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+ servings
a loaf of banana bread topped with chopped walnuts sits in a loaf pan on a wire rack

6-ingredient banana bread

This banana bread recipe literally never fails. It’s moist and tender, with a perfectly cracked top. It’s super easy to make and even easier to adapt. See the notes for instructions on how to take this banana bread to the next level with some chocolate marbling.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Bread, Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1 loaf



  • 3 bananas (over-ripe)
  • 198 grams sugar (1 cup)
  • 240 grams all-purpose flour (2 cups)
  • 95 grams shortening (½ cup)
  • 2 eggs (large)
  • 1 tsp baking soda

optional additions

  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • tsp cinnamon
  • tsp cayenne
  • 2 TBSP cinnamon sugar or turbinado sugar (to sprinkle on top)
  • 1 TBSP orange zest


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix the first six ingredients (bananas through baking soda) together with an electric mixer until well combined. If adding any mix-ins (nuts, chocolate chips, etc.) stir them in at the end.
  • Spray and flour your loaf pan to prevent sticking (pro-tip: use hot cocoa mixture instead of flour). Pour your batter into the pan, tapping it against the counter a few times to release air bubbles.
  • If using any toppings (cinnamon sugar, chopped nuts, etc.) sprinkle them on now.
  • Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes (70 minutes) until a toothpick or paring knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and run a paring knife around the sides to release, then let cool in pan on a wire rack. When mostly cool, release from pan and continue cooling on wire rack. Try to restrain yourself, but wait until it’s fully at room temp before eating.



  • To make chocolate swirl banana bread, after mixing the batter, pour 1/3 of of the batter into a small bowl, add 1/8th cup cocoa powder (Dutch process if you have it), and mix well. When you go to pour the batter into the prepared pan, first pour in half of the non-chocolate batter, then dollop in a layer of the chocolate batter, then cover it with the rest of the non-chocolate batter. Insert a knife or a skewer straight to the bottom of the pan, and draw a few continuous figure-8 shapes across the width of the pan to create a swirl.
  • If using defrosted bananas, discard any excess liquid in the bag and use 4 bananas instead of 3.
  • If you’d rather not use shortening, you can swap it out 1:1 with unsalted butter. Instead of mixing all your ingredients together at once, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and beat well until combined.
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