The Best Banana Bread

by Jamie on May 2, 2013

Post image for The Best Banana Bread

Yes, friends – I totally just uttered the words the best in regards to a banana bread recipe. To some folks, those may be fightin’ words because it seems like everyone has their own opinion of banana bread perfection. Some like it with a little booze – raises my hand – others like it with loads of nuts. Personally, I’m not too fond of nuts in my banana bread, but to each their own, right?

I’ve been making versions of this banana bread recipe for years, but we’ve always consumed it well before I had the opportunity to photograph it. However, the last time I whipped it together, I honestly thought to myself – I nailed it – and I may have given myself a high five.

In my mind, the best banana bread is sweet, but not too sweet. It’s moist, dense, lightly spiced, and packed with banana flavor. Oh and let’s not forget a deliciously crunchy, crumb topping that’s worthy of being noshed by the spoonful. Yep – this is indeed the best banana bread.

If you make this banana bread or any other recipe from MBA, be sure to snap a pic and tag me (@jamiemba) on Instagram or upload them to our Facebook page – I LOVE seeing your creations!


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The Best Banana Bread

May 2nd, 2013

Yield: 1 loaf

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time:


For the Batter:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Penzy's Cake Spice (see note below)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas (about 5 medium)

For the Topping:
1/4 all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Penzy's Cake Spice
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, diced


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan - I used coconut oil spray from Trader Joe's.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and cake spice. In another large bowl, using an electric hand mixer on medium speed, cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy - about 3 minutes. Stir in eggs, vanilla and mashed bananas until well blended. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, gently stir banana mixture into flour mixture - stirring until ingredients are just combined. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

3. Prepare the topping. In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cake spice and salt. With your hands, work in butter pieces, until small clumps form. Spread topping evenly over batter.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then carefully turn out onto a wire rack.


- If you do not have Cake Spice, simply sub in cinnamon.
- Banana bread is better served after it has had time to sit overnight at room temperature.
- Banana bread will keep wrapped in plastic wrap and aluminum foil for up to 3 days.
- This banana bread is amazing toasted with a pat of butter.

My Baking Addiction adapted from allrecipes.

{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

leslie May 2, 2013 at 6:15 pm

FIVE bananas..that is the PERFECT amount!!!!!!! Love me some banana bread.


Meghan @ Cake 'n' Knife May 2, 2013 at 6:24 pm

The fact that you said this is the best means that I HAVE to make this banana bread now!!!


tracy {pale yellow} May 2, 2013 at 6:52 pm

If its the best, then I’ll have to try it! I’ve yet to find a high-five worthy banana bread.


Kiran @ KiranTarun.com May 2, 2013 at 7:46 pm

I’d happily take a few loafs to go. Please :D


Anne B. May 2, 2013 at 9:54 pm

Sounds a lot like my mothers recipe….but she uses 1 secret ingredient not listed here (sorry I won’t tell what it is). I love to use over ripe (dark brown) banana’s I have thrown in the freezer….just thaw them out a few hours ahead of time and them are pretty much liquified once thawed. Just cut one end off and squeeze it all out. The flavor is really intense that way!!


Luv What You Do May 2, 2013 at 10:21 pm

I have like 100 banana bread recipes on my blog, but nothing with cake spice. Yum! My mouth is watering just looking at your pictures!


Emily May 2, 2013 at 11:20 pm

I totally need to make this! I love that you don’t use nuts. While I like them, with my daughter’s nut allergy, I can’t use them and it’s hard to find a good nut-free banana bread recipe. Looks awesome!!


Mari @ Oh, Sweet & Savory May 3, 2013 at 4:58 am

Congrats on making your best banana bread ever! I’ve been experimenting with banana bread recipes lately, too. I love the idea of a crumb topping. Any tips on making a great crumb topping? Both times I’ve tried making coffee cake witty crumb topping, the topping has “sunken” into the batter so it forms a sweet middle layer instead (still good, but not quite the effect I was aiming for).


Rachel @ Baked by Rachel May 3, 2013 at 10:40 am

I love that you call it the best. I always want to call things ‘the best’ but feel awful in doing so. Weird right? This looks seriously amazing.


judy May 3, 2013 at 10:47 am

I have you beat on this one. try, cocoa, shredded coconut and chocolate chips. My recipe was adapted from Flour. sooooo good.


Jamie May 3, 2013 at 11:49 am

I have made something similar and you’re right, it’s sooooo good!


lisa October 30, 2013 at 1:36 am

please share Judy. Your recipe sounds amazing!



mary ann walsh May 3, 2013 at 11:07 am

where is the recipe for the panzy’s cake spice


Jamie May 3, 2013 at 11:48 am

Mary Ann-
There is no recipe for the Cake Spice, I simply linked to the product so my readers could take note of the spices used in this particular blend. If you don’t have the spice from Penzey’s, you can use cinnamon or a little spice concoction of your own. I hope this helps.


Jackie Lawrence October 5, 2013 at 11:58 pm



Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugark May 3, 2013 at 12:15 pm

The best? I’m in!!


Shema George May 3, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Beautiful banana bread and love the pictures too. I will make this soon as I am constantly on a look out for ripe banana recipe as i dont like to eat them :)


Jenn May 3, 2013 at 1:34 pm

What exactly is Penzy’s? Is this something I need for all cakes and breads?!


Jamie May 3, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Penzy’s is a spice company – you can visit their site here. They have really amazing spice products – they’re simply a brand that I love and their Cake Spice is fantastic.


Cathy May 3, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Hi Jamie,
The bread seems to to be wet on the bottom and a little bit on top, was the texture ok through out. I’ve tried a gazillion banana bread recipes too and the best I’ve had is in the Flour cookbook. She also includes cinnamon, which I think gives the bread a nice edge. I’ll give this recipe a try this weekend! Thanks for sharing!


Jamie May 3, 2013 at 2:44 pm

It was definitely a little more moist on the bottom, but it was definitely cooked through. It seems like the bigger chunks of banana may have distributed to the bottom of the bread. I hope this helps a bit. I will definitely have to try the Flour recipe – I’ll let you know my thoughts. :)


lynn stein September 22, 2013 at 7:25 am

In my experience, banana breads that feature that gummy or wet line on the bottom indicates a somewhat imbalanced proportion of the puree banana to the rest of the rest -


Carla @ Carlas Confections May 3, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Yes this looks perfect! I love that it has a crumb topping too!


Kimberly May 3, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Can I ask you about your tray?


Jamie May 3, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Sure, I just picked up the tray on Wednesday on clearance at Target. I actually used the bottom of the tray as the top has a small pig on it. :) I hope this helps.


Kimberly May 3, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Very cute! Thank you for the reply. :)


Jamie May 3, 2013 at 7:33 pm

You are very welcome! :)


Miss Messy May 4, 2013 at 8:30 am

Yum. I love that its really packed with bananas :)


julie May 4, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Just made this today! It really IS the best banana bread!! Deeeee-lish!!


Sherlene May 4, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Serve warm with a slice of cream cheese on it! YUM-O! The next day I will even put a slice of cream cheese on a slice of the cake. Sprinkle with brown sugar a heat it about 20-30 sec. in the microwave. OH MY WORD, it is goooood! Has a Bananas Foster taste.


Molly @Bakelette May 5, 2013 at 12:40 pm

You are a savior! I literally have 5 rotten, I mean ripe bananas on my counter and usually recipes only call for like 2!
Thank you Jamie!



Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat May 5, 2013 at 8:51 pm

My husband loves banana bread! This would be perfect for him! I love the sound of the topping!


Jeanette May 7, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Love Penzy’s spices, but I didn’t know they had a cake spice. Will definitely have to give that a try.


Lisa Cornely May 12, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Thank you so much for the recipe. It was amazing banana bread for sure. nice rich banana flavor and just the right amount of crumb topping. Love it.


Averie @ Averie Cooks May 14, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Five bananas in one loaf…I love the way you think! Sounds incredible!


Alanda May 19, 2013 at 8:27 pm

Wasn’t there a simpler version posted previously? I preferred that version with a slight variation of lemon juice and making sure it was fully cooked (it looked done early and I failed to check with a toothpick). Otherwise, it was simple but excellent!


Nicole Distefano June 27, 2013 at 2:10 am

This banana bread was truly DELICIOUS! And she is right……the best I ever made! The second day it was even better! I did not have the spice she mentioned and just used the cinnamon and it was fabulous! Thanks !!!!!!


Jamie July 2, 2013 at 10:56 pm

Thanks so much for commenting on your experience with the recipe. I am so happy to hear you enjoyed it as much as we did! I totally agree with you on it being better the second day! Thanks for stopping by – have a great day.


Colleen August 27, 2013 at 5:16 pm

I tried this recipe today and posted a picture on my site: http://www.youmayhaveheard.com/banana-bread/ Thank you so much for sharing! It’s awesome!! I will definitely make it again and again.


Jamie August 28, 2013 at 1:59 pm


Thank you so much! So happy to hear that you enjoyed the recipe! Have a wonderful day.



Bouillon de Notes September 12, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Thank you for this recipe, what a pleasure to have this delicious banana bread for tea time, i’m sure it’s not only the kids who will love it, thank you for sharing, have a nice evening, liên


Lauren September 14, 2013 at 5:05 pm

I know you don’t throw around the word “best” lightly, so I saw this today and walked right into the kitchen to make it, because I just happened to have some brown bananas on the counter. OH. MY. GOD. It is so good. I did add some toasted walnuts, and I don’t have the cake spice so I used 1/4t nutmeg and 1t cinnamon. Wowza. I will now have to run a few miles tonight in anticipation of eating probably pretty much the whole loaf before the weekend is over!!! :)


Jamie September 14, 2013 at 7:26 pm

I am so happy to hear you enjoyed it. I’m totally guilty of making it several times a month – enjoy!


DJ September 17, 2013 at 9:29 am

I just made this and it really is delicious.What is the calorie count?


Jamie September 17, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Hi DJ,
I have no idea what the calorie count would be. You’d have to plug the recipe into a nutrition calculator to find out. That’s not something I do with my recipes, sorry.
– Jamie


crystal August 1, 2014 at 10:01 am

better not to know! It’s way too tasty to care :D


sandra Meers September 18, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Hi Jamie,
Thanks for your comment on Italian Meringue Buttercream frosting. I guess, if I want pure white, I will have to abandon my “all natural “policy… trade-offs we have to make, I can’t wait to try this banana bread recipe as I lost my copy of my “Best banana bread recipe… qwo moves and my bakery closure, it got lost in the shuffle. this one may very well now become my best banana bread recipe!!! and just in time, too, with three bananas in the freezer and three more becoming fruit fly condos!!! Thanks on both counts.


Dee September 19, 2013 at 6:09 pm

There’s an error in the topping. How much flour am I supposed to use? it only says “1/4 all-purpose flour” i don’t know if I should put in a 1/4 cup or a 1/4t or a 1/4T.



Jamie October 3, 2013 at 6:31 pm

Thanks so much for catching that – it’s 1/4 cup. I have updated the recipe to reflect the changes – thanks, again!


Robin September 29, 2013 at 9:43 pm

Thanks for the recipe! It is the best! I made it this morning and it is almost gone.


Jamie September 30, 2013 at 9:58 am


You are very welcome! So happy to hear that you enjoyed it. Have a wonderful day!



Ashley October 20, 2013 at 8:32 pm

This is by far my favorite banana bread recipe ever. I did just have a penzy’s open up in town so will have to go get the cake spice to see what the difference is, next time around. Thank you for putting up this recipe. It was always a pain in the rear to find a banana bread recipe when i wanted to make some. Thank you again!!!!


Briana January 15, 2014 at 8:04 pm

I followed the recipe exactly…only thing I did was throw aluminum foil over the top of my pan and baked @ 325 for an hour or a little after..took the foil off and let the top get a little crisper! LOVE THIS!!!!!!!! Moist awesome banana bread..


Jessica January 20, 2014 at 7:32 pm

I made this yesterday (with plain cinnamon) and you’re right, it’s the best! I can’t stop eating it and I don’t even LIKE banana bread. I’m wishing I hadn’t given away half of the loaf to my sister…


Chelsey February 5, 2014 at 4:01 pm

How important is the vanilla…? I don’t have any and am a “stuck-at-home-mom” (we only have one car and the husband needs it for work). I have all the other ingredients!


Jamie February 15, 2014 at 12:02 pm

In a pinch, I think you could get away with omitting the vanilla. Happy baking!


Yvonne (Bread Fun) March 20, 2014 at 8:08 pm

What a Awesome website!!! . Your pictures of your fresh baked bread look so real and tasty. I can smell the aroma from here. “Delicious”


C. Smith April 6, 2014 at 1:23 am

This really is the best banana bread ever; the small addition of cinnamon made a subtle but significant difference, and really complimented the banana flavor very well. The bread was very moist, the top had a crisp crunch, even when baked without the topping, and the bread overall was dense without being heavy. I will definitely be making this again!

P.S. – I was surprised at first by the higher than usual amount of vanilla that this recipe called for, but the bread turned out so well that I decided to leave it as is; I am wondering if the higher amount of alcohol that this amount of vanilla provides was a factor in this result?


crystal August 1, 2014 at 9:58 am

Here again – for the 20th time to make this again. You’d think I’d memorize it by now :)


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