Julian’s One-Bowl Banana Bread

from 16 votes

If super-moist banana bread studded with your choice of chocolate chips, chunks or nuts that’s easy enough for a 2-year-old to make is your idea of baking, then crank up that oven because this glorious loaf is only one bowl away!

Slices of chocolate chunk banana bread stack atop each other.

As a chef and mom of four little ones, getting my kids involved in the kitchen is one of my greatest joys. I first developed this recipe when my eldest son, Julian, was 2 years old. He had been perched atop his cooking stool while I was whipping up various dishes when he pointed to a bunch of overripe bananas on the counter and said, “Trash!”

Well, those bananas avoided their demise and instead took on new life. And that’s how this recipe for One-Bowl Banana Bread was born. It is undeniably a Julian classic that we’ve now made hundreds of times. I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as mine has!

Why It’s the Best

At the heart of this recipe are those overripe bananas sitting on your counter, just waiting to be transformed into something delicious. Their natural sweetness and soft texture, plus my secret ingredient (yogurt!), ensures this is the most moist and flavorful banana bread that will have you coming back for seconds.

Here’s a few more reasons why this one-bowl banana bread recipe is the best and why you’ll fall in love with it:

  • Effortless prep.
  • Cleanup is a breeze. 
  • Minimal ingredients.
  • Extra-moist.
  • Completely customizable. 
  • It’s the anytime treat that never disappoints. Enjoy it for breakfast with a cup of coffee, a satisfying afternoon snack or a comforting dessert after dinner.

Overview of Ingredients

All of the ingredients needed to make one-bowl banana bread, including baking soda, overripe bananas, olive oil, vanilla extract, chocolate chunks, yogurt, flour, eggs, sugar and salt.
  • Very ripe, dark-speckled bananas: The key to flavorful banana bread is using very ripe bananas. Look for bananas that have turned soft and are covered with dark speckles or even black spots. These bananas are at their sweetest and will mash easily, ensuring your banana bread has a rich banana flavor. 
  • Plain yogurt or buttermilk: Yogurt or buttermilk is essential for providing the needed acidity to react with the baking soda, producing carbon dioxide gas that gives the bread its desired lift and tender texture. 
  • Eggs: I recommend using large eggs; they bind everything together and give the bread structure.
  • Oil: Extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil can be used in this recipe.
  • Vanilla extract: While not an essential ingredient, it does add depth of flavor and complements the natural sweetness of the bananas.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour forms the base of this loaf, giving it structure and texture.
  • Sugar: Balances the flavors and enhances the natural sweetness of the ripe bananas.
  • Baking soda: The leavening agent responsible for the bread’s rise.
  • Kosher salt: I suggest opting for a fine grain instead of a coarse one because it disperses more quickly into the ingredients.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Substitutions

  • If you don’t have ripe bananas on hand, you can use frozen bananas. Thaw them before mashing and using in the recipe. While the flavor won’t be as intense as using fresh ripe bananas, it will still yield a delicious loaf.
  • Swap in sour cream for the yogurt. 
  • If you find yourself without yogurt, buttermilk or sour cream, don’t worry! You can easily use my buttermilk substitutions guide to whip up the necessary acidic component required to interact with the baking soda and give your banana bread the perfect lift.
  • Use almond extract instead of vanilla extract to add a nutty undertone to the bread.
  • You can use regular table salt if you don’t have kosher salt, however, you should reduce the quantity slightly as table salt is denser.

Mix-Ins

One of the best parts of this recipe is the freedom to add your favorite mix-ins! From classic chocolate chips to crunchy nuts and juicy berries, the possibilities are endless. You can even combine different mix-ins to create your own signature version. Choose from a variety of options, such as:

  • Chocolate chips or chunks
  • Chopped nuts (like walnuts or pecans) 
  • Dried fruits
  • Fresh berries
  • Shredded coconut
  • Peanut butter chips

Find inspiration with these reader-favorite recipes for Raspberry Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, Peanut Butter Banana Bread, Mixed Berry Banana Bread and Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread.

How to Make Banana Bread in One Bowl

This extra-moist quickbread is incredibly easy to make. Follow these simple steps to create the perfect loaf:

  1. Start by preheating your oven and preparing your bread pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper so that it hangs over the two longest sides. Grease the parchment paper with cooking spray.
  2. Then, mash the bananas and mix in the wet ingredients. In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork or spatula until they are softened. Add the buttermilk, eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla extract and whisk until combined.
  3. Add the dry ingredients. Add the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt, and using a spatula, stir just until combined.
  4. Incorporate mix-ins. Fold in your favorite mix-ins then transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan. 
A clear bowl with banana bread batter and chocolate chunks.
  1. Bake to perfection. Bake the banana bread for 55-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

Pro Tip: If your banana bread looks like it’s getting too dark on top but still isn’t baked all the way through, tent it loosely with foil and continue baking until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

A parchment paper-lined bread pan containing banana bread batter topped with chocolate chunks.
  1. Cool and enjoy! Remove the banana bread from the oven and allow it to cool for 20 minutes in the pan before using the parchment paper overhangs to lift the loaf out of the pan. Transfer the bread to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. The hardest part is waiting, but trust me, it’s worth it!

Kelly’s Recipe Tips

  • Embrace Overripe Bananas: For the best flavor, ensure your bananas are very ripe with dark speckles or even black spots. The riper the bananas, the sweeter and more aromatic your banana bread will be.
  • Avoid Overmixing: To achieve a tender crumb, be careful not to overmix the batter. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until they are combined. Overmixing can lead to a dense and tough loaf.
  • Use a Spatula for Even Mixing: When incorporating the dry ingredients and mix-ins, use a spatula instead of an electric mixer. This gentle approach ensures the batter maintains the desired texture and doesn’t get overworked.
  • Proper Cooling: Allow the banana bread to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack. This ensures the loaf sets properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How ripe should bananas be for banana bread?

For the best flavor and sweetness, bananas should be very ripe with dark speckles or even black spots.

Why does banana bread split on top?

The split on top of banana bread is completely normal and not a bad thing. The crack occurs as the loaf begins to set in the oven but continues to rise slightly, which is a common characteristic of many quickbreads.

How do you keep banana bread fresh and moist?

To keep banana bread fresh and moist, cool it completely after baking and then tightly wrap it in plastic wrap. It is best kept at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. For longer storage, you can freeze individual slices by wrapping them in plastic wrap and placing them in a resealable freezer bag. When ready to eat, thaw the frozen slices at room temperature or briefly heat them in a microwave or oven.

How do you know when banana bread is done?

To determine if banana bread is done, perform a toothpick test. Insert a toothpick into the center of the bread; if it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, the bread is done. If there is still wet batter clinging to the toothpick, continue baking for a few more minutes and check again. The top of the bread should also be golden brown, and the edges should pull away slightly from the sides of the pan.

More Banana Bread Recipes You’ll Love

Golden-brown banana bread studded with chocolate chunks in a parchment paper-lined bread pan.
Craving more? Subscribe to Just a Taste to get new recipes, meal plans and a newsletter delivered straight to your inbox! And stay in touch on Facebook, TikTok, Pinterest and Instagram for all of the latest updates.
Breakfast

Julian’s One-Bowl Banana Bread

Transform overripe bananas into the easiest-ever recipe for One-Bowl Banana Bread studded with chocolate chunks.
Author: Kelly Senyei
5 from 16 votes
Slices of chocolate chunk banana bread stack atop each other.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients 

  • 3 very ripe, dark speckled large bananas
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup mix-in of choice (chocolate chip, nuts, berries, etc.)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper so that it hangs over the two longest sides. Grease the parchment paper with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork or spatula until they are softened. Add the buttermilk, eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla extract and whisk until combined.
  • Add the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt, and using a spatula, stir just until combined.
  • Fold in your preferred mix-in then transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan. 
  • Bake the banana bread for 55-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove the banana bread from the oven and allow it cool for 20 minutes in the pan before using the parchment paper overhangs to lift the loaf out of the pan.

Kelly’s Notes

  • For the best flavor, ensure your bananas are very ripe with dark speckles or even black spots. The riper the bananas, the sweeter and more aromatic your banana bread will be.
  • To achieve a tender crumb, be careful not to overmix the batter. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until they are combined. Overmixing can lead to a dense and tough loaf.
  • Allow the banana bread to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack. This ensures the loaf sets properly.
  • To keep banana bread fresh and moist, cool it completely after baking and then tightly wrap it in plastic wrap. It is best kept at room temp for 2 to 3 days.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

Nutrition

Calories: 308kcal, Carbohydrates: 53g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 41mg, Sodium: 307mg, Potassium: 217mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 24g, Vitamin A: 100IU, Vitamin C: 3.9mg, Calcium: 22mg, Iron: 1.8mg

Shoutout

Did you try this recipe?

Share it with the world! Mention @justataste or tag #justatasterecipes!

This post may contain affiliate links.

Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.


Feeling social?

Share this recipe!

Categories

Related Recipes

Check out more crave-worthy favorites

Kelly Senyei holding a copy of The Secret Ingredient Cookbook

love the recipes on just a taste?

Check out my cookbook!

Order your copy of The Secret Ingredient Cookbook featuring 125 brand-new family-friendly recipes with surprisingly tasty twists!

This post may contain affiliate links.

5 from 16 votes (4 ratings without comment)

Join the Conversation

Rate and Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Had a banana bread craving and remembered this recipe but I didn’t have all the ingredients so made some swaps and crossed my fingers!! turned out amazing!!! Used 1/4 cup cottage cheese with a squeeze of lemon juice instead of yogurt. I mashed it up until no more lumps. Also used coconut oil and coconut sugar.

      1. I should have stated that once they thaw if there’s liquid should I then drain it?

  2. 5 stars
    This banana bread is so delicious and easy to make. Love that it’s made in one bowl, less mess. Actually made 4 little loaves instead of one large one. Baked for 30 mins next time I’ll try 25. 20 wasn’t long enough and 30 was just a little too long but still moist. Definitely try this recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    Please tell Julian how much we loved this recipe! Love using the olive oil rather than butter. I used a zero sugar vanilla yogurt because that’s what I had on hand. Delicious!

  4. 5 stars
    Made it this morning but made muffins since I didn’t have the correct pan and added walnuts as my is in. Reduced the baking time because I made muffins and also my oven is weird. They came out delicious!!

  5. 5 stars
    I have tagged this recipe for more than 1 year and finally had the time to do it yesterday. Mine took shy of 50 minutes to cook and it was amazing. This is a keeper recipe. So easy to whip up with the kids.

    1. Absolutely, Lori! The bread will last up to a month in the freezer when wrapped securely with several layers of plastic wrap and placed in a freezer storage bag.

    1. Yes! Or feel free to make your own buttermilk version using whole milk and lemon juice or white vinegar. Simply add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup, and then pour in the milk until it reaches the 1-cup mark. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes then measure out what you need :)

  6. This looks delicious. I am a bit of a banana bread connoisseur, so I definitely want to try this. I have to say, though, that I got to this recipe because I nearly died laughing at Julian cracking an egg on the counter in your Instastories. I must’ve watched it 15 times. Your commentary was hilarious!

  7. 5 stars
    Hello Kelly! im from Greece and i foung this recipe from instagram. Just make that recipe, and I have to say that it is the best recipe I have done for banana bread ! Τhank you! (sorry for my english)

  8. Jackie Phillips,

    If you cannot get buttermilk, you can always make your own.

    Just simply add 1 TBSP of vinegar to 1 cup of milk, stir and let sit a couple of minutes… homemade Buttermilk!

    Happy baking :)

  9. Hi! I have lots of ripe bananas in the freezer do i just let them come to temp and then mash them for this recipe or will they not work well?

      1. Hi Jackie,
        Is it possible to substitute butter or a combination of the two, instead of just the vegetable oil?

      2. Hi Anne! Melted butter, coconut oil and extra-virgin olive oil can all be substituted for vegetable oil. :)