My Mother-In-Law’s Banana Bread

My Mother-In-Law has been baking banana bread for decades, using the same tried and true recipe. I had never baked her recipe before, but with everything going on at the moment it seemed like a great time to try it!

It is a classic banana bread recipe made with all the good stuff. Overripe bananas, butter, and just the right amount of sugar.

image of banana bread loaf sliced open

This recipe is also one of the few desserts my husband enjoys eating, as well as making! And if anything, that’s a testament to how straightforward and delicious this recipe is.

Banana Bread Aesthetics

While banana bread is amazing as it is, there are a few things I like to do to make sure mine looks as good as it tastes.

The first thing is to make sure I don’t overmix my batter! I mix in each ingredient just until it’s incorporated. This ensures your banana bread will be light and fluffy.

There is nothing worse than dense banana bread, so please be gentle with your batter πŸ™‚

The second thing I love to do is sprinkle a couple teaspoons of granulated sugar on top of my banana bread batter once it’s in the pan. As the banana bread bakes, the sugar caramelizes! This adds a incredible texture and taste to your banana bread.

image of banana bread batter in loaf pan topped with extra sugar and sliced bananas to make it look pretty

My last tip is is the cut a banana in half lengthwise, and press on top of your batter before you bake your loaf. This gives the banana bread a beautiful finished look, and lets everyone know what flavor it is with one look!

I also love the extra texture and flavor that the bits of banana add to the top of each slice.

Why is It Better To Use Overripe Bananas In Banana Bread?

Most banana bread recipes insist on using only the ripest bananas, including this one. But why are overripe bananas better to bake with??

image of ripe bananas, ready to be used to make banana bread

There are actually several reasons. The first is that as a banana ripens, more of its starch is converted into sugar. This creates sweeter, more tender baked goods.

Another benefit of baking with super ripe bananas is that they’re super easy to mash up. This ensures your banana bread has a uniform, even texture without any unexpected chunks of banana.

Overripe bananas are also more aromatic, and give baked goods a more intense banana flavor than yellow bananas.

image of banana bread batter being made with super ripe, brown bananas

The final and best reason (in my opinion) is that it uses up overripe fruit that would otherwise go to waste!

With all that being said, this recipe will still turn out if you use yellow bananas. It just won’t have as intense of a banana flavor!

Baking Hack: How to Quickly Ripen Bananas For Banana Bread

If you only have yellow bananas and want that intense banana flavor, don’t worry!

You can easily turn yellow bananas brown in a matter of minutes. Preheat your oven to 300 degree F, and place your unpeeled bananas on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Bake them for about 15 minutes, until the banana skin is uniformly dark in color.

Let them cool on that pan for 10 minutes, then carefully peel and mash them.

image of moist classic banana bread, sliced and ready to be eaten

Substitutions and Swaps

While I love this recipe just the way it is, I know some of you might not have all of these ingredients on hand!

Below are some swaps and substitutions that can be made in this recipe:

  • Overripe Bananas – If you don’t have overripe bananas on hand, bake your bananas at 350 F for about 15 minutes until the skin of the bananas are black.
  • Lemon Juice – Fresh lemon juice really helps enhance the banana flavor in this recipe, and prevents the mashed bananas from browning!
  • All Purpose Flour – This recipe turns out best with AP flour, but you can use cake flour or a gluten free flour blend in its place if needed.
  • Unsalted Butter – If you only have salted butter on hand you can use it in place of the unsalted butter in this recipe. Just be sure to omit the salt that this recipe calls for. You can also use vegan butter in its place!
image of ingredients laid out to make banana bread, including ripe bananas
  • Granulated Sugar – I think this banana bread has just the right amount of sweetness, but you can either increase or decrease the amount of sugar by 1/2 cup based on your preferences.
  • Baking Powder / Baking Soda – This recipe uses both leavening agents, and in general baking soda is about 3x more potent than baking powder. If you only have one type on hand, you can swap them with that ratio in mind.
  • Whole Milk – You can also use skim milk, full-fat yogurt, buttermilk, or alternative yogurt or milk (almond, soy, oat) if you’re dairy free.
  • Eggs – If you don’t have eggs on hand or can’t eat eggs, you can use flaxseed eggs in their place or 3/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce.
image of classic banana bread loaf sliced open to show the tender, fluffy texture of the loaf

Tips for Making The Best Banana Bread:

  • Be sure to properly measure your flour (spoon into the cup measure and then level) or use a kitchen scale to measure your dry ingredients
  • DO NOT OVERMIX YOUR BATTER! It will make your banana bread tense and chewy. Once you start to mix in the flour, be sure to mix the batter JUST until it’s combined. It’s ok if you can still see a little bit of flour, it will get mixed in after you add the bananas.
  • To make gluten free banana bread, swap in your favorite GF flour blend for the AP flour in this recipe. Be sure to overmix your batter and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before baking for best results.
  • Ingredients at room temp mix together better! Set your cold ingredients ahead of time.
  • Bang your loaf pans on the counter before putting it in the oven. This brings any air bubbles that are trapped in the batter to the surface
  • Sprinkle an extra teaspoon or two of granulated sugar on top of the batter once it’s in the pan to give the banana bread a caramelized and crunchy top!
  • Press a sliced banana into the batter before baking to make this banana bread even prettier.
banana bread loaf sliced and stacked to show how pretty and delicious it is

Making This Banana Bread In Advance & Storage Tips:

You can make this banana bread in advance! If stored in an airtight container, it can last for 5 days at room temp, up to a week in the fridge, or up to a month in the freezer.

It freezes extremely well, so don’t be afraid to enjoy a loaf freshly baked and freeze the other! I like to wrap the banana bread in a layer of plastic wrap, then a layer of foil to lock in all the moisture.

When I’m ready to enjoy one of the frozen loaves, I move it from the freezer to the fridge the night before. Then I set it out at room temperature to let it thaw for a few hours before slicing and enjoying.

image of banana bread slices, stacked to show how soft and moist they are

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you try my MIL’s banana bread recipe, I’d love to hear what think of it! Please leave a rating, and let me know your thoughts by sharing a comment πŸ™‚

Also please tag me @chelsweets, and use the #chelsweets so that I can see your amazing creations on social media!

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Yield: 16

My Mother-In-Law's Banana Bread

My Mother-In-Law's Banana Bread

This is my Mother-In-Law's tried and true banana bread recipe! It's moist, fluffy and packed with banana flavor!!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

My Mother-In-Law's Banana Bread Recipe

  • 2 cups mashed bananas, about 4 large bananas (500 grams)
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (30 grams)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (170 grams)
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar (250 grams)
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature (170 grams)
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder (12 grams)
  • 1 tsp baking soda (6 grams)
  • 1 tsp salt (6 grams)
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour fluffed and level (455 grams)
  • 3/4 cup whole milk (170 grams)

Optional Mix-Ins

  • 1 cup chocolate chips (175 grams)
  • 1 cup chopped, toasted nuts (125 grams)

Decorations

  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 additional medium sized banana

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and grease two 8.5in x 4.5in loaf pan with non-stick spray or butter.
  2. Mash 2 cups of overripe bananas and combine with 2 Tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice. This prevents the bananas from browning and brightens up their flavor. Set aside.
  3. Add 3/4 cup unsalted butter and 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar into a large bowl. Beat on a medium high speed for 2-3 minutes with either a hand mixer or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Beat until the mixture becomes lighter in color.
  4. Mix in 3 large eggs on a medium speed, and continue to mix for an additional minute, until the mixture should be fluffy and light. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula.
  5. Add in 1 Tbsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, salt, and 2 cups of all-purpose flour. Mix on a low speed until just combined.
  6. Pour in 3/4 cup of milk, and mix on a low speed until it's incorporated.
  7. Add in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour, and mix on low just until you can no longer see streaks of flour.
  8. Mix in the mashed banana/lemon juice mixture on a low speed until it is fully incorporated into the batter. If desired, fold in chocolate chips and/or toasted nuts.
  9. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
  10. To jazz up this banana bread, I like to sprinkle 2 tsp of granulated sugar over the top of the loaf to create a crunchy, caramelized top. I also cut a medium-sized banana in half lengthwise and press it on top of the batter to make it prettier.
  11. Bake on the upper baking rack for 55-65 minutes, rotating half way through to make sure it bakes evenly.
  12. Remove the loaves from the oven, and let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  13. Wait to slice the banana bread until it is fully cooled!! If it's still warm, it will be difficult to cut.

Notes

Making This Banana Bread In Advance & Storage Tips:

You can make this banana bread in advance! If stored in an airtight container, it can last for 5 days at room temp, up to a week in the fridge, or up to a month in the freezer.

It freezes extremely well, so don't be afraid to enjoy a loaf freshly baked and freeze the other! I like to wrap the banana bread in a layer of plastic wrap, then a layer of foil to lock in all the moisture.

When I'm ready to enjoy one of the frozen loaves, I move it from the freezer to the fridge the night before. Then I set it out at room temperature to let it thaw for a few hours before slicing and enjoying.

Different Batch Sizes:

This recipe can easily be halved to make one loaf, or doubled to make four loaves, or two loaves in a larger bread pan. If you use a larger pan, the loaf will need to bake longer!

This recipe can also be used to make banana bread muffins. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full, and bake at 350 degrees F for 14-16 minutes.

Nutrition Information

Yield

16

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 424Total Fat 18gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 59mgSodium 361mgCarbohydrates 63gFiber 4gSugar 32gProtein 7g

2 thoughts on “My Mother-In-Law’s Banana Bread

  1. This banana bread is so good! When I was making this recipe, I added 2.5 cups of flour and 1 cup of rolled oats rather than 3.5 cups of flour. The one cup of rolled oats gives the bread the perfect amount of moisture. However, I did not try this recipe the original way and am sure the original way is just as/if not, more, fabulous. I love this recipe and will be using it every single time in the future.

    1. Hi Maddy,

      That’s such an interested swap, I’ve never thought about doing something like that before! I might have to try that with my next bactch. So happy to hear you loved the way it turned out πŸ™‚

Let me know what you think!