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Joy of Cooking Banana Bread (Easy Recipe)

If you’ve got a serious craving for something wonderfully moist, sweet, and delectable, try this Joy of Cooking banana bread.

I promise, it’ll be love at first bite.

Joy of Cooking Banana Bread
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I have featured a ton of banana bread recipes on my page. And I don’t plan on stopping any time soon!

So, if you’re as obsessed with this luscious loaf as I am, here’s another recipe for you to try out.

Are you ready to experience the Joy of Cooking banana bread? Great! Then put on your apron, preheat the oven, and let’s get started!

Joy of Cooking Banana Bread Recipe

In case you’re not familiar, The Joy of Cooking is a cookbook that goes all the way back to the 1930s. 

This recipe is derived from said cookbook, which used affordable and accessible pantry ingredients to make a simple yet delicious banana bread.

From its aroma alone, you know it’s sensational. And the use of ripe bananas, butter, and cinnamon makes it wonderfully rich, moist, and sweet. 

Adding toasted nuts, like pecans or walnuts, also gives the fluffy bread a nice textural contrast.

It’s the simple things that are the most extraordinary! And this easy bread is proof.

Banana Bread Ingredients: Nuts, Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder, Salt, Cinnamon, Eggs, Butter, Bananas, and Vanilla

Ingredients for Banana Bread

  • Walnuts or Pecans – Traditional banana bread is great, but banana-nut bread is ten times greater. Whichever nut you choose, be sure to toast it beforehand to enhance its flavor.
    • Just pop a single layer of nuts on a lined baking tray for about 7-10 minutes at 350°F/175°C, tossing them halfway through.
    • You’ll know they’re ready when you can smell them.
  • All-Purpose Flour – It forms the base of the batter. 
  • Sugar – For sweetness. Unlike other baked goods that require equal amounts of flour and sugar, this one uses a lot less sugar. That’s because it’ll get most of its sweetness from the ripe bananas.
  • Baking Powder & Baking Soda – The leavening agents that make the batter rise into fluffy bread.
  • Salt – To contrast the bread’s sweetness, enhancing its flavor.
  • Cinnamon – No other spice pairs more perfectly with bananas than cinnamon! 
  • Eggs – For binding the ingredients together. They also provide richness and structure.
  • Butter – Other recipes use oil to saturate the dry ingredients, but this one uses butter for more flavor. Besides, the bread will already be super moist, thanks to the bananas.
  • Bananas – They’re responsible for making the bread extra sweet and moist. And remember – the riper, the better!
  • Vanilla Extract – The ultimate flavor enhancer.
Joy of Cooking Banana Bread with Butter

How to Make Moist Banana Bread?

1. Prep the tools.

Preheat the oven and grease your loaf pan. Brush the bottom and sides of the pan with butter and coat it lightly with flour.

Or you can also line it with parchment paper. It’ll make lifting the bread out of the pan easier.

2. Toast the nuts.

Pop them in the oven for 7-10 minutes. This quick step will bring out the flavor of the nuts even more.

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And you’ll have the oven on anyway, right? So why not take the extra step?

Just be sure they’re cool before adding them to the batter.

3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls.

In one bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

In the other, whisk the eggs, butter, mashed bananas, and vanilla.

4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients.

Very gradually pour the dry ingredients into the wet, and combine them gently using a rubber spatula.

Avoid using an electric mixer for this step to keep from overmixing the batter.

Stop mixing just before all the flour is incorporated, then add the cooled nuts and stir until you no longer see streaks or clumps of flour.

Expect the batter to be thick.

5. Bake the banana bread.

You can top the bread with more nuts at this point if desired. Or maybe some chocolate chips if you like it extra scrummy.

Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Test for doneness at the 50-minute mark to avoid burning the bread.

6. Cool and serve.

Let the baked banana bread cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes, then transfer it onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Slice and enjoy!

Sliced Banana Bread Top View with Butter

How to Store Banana Bread 

Before storing, be sure the banana bread has cooled completely to room temperature.

Otherwise, condensation will make the bread (or any baked good) soggy. It may even get moldy!

Once cooled, wrap the loaf tightly with plastic wrap. You can leave it on the countertop, and it’ll stay fresh and moist for 3-4 days.

Or, store the wrapped banana bread in the fridge for up to a week. Expect the bread to dry out a little over time, though.

To extend its shelf-life even further, use the freezer.

Again, wrap the bread tightly with plastic wrap. You can wrap either the entire loaf or individual slices.

Place the wrapped bread in a freezer-safe bag, squeezing out as much air as possible before sealing it. Then, freeze the banana bread for up to 3 months.

Thaw on the counter overnight and enjoy.

Sliced Banana Bread Close Up

Tips for the Best Banana Bread

  • The riper the bananas, the sweeter the banana bread will be. Don’t be afraid to use overripe bananas with brown or even near-black peels! Banana bread is the perfect way to use them up.
  • Add more bananas. Some recipes call for only 1 cup of bananas. You’ll need 1 1/2 for this one. Believe me, you’ll taste the difference.
  • Measure the flour accurately, or else your bread may turn out rubbery. The most precise way is to use a kitchen scale. 
    • If you don’t have a kitchen scale, use the spoon-and-level method. It means using a spoon to transfer the flour into the measuring cup and leveling it down with the back of a knife.
  • Don’t overmix the ingredients; otherwise, you’ll end up with dry banana bread. That’s why it’s important to combine the dry and wet ingredients separately before mixing them together. It keeps you from mixing way too much.
  • Don’t overbake the banana bread! Keep a close eye on it, especially on the last part of baking. Some ovens run hotter than others, so it’s best to check for doneness as early as 45 minutes.
  • Looking for more variety? Mix in chocolate chips, more spices, and dried fruit to the batter.

More Banana Bread Recipes We Can’t Get Enough Of

Brown Butter Banana Bread
Martha Stewart’s Banana Bread
Cake Mix Banana Bread
Chrissy Teigen Banana Bread
Jamaican Banana Bread

Joy of Cooking Banana Bread (Easy Recipe)





Total time





If you’ve got a serious craving for something wonderfully moist, sweet, and delectable, try this Joy of Cooking banana bread. It’ll be love at first bite.


  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter, cooled

  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175°C). Grease the bottom and sides of a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with butter and dust with flour.
  • Arrange walnuts or pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 7 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Keep the oven on.
  • Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl.
  • In a separate large bowl, whisk together eggs, melted butter, mashed bananas, and vanilla until well combined.
  • Gradually pour the dry ingredients into the banana mixture. Gently mix with a rubber spatula and stop as soon as you no longer see streaks of flour.
  • Mix in the cooled nuts very gently. The batter will be thick and chunky.
  • Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes.
  • Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Flip over onto a wire rack to cool completely. Slice, serve, and enjoy!
Joy of Cooking Banana Bread

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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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