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The Best Banana Nut Bread – A 50-Year Family Recipe

The Best Banana Nut Bread – A 50-Year Family Recipe

In my family, banana nut bread is an essential staple to always have in the kitchen. Whether it is for the holidays, visiting relatives, or on a family trip – someone in the family always brings freshly baked banana nut bread. From my grandparents to my parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, we all LOVE our family banana nut bread recipe that has been with us for 50 years. In fact, I think Adam married me just so he can always enjoy my family’s banana nut bread!

I might be biased, but this is truly the best banana nut bread recipe I have ever come across. This includes my time in professional pastry kitchens and my travels. In our years of traveling, we have savored loaves of banana nut bread, such as our morning’s before safari game drives at AndBeyond Phinda Mountain Lodge in South Africa and our daily breakfasts at luxury hotels in Ireland. However, no banana nut bread can compare to my family’s recipe.

Since banana nut bread is a beloved treat for everyone, we all have a favorite recipe that we claim is the best. However, I hope that my family’s recipe is truly the best you will ever enjoy. So give this recipe a go and let me know what you think!

Several slices of banana nut bread in a row on a white rectangle plate with pecan halves.

The Story of the Banana Nut Bread Family Recipe

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved my grandmother’s (Meme), banana nut bread. Moreover, everyone in the family has loved it for over 50 years. Some family members (like my sister), do not even like banana’s, but will never turn down a slice of this freshly baked banana nut bread.

As a family, we enjoy a slice of banana nut bread by itself or slightly toasted with cream cheese. We eat it as breakfast, an afternoon snack, or in the evening with decaf coffee. Needless to say, it is perfect for any occasion or meal.

A loaf of the best banana nut bread with three slices on a rectangle plate. On the side are bananas and pecan halves.

This family recipe all started with Meme when she was in high school. She created this banana nut bread recipe for her home economics class and it was an instant hit. Throughout the years, she has improved the recipe by tweaking it to the one we have today.

Though the family recipe is flawless, it is always fun to taste everyone’s banana nut bread. Between myself, my mom, aunts, and Meme – we all follow the family recipe to a tee. However, each banana nut bread comes out slightly different because as Meme always taught me, we all have a different hand in baking.

With that said, every banana nut bread tastes amazing, but no one can ever beat Meme’s hand of love and baking. I am sure those of you who grew up baking with your grandma can understand exactly what I mean.

A young girl with a chef hat baking with her grandmother in the kitchen.

Banana Nut Bread Ingredients

What makes this the best banana nut bread is a “special” ingredient – apple cider vinegar. The apple cider vinegar is what gives the banana nut bread a soft and moist texture. It also provides a slight tartness of flavor. You could also substitute the apple cider vinegar for sour cream or yogurt and the results will come out the same.

Another important element to remember in this recipe is to use ripe bananas. You want to use yellow bananas with brown spots on them. The riper the banana, the better the flavor will be in the banana nut bread.

Two ripe bananas - bright yellow with brown spots, on a white plate.

If you do not like pecans, you can always substitute the pecans for either walnuts or almonds. Or if you have a nut allergy, you can just eliminate the nuts altogether.

  • Sugar
  • Unsalted butter
  • Ripe bananas
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Milk
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Pecans

How to Make the Best Banana Nut Bread Recipe

To make this banana nut bread recipe,you want to mix together the apple cider vinegar with the milk first and let it sit.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease your loaf pans. Then in a mixing bowl, beat together your sugar and (soft) unsalted butter until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Mash your ripe bananas and make sure you have around 1 3/4 cups. Add the mashed bananas into the mixture and combine. At this stage, the batter will appear curdled but this is completely normal. Once combined, add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix together. Then add the apple cider vinegar-milk mixture until the batter is homogenous.

In a separate bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients – all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. As a shortcut, you can also just whisk the ingredients together. Add the dry ingredients into the batter and combine well. Remember to take a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl so all the ingredients are incorporated.

Fold the chopped pecans by hand into the batter. Then pour the banana nut bread batter into the desired loaf pans. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the loaf. Remove the banana nut bread from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes. Once it is completely cool, remove the banana nut bread from the loaf pan and cover in plastic wrap.

Serve the banana nut bread the following day with butter, cream cheese, or even peanut butter!

Tips and Tidbits

Here are a few tips and tidbits that the family has acquired throughout the years.

A trio of the best banana nut bread recipe - half a loaf, a full loaf, and two slices with a slab of butter on top.

Frozen Bananas

Sometimes you buy bananas and they get too soft before you can even enjoy them. So why not freeze the bananas and use them to make the best banana nut bread recipe! You can freeze the bananas with or without the peel. Then defrost the bananas when you are ready to bake.

Aluminum Foil Loaf Pans

After years of baking banana nut bread, my family has enjoyed using aluminum foil loaf pans. They are great for reuse or you can keep the banana nut bread in the loaf pan and give it away as gifts.

Double the Recipe

Let’s be honest, you can never have enough banana nut bread. My mom will make a double batch recipe of banana nut bread almost once a month. As briefly mentioned above, she will use it to give away as gifts to friends and family. Or she will freeze the banana nut bread to stay fresh and enjoy it throughout the month.

Serve 24 Hours Later

Though you can eat the banana nut bread as soon as it cools, we prefer to enjoy it the day after. When you cover the banana nut bread in plastic wrap, it helps keep the loaf extra soft. So when you eat it the following day, it is as soft as a pillow and packed with flavor!

Best Banana Nut Bread

Best Banana Nut Bread

Yield: Two 8 x 4 loaf pans
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

This easy, delicious, and soft banana nut bread has been in the family for 50 years. From my family to yours, we hope you enjoy it!


  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 5 ripe banana (mashed, 1 3/4 cups)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanillas extract
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pecans (chopped)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease two, 8 x 4 loaf pans well. Mix together the milk and the apple cider vinegar and set it aside.
  2. Beat together the sugar and unsalted butter until it is light and fluffy.
  3. Add the mashed ripe bananas and mix well (the batter will appear to be curdled, don't worry that is normal).
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla extract to the batter and mix well, followed by the apple cider vinegar-milk mixture.
  5. In a separate bowl, sift together (or whisk) the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Then slowly add the dry ingredients into the batter. Remember to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to incorporate all the ingredients together.
  6. Fold the chopped pecans into the batter by hand.
  7. Pour the banana nut bread batter into the loaf pans and bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the banana nut bread from the oven and cool for 5 minutes.
  8. Once the banana nut bread is completely cool, remove it from the loaf pan, cover it in plastic wrap, and serve the following day. The banana nut bread is always more moist and full of flavor the day after.


You can bake this banana nut bread in a larger loaf pan, in a muffin pan, in a fluted pan, and more. Just remember to adjust the baking time accordingly.

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Sunday 22nd of November 2020

This was indeed one of the best banana bread recipes out there! It's so hard to just eat "some," or see if they taste better tomorrow because none seem to make it to tomorrow! Nice and moist and oh so yummy! I roasted my pecans before baking because I prefer that flavor. I also didn't have enough bananas for a full batch so I made a half batch and decreased the sugar to only 1/2c (half a recipe would have been 3/4c) with no issues at all.


Sunday 22nd of November 2020

Aww thank you so much for your kind words!!! They truly mean a lot to me. I’m happy to hear your adjustments worked out nicely! Maybe try a double batch and see the difference of waiting for the next day but if you eat it all again in one day, I don’t blame hahaha


Wednesday 20th of May 2020

Cant wait to venture and give this a try. I have been blessed and enjoyed this delight. One of my favorite Holidays treat to look forward to.


Tuesday 26th of May 2020

I am delighted to hear that! Thank you for your comment. Enjoy!


Saturday 16th of May 2020

I’ve made a lot of banana bread but this one is the best yet!!


Sunday 17th of May 2020

I am so delighted to hear that!!!

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