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, sliced on a white platter

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.

two slices of Six-Banana Banana Bread topped with butter on a white plate

Creating This Moist Banana Bread 

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.

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 one-quarter cup of additional flour, two teaspoons of cornstarch, and a dash of extra sugar.

As I was filling up the 9×5 loaf pan, it was looking awfully full. I decided to play it safe and made a little mini 5×3 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 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.

sliced loaf of moist banana bread on a white serving platter

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. 

slices of homemade banana bread stacked on a white plate

What Does This Six-Banana Banana Bread Taste Like?

The verdict is that this bread is everything and more. It’s super 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 just how you’ll possibly use all your ripe bananas with 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.

loaf of Six-Banana Banana Bread

How Many Bananas Are in a 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. 

How to Freeze Banana Bread

Want to know another reason why this is the best banana bread recipe ever? Because it freezes so well! You can freeze this 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. 

slices of banana bread topped with butter on a white plate

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.

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! 

sliced loaf of the best banana bread on a white platter

More Homemade Banana Bread Recipes: 

  • Brown Sugar Blueberry Banana Bread — Studded with juicy blueberries and flavored with rich brown sugar, this is a banana bread recipe you have to make! 
  • Cream Cheese-Filled Banana Bread — Banana bread that’s like having cheesecake baked in! Soft, fluffy, easy and tastes ahhhh-mazing!
  • Caramel Macchiato Banana Bread — Soft, tender, infused with salted CARAMEL and topped with a brown sugar glaze. EASY and IRRESISTIBLE!
  • Banana Bread for Two — This is the perfect loaf for when you want a small snack or have a special someone you’d like to treat. 
  • Peanut Butter Apple Banana Bread — The recipe combines some of my favorite ingredients into one super soft, moist loaf that’s filled with harmonious flavors and wonderful textures in every bite.

banana bread slices stacked on a plate with butter

Six-Banana Banana Bread

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!

Yield: 1 9x5 loaf
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 8 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 18 minutes

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.)*
  2. 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.
  3. Add the eggs, sugars, sour cream, vanilla, and whisk to combine.
  4. Add the bananas and stir to incorporate
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 ButterCinnamon-Sugar ButterStrawberry ButterVanilla 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.

Notes

  • *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.


Nutrition Information:

Yield:

9

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 378 Total Fat: 8g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 61mg Sodium: 299mg Carbohydrates: 61g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 29g Protein: 8g

Even More Quick Bread Recipes: 

Banana Bread with Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze – My all-around favorite banana bread recipe when you have 2-3 bananas. Vanilla is used four times in this straightforward, easy recipe that never lets me down. It turns out moist and perfect every time, and the browned butter glazes pushes it over the edge. This is the most popular banana bread of all the varieties I have with readers

Zucchini Banana Bread with Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting – Just in time for summer zucchini season

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

Carrot Pineapple Banana Bread with Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting – My favorite non-traditional banana bread that’s more like bread masquerading as cake. It crosses banana bread with carrot cake. Full of carrots, pineapple, raisins, yogurt, and is moist and soft beyond words and the frosting is the icing on the cake

Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter – Or try with peaches, nectarines, mangoes, blueberries, or a favorite seasonal or frozen fruit. The flavors of browned butter and buttermilk add richness, softness, and moisture. The strawberry butter makes it that much better

Pineapple Coconut Oil Banana Bread – Buttermilk, bananas & coconut oil keep this bread super moist, tender & so soft it’s bouncey

218 comments on “Six-Banana Banana Bread”

  1. I just made this today. It is delicious. Thank you for sharing.

  2. These recipes are fantastic! I love Cooking & Recipes! However, I think that I’ve gained a hundred pounds, just reading all of this marvelous stuff! (rofl)

  3. These recipes are fantastic! I love Cooking & Recipes! However, I think that I’ve gained a hundred pounds, just reading all of this marvelous stuff! (rofl)

    I have NOT “already said that”!

  4. Started making this assuming I had vanilla pudding…did not! I did however have chocolate or pumpkin spice! I made it with chocolate since we do love chocolate chips in our banana bread and oh my was that delish! Hubby raved about how moist this was so much he asked me to make it the following weekend! still did not get out to get vanilla pudding I did it with the pumpkin spice and wow! Didn’t think we could top the chocolate pudding one! Obviously you can make a variety of flavors along with the bananas depending on the flavor of pudding you use! I am def going to make sure we have vanilla on hand since I would like some banana bread taste next time! Thank you for sharing!

    • Thanks for trying this recipe with chocolate AND pumpkin spice pudding (and even during pre-Thanksgiving, I have a doosie of a time even finding that one….you’re lucky!). So glad this bread is a hit for you guys!

  5. Excellent!!! Made it today, it’s so yummy!

  6. Would love to make this. Don’t have access to baking soda (I live in Germany).
    Any suggestions for substitution? Or can I omit?
    Thanks

  7. Unfortunately mine stayed so flat even tho I used all ingredients as written :( when cooled down it is like a brown brick… Any suggestions?

    • I think that overly dense and not rising (stayed flat) is a sign that you baking soda was not fresh or as fresh as needed for the recipe. That is the first thing that comes to mind and I’d replace that and I bet you will have success.

  8. I had the same issue where I followed the recipe, but it was somewhat flat – not fluffy. I overlooked the note about tenting the loaf for the last 10-15 minutes and it did indeed get too brown on the outside. As it was somewhat undercooked on the inside, I put it back in the over for another 20 minutes.

    I used a baking/casserole dish that has a lid, so I wonder if I should cover it next time, and take the lid off for the last 15 minutes, so it will brown?

    I followed the ingredients pretty much as is, but used condensed milk (I had on hand from making pumpkin pie), rather than yogurt. And lemon-flavour pudding mix instead of vanilla. I also added walnuts. It’s not banana bread without lots of walnuts.

    • Baking bread in a covered casserole dish won’t yield the same results as baking in a simple aluminum loaf pan, about $4.99 from most any grocery store’s baking aisle. Use that next time and all your too browned, not cooked through, etc. issues will be resolved!

      And using milk rather than yogurt will also change the results and will thin out the batter and can impact results.

      Thanks for trying the recipe.

  9. I just wanted to say thank you for posting this recipe! I am a serial frozen banana collector, because I will only eat them during a very short ripeness window, and after that they go in the freezer. This recipe has been an absolute godsend – I have made it 3 times since finding it, most recently with chocolate pudding (and replacing the last 1/4C flour with cocoa powder), and it is absolutely the best banana bread I have ever had. I barely got to try the chocolate loaf before it disappeared into other hands, but what I had was also crazy-good! THANK YOU for this recipe. It’s going in my recipe book permanently for sure.

    • with chocolate pudding (and replacing the last 1/4C flour with cocoa powder) <---- that sounds amazing! I think I need to do that :) And I am super picky too about bananas if I'm going to eat them, as is. There's like a 36 hour stretch otherwise, no. And then they get baked with, frozen for smoothies, etc. So glad this recipe is a keeper for you!

  10. I made these today because I had some banana that were frozen for wayyyyy too long and I wanted to use them all up. Its a great recipe to use up extra bananas, really! However, I couldn’t get the vanilla pudding mix so I used the extra 1/4 cup flour with 2 tsp corn starch. My bread turned out wayyyyyy to dry and not the lightest moistness ): I might just turn them into baked french toast tho. But do you think it could be due to the extra flour in place of the pudding mix? What should I do the next time? I’m pretty sure I didn’t over bake or over mix because I only baked for 60 mins and I was so afraid of over mixing I ended up with a few (maybe 3 or 4) small flour pockets in my cake. Thanks!!

    • Since you didn’t follow the recipe as written it’s hard for me to say exactly why it turned out way too dry…But could have been the old, frozen bananas that weren’t juicy and soft. That’s biggie there.

      Also not using pudding mix and swapping with flour/cornstarch isn’t a true ‘even exchange’ and in this case, that could also have been the culprit.

      Use fresh, ripe bananas and pudding mix next time and I bet you’ll be all set!

  11. oh wait – sorry my bad! I meant to say that the cake was a little ‘doughy’ and kinda dry at some part (just went to have a bite again!) But I forgot to add, I forgot to pre mash my bananas and just added them straight to the bowl. The bananas I used were ripe to the point of black. Do you think this makes a difference to the overall texture of the cake? Thank you so much!! 

    • I forgot to pre mash my bananas and just added them straight to the bowl. <--- HUGE PROBLEM. You have to MASH them to distribute them evenly in the batter otherwise you will have some dry parts of bread, some doughy. Just re-read the recipe and follow it again, to a T, and you will be fine.

  12. My husband and I made this bread for our son’s 1st birthday. It was the first time we baked… literally! We added mango and peach just as one of your recipes because these are our babies favorites fruits (mango, banana & peach)… it was absolutely AWESOME!!! Moisty, firm, delicious… We loved it! Thanks from México!

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! The mango, banana & peach combo sounds amazing and I would way rather have that than birthday cake! Happy Bday to your son!

  13. Have a banana tree in my new residence in Florida, never experienced before.  First crop ripened last week, 25 at a time, so I was in need of a recipe to use  many.  This is fabulous!!! I have a cute pan that holds 8 small loaves, so I used that and a 12 count mini muffin pan–great for sharing with friends.  Just added chopped pecans.  Next batch will happen this weekend and will freeze them for the holidays.  Thanks so much for this perfectly delicious way to use my very new and fresh bananas !??????

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! AND WOW you have your own banana tree!! With 25 at a time! Heck yes, you need a 6-banana recipe, and then some! So glad you’re happy with this and banana bread freezes great so at least you can stash some!

  14. Could you please give the amount of bananas in grams please? 

  15. Hi I live in Spain and I love baking, I do prepare different banana breads and I would love to try this recipe. In Spain I cannot find vanilla instant pudding or any kind of instant pudding. For what can I substitute it?

    • I haven’t tried this recipe without the pudding mix so cannot say for sure but I would increase the sugar slightly as well as the flour but I can’t give measurements because I haven’t tested it that way. Use your judgment with the consistency/thickness of the batter when adding flour.

    • Thank you so much! I will try it and let you know

  16. I have my usual go-to banana bread recipe, but this recipe sounded too good to not try.  It is sooooo good!  So banana-y and moist!  It blows away any other banana bread I have ever had!  I made it a month or so ago, and am already craving it again, so it’s in the oven baking as we speak!  Wonderful recipe!!!  Thank you!

  17. Hello, I was able to use up my over-ripe bananas. Thank you. I hate to waste. My Husband loved the bread.

  18. My husband loves banana bread and wants it super duper gooey and moist. Made this recipe twice. 11 bananas. Made it with muffins today. Muffins came out great! I did 20 minutes, 48 muffins on one recipe. Might do 18 minutes next time. Then made a loaf. I added walnuts. Did about the 72 minutes. Cooling right now. We’ll see how it turns out. Did not use the cinnamon to get more of the banana taste. This is my go to recipe.

  19. Made this today and it came out perfect. Nice size,  beautiful loaf. Really good! Will definitely make it again.  I’ve made banana bread before and this recipe will be my go to recipe from now on.  Will add walnuts next time.  Forgot to add them in and didn’t realize it till it was already in the oven and baking.  

  20. Hi! I’ll be trying this out tomorrow. I have 4 bananas on the counter that I forgot about, and even more already mashed up and in the freezer. I want to add walnuts to the batter. Should I chop them in half or in pieces, and how much do I put into the batter?

  21. This bread is amazing. It’s the only banana bread I make now period.

  22. I love this bread! Trying it out in a Bundt pan this time. Anyine tried this? Wondering about timing?

  23. Just pulled this out of the oven and had a question about the timing. I ended up having to cook it for the original 75 minutes, but had to go almost 20 minutes further than that and the top was incredibly brown, even though I rented at about 30 minutes in. Any adjustments I can make to shorten the time on this and avoid excessive browning?

    • I would say that there are a few things… Your bananas could have been slightly larger/juicier/riper than mine therefore the batter was looser and moister and the loaf needed more cooking time. I would have added another 3-4 tbsp flour to tighten it up but if you’re not a seasoned baker that’s one of those hard to know situations, but next time I would try that if your bananas are roughly the same size/ripeness as they were today. That way you won’t have to bake as long.

      You could also lower the oven temp by 25 degrees and cook for a longer time at a lower temp and tent 30 mins in as well. That can sometimes help when baking something like a moist and dense loaf.

      Also split the batter into two 8×4 pans and while the loaves will be shorter and squattier, they will cook more evenly and faster.

  24. I made my banana bread from a banana bread is using 6 very ripe bananas..I also added 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt. Got 2 8×3 1/4 loafs.. Batter tasted awesome so I knew the loafs woul be perfect. (and they were)

  25. Let me just say WOW! We love this banana bread! It’s so hard to find good banana bread and I can say I’ll never buy it again!!! I take it on road trips with a jar of peanut butter… perfect… portable… delicious! Thank you so much for sharing this gem!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.