Old-fashioned moist and delicious banana nut bread is easy using this adapted 1972 Betty Crocker Banana Bread recipe. This is the traditional recipe that your grandmother used and is the best banana nut bread you can make at home.
One of our family's favorite recipes for decades, and we make it as banana nut bread or banana bread, depending on which child is home.
Life doesn't get much better than a house filled with an enticing aroma of banana nut bread and a fresh slice coated with butter in your hand.
Sometimes the best recipes are the old-fashioned recipes. Inspired by the 1972 Betty Crocker Cookbook, this moist and easy banana nut bread recipe is what your grandmother loved.
👨🍳How to make this recipe
It is this easy. All you need is a couple of bananas with common pantry ingredients.
- Mash 2-3 over-ripe bananas in a large bowl.
- Mix all ingredients into the mashed bananas and nuts if you want.
- Pour into one or two prepared loaf pans.
- Bake until a toothpick comes out clean or an internal temperature of 200° to 205°.
What bananas to choose?
It shouldn't be a big surprise that the most important part of banana bread is choosing the correct bananas.
The bananas need to be "overripe," which will convert some of the starches to sugar and make the bananas, hence the banana bread sweater. Also, this will make the bread moister and add more flavor. So, the more brown spots, the better.
You can use 2 large to 3 medium bananas. You can push the amount of banana up some and decrease the milk if you want to make it your own.
Depending on your needs, it is OK to add or skip the nuts.
Walnuts are traditional and my choice. Coming in second is pecans, and in third place are any nuts you want to use.
Please only buy aluminum-free baking powder. The cost and performance are the same, and for many people, aluminum has an unpleasant aftertaste.
There is no baking soda in this recipe. The easy answer to why is that Betty Crocker wanted it way back then, but baking soda does have a bit of sourness, and the baking powder will give a bit more golden crust.
The oil is essential to have a moist and tender texture. You can decrease the fat in many recipes, but it is relatively light here, and you will pay the price in the results. So please don't do that here.
The most common seems to be a half cup of chocolate chips to replace half the nuts.
Some people like cinnamon (about ½ teaspoon) or vanilla extract (1 teaspoon), but these are not flavors I associate with banana bread but if you do, by all means, add them.
This is not one of those little bricks of banana nut bread. As you can see in the pictures, it is a large loaf, so use a standard to larger loaf pan.
If you want that thinner loaf, split the batter into two loaf pans and decrease the baking time.
"Standard" loaf pan size is 8-½ x 4-½ x 2-½ inches. But the length varies between 8 to 9 inches, and width between 4-5 inches, and the height between 2 ½ to 3 ½. There are also some even larger and many much smaller.
I use a loaf pan that is 5 by 8 ½ for one loaf.
I'm old and the traditional way to prep a pan for quick bread is to rub on a light coat of butter (I use a small zip-lock bag) followed by a dusting of flour (over the sink).
However, a good spray of PAM cooking spray will probably be enough.
The old-fashioned toothpick test of inserting a toothpick in the center, and when it comes out clean, it is done.
But if you have no toothpick or don't entirely trust that, cook to an internal temperature of 200° to 205° in the thickest center of the loaf.
The two most important things are not to overcook and to store properly. You can also add an extra banana and decrease the milk by about the same volume.
Like most quick bread, banana nut bread is very nicely stored at room temperature and wrapped well with plastic wrap for 2-3 days. A tight layer of aluminum foil over the plastic wrap helps keep it airtight. The quality seems to deteriorate rapidly after 2-3 days.
Banana nut bread will store well in a freezer for 2-3 months. I suggest wrapping small amounts well and storing them in an airtight container.
This recipe is listed in these categories. See them for more similar recipes.
🖼️Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350°, not convection. Use 2-3 overripe bananas.
Grease and flour a loaf pan with a tablespoon of butter and a little flour. Use two loaf pans if you want thin loaves.
Mash 2-3 overripe bananas in a large mixing bowl.
Add 2 ½ cup all-purpose flour to the mashed bananas, 1 cup sugar, 4 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 3 tablespoons oil, ¾ cup milk, 1 egg, and 1 cup chopped walnuts. Stir to mix or beat at medium speed with a hand mixer for 1-2 minutes, occasionally stopping to scrape sides to be sure to incorporate all the ingredients.
Pour the mixture into the floured pan and smooth with a spatula. Then bake for about one hour until a toothpick comes out clean or an internal temperature of 200° to 205°.
Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.
Old Fashioned Banana Nut Bread
- 2-3 bananas - over ripe
- 2 ½ cup AP flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ¾ cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans - Optional
- Start with 2 large or 3 medium overripe bananas. Preheat the oven to 350°, not convection.
- Mash 2-3 overripe bananas in a large mixing bowl.
- Grease and flour a loaf pan with a tablespoon of butter and a little flour. Use two loaf pans if you want thin loaves.
- Add 2 ½ cup all-purpose flour to the mashed bananas along with 1 cup sugar, 4 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 3 tablespoons oil, ¾ cup milk, 1 egg, and 1 cup chopped walnuts. Stir to mix or beat at medium speed with a hand mixer for 1-2 minutes, occasionally stopping to scrape sides to be sure to incorporate all the ingredients.,
- Pour the mixture into the floured pan and smooth with a spatula. Then bake for about one hour until a toothpick comes out clean or an internal temperature of 200° to 205°.
- Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.
Your Own Private Notes
- You need 2 large or 3 medium overripe bananas. You can vary that some with no change in the recipe but if unsure, decrease the milk a bit.
- "Standard" loaf pan size is 8-½ x 4-½ x 2-½ inches. For the single loaf here, use the standard or slightly bigger. For two shorter loaves use standard or a bit smaller.
- If you choose to make two shorter loaves, the cooking time will decrease by 15-20 minutes, so check early.
- The old fashion toothpick test of inserting a toothpick in the center and when it comes out clean it is done. But if you have no toothpick or you don't quite trust that, cook to an internal temperature of 200° to 205° in the thickest center of the loaf.
- Store at room temperature wrapped airtight for 2-3 days. On the fourth day, the quality will deteriorate.
- You can freeze banana bread for 2-3 months. I suggest wrapping small amounts well and storing them in an airtight container.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Originally published January 26, 2012. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.
Been making this ever since I saw the first post from Dr. Dan - it is the best ever! Hubby looks forward to his piece of bread and tea every morning!
This is a delicious recipe. Thanks 😊
This is the best recipe I've made yet and I use pecans instead of walnuts
My entire family loves this recipe!
I have also made it in Emeril Lagasse's airfryer oven and you only use one more eggs and use 1 and no milk set the temperature of the air fryer on 320 for 30 minute then check it every few minutes for the next 20 minutes to be done and it turns out perfect every time wait 20 minutes before removing it from the pan can I use bread pan
I love this recipe. So easy to make and delicious to eat.
I found this recipe yesterday and made the Banana Nut Bread. My husband says it's the best he's ever had and told me he wanted me to make sure I kept this recipe! My bananas were not even overripe and I used 3 medium ones. Super taste. Even better this morning! (Yes, it was my breakfast!) This will be my go-to Banana Nut Bread from this day forward. Thank you.
I love it and easy thank you
This was very good! Will be adding it to the mix for leftover bananas. Thanks for sharing great recipes on your blog-I love reading it and the pictures are a bonus too!
I love the old recipes like this.
Thanks for the note.
what to do when don't have baking powder,or soda.
Not much. They are required for this recipe. Sorry.
Hi, have you seen the banana bread recipe on Simply Recipes? I love it. Never fails. Less sugar and one egg. So economical as well.
Hi Dr. Dan, I'm going to try this wonderful Banana bread recipe this week! Looks great. Does your Betty Crocker cookbook have a ISBN number ? There's so many editions out there. Thanks
The cookbook is so old, no ISBN. It is Betty Crocker Cookbook (1969) 12th Printing 1972 Red Pie Cover Sears Holiday Ed. They generally run about $40-45 on eBay. That is down from a few years ago when one of my daughters (known for being thrifty) paid $75. When I decided I needed a new one last summer, I lucked into an excellent copy for $25. Now it was originally published in 1969 and had multiple printings. I would think they are all the same (but don't really know that), but the 1972 Sears edition had an extra of holiday cooking at the front. Nothing great in that. But my wife was working at Sears in high school in 1972 and bought hers for $5 and learned to cook from it. So I had to get the 1972 Sears edition.
I just made this great banana nut bread and I was disappointed that mine didn't turn out the beautiful golden brown. I did just as the recipe call for.. I went wrong somewhere. I won't give up.. I'm waiting for over rip bananas. It was good though
Made this today. A bit disappointing bectause of too much baking powder which I can strongly taste. Basically I think it's a good recipe but will cut the baking powder by 50%.
I did "push" baking powder some since I like a large rise. The original recipe was 3 teaspoons I believe. Be sure to use aluminum free baking powder. The aluminum gives a taste I hate. Most baking powder does have aluminum. With the aluminum free baking powder I can't taste anything from it.
Here is original recipe from my book I got in 1974(1972 edition) 1 1/4 cup sugar,1/2 cup butter softened, 2 eggs,3-4 med. overripe bananas mashed,1/2 cup buttermilk(I use reg. milk),1tsp.real vanilla extract,2 1/2 cups Gold Medal all purpose flour(don't have to use name brand),1tsp.baking soda,1tsp.salt,1 cup chopped nuts(whatever is your preference such as pecans,or walnuts-which is most commonly used,or get creative maybe pine nuts). Preheat oven to 350 degrees,butter loaf pan then flour,mix sugar and butter well,and eggs mix,add bananas,milk,vanilla,mix well again,add flour,baking soda and salt,mix well again then add nuts(you do not have to use nuts if you don't want or have them or cannot eat them)Pour into loaf pan bake for approx. 40-45 mins. or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. I mix everything in stone ware baking dish or bowl and actually just bake it in same dish,stoneware is nonstick so you don't need to buuter and flour it. Just dump everything together mix well and bake in same dish less clean up! Just be sure to cream butter and sugar well first and then add everything else. YUMMY !!!! Best and easiest Banana Bread ever
I have been looking for this old recipe for over a year! I no longer have the cookbook, but I recognize the picture of it. This bread is the best!
Margaret Ann Cooper
I need to know if the small t's mean teaspoons and the T tablespoon? I think it does, but not sure. I am also totally confused and can figure out the baking soda/powder. I want to make it right. Right? LOL. Thanks,
You have it right. It is kind of the old way. t=teaspoon T=tablespoon I have it covered in FAQ and I now spell them out but the older posts like this still have them.
This is baking powder. Baking powder has some baking soda in it but also another ingredient to give longer rise. Do not exchange them.
Hope that helps