This banana bread (made without baking soda) has a whopping 5 bananas in it! This bread is sweet, moist, packed with bananas, and has a crisp caramelized crust for the perfect banana bread.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
I’ve been on the hunt for this the perfect banana bread recipe for a while now and this one ticks all the boxes. I love that this recipe is made without baking soda and that it uses a ton of bananas. It’s versatile and can be made with frozen or fresh bananas and you can add in nuts or chocolate chips easily if that’s your style. I think you’ll agree this is the best banana bread you’ve ever made!
- Butter. Butter adds fantastic flavor to this banana bread recipe. Unlike oil, butter can have air whipped into it making it lighter, not too dense, and an overall better texture.
- Brown Sugar. The molasses in brown sugar adds moisture and an extra rich, slightly smokey flavor that white sugar lacks.
- Eggs. Eggs are a binder and expand when baked, helping the bread rise.
- Vanilla. Vanilla adds flavor and complements the banana.
- Bananas. You’ll need super ripe bananas for this recipe, the darker the better.
- Flour. Basic all-purpose flour is what we use.
- Salt. Salt is a flavor enhancer and a little salt adds so much to this recipe.
- Baking Powder. This is our no baking soda banana bread, so we use baking powder to help the bread rise and create a delicious quick bread that isn’t too dense. If you’d like to substitute baking soda for baking powder scroll down towards the bottom four our guide to baking powder vs. baking soda.
How to Make this Recipe
- Cream Butter and Sugar. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cream together butter, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla until your mixture is light and fluffy. Beat the mixture for 3-4 minutes, the mixture should lighten and grow slightly in volume.
- Add Bananas. Mash your bananas thoroughly until there are little to no chunks before adding it to the creamed mixture. Mix them together.
- Add Dry Ingredients. Add in the flour, salt, and baking powder. Fold into the mixture until there are no streaks of flour. Do not overmix. If you want to add nuts, chocolate chips, or any other mix-ins add them in now.
- Pour. Pour into a greased loaf pan.
- Smooth. Smooth the batter so it is even and level.
- Top with Sugar. Sprinkle sugar on top of the batter. The sugar will caramelize the top and give it a subtle crunch.
- Bake. Bake for 55-75 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (a few moist crumbs is okay too). Cool completely before eating.
My Banana Bread is too Dense
If your banana bread is too dense or has a gummy texture you could have made one or more mistakes when making it. Some common problems are the bananas weren’t ripe enough, you added too much banana, your leavening agent is old, your butter was too soft or melted, the bread was underbaked, or sometimes the simplest one is you tried it while it was warm.
Bananas Weren’t Ripe Enough
As bananas ripen their sugar and starch content changes. The riper the bananas the higher the sugar content which will create a lighter banana bread. Firmer, yellow bananas are starchier and will create a denser, more close-textured slice of banana bread.
Too Much Banana
If you add too much mashed banana to your batter the dry to liquid ratio will be off. Your banana bread will come out wetter, denser, and gummy texture.
Leavening Agent is Old
Baking powder and baking soda need to be replaced regularly. Over time these raising agents lose their leavening power and won’t work as well. Check the best by dates on the baking powder and baking soda in your fridge or pantry and throw them out if their past their prime.
Butter Was Too Soft
This recipe calls for room temperature butter. If you used melted or even butter that was too soft then not enough air will be whipped into your butter, sugar, and eggs as they are creamed together. Creaming these ingredients together for several minutes whips air into the mixture and will lift the bread and give it a more delicate crumb.
Bread Was Underbaked
If your bread underbaked the eggs and leavening agent will not have enough time to work their magic in the oven and lift the bread. Underbaked bread will be denser. If you cut into the bread and it’s underbaked you’ll likely see that the bread is much denser at the bottom of the loaf and the center is a little doughy.
To check the bread for doneness, take toothpick and insert it into the center of the bread, if there is anything stuck to it when you remove it beyond a few moist crumbs it will need to bake longer.
On the flipside, if you overbake the banana bread it will be drier than you might like. It is important to keep an eye on the bread once in the oven. The bake time can vary drastically based on the ripeness and sugar content of your bananas. If the bread starts to look too dark on top before it is done, cover it with tinfoil will it continues to bake in the oven .
Tried the Bread While Warm
This no baking soda banana bread is best after it cools. One thing I found is that when I sliced into the bread before it was cool, the texture was gummier, and flavor was not as rich. So be patient, we’re making the perfect banana bread here. Give it the extra time for it to cool, and enjoy it that much more when it’s done.
FAQs & Expert Tips
The secret to stronger tasting banana bread is banana bread ripeness. The riper and darker the bananas the more sugar and flavor develops in the fruit. The best banana bread bananas are going to be nearly completely black and extremely soft. Riper bananas contain more sugar and less starch which not only improves the flavor in the banana bread, but also the texture.
You might be tempted to add an extra banana into the recipe to try and bump up the banana flavor, but you are better off just being patient and letting those bananas ripen.
If you add too much banana to your batter there will be too much liquid. Your bread will be denser and come out with a gummier texture.
These questions sound the same, but I get asked the both all the time! The exact amount of bananas will vary based on the size of the bananas you used. Approximately speaking, 5 medium bananas will yield about 2 cups of mashed bananas.
This banana bread recipe uses 5 bananas or 2 cups mashed bananas
Yes, absolutely! If you would like to top this easy banana bread without baking soda with extra bananas, it is an easy process. First, make sure you are using firm, not too ripe bananas (nothing brown) to top off the bread. If the bananas are too soft they will fall apart when you are handling them.
There are two ways to decorate the top of the banana bread, the first is to shingle the banana slices down the sides of the batter.
After you top the banana bread batter with sugar, take your extra banana and to long slices at an angle. Then shingle (overlap) the bananas along the edges of the loaf pan.
The second way to decorate the top of your bread is to slice the banana long ways down the center so you have two long slices. Place them rounded side down in the batter before baking. Place them down the center, offset from each other. It might seem like they’ll sink into the batter as it bakes, but don’t worry, the bananas will stay on top.
The example above was done with two bananas for my banana upside down cake but the look will be similar on the bread, but just with one banana.
Banana Bread vs. Banana Cake
Banana bread and banana cake can seem very similar. In most instances if you compare the two banana cake is lighter and sweeter than banana bread.
Banana Bread with Frozen Bananas
It’s popular to take your over ripe bananas and throw the in the freezer to be used another day. This is a great way to store ripe bananas, but when using them in banana bread you’ll have to take an extra step to prepare them for banana bread.
When using frozen bananas you’ll need to thaw the bananas completely, peel the fruit and place it in a colander or a strainer to drain off any extra liquid. Extra liquid in baked goods can ruin the outcome.
Baking Powder vs. Baking Soda
Baking powder and baking soda—both are common leavening agents used in baking. Their names are similar and they even look similar with both being white powders. However, each works a little differently in recipes.
Baking soda requires an acidic ingredient to activate it and create carbon dioxide and rise in your baked goods. Baking soda can have a strong metallic or soapy flavor to some people. I personally do not notice it in baked goods.
Baking powder is a complete leavening agent, meaning it doesn’t need any additional acidic ingredients. It is activated when baking powder is mixed with a liquid and then heat activated when baked
Can I substitute baking soda for baking powder?
While substituting baking soda and baking powder in recipes is not always ideal and I usually recommend doing what the recipe says, you can do it in a pinch.
Typically the ratio of substitution for baking soda to baking powder is 1:4. You’ll sometimes see 1:3, but I prefer the 1: 4 ratio. For example, if a recipe calls for 4 teaspoons of baking powder you can substitute 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
What can I substitute for baking powder in banana bread?
In this recipe you can substitute baking soda for the baking powder. This recipe calls for 4 teaspoons of baking powder, so instead use 1 teaspoon baking soda.
Use this Recipe to make Banana Muffins
Turn this banana bread without baking soda recipe into banana muffins instead! They’ll be a little denser than your traditional muffin but will taste great.
Follow the instructions for making the batter, then scoop the batter in a greased or lined muffin tin. Sprinkle a little white sugar on top and Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes. This recipe will yield about 12 muffins.
How to Store Banana Bread
Our banana bread without baking soda is best eaten within 2 days. Keep it covered when not eating it so the bread does not dry out.
How to Freeze Banana Bread
If you would like to freeze your banana bread, first make sure it is completely cool. Then, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap so there is no space or air between the bread. Wrap it a second time or place it in a freezer gallon bag. Double wrapping it will ensure it doesn’t get freezer burned. When ready to eat, thaw completely before eating. It is best eaten within 3 months of freezing.
What to do with Leftovers
If you’re looking for other ways to use up this no baking soda banana bread here are some of my favorites:
Use it in banana pudding. Try swapping the vanilla wafers in this banana pudding recipe for chunks of banana bread!
Make a sundae. Warm up a slice of banana bead in the microwave and top it off with some vanilla ice cream and a salted caramel sauce.
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Banana Bread with No Baking Soda
- ½ cup butter room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup brown sugar packed1 teaspoon vanilla
- 5 medium very ripe bananas, mashed (about 2 cups mashed bananas)
- 1 ¾ cup flour measured correctly
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons baking powder (see notes for substitution)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 banana optional
- ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolatechips
- ⅔ cup walnuts or pecans chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cream together butter, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy. Color should lighten and volume should grow slightly. Mix in mashed banana until there are little to no chunks.
- In a bowl mix together flour, salt, and baking powder. Slowly add in to batter, mix until flour is just incorporated. Do not over mix.If adding in chocolate chips or chopped nuts, fold in now.
- Pour batter into a well-greased loaf pan. If adding sliced banana on top, slice banana into ¼” slices at an angle so you get oval shaped pieces. Shingle bananas down both sides of batter. Generously sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar over the top of banana and batter. Bake 55-75 minutes until center comes out clean when poked with tooth pick. Cool completely before slicing and eating or the texture will turn out gummy.
Originally posted January 13, 2019
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Is this recipe made with wheat flour or all-purpose flour?
I always use all purpose flour for this!
I thought I had the perfect banana bread recipe until I tried this one! This is definitely my new favorite! The sugar on top gives the bread the perfect cripness while the inside is so moist!! Try it and you will never go back to your old recipe!