Basic Banana Bread

I have been making so much banana bread over the last 3 years that I think I could do it with my eyes closed. (It would make an interesting experiment anyway. I wouldn’t want to have to clean up after it).

Come my beauties. These are perfect for baking. Or if is not baking say, I would peel, bag them up and freeze them.
Come my beauties. These are perfect for baking. Or if is not baking say, I would peel, bag them up and freeze them.

Sometime I use the recipe with cream cheese. Other times I use the buttermilk one. Or the sour cream or yogurt. The fact is, you can use almost anything you have in the house to make a wonderful loaf of banana bread.

Add to this the add-ins, such as chocolate chips, pecans, chopped dates or chocolate hazelnut spread and you are set to make banana bread extravaganza! There must be a new word for this. Like Bananaganza!

Now, I realize most people do not need to make 3 loaves at a time. These loaves are little tiny ones, about 7″x31/2″.  I will give you a reduced recipe which will make either 2 small loaves or 1 larger 8″ loaf.

If you have any experience with baking, feel free to improvise. The main thing is a liquid to dry ratio. While I don’t know what the exact number of the ratio is, I can tell my looks and feel of the batter. For example, lets say the recipe calls for 1 cup of milk. But I want to make it richer and add sour cream. I might put about 1/2 cup of sour cream in a measuring cup, add milk to make 1 cup and whisk this together. It will make the dough a little thicker. I can just bake it that way, for a slightly denser, richer loaf, or add a tad more milk to thin it out. Same thing with using yogurt or buttermilk. The idea is to add enough liquids to the dry ingredients to make a proper banana bread batter, which is pretty thick.  If you accidentally make the batter thinner, guess what? It will still bake, it just might rise higher.

Cream cheese is another matter and I would wait to follow a specific recipe that uses cream cheese. (Which I will give you later).

(Okay, I’m back, did you miss me? I had to go move the sprinkler watering the garden. I move it every 10 minutes. Its amazing what you can get done in 10 minutes. Do I have a sprinkler system? Yes. Do I use it? No. I like the control of a little attachment at the end of our hose. It is watering the tomatoes, peppers and little fruit trees right now. I actually picked my first ripe tomato today too! It was  a tiny Roma tomato. The plant is hugging a shrub and not getting the sun it probably should, so it is little.)

Oops, got sidetracked.

Well, this recipe is ancient, from a Farmers Journal baking book back when. (Wayyy back when.) I copied it out and do not have the book anymore. Got rid of it during one of my purging moods. I have several other banana bread recipes, but this is simple and satisfying. (Who am I kidding, I have dozens of banana bread recipes!) It did not originally call for oats. But I have a tendency to toss oats into all kinds of recipes where it isn’t called for. Such as Irish Soda Bread and muffins.

While the recipe calls for quick oats, if you don’t have them, you can use old-fashioned oats and just either give them a bit of a chopping or put in a little grinder to ‘smaller’ them up.

Now if I am correct, the left loaf is chocolate chip, the middle one is pecan or walnut and the right loaf has dried cranberries in it.
Now if I am correct, the left loaf is chocolate chip, the middle one is pecan or walnut and the right loaf has dried cranberries in it.
IMG_1377 (1024x765)
banana, egg and vanilla
IMG_1381 (1024x765)
Mix with dry ingredients.

IMG_1383 (1024x765)

Now see recipe below.

Basic Banana Bread

  • Yield: 1 8
  • Prep: 15 minutes mins
  • Cook: 1 hour 15 minutes min
  • Ready In: 16 mins

Here is a basic banana bread recipe that lends itself to all kinds of variations from nuts and chips to dried fruits and spreads.



  1. Bake in a 350 oven for 1 hour 15 minutes (for an 8×5 pan) or until golden brown. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan. Cool on rack. Better the next day.
  2. Peel the bananas and put in a bowl. Using either a fork or a masher of some kind to mush up the bananas. Add the egg to it, the milk and the vanilla. Stir it all up.
  3. Put the dry ingredients in another bowl. This would be flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and oats. Whisk together.
  4. Cut the butter in little pieces and put in the dry ingredients bowl. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter into the flour mix until it is tiny pieces.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed. Make sure there is no dry parts left. Fold in the add-ins. (flavored chips, dried fruit, diced dates, chopped nuts.)

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