Moist Banana Walnut Bread is filled with chunks of nuts, pieces of soft bananas and makes a perfect treat any time of day.
It’s not often that I have all the ingredients needed to make a good, moist banana walnut bread. There’s always a decent amount of flour in the cabinet, and most of the time there’s both white and brown sugar. Eggs are a staple, but nuts and bananas, the two primary ingredients, seem to come and go from my kitchen at different times.
Imagine my excitement when, one day last week, I saw them. That’s right! Three almost black bananas on my kitchen counter. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like we have rotten fruit laying around, but occasionally there are some bananas they are a tad bit ripe before they get eaten.
Yep, I was super excited over three overripe pieces of fruit because I knew there were walnuts tucked away in the cabinet. We were about to have some tasty and moist banana walnut bread!
Over the years, I have played around with different ingredients to figure out the best way to keep banana bread soft without compromising taste and texture. Most of the recipes lacked moisture and caused the bread to dry out after a couple of days. After some trial and error, I finally got it!
There are a couple ingredients that add moisture while keeping the taste and integrity of the bread. Those magic ingredients are overripe bananas and brown sugar. Yep, that’s it! It’s that simple.
By using those ingredients in the recipe, this loaf will last for several days if it’s not eaten first. However, the brown sugar does cause the bread to look a bit dark in color, so it’s perfectly fine to omit the brown sugar and substitute it with white sugar instead.
Make the Batter:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Peel the bananas and place them in a medium bowl. With a potato masher or a fork, mash the bananas until they become a thick and somewhat liquidy. Set the bowl aside. In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a separate large bowl or stand mixer, cream (beat) the butter for approximately 3 to 4 minutes until fluffy and light in color. Add the sugar(s) and continue to mix until the sugar is well incorporated and the mixture is fluffy. Next, add the eggs and mix until just combined.
The mashed bananas and vanilla go in next. Again, continue to beat, but just until combined. Carefully pour the flour mixture into the wet mixture and beat until incorporated. Use a silicone or rubber spatula as needed to scrape the sides of the bowl. Gently fold in the walnuts.
Carefully pour the bread batter into the greased loaf pan and place into the preheated oven.
Bake, Cool, and Serve:
Bake the bread for 15 minutes then cover loosely with a piece of foil (foil tent) to ensure even browning. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees, and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Cooking times will vary based on the type of pan used, altitude, and oven calibration.
Test bread doneness by sticking a toothpick in the center. If the toothpick comes out clean or with small crumbs, the bread is done. Remove it from the oven. Allow the bread to cool for 10 to 15 minutes in the pan before transferring to a cooling rack. The bread should be completely cool before slicing. Slice the bread and serve!
I want to offer a couple of serving suggestions that put this bread over the top. After it’s a day or two old, melt some butter in a skillet and grill the bread on both sides. It adds crispiness and caramelization to the sugars and is just fantastic. If your loaf hasn’t been entirely eaten by day three or four, cut it into thick slices for french toast and top with real maple syrup.
Do you like bread? Who doesn’t?
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 medium overripe bananas (mashed)
- 1 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 ounces walnuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix well and set aside.
Using a hand or stand mixer, cream together butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar.
Add eggs and mix until combined. Pour in the mashed bananas and vanilla and incorporate.
Incorporate dry ingredients into wet ingredients until combined.
Gently fold in walnuts.
Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for 15 minutes. Cover with foil to ensure even browning. Adjust oven temperature to 375 degrees.
Continue to bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes.
Bread is finished when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack. Allow bread to cool completely before slicing.
I used to make this bread in a glass loaf pan, but it cooked too quickly and the sides and corners were dark and crunchy. A metal loaf pan works much better.