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Best ever banana bread with walnuts sliced on a wooden board.

Banana walnut bread

  • Author: Denay DeGuzman
  • Total Time: 2 Hours
  • Yield: 1 Loaf of Bread 1x


This delicious banana walnut bread tastes like Saturday morning in grandma’s kitchen. The loaf is sweet, tender, nutty and moist. Pair a lightly-buttered slice with coffee, tea or a glass of cold milk.




  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 4 medium bananas)
  • 1/2 cup (firmly-packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (firmly-packed) light brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (and/or pecans)
  • 1 banana (not too ripe)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

FOR GREASING & DUSTING LOAF PAN: Butter and granulated sugar


LOAF PAN SIZE: I use a 1-pound loaf pan (8.5 x 4.5 x 2.75 inches). Intentionally undersized for the recipe (the pan is almost full to the top), the bread rises 1/2 inch above the rim. It results in a loaf that’s tall and visually stunning! But a 1.25-lb loaf pan (9 x 5 x 2.75 inches) is also a great choice.


RECIPE PREP: Grease loaf pan with butter. Dust it with granulated sugar (or flour). Tap out excess. Chop walnuts. Melt butter. Mash bananas. Slice a whole banana into 3 to 4 strips lengthwise. 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sea salt, baking powder and baking soda. Put the bowl aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together smashed banana, brown sugars, sour cream, melted butter (cooled), eggs, vanilla extract and cinnamon.
  3. With a rubber spatula, fold flour mixture into banana mixture until just combined. Don’t over-mix. Fold in the walnuts.
  4. Spoon the banana bread batter into prepared pan. Arrange the pieces of sliced banana, cut side up, in a diagonal pattern over the top of the batter. If needed, trim off the ends for a good fit. Sprinkle the exposed batter (between the banana slices) with turbinado sugar. 


My loaves take 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 35 minutes to bake. HOWEVER, baking times for banana bread vary widely, depending on moisture content of bananas, brown sugar, and humidity. A loaf can be done just over 1 hour, or it can take 1 1/2 hours to bake. 

  • Bake 1 hour 5 minutes. Test for doneness. Insert a wooden skewer in the middle of the loaf. If it comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it, the loaf is done. If there’s loose batter on the tester, the bread will need to bake longer.
  • If loaf is not done: Rotate the pan. Tent it with foil to prevent over-browning. Continue baking, testing every 10 to 15 minutes. If needed, remove foil tent to finish cooking the top. When the loaf is ready, the top should be a deep golden blonde with cracks. The batter should be completely set in the middle. 
  • Cool pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Gently run the tip of a thin spatula vertically up and down between the edges of the loaf and the pan. Invert pan to remove bread. Transfer to a wooden board.
  • Let loaf cool completely. Wait 1 hour before slicing. As banana bread cools, the structure of the loaf will firm up. The center will have a chance to shed excess moisture. The middle won’t be damp. And the slices will be cleaner.


CAN I DOUBLE THIS RECIPE? It’s not recommended. When making extra loaves, it’s best to prep the batter for each loaf separately. When working with too much batter it’s easy to over-mix. Over-mixing results in too much gluten formation. There’s a risk the loaves will be heavy and dense with a rubbery texture.

NEVER USE UNDER-RIPE BANANAS: Under-ripe bananas lack the moisture and sweetness of over-ripe bananas. A loaf made with them will be dry and lack depth of flavor. For the best moist banana bread recipe, wait until the bananas are over-ripe.

CAN I USE EXTRA BANANAS IN THIS RECIPE? No. Fight the impulse! Use precise measurements for the banana, and stick to that quantity. If more fruit is used, the middle of the loaf will be damp and under-baked. If you have extra bananas on hand, freeze them for later use.

HOW TO MAKE PERFECT BANANA SLICES TO TOP THE LOAF? The trick is to slice the banana in 3 to 4 pieces lengthwise with the peel still on. After slicing, gently remove the peel. Artfully arrange the slices in a diagonal pattern over the unbaked loaf.

HOW TO SERVE BANANA WALNUT BREAD? Serve thick slices with softened butter.

HOW LONG WILL BANANA BREAD LAST? If completely cooled and then wrapped it plastic, it can stay fresh on the countertop up to 3 days. If stored in an air-tight container, it can last 5 days in the fridge, or 1 month in the freezer.

  • Prep Time: 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Banana Walnut Bread, Banana Nut Bread, Starbucks Banana Bread Recipe, Best Ever Banana Bread