The Best Banana Bread

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Servings: 8

The cooks in the Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen tried a dozen different banana bread recipes to dial in the perfect portions for the moistest, most flavorful version of this home-baked treat. The result is this recipe for the best banana bread ever. You can decide for yourself whether to include the optional chocolate chips or nuts; it’s great with or without them.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (10 oz./315 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 very ripe bananas, coarsely mashed
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) sour cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./250 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (7 oz./220 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (6 oz./185 g) semisweet chocolate chips or 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) coarsely chopped toasted walnuts (optional)

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and lightly flour a 9-by-5-inch (23-by-13-cm) loaf pan.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine the bananas, sour cream and vanilla extract. Stir to combine. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the eggs and beat until smooth. Add the banana mixture to the bowl and beat just until combined. Add the flour mixture to the bowl and beat, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until just combined; the batter should remain slightly lumpy. Fold in the chocolate chips or walnuts.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan (it should be no more than two-thirds full). Bake until the loaf is dark golden brown and dry to the touch and the edges pull away from the sides of the pan, 55 to 60 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean. Let the bread rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn the loaf out onto a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut into thick slices to serve. Serves 8.

Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen