The Best Banana Bread

Ever since I was a kid, there have been a few people who’ve called me Anna Banana.  It’s not a nickname I mind, though I always found it funny that because my name is pronounced ah-na (the first “A” as in also vs. a short “A” as in and), it means pronouncing banana like you’re sipping a cup of tea with your pinky finger pointed up to the sky and a very serious expression on your face: buh-naw-nuh.

Maybe this helps explain my love for banana bread.  It’s so comforting and delicious, I have a hard time eating a reasonable amount in one sitting.  Because I once read the nutrition facts of this bread, I tried making a lighter version using egg whites and apple sauce—but never again—so not worth saving a few calories!

I’ve also tried versions including chopped pecans, as well as dark chocolate chips, but I think the plain version better highlights the gooey banana taste and texture.  Just be sure to use ripe bananas that are turning dark brown (the bananas in the picture at the top of this post are on their way to a banana bread in the far future, they need at least a week more of sitting on the kitchen counter top).  Here’s the original, and best recipe, and I highly recommend my new and improved spelling and pronunciation.

The slices were going quickly

“Bananna” Bread (Banana Bread)

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book

print recipe


  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 medium)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease the bottom and sides of a 8”x4”x2” loaf pan, set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (except the sugar): flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, combine the egg, bananas, sugar, cooking oil, and lemon zest.
  4. Add the egg mixture all at once to the dry mixture, stirring to until just moistened.  The batter will be lumpy.
  5. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees F for about 50-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing loaf from pan.  Can be served hot, or wrapped in aluminum foil and chilled prior to slicing and serving (if you want smooth, neat slices).

5 thoughts on “The Best Banana Bread

  1. I’m always looking for new banana bread recipes. I find it interesting that this recipe uses lemon zest. Does the lemon zest have much of an impact on the overall flavor in comparison to banana bread sans zest?

    1. I’ve tried this recipe without lemon zest when I haven’t had a lemon lying around, and I must say that the lemon zest seems to add a little something special to the bread. The difference is very subtle, just a little extra zing, but noticeable if you’re looking out for it.

  2. My banana bread recipe came from Betty Crocker…very similiar but without the lemon zest. I’ll have to add it next time.
    We used to call our daughter Anna Banana too, with a few variations…Annie Bananee, Anner Banners…we parents can’t help ourselves.

  3. YUM!!!! I adore Banana Bread!!! I love your recipe!!!

    It reminds me of my oil and sugar free Banana Nut Bread. 🙂 Do you like your breads with or without nuts in them? I like either; though it’s fun to spice things up a little bit. 😀


    1. I agree, it is good to change it up a bit, especially when it seems like the best discoveries are made by accident! Sometimes I add pecans to the banana bread, or dark chocolate chips, depending on what I feel like, but there may be some new combinations in the future.

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