My Best Banana Bread

  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted margarine or corn oil
  • grated peel of one orange (optional)
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder(1 tablespoon)
  • 2-1/2 cups unbleached white flour or whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Use a whisk to mash the bananas in a big bowl. A fork would work too, but a whisk is my favorite. Try to get out most of the banana lumps. Add the sugar and margarine or oil. Mix every thing together until it is smooth and satiny.

Next, shred the orange peel with a cheese grater. Try to get mostly the orange colored peel and not too much of the white or cream colored part. The orange part, or zest, is very tasty, but the white part, or pith, is bitter. Put the orange peel into the bowl with the banana mixture. Squeeze the orange into a measuring cup. Add additional juice or water or milk to make up 3/4-cup. Pour this in with the banana mixture. Beat the batter until it is good and smooth. Next add the salt and baking powder. Mix them in and then add the flour. You may need to use a big spoon to mix the flour in, because the batter may be kind of stiff by now. Add a little more water or milk if you think you need it. Trust your own eye. Finally stir in the nuts if you’re using them.

Turn the batter into a well oiled 9″ by 5″ loaf pan, or two 8″ by 4″ loaf pans. Bake at 350° for a whole hour. If you are using the smaller loaf pans, check it after 45 minutes. It cooks a little faster in the smaller pans. The loaf should be brown, crusty and fragrant when it is done. If you aren’t sure, then jab a clean margarine knife down into the center of it. If the knife comes out clean, it is done. Remove from the pan(s) and cool.

To store it, double wrap it, first in plastic wrap, and then in tin foil. It freezes very well and makes a nice gift for unexpected guests.

This is my best recipe for banana bread. The citrus flavor adds a dimension that raises this recipe from ordinary to extraordinary.

Another one of my favorite homeamde bread recipes is this one for yeast rolls. They are great with sunday supper.

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  1. madame says


    I came upon this recipe and your site while googling “what to do with overripe bananas”.
    This recipe is truly the best! I used half white, half whole wheat flour, and substituted very gently melted butter (just until it’s creamy and will blend in easy) for the margarine or oil. 1/4 c of butter is not much, and it gives the bread that little touch….

    The second time, I didn’t have whole wheat flour, so I had to use all white. Because the bread seemed very sweet, I cut down the sugar by 1/4 c. see what happened. You couldn’t tell. So I cut it down by 1/3 c the third time, and I think that’s what I’ll stick to. 2/3 C sugar, and half wholemeal, half white flours. Wholemeal spelt is lovely.

    I doubled the recipe and got twelve very generous muffins and one bread, but the bread definitely tasted better than the muffins, so I’ll stick to it.

    Thanks for the recipe and the site! I can’t wait to try out your chocolate cake, see if I can pass the recipe on to a family who have to watch their cholesterol!

  2. Angie says

    Hello – I tried this and while it go rave reviews on taste – it seemed a bit ‘doughy’ in the middle, like it didn’t cook through. The knife came out clean at 1hr, but after I cut into it and saw that the middle seemed ‘heavy’ I put it in for another 10mins. Without wanting to over cook the outside, I didn’t know how else to ‘fix’ it. Even with the additional time the middle consistency didn’t change. Anyone know how I might have done it different for a better result?

  3. Jill says

    I just made this recipe exactly as it is above except i omitted the orange peel and nuts, and used butter. I did not have wheat flour, so i used all white. It did not come out well, the edges were hard, and the inside was very heavy and light colored. I would not recommend this banana bread recipe. I have used other recipes on this website with great success, but this was not one of them. I think I will stick to another recipe that i have that calls for eggs.

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