband and I both went shopping this week and we each bought a bunch of bananas–far too many for the cereal, shakes, and general eating that we normally do. (I swear, I think we’re both part monkey) I always use a different recipe for banana bread, and was glad to stumble on this one today. Thanks! It’s in the oven now, with some streusel topping as a sweet addition.

  318. Olivier

    Hi Deb,
    Thanks for this recipe. I tried it with a lot of excitement and expectation… While the dough was appetizing (a light brown rather light texture) the final result was too dense. That is the dough didnt rise enough.

    I wonder what could cause this? The oven was not too hot I checked it at precisely 340F. I put a good TS of baking powder. The flour seemed white and refined enough.

    I’d definitely like to try it again but what could I change to increase my chance of success?


  319. Sherry

    Thanks for the great recipe! But here is a hint for all you bakers out there.When you run out of vanilla you can always use bourbon or brandy. Happy baking, most people can not tell the difference.

  320. Erin

    I gleefully messed about with this already “messed about with” recipe. We only had dark brown sugar in the house, and that worked well the first time, so the second time around I replaced 1/4 cup of that with dark muscovado sugar. Dark, dense, burbon-y goodness. I’ve also noticed this bread doesn’t rise as much as other banana breads I’ve made, but the flavor more than makes up for it (in my humble opinion.)

    I keep trying to tell my husband it turned out bad, so I can hoard it for myself. He’s not buyin’ it for a second.

  321. john

    this banana bread was very disappointing, especially from such a trusted source as smitten kitchen. it was very dense and not as moist as i would have liked. it was also bland, save for the overpowering flavor of nutmeg. the recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon. way, WAY too much. i will not be making this again. still on the hunt for that perfect banana bread.

  322. john

    addendum: i noticed other reviewers mentioning that this bread doesn’t rise as much as other recipes. this is also my experience and perhaps why i felt it was too dense. a good banana bread should have just the right balance of dense and fluffy. this one does not.

  323. john

    one more thing. for someone just whipping up a batch of banana bread to use up those old bananas, you don’t want to have to run to the store to pick up extra ingredients, so i did not add the bourbon or cloves because i did not have them. that said, with just the addition of the nutmeg, i could hardly taste the bananas, so adding even more powerful flavors would, in my mind, overpower the banana flavor to an even greater degree. i only had 3 bananas, though. so, maybe adding that 4th banana makes a difference.

  324. I haven’t ever commented on your posts, but I have loved reading them for the past three years (when I discovered blogs). I just want to say : wow, 413 comments!! On banana bread?!? Well, whatever John thinks, you must be doing something right! PS I just put a batch of this in my oven and sprinkled the top with sliced almonds. My house is about to smell like HEAVEN. Thanks for writing for us all to enjoy! Epic.

  325. Peg Hartmann

    I have always disliked banana bread as it always seemed too sweet and heavy. however, as i had two frozen bananas and one “ripe” one, i looked on line for a recipe that would not take too long. i did nothing by hand. bananas and butter went into the food processor – processed. added the sugar (1/2 real brown sugarr and 1/2 brown splender), egg (cold), vanilla, spices (fresh grated nutmeg) and (had no bourbon) crown royal (husband’s – sneak sneak). could not find the baking soda (just moved here 2 months ago) – finally found it in refrigerator – in the back unopened. Since it bubbled in vinegar I thought it was still okay, so added the baking soda and salt. all in the food processor on #2 speed (once in the while i turn to 5 or 6) added the flour – blended on #1 then pushed to 4 or 5. Added 1/2 c. of rolled pecans and poured into a greased pan. The bread tasted delicious – light and not heavy or oily. I think the processor added more air into the batter. I will definitely make this again my way. I do not have patience to beat by hand. but glad to have stumbled onto your site.

  326. Jacki

    I found your recipe for banana bread when looking to make bread from my past their prime bananas (although you would have loved them). I left out the cloves because I don’t care for the taste, but otherwise followed your recipe and the bread was just delicious. This will be my new go to recipe for making banana bread. Also, we did not have any plain bourbon, so I used some American Honey Wild Turkey and it did great. Thanks for posting a great recipe.

  327. Teri

    Okay… I’ve been trying out different recipes for banana bread to give as gifts this year and yours made it! We all decided after tonight’s test batch that this is what we are going with. Hands down!! I melted some salted butter and poured over the top too. Was just to die for! The only things I did differently was I used Crown Black Whiskey since I had no bourbon and I used Pumpkin Pie spice since I had no cloves and then used a bit more cinnamon. The mini loaves are beautiful and beyond delicious!! Thank you for sharing this recipe and I can’t wait to try more of yours out! (Love love love over-ripe bananas too) :)

  328. Emily

    I’ve scrolled and scrolled … and scrolled! But can’t find the answer to my measurements question, which I’m sure is somewhere on the site, but bear with me.

    “1/3 of a cup of butter”. I’m an Australian in the U.S. and have been living here just long enough to be totally confused … I’m trying to convert it to grams … of course in this recipe it doesn’t really matter whether its 75 grams or closer to 80 – but here’s my question:

    – Do you distinguish between U.S. “cups” and other countries in your recipes??

    This bread, as so many of your readers already agree, is outright bomb.

  329. Rainlee

    How did I miss this marvelous recipe when it was first published?! Alas, years wasted. This is by far the BEST banana bread ever. Really…EVER. My bananas were almost black. I upped the Bourbon to 2 tablespoons (the only change to your wonderful recipe). Spices were ‘right on.’ Perfection! Amazing texture. So quick and easy. Husband loved it. Will make again and again. THANKS!

  330. Deana

    Awesome! Omg! No egg, no problem. Used 4 bananas, 1 tablespoon of rum instead of bourbon, added 1 teaspoon baking powder. Baked for 50 minutes on convection bake at 350 in regular metal loaf pan. It didn’t rise but it didn’t matter – it’s light, fluffy, cinnamon-y…I wish my family would get back home before I eat it all!

  331. deb

    Emily — Gold star for trying to read all of the comments already here! Yeesh, there are a lot. 1/3 cup butter = 75 grams. I just use American cups. I’ll add the remaining weights to the recipe now to avoid further confusion. Enjoy!

  332. ana Cardon


    Back home no one eats golden yellow spot free bananas. Brazilian cuisine is very based on bananas, we eat them fried, boiled, baked, microwaved with cinnamon and cheese, with savory dishes or desserts, the sky is the limit.

    One thing is certain, spotless bananas are actually bad for you because they’re young they carry a lot of tannins and they have a bad taste… a young banana can actually ruin a perfectly good cake. They are harder to digest and one too many of a “perfect banana” can cause heartburns and mouth ulcers…

    We wait for the skin to get almost completely black to fry bananas, they’ll have a perfectly gooey texture. Believe me, they are not rotten they are gorgeous to cook with.

  333. Turner

    I’m getting a metallic taste and when I google for info on baking soda it seems like this recipe has more than the standard baking soda-to-flour ratio. Have you ever tried it with less?

    1. deb

      Turner — Did you get a metallic taste from this? Muffins and quickbreads like these do use over the standard amount, which is usually used for layer cakes and things you don’t need as much as a rise from. However, I don’t think there is much harm in trying it with less, but just a little. Loaf pan cakes also need a little more than the norm, as there is further proportionally for them to rise.

  334. Anne

    Best banana bread by far so far! We’re on number four and this is a cracker of a recipe. Last one was a no-carb version with ground almonds. Pfft! Just had seven school girls home for lunch and they wolfed down the loaf. (I only used 1/2 cup sugar so I reckon it’s okay for lunch, eh?) Many thanks from a, er, bunch of happy eaters in South Africa.

  335. Clarisa Skinner

    OMG! The weather is cold and clammy outside, but we are having banana bread heaven inside. My niece and I made this recipe (I left out the bourbon and added about a 1/4 chopped walnuts). This is the most moist, flavorful banana bread I have ever tasted! This recipe is definitely a keeper!

  336. LAC

    I made this on Wednesday night at midnight… those black bananas were staring me in the face. When I searched for banana bread, I knew you wouldn’t steer me wrong. This is the best banana bread I’ve ever made, and that’s with several lazy modifications (no bourbon, threw in some pumpkin pie spice instead of individual spices, added 1/2 cup of walnuts because I had them). I baked in a larger loaf pan and still ended up with a gorgeously brown, tall loaf.

  337. First time making baking home made bread and it came out beautifully I didn’t have bourbon so I used scotch and some walnuts and raisins OMG it is so good. I had company over and it was gone in 30 minutes they couldn’t stop eating it so thank you for this recipe and your time for posting it.

  338. Rupi D

    This was so easy to make and delicious! Very moist, dense, but not heavy. Used 4 bananas, 3/4 light brown sugar and added toasted walnuts and 60% choc chips. Will be making this anytime I have old bananas from now on!

  339. Alex L

    So I was looking for a chai spice banana bread and didn’t love any of the recipes I found, so I was like, “I know! Deb’s awesome banana bread!!” So yeah, instead of the spices you suggested, I used 3/4 tsp. ground cardamom, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ground ginger, 1/4 tsp. ground allspice. And then just put a milk, chai tea, powdered sugar drizzle on top. Holy crap… it came out so good! Thanks for always having the best go-to recipes!!!

  340. Froo

    Delicious cake! But mine didn’t come out like this one. I’m a baking novice so I’d love some pointers on what went wrong, seeing as I can’t work it out myself.

    I followed the recipe except (a) I only had a little brown sugar left so used a mix of caster and muscavado to reach the minimum weight (b) no vanilla (c) subbed in whisky for the bourbon (d) cooked in a 6 inch cake tin. The bananas I used were highly spotted with black stalks, although there wasn’t so much as a touch of brown on the fruit.

    Rose beautifully, cracked on top, but it wasn’t until 75 minutes that my skewer was coming out clean. It was still coming out wet, but I didn’t want the outside browning any more and I was worried it would dry out (hah!).

    What’s wrong is that the inside is wet. Cooked! But moist to the point of wet. There’s no nice crumb separation like there should be.

    Thank you.

  341. Katie

    This is my second time using this recipe, and it’s just so freaking good. I baked it for 50 minutes only because I didn’t have the patience to smell it for longer without eating it. It’s perfect. Thank you for giving the world this recipe.

  342. kaweenee

    Such a solid, easy recipe. I added a packet of VIA French Roast, by Starbucks (cuz coffee makes everything better)and a wee touch of cardomom (cuz I like saying “cardomom”) , and it was the best banana bread yet. Thanks for a new go-to recipe!!!

  343. GinaB

    Bought my daughter your cookbook for Christmas and she raves about it. Thought I would check out your site and made the banana bread today—and it was easy to make…and a great taste. Only had 3 bananas and may try it with 4 next time seeing that they were not large ones.

  344. Katie

    This is my all-time, favorite banana bread recipe. Thank you!!I actually use molasses instead, and cut it to 1/2 cup. Full of trace minerals and iron, my kids and hubby all love it! I add walnuts for a little crunch, but other than that, a deliciously awesome recipe!

  345. Rupi D

    I’ve been making this all the time this winter and just love it, its so simple. But each time I wonder the same thing- is it 1/3 cup of butter, melted or 1/3 cup of melted butter? it turns out great both ways, but i’d love to know the “right” measurement.

  346. Naomi

    I’ve made this amazing bread many times, but I decided to make it again when I realized I had 4 bananas that had been residing in my freezer for a very long time! I usually add chocolate chips to the recipe (because I add chocolate to just about everything), but this time I decided instead to swirl in a bit of Nutella (2-3 TBS). The bread came out moist and delicious as always, and the subtle Nutella flavour worked beautifully with the Jack Daniels and spices! Thanks again for another winner!

  347. jennifer

    LOVE this! Am baking a luscious loaf right now, for the third time! Love the fact that you can tweek the brown sugar to your preference! Left out the cloves, nutmeg and bourbon, but put in an extra splash of vanilla. Tasty!

  348. Suzie

    I am really late to this party. I just found out about your website about a month ago. Comments go back to 2006 and people are still commenting on this recipe. Well, mine is baking now. About 15 minutes to go, but just based on the divine aroma and the plethora of endorsements over the years, I don’t expect to be anything but thrilled with the results.

  349. Cindy

    This is it! This is the best banana bread there is. I am done searching. I made one addition: I added a TB of plain yogurt for moisture and a bit of tang. My kids put chocolate chips in half of it, but it’s better without them, I say

  350. Rupi D

    This has become a full on go to and now my husband knows every week “not to touch 4-5 of the bananas” on the counter because they are banana bread bound. It’s completely forgiving and barely requires real baking rules. My adaptation has turned into 4-5 bananas, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, 3/4 cup almond flour, toasted chopped pecans and walnuts. It’s perfectly moist each time and loves to be toasted with good salted butter. Thanks Deb!

  351. Mark JT

    Terrific recipe!! I used brandy for lack of bourbon, added 1/8 cup of freshly ground arabica Columbian coffee beans and 1/2 cup of sour cream. Otherwise, I followed the recipe to a T. :) I used the 190 grams of light brown sugar option.
    I use extremely ripe to black skinned bananas and freeze them when I can’t use them right away, so I have them whenever I feel like banana bread. (A good way to build up bananas for a double recipe)
    This was by far and away the best BB recipe I’ve ever eaten. There was only a slight hint of the coffee flavor and it complimented the brandy flavor nicely. I didn’t really notice the sour cream as a flavor and added it as an addition to moisture because I prefer my Banana Bread to be kind of dense and moist rather than cake-like.
    I look forward to trying this with the spiced rum from the previous comment and using other liquor flavors as well. This is my go to BB recipe from now on.

    Thank you!

  352. Angela

    Making this today as I had 3 bananas left over from the double chocolate banana bread yesterday. That loaf disappeared so quickly, just had to make this one today. It’s in the oven now and smelling great. Using a spiced bourbon, mmmmmmm

  353. Melissa

    I made this the other day, but threw in a swirl of bourbon brown sugar caramel and chocolate chips. Now you have to eat it with a fork, so I think it’s a cake. But holy toledo.

  354. Lauren

    Making my second loaf in just 2 days… It’s just that good. Thank you, thank you, thank you. This recipe has renewed my love of baking. :-)

  355. Sara C

    “You see, exactly when the bananas hit their bread-making prime time, I don’t want to share them with anyone. I’m serious. ”

    You may be my soul mate.

  356. KatieK

    Been making banana bread for years; thought I’d give this a shot as almost everything from Smitten Kitchen has been exceptional. This is fantastic; comes together so easily and is super moist. Didn’t have bourbon so used Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum. I don’t cook with salted butter so the suggestion of how much extra salt to add was great.

  357. Paulina

    I have making this also for a couple of years and my family now thinks I am a great baker, little do they know. I absolutely love this recipe, I do not even own a hand blender so trying to whip up all these recipes that call for one by hand has been disastrous.
    I did substitute bourbon for Chivas Regal and when I have them available I add 1/4 or so of pecans or walnuts, it tastes fab. Thanks for so many delicious recipes, I won over my father in law with your cole slaw, after years or eating my mother in laws blah cole slaw he said to me he could eat mine by the bucket =) thank you, thank you, thank you.

  358. Sharon

    Just made this and couldn’t wait for it to cool to try it, so I had a warm slice. So good! I had some black walnuts in the freezer waiting to be used, so in they went! My husband is going to love coming home to this, it made the whole house smell great.

  359. Aaron

    I know this recipe has been on the site since 2006 but I just gotta say that this is the best banana bread ever! I love to cook but I’m no baker and even I can make this and it turns out perfect every time, even if I don’t have any bourbon to add (it doesn’t last long in my house). Smitten Kitchen is an amazing site. Thanks!!

  360. Hila

    Awesome yummy treat!! I see that this recipe has been up here since forever, and this is only the second time I made this. I divided the flour into 95 grams of wholemeal and 95 grams of regular flour. Even more delicious.

  361. ed

    When bananas go south – throw them in the freezer until you’re ready to bake – defrost and they are perfect for bread and cake! This recipe would work great! Or like taking a yellow cake mix and switching the bananas for the water, and sometime even the oil. Keep the 3 eggs however. This cake is so good chilled w/cool whip. Actually good for you too!!!

  362. JEFF YORK

    My super market sells the aged bananas at a lower price just for baking, but they are usually already past those babies. Those still look okay.

  363. Suzanne

    Just an observation… This was the first time I’ve ever been on your website and I noticed that you called this recipe “Jacked-up Banana Bread”. I’m sure you mustn’t be from from the U.S. because in THIS country, the term “jacked-up” means “messed up/ bad/ wrong, etc.” After my initial confusion, it very apparent how the term “jacked-up” could also mean “made much better after some significant changes were made”. I just thought I’d let you know about the 2 opposite meanings for the same term.
    P.S. If you ARE from the U.S., then you used the term incorrectly, but I have a feeling that is not the case.

  364. Charlotte

    Well, I think jacked-up is a swell title for it, though I don’t live in THAT country, so what do I know?!

    I love this recipe, not least for its fabulous room scenting abilities. We’d run out of bourbon so this batch, like many others’, had a good splash of rum. You’re the best, Deb.

  365. We have a banana problem at work. I tried this jacked recipe without the bourbon (sadly) and it was so moist, so brown-sugary, so good. Thanks for tinkering so I don’t have to!

  366. Christina

    I had very ripe bananas but no bourbon. I only had cinnamon and vanilla. I decided to go ahead and bake anyway. I decided to put the batter into mini muffin. Bake @359 for 12 minutes. Perfect

  367. Julia

    For years I have been trying to make a moist delicious banana bread, recipe is it! My husband said it was the best banana bread he has ever had. I did not have brown sugar on hand so I used 1/2 cup + 2Tbs of a Splenda/brwon sugar mix, I also added 1/2 cup of chopped pecans. Yum.

  368. valorie

    Absolutely loved this recipe!! Been experimenting for a long time for a good banana bread and I have found it!! Didn’t have the bourbon, but will try and get some next time I bake this. I made this recipe 2x and it made 24 muffins. Next time I will try the bread!!! Thanks so much!!

  369. R

    This recipe is so good!! It’s easy to alter, too! For my most recent version (which I made in a bundt pan and am eating right now for dinner) I substituted 1/2 C of the flour with finely ground rolled oats (because I have a ton of rolled oats I’m trying to use up). I also used spiced rum for the bourbon (it’s the closest I ever have on hand), and I was out of brown sugar so I used 1/2 C of white sugar with 1/4 C of pure maple syrup. You can taste the maple! I added toasted pecans, as well. YUM!

  370. Finally in this sugar-candied world you delivered a banana bread that has the best of spice cake crashing the party! Don’t get me wrong, this is still a sweet quick bread but thank you for making it interesting and pleasurable beyond sugar. Followed your recipe to the letter and will def. make again. Thanks.

  371. Becky

    Why is this banana bread so risen as opposed to your crackly banana bread? I looked at the proportions of flour, baking soda, etc. and they’re all basically the same.

    1. deb

      Becky — The crackly has a pretty good dome (not the one in the top photo, I realize) but it does seem bigger here. It might have been older baking soda or baking powder (when I Google for images others have posted of the crackly version, they seem to be taller).

  372. Val

    Not only do I use ‘old bananas’ – I stock up on them! As soon as they get past the yellow stage & into the spotted stages – off they go – into the freezer. Then when I am ready to bake bread, I just thaw 2 or 3 (based on the recipe & # of loaves I am making) squeeze them out of the peel after I cut off the top & into the bowl they go. Words like a charm & tastes great – try it!

  373. Leanne

    Hey Deb, maybe I’m doing something wrong but when I measure with grams rather than using cups in your recipes they always turn out a little odd. I’ve made this recipe countless times using grams and cups, and every time I measure in grams it turns out too moist… It ends up like a pudding rather than a bread. Tasty but just not the same.

  374. deb

    Hm, I am sorry to hear this. I just rechecked and the weights are correct. That said, my 125 gram cups are on the fluffy side (think: spoon and sweep or at least fluff, spoon and sweep) and it’s possible that when you’re using the cups, your cups may not clock in as lightly. Regardless, what matters is getting this recipe to work for you, too. How many bananas are you using?

  375. Kate

    This recipe has quickly become one of my favorites. It’s gotten to the point where I buy bananas and just wait for them to brown so I can turn them into this delicious bread. I beg overripe bananas off of my friends, with promises of loaves of banana bread in return. The only problem I have had is that I don’t have any bourbon in the house; I have taken to using spiced rum in its place, which has yielded very tasty results thus far :)

  376. Daphne

    Kate – Your post made me laugh! I pulled up the recipe as I’ve been watching my bananas brown so I could bake this bread. :-) This has become my go to recipe for banana bread. It is the best and my friends and family think so too!

  377. Alaina

    Hi! First off, I love your recipes and love reading your blog!

    This recipe looks fantastic, but I was wondering if I can use a bundt pan for this recipe instead of a loaf pan? If so, any cooking time adjustments?

  378. Elise

    Alaina, I just made this today (for the hundredth time, minus bourbon, plus dark chocolate chips), and I actually can’t picture doing it in a Bundt pan. I don’t think there’s enough batter, really. Don’t think it would fill the pan.

  379. Donna

    Deb – this banana bread is a pure winner – I’ve been using your recipe for 4 years and no matter what other recipe I get handed or told to use, I always come back to this shear genius recipe. I like it so much that if I’m lucky (or lazy) – I have double the bananas required and can make double the recipe (I think it doubles really nicely and I agree with you on the 3/4c of sugar per batch comment). I actually love mini-things but don’t have mini-tins, so I dump the double recipe into a bundt pan and when I’m feeling extra lovey – I make a double batch of the caramel sauce (from your wonderful caramel cake), pour it on top of the cake and then sprinkle Maldon sea salt flakes for a dessert-y version of my beloved banana bread. In any event, I just wanted to thank you as I have 2 minutes before my next banana bundt comes out of the oven! xo

  380. Donna

    Alaina – I just finished using a double of the recipe in a bundt pan – I don’t think a single will fill a standard bundt pan. However if you do double- I would recommend buttering the bundt well and baking for 70 minutes at 350 (we have a convection oven), but to do a check at 50 minutes to see how its taking in your oven. Good luck. Cheers!

  381. Jen (Toronto)

    This was delicious. Mine turned out quite clove-y… I have whole cloves in the pantry and grind them for recipes, but I am starting to notice a pattern that my baking using cloves always ends up over-clovey – are most recipes expecting people to use pre-ground cloves, which would perhaps be milder? Or maybe it is just that I used a bit more than a pinch in an attempt to make up for the lack of nutmeg, which I had run out of.

    Also I threw in 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips because my husband loves chocolate. It clashes a bit with the cloves (in hindsight I should have predicted this).

    1. deb

      Jen — It’s definitely likely that freshly ground spices are much stronger. Or that most of us have an ancient weak bottle of cloves on our spice racks (looks around guiltily).

  382. Ann Hendershot

    I made this recipe last night and this is the most delicious banana bread recipe I have ever made. I went with the 3/4 cup sugar and and it was perfect. Definitely a keeper and meant to be shared with friends. Thank you for such a great recipe!!

  383. Chris

    Deb, this recipe has been my go-to guilty pleasure/comfort food/treat yoself snack for years. I just made it for the hundredth time, for my fiancee who is soon coming home from a late night at work. Keep doing what you’re doing!

  384. Elizabeth

    I love this recipe! I make this whenever there are old bananas at the office that nobody will eat. Lately, I’ve been making it vegan using flax seed meal instead of the egg and Earth Balance butter substitute. I also add almond butter for extra protein, and coconut sugar for lower glycemic index…just a few twists that don’t change the taste much if at all. Thanks!

  385. bethan

    This recipe had a great flavor (yay bourbon & brown sugar!). It is super moist, which I attribute to the four, full size bananas. I’m going to try with one less next time, and using a measuring spoon, instead of my hand, for the baking soda.

  386. santiago benites

    A great banana bread recipe! I’ve successfully been making this one lately, and have been adding some toasted pecans and dried cherries to the mix. A splash of maple syrup works too, and I’ve been fairly liberal with the amount of bourbon as well!

  387. Paulitaz

    I’ve made this a couple times. A really excellent, tasty bread. Just made this and added a bit of dried unsweetened coconut and extra bourbon. Waiting for it to cool but it is so difficult because it smells DIVINE!

  388. Sowmya

    Deb, I’m helping push comments to 500! :) I made this for the first time today, and I am, at best, a very nervous and not always successful baker. This is my first attempt at banana bread, and I just took it out of the oven – it looks AMAZING and my house smells wonderful!

    I made a couple of changes – I used only honey because I’m trying to cut sugar out. Added in a teaspoon of baking powder as some of the comments suggested, as well as nutmeg, cinnamon and a large spoon of Old Monk Rum – a big favorite here in India. For some reason, it was done in about 27 mins (180 deg celsius), though my oven takes less time for most.

    Thanks Deb for this wonderful recipe and for bringing happiness all over the world! :D

  389. Ria

    Every time I baked a banana bread something goes wrong…but this recipe worked out well.Thanks so much.Made it twice.The first time added Nutmeg and tbs of cardamom powder.When I baked it the second time I added a 4 tbs of cocoa and a heaped tbs of espresso powder.Loved both the versions.
    Thank you so much.

    Can u post a recipe of coffee mascarpone cake?

  390. Janet

    I made a half recipe this morning, following the recipe precisely, and the banana bred is absolutely scrumptious–dark, moist, spicy. Perfect!

  391. Richard O

    Let’s see. You posted this recipe in 2006 and people are still raving about it in 2015. That’s about 9 years and people are still raving about it. That is quite a testimony to your cooking, Deb! Best regards.

  392. Reed

    So so so good! I subbed whole wheat flour, canola oil for the butter, and added 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chunks. Baked for 55 minutes and came out perfectly moist but not under cooked. Had to give out the recipe to everyone who tried it.

    Making another batch today with mini peanut butter cups mixed in because, why not?

  393. Becky

    Forgive me for not reading the first 499 comments before posting this but this is my banana bread stand by – I make it once every few weeks and the loaf disappears immediately. I love that its one bowl, stirs up quickly, and I can have the best banana bread in no time.

    Well – today I forgot the sugar. Just left it out completely. The only reason I’m commenting is that it was somehow STILL GREAT! Obviously not sweet at all other than the hint of banana sweetness, but if you’re looking for more of I guess an actual BREAD and not a cake, just flat out drop the sugar. I mixed up a little cinnamon sugar butter (just smushed butter around with cinnamon and sugar until it was all creamed) and put that on top.


  394. LM

    Sooo, I made this today and I didn’t have a 4×8 pan or bourbon. I added 2 tbsps of spiced rum and split the batter into 12 cupcakes – perfect amount!! And the cooking time was closer to 25-30 minutes!!! It smells sooo amazing right now, it’s going to awesome to dig into these babies tomorrow morning!!!

  395. Nora1

    I have just made a double batch of this recipe, having discovered that my freezer stash of overripe bananas was getting out of hand. I only have one standard loaf pan so I made one loaf and a tray of muffins. Have just devoured a muffin (ok 2 muffins) and wow, this is so much better than any banana bread OR cake I have ever made, or possibly even eaten. Moist and soo much flavour. Also, easy. Brilliant! Thanks SK!

  396. Rebecca

    I have made this dozens of times, but I just tried something new–omitted the spices and bourbon, used one banana and some overripe strawberries (blitzed all the wet ingredients in a blender because I didn’t want wet, heavy strawberry chunks dragging me down!), and added some rosemary to round out the strawberry notes. It looks and smells delicious! I’m planning to make a light sugar glaze with it and it’ll be Shabbat dessert tonight. :)

  397. Riana

    As I am pulling up this recipe for the nth time, thought I should leave a comment say it’s my favorite, there is other! So glad I found this recipe so many years ago.

  398. PG

    Delicious, but the full amount of spices recommended above seems to overpower the banana and bourbon flavors, which is a shame. I will dial the spices back next time to a 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg and less than a pinch of ground cloves.

  399. Susan

    I made this the other day for about the 9000th time, so good! This time I included the bourbon and it was the perfect addition. I actually bought the bourbon for your recipes : )

  400. Rebecca

    Just made this, doubled the recipe but totally forgot the sugar!!! It tastes good to me but for the loaf I’m giving away, I think I’ll make a bourbon and powder sugar glaze. Thanks for the inspiration!

  401. Rachel G

    Yum! I only had 2 very ripe bananas to use and this bread was not lacking for banana flavor. I also added a little topping of butter/sugar/flour to give it a little crunchy topping. I think the bourbon enhances the flavor of the banana and spices. Love it in pumpkin pie too…wonder if I could make a pumpkin bourbon loaf bread?

  402. Mina

    Superb. Used 4 bananas, muscovado sugar (140 gms), half cup chopped toasted pecans and double the bourbon. Took a little more than an hour in my oven.

  403. Nicole

    Turned out fabulous! I was cooking for my little one so I tried to make it a *little* healthier. Organic brown sugar, slightly under 3/4 cup; cut out 1 1/2 tbsp butter and added 4 tbsp finely ground flaxseed; no bourbon (boo for me!); sub whole wheat flour for half of the flour; added dash of cardamom; and because toddlers also love everything small, cooked them in acorn cakelet and mini muffin pans. One full sheet of each. ~11 minutes. Great addition to the lunchbox!!

  404. Jeanne

    I just made this recipe last night, and it will be my go-to one henceforth! The bread turned out delicious and I ahve to say my bananas were post-ripe/probably close to rotten, if not maybe rotten, but the “depression child” in me did not want to pitch them, so I searched on your site for a recipe and loved the results–moist, not too sweet, good flavor and texture. Thank you–everything from your site that I have tried has been a home run!

  405. Susan

    this is my go to banana bread recipe..I’m not even that into banana bread because it’s so overdone but this one truly stands out. I have it in the oven now – the only modification is that I use cabin fever, which is a maple flavored whisky. highly recommend it if you are going to jack it up! thanks deb!!

  406. Terry

    I always put my overripe bananas in the freezer. Defrost them and go banana bread crazy. I can’t tell the difference. I’ve got about 10 of them in there right now and I’m about to make your recipe with them. With 2 tablespoons of bourbon. Three since it’s Sunday and I’m lazing around.

  407. Mei

    Best banana bread recipe ever. I’m shocking at baking but this turned out incredible with a light crispy crust on the outside and gooey rich bread within. Still can’t believe it. I added chocolate chips :) Thanks a million! <3

  408. Lauren

    I just pulled this out of the oven and realized I forgot the baking powder! So instead of banana bread I’ve got banana matzah :(. Still tasty though!

  409. Sara

    I made this twice. Super moist and heavy just like I like it. I used 4 bananas the first time and added a cup of chopped apples, no bourbon – amazing. The second time I used 3 bananas and added 3/4 c. pumpkin puree, no bourbon – amazing. I think perhaps, however, the recipe would be better with a full rounded teaspoon of salt, not just a pinch.

  410. Katherine

    Totally the best banana bread I’ve ever had. Used the four bananas (which were well past just spotty – super brown and squishy) and the lower amount of sugar. It was moist and dense and amazing. I also went rogue and added 1 1/2 cups of cranberries because I had them. Still delicious but recommend leaving the recipe as it is – it doesn’t need anything :-)

  411. Susan

    I don’t tell anyone who eats my banana bread (only my daughter knows), but I let the bananas I’m going to use for banana bread get black and mushy. Never had a better banana bread and you can really taste the banana :) Shhhhhh!!!!

  412. Genevieve

    I have about one liquid cup of whiskey caramel sauce I need to use up. Wondering if I can use it as the sweetener for this recipe?

  413. meredith

    I’ve been making this for years a bunch of different ways and it’s good every time. I like using four bananas, olive oil instead of butter, 1/2 cup of brown sugar with a couple swirls of honey, and subbing 1/2 cup of the flour with whole wheat flour. Tastes a little more earthy if you’re into that sort of thing :)

  414. Peggy Quinn

    Hi Deb.Though I am not new to your website this is my first time commenting.I live in Cozumel Mexico 8 months out of the year.Many ingredients are hard to come by on our small Island in the Caribbean. We had bananas sitting on the counter getting brown, we were going to feed them to the Iguanas .So I did some reading and saw that the browner the bananas the better the taste in baking.We had a small gathering to go to and decided to see what recipes you had for bananas. Saw the jacked up banana bread ,decided to make in to muffins.They were a big hit ! Many years ago my husband came home from work and had said I might be interested in a new cooking website He said a guy that worked for him has a wife that just started the site.I have been a followe ever since. ..

  415. Laura in CA

    Made this tonight, and this will be my go-to banana bread recipe because it’s simple and completely satisfied me. There’s no reason to look for something better. I used 4 bananas, and was happy with that choice. Also, I checked mine at 40 min and it only needed a few more minutes to fully cook. Q: When you put bourbon in recipes, are you supposed to be able to taste it? I never taste it. I used 2 T instead of 1 T to try to be able to taste it to no avail. But perhaps the bourbon just mixes with the other spices and flavors to create a new flavor bigger than the sum of its parts? I thought maybe next time I’ll make one with and one without bourbon and blind taste test them just to see if I can tell. The first slice I ate was great. The second slice I ate, I spread a layer of PB on top of, and that was great too :)

  416. This was delicious! Loved the recipe. I used 1 big banana, and 2 little red ones. The little red ones looked very very old, wasn’t even sure if they were good anymore- but my oh my they worked perfectly for the bread. Thanks!

  417. Jen

    I’ve made this before and it’s devine. Just made this now with coconut oil instead of butter, a big handful of walnuts, and good drench of Captain Morgan’s. Up yours Thursday!

  418. Okay, so YEARS later, your adoring fans are STILL reading/using/manipulating this recipe!!!

    First of all, I cut the sugar back to a mere 1/2 cup (to justify eating for breakfast, duh) (also because the bananas had been frozen and when thawing almost smelled fermented, they were SOOOOO ripe). Added 1/3c chopped walnuts and 1/3c 60% cacao chips. Baked in 7″ x 10″ pyrex, still @350F, but somewhat shorter time. A W E S O M E !!!

  419. Nancy

    These are awesome! But they took forever to get done. I made one large load that baked for 90 minutes and is still a bit doughy in the middle. I did use the 2 T. of bourbon. Yum! But I also had really big bananas. Do you have a cup measurement guesstimate on how much banana to use? That would be helpful. Next time I think I’ll try making them into muffins so they get done quicker. Thanks so much!

  420. Nancy

    One more thing. I accidentally used white sugar and was so disappointed when I realized my error. I added a little molasses and it turned out great!

  421. Melissa

    Well, after having used you as my go-to for all my baking recipes, I thought it about time I thank you…or not. Thanks for the joyous ten pounds I’ve enjoyed gaining this year. Baking and marathon training has been my stress management and it has worked. You have saved me from the dreaded “When-all you-have-in common-with-your-ex-is-weightloss” look. I have shared you with every friend I know. You have made me a better friend as I have baked for every friend I have. From your perfect chocolate chip cookies, to daring me to roast my own peanuts and make peanut butter (only to add such perfection to yet another outstanding cookie dough.) I have made quite possibly the best pies all summer using your all-butter pie crust recipe (my own Father has confessed in secret it rivals my mom’s famed pies)…and now this. Freakin banana bread from the heavens!!! Aunt Dorme is turning in her grave as I type, my brother may never speak to me as I have substituted his all-time-favorite family recipe for this. Game on!
    I had to sub Cognac and walnuts added the protein I needed to justify it as a health food.
    The cognac makes it medicinal. What can I say, I’m a fan.

  422. Christina

    Another note about translating to muffins: I used 4 bananas and added about 1 cup of chopped pecans. I also subbed half the flour for whole wheat pastry flour. Yielded 20 standard size muffins, a bit on the small side.

  423. Marsha

    Yet ANOTHER terrific recipe! I used 4 bananas, dark brown sugar (did not have light brown), 1 tablespoon of whiskey (did not have bourbon), and it baked perfectly in 50 minutes. PERFECT!!

  424. Jen

    Made this for probably the 50th time today and as always, such a huge hit! I usually throw in walnuts, dark chocolate, and also cut up Trader Joe’s sea salt & turbinado sugar dark chocolate almonds–gives it just the right kick of salty & sweet!

  425. Julie

    This recipe sounds delicious! I can’t wait for my bananas to ripen. I’m curious about why the salt and baking soda are not mixed into the flour. ? ? ? I CANNOT wait to make this!

  426. JoAnna

    Just tried this recipe tonight, and I loved it! I used my KitchenAid (lazy, I know) — it broke up the bananas so quickly and got rid of lumps. I also used half AP flour and half whole-wheat pastry flour (inspired by your cookbook recommendation of “Good to the Grain” — thanks for telling me about that one!). Also used 3/4 cups brown sugar. Perfect amount of sweetness. Thanks for another stellar recipe!

  427. Lisa P.

    Deb, that bourbon is just the thing!

    I added a dusting of cardamon, an extra 1/4 c flour to make up for soupy bananas, a large pinch of salt, a dollop of nutty quinoa flour, 1/2 tsp of ginger, and 3/4 c broken up walnuts.

    Best damned banana bread I have ever had. Thanks for the inspiration!

  428. Cecily Kane

    This yielded, indeed, the best banana bread I’ve ever tasted. The first time, that is; the second time yielded probably the second best but distantly, and there were only two differences:

    1) The first time I used three bananas and the second time I used four. IDK if the extra banana diluted the other flavors, or:

    2) The second time I forgot to add the tablespoon of liquor. (I didn’t have any bourbon on hand and used dark rum the first time.)

    I get the feeling that the answer is at least (2) in part, and suspect that the taste improvement is more about the chemical reaction than the flavor of the liquor itself? (Though I’ve not tried it yet with rum flavoring, and probably will next as an experiment.) Is there a good non-alcoholic option as a replacement here? For both zero-alcohol households and folks who can’t be arsed to go to the liquor store for an airplane bottle of liquor? (Some states have ridiculous blue laws; hell, I couldn’t spontaneously make this on a Sunday.)

    Unrelated, but a very easy way to smash bananas for baking: put them in a closed ziplock bag and squeeze until liquid consistency. I’ve got a mild but annoying hand-related disability, and IDK about other folks but I find this to be so much easier.

    Thanks for the recipe! I’ve never been a huge banana bread fan and only made this because a good friend was craving it; this converted me.

    1. deb

      Cecily — I published this recipe long before I had kids. I now have two and make banana bread but not often with bourbon, or certainly not more than a teaspoon if that. I don’t think you need it to make this bread good. You probably enjoyed the crumb more with the extra banana, which provided extra softness and moisture, yes?

  429. Cecily Kane

    Deb — I actually enjoyed it more with three bananas than with four! And I figure part of the reason might be that the extra banana diluted the spices (which I used in the exact same amounts; did not alter for a ratio).

    I didn’t use bourbon but rather a tablespoon of dark rum, and figure next time I’ll use a tablespoon of “rum flavoring” instead to see how that works. Bananas + rum — well, being from Cajun country (bananas foster!), they’re quite the match.

    Thanks for posting such a great recipe a decade ago — both versions I made were HUGE hits with the buddy who was craving it. :D

  430. Cate

    Helpful hint! If you’re doubling the recipe, but are so tired that you forget to double the flour… This turns into a very nice, unintentional bread pudding!

  431. So, question. I made this with Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour – I know you’re not gluten free specific but I’ve subbed in GF flour for regular in your recipes a lot before without a hitch. Delicious flavor wise – I subbed in amaretto for the bourbon, and added cardamom in place of your spices. But the inside won’t cook. I’ve had it going at 350 for a full hour and the inside is still really gummy and undercooked. Not exactly raw, but definitely not “bread” texture. I’m thinking either my oven isn’t quite accurate temperature wise, or that I need to add a squich more GF flour next time. Any other advice? Thanks in advance!

    1. deb

      How many bananas did you use? A combination of extra moisture from them (usually fine with regular flour but…), less structural integrity from gluten-less flours and maybe an oven running cool (possibly) could cause the trouble.

      1. Hi, Deb!

        I used four bananas, and they were definitely at the “near-oozing” stage of ripeness, so they probably had more moisture in them than yours did. The inside texture of the bread is fairly similar to bread pudding – not bad at all! Just not quite, ah, *bread*. Thanks!

    2. Melissa

      I cook all of Deb’s (and everyone else’s) recipes 100% gf. The various GF flours are all different ratios of starch, protein, etc. If you used Bob’s regular GF flour it uses garbanzo flour as the main ingredient and I find that very difficult to bake with – particularly if it is a moist recipe. King Arthurs AP GF flour works well in most recipes, but fails in lighter recipes like pancakes, dutch babies and souffles. The only flour that I have found you can truly sub in any recipe is Bob’s GGF 1:1 Baking flour. In this recipe I might try 3 bananas and the 1:1 four and see how it works. I am planning on making it today and will let you know how it comes out!

  432. Anne Weber-Falk

    They’re in the oven as I write this. Didn’t “jack” them up as I didn’t have the stuff to do that. If the smell and taste of the batter is any indication then these are going to be some AMAAAHHHHZING muffins.

    1. AMS

      This has been my main banana bread recipe for 7 years now! I love it! Every time we get bananas, half of them linger on until they’re perfect for banana bread. I always use the higher amount of sugar (it’s cake for me, really, not bread 😉).
      I like to do this as mini muffins, and they take about 16-19 mins to bake. Regular muffins, about 20-24.
      A few times, I’ve added some chopped apples to the batter, and it was awesome.

      1. Laura

        It’s rare that I find a recipe so good that I stop looking for other options, but this is the perfect banana bread — as written, and as a base for whatever modifications you want to make. I have been making it for years. (I had a brief dalliance with Deb’s chocolate swirl banana bread, which was wonderful in its own way, but will never unseat this one, in my humble opinion.)

  433. mrsukyankee

    Thanks for putting the measurements in grams. I’m a US and UK citizen living in London and I tend to use my scale versus my cups for dry measurements. And yes, this is FABULOUS!

  434. Seattle Jane

    It’s been a while since I made one SK Deb’s delightful recipe, so I was happy to rescue two and one half overripe bananas away from – how did you put it – mere moments before the descent of fruit flies? You also had me at “you can make it with a spoon”. Hooray! My near black bananas were extra large and soft so the mashing was easy, but I managed to explode most of the butter into the microwave while melting it (oops, won’t try that technique again), so I added a bit of oil to make up for the lost butter, and I used a bit of pumpkin pie spice and a tablespoon of Amaretto instead of the recipe spices and bourbon. To amend for the baking sins committed whilst making Deb’s most excellent just-the way-it is recipe, I added a handful of chocolate chips to the batter, all of which sunk during baking to the bottom of the loaf. Black Bottom Banana Bread, anyone? Yeah, me, she said raising and lowering her fork again and again. The BBBB is beyond delicious and what’s worse, I am alone in the house.
    Deb, I will continue to campaign for your humanitarian award for making people happier through better food. In fact, I’ll get right on it as soon as I finish off this bad boy banana bread.

  435. Lindsey

    This is hands down my favorite banana bread recipe, and I’ve used it exclusively for the last several years. Today I added 1 egg, 1/3 C of peanut butter, and 1/2 C of chocolate chips. They’re TO DIE FOR, and my coworkers were very appreciative of the treat on a Sunday.

  436. Anna

    Hi Deb! I have been making this recipe for a few years now and it’s always come out airy and perfect. The last year or so, my bread has suddenly always come out of the oven with a denseness at the bottom, about a half centimeter or so. I’ve made sure to use fresh baking soda and flour. And I still get that density. Something going on with my oven? Any idea why I’m not getting a full rise out the bread? Thank you!!

    1. deb

      Maybe your bananas are bigger? I’m only saying this because I’ve been playing around with pumpkin bread and I always want to put more more more pumpkin in and then there’s this point when what you describe happens — it’s basically just a little too damp and becomes dense. Bigger bananas can have a similar effect, or more of them. I’ll have a solution for you when I have a solution for me. :)

  437. Miri

    Oh my, this now replaces my previous favorite banana bread recipe. This is hands down the best! I used 2 tbs. bourbon, omitted the cloves, and added around 3/4 cup of mini chocolate chips. I served it warm first, then had it cold the next time, loved it both ways.

  438. I just wanted to say that I love this recipe. It’s my go to for spotty bananas and is requested so often by my now 4 year old that I regularly keep a supply in the freezer.
    I did change one thing – the flour. In an attempt to get some flax seed and bran in my kiddo, I’ve been playing around with a flour blend. Instead of 1 1/2 cups flour I do this:
    1/4 cup golden flax seed meal
    1/4 cup miller’s wheat bran
    1/2 cup 100% white wheat flour (this is different than all-purpose flour)
    1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

    This combo still rises nicely; isn’t too tough, and is even toddler approved! It does have a bit more texture (I mean there’s still bran and flax seed in there) but no ones ever complained that they are too gritty.

    Just wanted to share and say thanks for such a great recipe!!

  439. I’ve made this recipe numerous times and it never gets old. No major modifications, except that if you’re making a bunch of things, you can pre mix this and keep in the fridge but let it sit to room temp day of before you pop it in the oven. It’s common sense but sometimes I forget and it takes a long time.

    If you need to ripen bannanas, you can pop them in the oven, low height for 20 minutes or so. They get liduidy soft but that can make for extra moist banana bread!

  440. Laura

    I’ve been baking banana bread for years. It’s one of the first things I remember baking completely by myself, without my mom’s help. I can’t wait to try your version! But I’ve had this problem for a couple years that’s totally turned me off from banana bread. Maybe you can lend some insight: random bites that taste so overwhelmingly of baking soda that you can’t get it down. It’s not pretty. Any idea what’s causing this?

    1. jjjeanie

      Just a guess, but you probably had small lumps of baking soda–which happens easily in any kind of damp weather. Even if that damp weather was a long time ago, it doesn’t un-clump when the weather changes. Easy Fix: sift the baking soda (even if you don’t sift the flour). If you don’t have a sifter, use any fine mesh strainer. Or just work it with your hands. And then be sure to scatter the soda, not add it to the batter in one clump. I doubt you’ll have that problem again.

  441. Andrea Hershatter

    Triple-jacked bread: I have been making the James Beard cream-the-butter, sift the dry ingredients, alternate wet and dry, mess up 30 dishes bread forever. Last month I tried this bread and fell in love. Yesterday, I only had two ripe bananas, but I did have about a cup of pumpkin left over from your fabulous pumpkin bread (that i turned into amazing mini chocolate chip studded, maple frosted mini cupcake/muffins). I also had some non-Medjool, not very plump dates. I added the pumpkin in lieu of the 3rd/4th banana. I put 2 TBS of bourbon plus abut 8 dates in the microwave for 30 seconds, and then easily cut them into large raisin size pieces with scissors. I added the bourbon/date liquid and the cut dates with the vanilla and egg. This was the ultimate holiday bread yesterday, and then this morning, after a night of settling into a dense, moist loaf in the refrigerator, it is unbelievably delicious: ready to be eaten cold and straight, room temp with a dab of cream cheese, or lightly toasted with butter. I tried all three ways.

  442. Denise

    Great recipe for something I don’t usually make! But my baby granddaughter is allergic to eggs so I’m looking for quick breads that are easily made with a substitute. I used a flax egg and very ripe bananas, one of them from the freezer and two fresh, and obviously no bourbon :-( and the muffins are beautifully brown with an almost caramel flavor from the brown sugar. I wanted to reduce the sugar so used just a little less than 3/4 cup but I think I could have used 1/2 cup with good results. Baby loves them and so does the rest of the fam!

  443. I made this last night, and it’s wonderfully tasty, but I unfortunately live at rather high altitude (7,300′) and it came out as a solid, dense brick. I expected this since I made no changes to the recipe. I’m usually not a baker, so I’m not too experienced at high altitude modifications–does anyone have any brilliant tricks for this dilemma?

    1. Erin Bailey

      We have a house at 9500 feet and I always add an extra egg. If it looks incredibly runny, try adding an extra Tb of flour. I do lower my expectations for cakes, but for quick breads and cookies this does the trick!

      1. Callie

        I live at about 7800 ft. and I always reduce the baking powder and/or soda in baking recipes by A LOT. I’m talking only using 1/4-1/2 of what the recipe says. It also helps to reduce the sugar and increase the flour. For this recipe, I used 1/2 t baking soda.

  444. Emily

    DEB. If I wasn’t already convinced you were a wizard, here we have it folks. I consider myself to be a pretty skilled banana bread baker, and this one takes the cake. (Bread! It’s not a dessert if we call it bread!) I used 3 tbsp butter and 3 tbsp whole milk Greek yogurt instead of 1/3 up butter, 1/2 cup palm sugar because it’s what I had, and only had brandy not bourbon so tossed in a splash of that. Used whole wheat pastry flour and added a handful of chocolate chips, sprinkled raw sugar and flaky sea salt on top for a little crunch… GIRL. I have nothing more to say. Win win winnnnn

  445. Karen

    Banana-Passion Fruit Bread (variation)

    I was all ready to make this exactly as laid out in the recipe, when I discovered that 2 of the 4 bananas I had were just too far gone to be used. What could I do? My son had a friend over for the night and I’d promised them banana bread for breakfast in the morning. Here is what I came up with:

    I had a package of frozen Passion Fruit pulp in the freezer (purchased from a local Latino market). Took it out and mashed it up with the 2 remaining bananas.

    Added an extra egg (so 2 total, rather than one) to partially compensate for the more liquidy form of the pulp. Used one whole cup of brown sugar and another 1/3 cup or so of white sugar to compensate for the tartness of the passion fruit.

    Used same measures of vanilla, spices and baking soda. Added an extra 1/2 cup of flour, again to bring the mixture more to the consistency of a quick bread batter.

    Baked it in a greased, nonstick bundt pan at the same temperature specified in the recipe, until done (toothpick test).

    It looks beautiful and smells divine. It’s still cooling on the counter, but I’m pretty good at baking so I think it will be delicious. If not, I’ll be sure and post an update to this comment so as not to lead anyone astray!

    Looking forward to making the recipe another time, exactly as described.

    1. Karen

      Oops, I should have also mentioned that I used a whole stick of melted butter rather than the amount specified in the recipe. Again, as another partial compensation for the substitution of passion fruit pulp for mashed banana.

  446. Just made this and it’s DELISH (still warm). One question: could you add a WEIGHT or some measure for the bananas? 3-4 is a pretty wide range. Maybe it doesn’t matter, really, how much banana mush one uses? But what’s your recommended dose of banana? My bread is a little dense at the bottom and I wonder whether I used too many.

    1. deb

      I can check next time (which, judging by our current banana oversupply, will be soon) but in general I’d say 3 large bananas or 4 average-sized ones for best moisture. Dense at the bottom could mean it was a little high.

  447. Andrea P.

    Loved that I only had to use one bowl! I also love your chocolate banana bread recipe. The only two banana bread recipes you will ever need. I promise. I added walnuts. Otherwise, made no other changes. Like most banana breads, this was better the next day. But, to my surprise, we were able to have a some a few mins. out of the oven (warm). Yum!

  448. Yvonne

    I’m always secreting dead bananas in my freezer, on the lookout for yet another banana bread recipe. Must give this one a go. I just baked one following Leite’s Culinaria’s recipe – the draw was the 3 Tbsp bourbon! No need for vanilla here. Throw in some choc chips and walnuts, you have a jacked up bread indeed (for Mardi Gras). To really have a party, I made some bourbon whipped cream..otherwise I must admit alcohol does rather get lost in the baking. (hic).

  449. JP

    Having a few days at home caring for my ill wife, I’ve made your Belgian Chocolate Cakelettes and the Roasted Pear and Chocolate Scones in the last 24 hours, and I ran out of butter. Needing to use up our brown bananas, I just made this bread and subbed the same amount of melted coconut oil for the melted butter. Here’s hoping it worked!

      1. JP

        A year later – figured out my loaf pan is 9×5 not 8×4, thus the short / low bread issue. Will try today in my new slightly smaller loaf pan.

  450. Finally made this today:). I added walnuts and mini chocolate chips and used rum since I had more than precious bourbon ;). Used two mini loaf pans filled to the brim and cooked it about 50 mins. Tastes delicious!

  451. Diane

    Hi Deb – Making this bread with my 4 year old has become a fun ritual in our house. He proudly mixes while I add ingredients to the bowl. He loves that he helped make the bread and so while he’s normally a picky eater, he proudly devours this. So thanks!

    One question though… The bread is delicious but the loaf usually comes outs smallish/flatish for me. I’ve thought about doubling the recipe but I’m not sure how it would do in the baking process. Like, will it never cook through? What do you think? Any recommendations? Thanks again!

    1. Diane

      Never mind Deb — I figured this out. I switched to a slightly smaller loaf pan and the results were great. Thanks for this!

  452. Alexis

    I only keep unsalted butter in the house – any idea how much salt to add to equal the salted butter called for in the recipe?

    1. deb

      Usually about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fine sea or table salt per “stick” (1/2 cup per butter). You can start lower and taste the batter to see if you want more. It’s this range/inconsistency that leads many bakers to call for unsalted in recipes!

  453. Dani

    I find freezing those “aged” bananas adds to the intense flavor… Love the way they slip out of the skins after they thaw!!

    1. deb

      I wouldn’t be confident that a full swap of flour for almond meal will give you the desired results; they just don’t work the same way in something like this. But, you might do a partial swap with almond flour/meal or a full swap with a gluten-free baking flour blend, if gluten was the concern.

  454. Zigzag10

    Yet another excellent recipe from SK. I’ve tried so many banana bread recipes over the years and too many have been oily, heavy and/or bland. This bread is the opposite of all of those things – light yet full of flavor. I made 8 regular-sized muffins (baked at 350 F for 19 minutes), and they were truly divine. There is no doubt that this is my new go-to banana bread recipe. Thanks Deb!

  455. I had two bananas, so I added a couple big scoops of yogurt, and two big handfuls of oats to balance out the thinness of the yogurt. I also did not have butter, so I used olive oil and a bit of extra salt. I also used a tablespoon of Smith and Cross rum because of its funky goodness. I also used cake flour. It tastes so good.

    What I’m trying to say is that this recipe is adaptable to your particular style of jacking up.

  456. Kelsey

    I’ve been making a “healthified” version of this for a couple years.

    I switch out the butter for nut butter (either peanut or almond.. i prefer the almond) and cut out the brown sugar for 2TBS to a quarter cup of molasses, depending on how generous I want to be with the sugar. Lastly, I switch all of the flour for whole wheat. Also, I always use four bananas. It’s still moist and cakey, but a lot healthier than cake (although not really cutting calories, if that matters)

  457. Martha

    This is delicious!!! I added pecans, a few chocolate chips, and some of King Arthur Flour’s cinnamon flav-r-bites. Will make again and again.

    1. Martha

      I’ve made this several times and it is ALWAYS delicious. Today I used 4 bananas, the lower amount of brown sugar, the bourbon, 1 1/4 tsp. of Chinese 5-spices instead of the cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, a small handful of chocolate chips, 1/4 cup of the King Arthur cinnamon flav-r-bites, and 1/4 cup of millet seed. It is delicious. I think it could have used a little more than pinch of salt this time. It took a full hour to bake. This is a great recipe.

  458. jjjeanie

    I made this last night in 2 small tins and it was Perfect in exactly 40 min. I put choc. chips in only one loaf–which was a great reason to make it in smaller tins! I’ve been a huge fan of SK’s chocolate banana bread (which was how I found SK several years back) but this is somewhat less rich (sometimes good), and really fast. I mean really fast. Oh yes, I only had about 2 tsp of bourbon so I tossed in an unmeasured splash of scotch to top it off. (just a cheap one I got at Trader Joe’s–not the lovely single malt). I also used only 1/2 Cup brown sugar (not packed) and that’s probably why I liked it so much–not too sweet! And I used whole wheat pastry flour, which works so well!
    If you’re still not sure, Just Make It!

  459. Vidya

    This was amazing! I made it with half whole wheat flour, and drizzled a chocolate ganache over the top. So. delicious.

  460. Luke DaBell

    Wowsers! These are great! Based on the comments of my family,l say ………….
    THESE ARE AWESOME! I even gave it to my baby cousin Abby,who said yummy.
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️😋😋😋😋😋Thanks for sharing!-Luke Age 8

  461. I am 3 days overdue to deliver our first baby and I’ve been busy in the kitchen! This is my favorite, no fail banana bread. I just made two loaves, and I’m wondering how well you think the second will freeze? Should I slice it first? It should fit in there nicely with your ziti and my breakfast burritos :)

    1. deb

      This freezes so well and doesn’t need to be sliced first (I can slice it frozen with a serrated knife) but you can. And eee! Good luck!

  462. Marguerite

    Just made these (two mini loaves) for the umpteenth time. One time I was out of brown sugar so I used Trader Joe’s organic sugar with great results.(using the lesser amount)
    I use a digital scale when baking and I really appreciate the gram measurements. Two mini loaves are perfect. This should be anyone’s go-to recipe for those overripe ‘nanas.

  463. May

    Love this recipe. So easy and simple. I added some lightly toasted coconut to the top prior to baking. It crisped up and was a delicious golden crunch on top.

  464. Katherine

    Classic banana bread recipe! I didn’t add bourbon (this time), used frozen bananas, and omitted nutmeg. I made two loaves (8″ x 2″ x 3.25″) rather than one big one. I also used 3/4 cup white sugar with 1T molasses because I was out of brown sugar. Another great SK recipe. Thanks Deb!

  465. I am a guilty lover of freckled bananas, which actually works quite well in my house – once they start to turn just-barely-not-green, I suddenly have no competition for them anymore.

    I, too, cannot keep myself from jacking up banana bread. To me, it’s not complete without some combination of oats, berries, nuts, dried fruit, coconut, chocolate chips, or a swirl of peanut butter or Nutella. It’s so good on its own, but it’s such a perfect blank canvas for just about any addition.

  466. Lisa

    Fantastic recipe! I tend to freeze bananas when they are past my desired ripeness. I pulled 4 frozen bananas from the freezer and instead of bourbon, added brandy – it was open, needed to be used, and I didn’t have bourbon. To reduce oven time and for portioning, I filled 9 muffin tins and baked for about 22 mins. I’ll be tagging this recipe as a keeper and may add rum/walnuts for another batch! Thanks so much for sharing!

  467. Amber

    YES!!! I now have a go-to banana bread recipe!! I have tried over a dozen different banana bread recipes and, while I’ve always ended up with banana bread which means of course, happy, I’ve always left thinking “Well there’s probably something better out there yet.” But now! I have it. It is moist and flavorful and not at all boring. I’m writing it down, putting it in the recipe box. Thank you!!

  468. Shannon

    Hi Deb,

    I have a potluck this coming Wed at work, but I work 13hrs on Tues. If I made this Mon evening do you think it would last until Wed? If so, how should I store it? Let me know!

    Thank you!

      1. b z

        Hi Deb,
        I love your site and have made so many of your recipes- and they always turn out great. Thanks!
        I would love it if you can add a “how long would this last/this should be kept in the refridgerator” section to the baked goods recipes, I tend to bake just for fun, having a cake available to eat alongside my morning coffee is a must, and I keep wondering whether a recipe would last or if I’d just end up throwing out half a cake.
        I hope I’m not the only one with these questions, but if this happened I’d be the happiest sk reader there is!

  469. Kristin M

    We love this so passionately and make it at least twice a month! YUM! But, I want to make this in muffin form–how long (ish) should I bake them??

  470. anne

    It’s rare that I find a recipe where I think “that’s it – this is the one.”

    But: this is the one.

    People, don’t look anywhere else for a banana bread recipe. The flavor. The texture. The ease. It’s all here. I’ve made this 5 – 6 times and it’s perfect every time, both following the recipe exactly and swapping out some of the regular flour for whole wheat pastry flour when I have some on hand. Also, I’m at altitude (near Denver) and I don’t change a thing to adjust for the altitude.

  471. Rebecca

    Determined to not once again bin my bunch of brown bananas, I Have this a try but forgot to add the sugar by mistake. Shocked and delighted to discover it is the very perfect low-key sweetness. I used four very large ripe bananas and added 2/3 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips. Delicious recipe plus a happy accidental modification.

  472. Chrissie

    Wowzer!! That is a darn good banana bread. I added whisky instead of bourbon (that’s what I had at home) and put the double amount in it 😊😊.
    Darn good recipe :)

  473. MJ

    Made this the other day using two far-gone bananas plus 1 1/2 very ripe frozen bananas that I had put in the freezer. (I thawed them in the microwave and dumped the liquid that accumulated as they defrosted.) Followed the recipe except used dark brown sugar and a 5×9 loaf pan, because that’s what I had. With the larger pan the loaf of course didn’t rise as high, but it still looked nice and was done in 45 minutes. The loaf was richly flavored, with more depth and complexity than the typical recipe and less emphasis on the banana taste. We have some family with nut allergies, so this was a nice way of deepening the flavor in much the way that adding walnuts might do.

    Questions for Deb: you often (always?) call for light brown sugar. Is it okay to just use dark instead? Do I need to change my buying habits to use your recipes?

  474. Morgan

    I made this today on a whim. I only had 1/4 cup brown sugar, so I supplemented with white & I toasted up a handful of walnuts because banana bread without nuts makes me sad. Thanks!

  475. Laura

    I baked this banana bread tonight. I split it into a pan with space for 4 smaller loaves. I swapped the sugar for maple sugar. I cut back a bit from 3/4 cup and I think it was a mistake. I should have gone with a full cup. Still pretty good but could be sweeter. Also, I’m a nutter so i added 1/4 c of pecan bits. Baked great in 35 minutes and still delicious but I’ll sweeten it up a bit next time.

  476. Shelly

    Dear Deb, Thank you for the banana bread recipe I’ve been looking for This is easily the favorite for all the people in my house, ranging in age from 4.75 – 42. You are a genius.

  477. Jess

    I think orange zest might work nicely with all the other spices. Also, nuts are mandatory; I just will not be deprived of that toasted pecan deliciousness. Sometimes to appease the haters I’ll make a small nut-free pan on the side.

  478. Jaime

    So I put my bread in the oven and just as I closed the door I saw my butter sitting on the counter. I forgot to mix it in with the bananas! Is my bread completely ruined – any way to fix? TIA!

  479. Delphi Psmith

    I made the rolled cake version of this from the new Smitten Kitchen cookbook and WOW WOW WOW was it amazing. I loved the trick about not having to separate the eggs. This was my first ever rolled cake and it came out spectacular, all my friends are so impressed (and my husband, a confirmed banana addict, is so grateful lol).

  480. Alexia

    This is more of a general question but when you list brown sugar measurements, are they supposed to be packed or unpacked? I noticed a few here made it “unpacked” as did I–waiting for it now as it bakes. Thanks!

  481. Hannah

    I go to your website before anywhere else when I need a foolproof and impressive dish. This banana bread is incredible! Thank you.

  482. Christine

    I have tried a lot of banana bread recipes, and this one, in my and my family’s humble opinion, might just be the best one! I made it with gluten free flour (Doves Farm GF plain white flour, if any UK readers were interested) and a tablespoon-ish-probablytwo-ish of amaretto instead of bourbon as that was what I had. Absolutely delicious and was gone in two days.
    I strongly resisted the urge to add chocolate chips as when I’m trying any recipe for the first time, I like to keep as close as I can to the original. But maybe next time?! There will definitely be a next time!