5 Foolproof Tips to Bake Even Better Banana Bread

If you've ever intentionally let your bananas overripen so you have no choice but to bake a loaf of banana bread, this one's for you.

Is it just us, or is everyone in America baking it right now?

Banana bread checks all the comforting baked good boxes: It's sweet, soothing, and saves once-fresh fruit from ruin. And unlike other popular baking projects (like homemade yeasted bread or from-scratch sourdough starter), banana bread bears almost no intimidation factor. Whether you're Dame Mary Berry or have never baked a day in your life, you can probably pull off this scrumptious loaf.

However, there are easy ways to upgrade your loaf to nail that perfectly moist and tender texture. Here are our top tips for baking banana bread.

01 of 05

Use Ripe (but Not Too Ripe) Bananas

Ideally, the bananas should have a yellow peel with an even distribution of brown speckles all over, no green, and no rot. As bananas ripen, they develop a sweeter flavor and softer texture that'll lend your loaf a more moist, rich mouthfeel. If you've only got green bananas on hand, don't forget there are ways to speed up ripening!

02 of 05

Be Meticulous About Mixing and Measuring

Both the wet ingredients (like butter, sugar, eggs, milk, vanilla, and bananas) and the dry ingredients (flour, salt, and leavening agents like baking soda and/or baking powder) need to be beaten thoroughly in order to create the ideal moist, fluffy texture.

To really go above and beyond, weigh your ingredients, flour in particular, to make sure you nail the proportions. Also, allow your butter to come to room temperature before mixing it in, so it'll more readily whip into an airy texture.

03 of 05

Experiment With Different Types of Sugar and Flour

Most recipes will call for a combination of brown sugar and white granulated sugar. If you prefer a darker, more rich, and molasses-like bread, use a greater amount of dark brown sugar in place of white. Same goes with flour: All-purpose is the most common, but if you'd like a lighter loaf, substitute in cake flour.

If you'd like to boost the nutritional value of your bread, you can also use whole wheat flour or a combination of white and wheat. Just keep in mind that your bread will have a denser texture if you use whole wheat flour.

04 of 05

Don't Overmix the Batter

One of the biggest (but easiest) mistakes you can make when baking banana bread is beating your wet and dry ingredients together into oblivion. Tempting as it is—especially for those of us who love a stress-baking session—this is a surefire way to overdevelop the gluten in your batter, giving your loaf a too-tough texture.

When you're ready to incorporate the wet and dry ingredients, create a shallow well in the center of your dry flour mixture and pour the wet over it. Then use a rubber spatula or spoon to gently fold the wet and dry ingredients together until the flour is just moistened. If there are a few lumps left behind in the batter, resist the urge to overmix.

05 of 05

Add Nuts and Chocolate

Choose a crunchy nut, like walnuts, and give them a little toasting treatment in a skillet before you add them to your batter. We also recommend chopping a bar of chocolate or using chocolate chunks rather than chips, as they'll give you a heavier hit of crunchy-sweet when you bite in. Fold in all mix-ins gently.

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