This is our favorite banana bread recipe without butter. It’s best enjoyed toasted and slathered with salted butter!
A Short History of Banana Bread
Banana bread feels ageless to us, but it really is a relatively modern invention. Culinary historians date its emergence to the 1930s. The depression was raging at that time, which meant that savvy bakers wanted to use up every scrap of food (including rotting bananas. In addition, chemical leavening agents (e.g. baking powder) was just beginning to be widely available. These two factors combined brought the banana bread we know and love into existence.
Our Favorite Aussie Banana Bread
Our favorite banana bread memories date back to a time when our traveled frequently to Australia. We would perch in our favorite beachfront cafe, enjoying shared breakfasts and giggles. We were surprised to learn that there is no native Australian variant of a banana bread recipe. We had always imagined that there was something special about the recipe. However, banana bread made its way to Australia from America in the 1930s. Even today, the recipes vary little. So, it must just be our memories casting a golden glow over those Australian banana bread slices. There’s still hope that we (and you) can recreate them.
Banana Bread Baking Tips
There seems to be a divide in the banana bread baking community between those who prefer a butter-based recipe, and those who prefer to do without, substituting vegetable oil as their fat. We are such banana bread fanatics that we can be persuaded to enjoy a slice, regardless of what is in it. Oil makes the bread a bit more moist. We are such banana bread fanatics that we store every brown banana in the freezer for this recipe, or for our Breakfast Cookies.
While assembling the batter for the banana bread is relatively foolproof, we find that the baking can sometimes be challenging. For best results, be sure to butter your pan and line it with parchment paper. You may find that your top of the banana bread is burning but the center is still wet. In that case, check your oven temperature for the next time and, in the meantime, tent it with aluminum foil.
Final note — for those of you out there googling “healthy banana bread,” it’s a lie! Go for a run, then tuck into this classic banana bread recipe instead.
Ingredients for your Banana Bread:
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 overripe bananas
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 6-8 whole walnuts to decorate
- Preheat oven to 325 F.
- Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan and line it with parchment paper.
- Mash bananas with a fork. No need to use a stand mixer here, but you can if you want.
- Stir eggs, sugar, vanilla, and oil into the mashed bananas.
- Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
- Fold in the chopped walnuts.
- Pour banana bread batter into the greased loaf pan. If you are feeling fancy, you can press 6 whole walnuts into the center of the batter in a line to decorate the top of the bread
- Bake 60-65 minutes until a skewer inserted in the top comes out dry.
- Transfer to wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.
- Slice, toast, slather with salted butter, and picture yourself on a beach with your favorite family members!