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The Best Banana Bread

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The batter for this easy-to-make banana bread is enriched with sour cream, which gives it a subtle tang and super moist texture.

  • Yield: Makes 1 loaf
banana bread with frosting

Photography: Joanna Garcia

Source: Martha Stewart Living, August 2004

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat to incorporate.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix until just combined. Add bananas, sour cream, and vanilla; mix to combine. Stir in nuts and pour into prepared pan.

  3. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.

Variations

To make the cream cheese frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together 6 ounces cream cheese, 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract until smooth. Frost top of cooled bread.

To make the cream cheese frosting-filled banana bread as featured on "The Martha Stewart Show," once the loaf is baked and cooled, halve horizontally. Using an offset spatula, spread frosting evenly over bottom half. Top with remaining half; slice and serve.

Reviews Add a comment

  • konniesalas
    18 JUN, 2017
    This was truly delicious. Its soft and yummy. I added 1/4 cup of brown sugar and a tsp. Of nutmeg also I topped it with brown sugar, cinnamon and sugar lightly. Made them into single serve in a cupcake pan cooked at 350 for 25 minutes I would have loved her icing but I was out of cream cheese! You all have to try it. It should rate better than it is I give it a five star!!!
    Reply
  • Pegadams8586893
    11 JUN, 2017
    this banana bread was very moist. Love all your recipes martha.
    Reply
  • mlstadther3790449
    22 MAY, 2017
    I can't find a print button for your recipes. Iis there a way to print them?
    Reply
  • leecolleenp@hotmail.com
    20 MAY, 2017
    Thanks, Martha, for another great recipe. I enjoy the emails & tv shows so much. To s/writergmail....whether you are trying to be humorous or just plain rude, I didn't appreciate your comments & criticism. Grow up.
    Reply
  • phyllis.prtassoc
    19 MAY, 2017
    I made this Banana bread a while ago and it was the best Banana bread I've ever had. Very rich and moist with lots of banana flavor. This recipe calls for 1 cup of mashed banana which is great. Many recipes call for 1 or 2 bananas, but bananas are different sizes. I like the exact measurement. And the sour cream along with the butter puts it over the top. I just made it again today with chocolate chips. I didn't need to coat them with flour as the batter is quite thick so they did not sink. I made 3X the recipe in my 6 quart mixer for a bake sale, and it came out great!
    Reply
  • casscarr2002
    15 MAY, 2017
    trying this with peanut butter chips tomorrow, I'll give the "toss the chips in flour first" to keep them from sinking :)
    Reply
  • lmparis49
    18 APR, 2017
    Love this banana bread recipe; just the BEST. But I have a question: I used chocolate chips instead of nuts. But almost all of them sank to the bottom of the bread. Any idea why?
    Reply
    • MS11715800
      8 MAY, 2017
      Tossing the chips in flour will help to keep them from sinking.
  • nancykilduffou
    15 APR, 2017
    Love this recipe! The best banana nut bread I've ever had.
    Reply
  • rudyfan1926
    19 MAR, 2017
    This has been my go-to banana bread recipe for years. I have used both sour cream and greek yogurt and it is flawless every sngle time. Today I used chopped pecans, it is smelling heavenly.
    Reply
  • michele.carr.rogers
    13 MAR, 2017
    The first time I made this recipe it was to use up some "European-style" yogurt that we hated. Oh my was it good! I've been making it ever since with w[filtered] milk plain yogurt and it turns out perfectly every time. My mom's banana bread was always too dense and either over cooked or raw in the middle. Never have I had that problem with this recipe.
    Reply