The Best Banana Bread

We have a lot of requirements when it comes to banana bread and we finally created a recipe that ticks all the boxes. It's moist, tender, a little tangy and perfectly sweet—all around our favorite one. The best part is that it's even better the next day (if it lasts that long). Try toasting the bread and slathering with a little salted butter. We're pretty sure you'll never need another banana bread recipe.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 30 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 20 hr
  • Yield: 1 loaf
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Ingredients

1/2 cup melted unsalted butter or vegetable oil, plus more for greasing pan

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (see Cook's Note)

1 cup toasted pecans, chopped

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Fine salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup buttermilk, sour cream or yogurt

1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

4 soft, very ripe, darkly speckled medium bananas, mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter one 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
  2. Whisk together the flour, pecans, granulated sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt and nutmeg in a large bowl. Whisk together the eggs, melted butter, buttermilk, brown sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl; stir in the mashed bananas. Fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture until just combined (it's OK if there are some lumps).
  3. Pour the batter into the buttered pan and lightly tap the pan on the counter to evenly distribute the batter. Bake until browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out completely clean, about 1 hour. Let the bread cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

Cook’s Note

To make this banana bread nut-free, just leave out the pecans and follow the rest of the recipe as written. When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.) When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)