Six-Banana Banana Bread — Not sure what to do with overripe bananas you have on hand? Make this Six-Banana Banana Bread! This is the best banana bread recipe EVER — it’s so moist and flavorful!
The BEST Banana Bread Recipe
There’s no chance of wimpy or lackluster banana flavor here. I baked six bananas into one loaf. Yes, six.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my gold standard banana bread recipe for banana bread. It’s everything I want and it never lets me down. But I also cheat on it from time to time. Say, with 35+ Banana Recipes, and about 15 of them are recipes for various Banana Breads. You can never have too many.
I wanted to pack more pure banana essence and intensity into the bread and so I used more bananas. A whole lot more.
When I decided I to make it, I went to the grocery store in hopes of finding some of those red sticker overripe banana bundles, but nothing. Every banana I found was as green as a lime. And in the 3 weeks since, every time I’ve gone to the store, there are oodles of red bundles. Bad banana karma.
I bought 15 bananas that day. Nine to get us through the week, and 6 to sit on the counter and ripen for the week. I felt like a zookeeper buying bananas for the monkeys.
The batter comes together in minutes with just a whisk. Nothing to cream, drag your mixer out for, or get too fussy about.
Rather than using 1 to 1 1/2 cups of bananas, which is what most recipes call for, I used a solid 2 1/2 cups. To compensate for the extra banana volume and moisture, I cut back on the amount of Greek yogurt (or sour cream) I usually use.
I added a box of instant vanilla pudding mix because I use it in my other favorite recipe. One of the first ingredients in pudding mix is cornstarch, which is a workhorse for keeping cakes, cookies, and bread extremely soft, light, tender, and moist.
As I was filling up the 9×5-inch loaf pan, it was looking awfully full. I decided to play it safe and made a little mini 5×3-inch loaf, too. About three muffins worth. I’d rather be safe than clean my oven floor.
I baked the mini loaf for 35 minutes and the big loaf for 68 minutes. Because bananas vary widely in moisture content as do ovens, baking times will vary. Watch your bread, not the clock.
In the last 10 minutes of cooking, I tented the 9×5-inch pan with foil because the center hadn’t quite set, but the edges and top surface were getting a smidge on the dark side. I recommend covering with foil if at any point your bread is looking a little dark.
The verdict is that this super moist banana bread is everything and more. It’s soft, tender and supremely moist. The pudding mix serves to add some lightness, fluffiness, and springiness.
Because of the 6 bananas, don’t expect a super light and airy loaf. It’s on the heavier and denser side, but I think all good banana bread should be. I don’t want light, airy, cakey, or dry. I want moist, heavy, and dense.
The real clincher is that all those bananas really make a difference in the overall banana flavor and intensity level. If you’ve ever felt like your banana bread is a bit underwhelming in banana intensity level, this recipe will cure that. It’s bursting with banana flavor. I mean, duh.
Now, depending on how many bananas I have to use, I have two favorite recipes; my old gold standard and this new one.
You’ll never have to wonder again what to do with ripe bananas thanks to this freckled overripe banana recipe in your arsenal. Kill six with one loaf.
You may even find yourself wishing for some speckly and freckly ones.
What’s in Six-Banana Banana Bread?
To make this super moist banana bread recipe, you’ll need:
- Unsalted butter
- Granulated sugar
- Light brown sugar
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Vanilla extract
- Vanilla instant pudding mix
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
How to Make Banana Bread From Scratch
This moist banana bread is incredibly easy to make. You’ll first need to combine melted butter, eggs, two types of sugar, sour cream, and vanilla in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
Then add the six mashed bananas, followed by the dry ingredients (note that you add the pudding mix dry — you don’t need to make it into pudding first!).
Bake the homemade banana bread in a greased 9×5-inch loaf pan for roughly 60 to 75 minutes. You’re looking for the center to be set and to spring back when you gently press it with your thumb.
How to Store Banana Bread
Homemade banana bread should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
How Long Does Banana Bread Last?
If store at room temperature in an airtight container, this six-banana banana bread will last up to 1 week.
Can You Freeze Banana Bread?
Yes, you can freeze this six-banana banana bread for up to six months — it thaws like a dream! To freeze the entire loaf of six-banana banana bread, let it first cool to room temperature. Then, wrap it in two to three layers of plastic wrap, followed by a layer of tinfoil.
Or, you can slice the loaf and freeze the slices on a baking tray. Once the slices are frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag (freezing them on the tray first prevents the moist banana bread slices from getting squished).
When you’re ready to enjoy this banana bread, set it out on the counter to thaw. Don’t unwrap the plastic wrap, though! Leave all the wrappings on to lock in the moisture.
How Many Bananas Are in 1 Cup?
This easy banana bread recipe calls for six large bananas, which equals about 2 1/2 cups when mashed well. So by my calculations, three medium-sized bananas should be about 1 cup mashed.
When in doubt, buy more bananas than you think you need! You can always peel and freeze the bananas for future bakes, or throw them into your morning smoothies.
Can I Omit the Instant Pudding Mix?
I’ve tried omitting it, and have trialed various combinations of buttermilk, sour cream, Greek yogurt, butter, and oil. But the pudding mix bread wins every time. If you can’t find pudding in your area (international readers write about this), I recommend adding one-quarter cup of additional flour, two teaspoons of cornstarch, and a dash of extra sugar.
Also, this Set of 4 Mini Loaf Pans for $9.99 comes in so handy and so often, for that little bit of extra batter I find myself with when making quick breads, cakes, or muffins. It’s so much easier to grab one little mini pan than clean a 12-cup muffin pan. And mini loaves are cute and make great gifts to give a friend, teacher, or co-worker, just because.
And just as one final reminder, I can’t stress how important it is that you bake by your bread, not the clock.
Depending on your bananas, your altitude, etc. your loaf of banana bread may take more or less time to bake than mine did. Trust your gut!
Tips for the Best Banana Bread
If you thought your bananas had to be black as the night for banana bread, they don’t. Nicely freckled and speckled, but pitch black is not necessary. Cook’s Illustrated found there’s little difference in sweetness between freckled and completely black (see item 10). Ripe is fine. They don’t have to be nearly rotting.
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- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (half of 1 stick), melted
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup sour cream or thick Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 6 medium/large very ripe bananas, mashed (2 1/2 cups mashed bananas; if your bananas are huge you may only need 4 or 5; if they’re small, you may need more)
- one 3.4-ounce box vanilla instant pudding mix (not Cook ‘n Serve)
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch salt, optional and to taste
- Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan with floured cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside. (If necessary, you may need to use a muffin pan or mini loaf for pan a small amount of batter.)*
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power. Allow the butter to cool momentarily so you don’t scramble the eggs.
- Add the eggs, sugars, sour cream, vanilla, and whisk to combine.
- Add the bananas and stir to incorporate
- Add the pudding mix (just add it dry like a dry ingredient; don’t actually make pudding), flour, baking soda, cinnamon, optional salt, and fold in with spatula or stir gently with a spoon; don’t overmix or bread will be tougher.
- Bake 9×5 loaf for 60 to 75 minutes (I baked 68 minutes), or until the top is domed, golden, and the center is set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. In the final 10 to 15 minutes of cooking, or at any point if your bread is getting a bit dark before the center is setting, tent with foil.
- Allow bread to cool in pan for about 20 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving. Serve plain, or with butter, jam, Honey Butter, Cinnamon-Sugar Butter, Strawberry Butter, Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze, or your favorite spread. Makes excellent French toast. Bread will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- If you can't find pudding in your area (international readers write about this), I recommend adding one-quarter cup of additional flour, two teaspoons of cornstarch, and a dash of extra sugar.
- *If baking a mini loaf is necessary, bake for about 35 minutes, or until done; I estimate 2 or 3 muffins will take about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Baking times for loaves will vary based on moisture content of bananas, pan sizes, climate, and oven variances. Bake until done; watch your bread, not the clock.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 378Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 299mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 2gSugar: 29gProtein: 8g
More Ripe Banana Recipes:
Cream Cheese-Filled Banana Bread — This is the BEST homemade banana bread recipe! This banana bread tastes like it has cheesecake baked in! Soft, fluffy, easy and tastes ahhhh-mazing!!
Peanut Butter Apple Banana Bread — Jazz up regular banana bread with peanut butter and apples! A perfect combo that tastes amazing together!! Fast, easy, no mixer required, and a hit with everyone!
Zucchini Banana Bread with Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting — Just in time for summer zucchini season!
Carrot Banana Bread — EASY, no-mixer, super soft banana carrot bread that reminds me of carrot cake but healthier!! Great Easter brunch idea or spring baked good!
Pumpkin Banana Bread with Browned Butter Cream Cheese Glaze — I’ll never tire of pumpkin recipes and this one pairs pumpkin bread with banana bread for a soft, tender loaf that’s subtly pumpkin and molasses flavored.
Pineapple Coconut Oil Banana Bread — Buttermilk, bananas and coconut oil keep this bread super moist, tender and so soft it’s bouncy.
Brown Sugar Blueberry Banana Bread — Super moist blueberry banana bread made with Greek yogurt and dark brown sugar. Smear some homemade blueberry butter onto a slice of this blueberry brown sugar banana bread and prepare to fall in love!
Originally published May 29, 2013 and republished January 14, 2022 with updated text.