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Easy Banana Nut Bread

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Easy Banana Nut Bread is a delicious, moist, dairy free quick bread that is so simple to make. Have any time – from breakfast to a bedtime snack!

Banana nut bread loaf with a piece cut off on a wooden cutting board on a white wood background

Easy Banana Nut Bread is a simple-to-make quick bread. Perfect for anytime you have that banana taste craving!

Want to try more baked goods with banana? You won’t be sorry!

If I can bake, anyone can

I am the type who hates paying more for something than I feel it’s worth and and loathe paying a lot for something I can bake at home.

So, paying a lot of money for a cake similar to one I can bake on my own just doesn’t work for me.

My problem was that I couldn’t really make a layer cake. I could make one in a 9″ x 13″ pan, but not one that could be used for a birthday or celebration.

For years, I tried, failed, and gave up. Then again, tried, failed and gave up.

It normally wasn’t the taste that was the problem, it was other things such as density or lopsidedness.

One day, I decided that no matter what, I would learn to make a decent looking cake (I wasn’t even aiming for good-looking, just decent).

One day, my daughter Elissa came into the kitchen during one of my “I will learn to do this” phases and stopped.

“You are NOT really measuring oil in the palm of your hand!”

I wasn’t sure what the problem was. I couldn’t be bothered to stop what I was doing to get the measuring spoons and I certainly know what a tablespoon of oil should look like…

“You can’t bake the way you cook,” she informed me (I often cook by “it looks right” or “it tastes right”, not by directions – which I often find people make unnecessarily complicated).

Finally, I decided OK, I am going to follow directions. I will measure properly and that will be it. So, I did.

The cake came out tasting really good, but it was really heavy.

I complained to Elissa.

“I followed the directions and even measured and look at it!”

We decided that she would try the recipe to see what was wrong (she is great at following exact measurements and was tired of my complaining).

I read the instructions to her (off a very highly reviewed recipe) and was very gratified when it came out heavy for her too. Ha!

She insisted we go over the instructions again and she also wanted to see the original recipe. I gladly showed her.

“You doubled the recipe,” she accused me. “Why?”

“Because I wanted a higher cake.”

“That is NOT considered following directions. The recipe is for two pans and you put double in each pan, so it couldn’t rise.”

Oh. I took back my “ha” and never did that again.

After a while, I finally gave in. Now, I follow directions, measure properly, and use the proper tools.

Not surprising, everything I bake comes out as it should (of course…as long as I don’t forget to remove from the oven…!).

Tips for baking and cooling baked goods

Preparing the batter

As obvious as that may sound (except to people like me), following instructions when baking is important.

It seems to make that all-too-often, bloggers will add extra steps or add extra ingredients unnecessarily complicating the recipes.

Nonetheless, sometimes, what seems unnecessary can be helpful.

That noted, the best way to start, unless directed otherwise, is by putting the dry ingredients in the bowl first and combining them together and then add the wet ingredients.

I haven’t found that it matters much what order ingredients are put in the bowl when it comes to dough, however, with batter, it can make a difference and it is a good practice to add the wet ingredients, one at a time, blending lightly in between, mixing slowly and thoroughly.

Dumping all of the ingredients in before mixing can leave flour clumps which may not dissolve while baking and mixing too quickly will add air bubbles, which can create air gaps in the cake

Flour clumps, especially the larger ones, may not bake into your cake and you may find them in your slices.  If you have them, remove as many as you can before baking.  Using a strainer helps. (Yes, this has happened to me.)

If you find you do have a lot of little air bubbles, gently tap the side of the bowl with your fingers before you pour into the pan (you can do this with the pan if you didn’t notice the bubbles until you already poured the batter).

The tapping will pop them (you can actually see this).  You may not get rid of them all, but the bigger ones are more important to pop. The bubbles seem to be more of a problem with thinner batter and with thicker batter.

The batter

Before you pour the batter into the pan(s), make sure that it (they) are well coated with something to help prevent your final products from sticking.

There are various ways to do this, depending on your preference. You can use some type of fat, such as oil or cooking spray, margarine, or butter, you can coat with a fat and then some flour, or you can use baking paper.

My personal preference is to place baking paper on the bottom of the pan(s) and then coat with cooking spray or visa versa. Baking paper can come in individual sheets or in rolls. For round pans, you can buy a suitable size that will fit right on the bottom of the pan.

If you are making layer cake, separate the batter equally into both pans. The best way to do this is to weigh the pans with batter to make sure they are even. Personally, I just eyeball it (which is probably not the best idea unless you have a good eye).


Ovens often vary in how they spread heat, something that can cause uneven baking. This can cause a variety of problems in baking, such as lopsided cakes, raw middles, over-baked sides, etc.

One way to help prevent this is to turn your pan around on the shelf in the middle of baking to help ensure it will bake more evenly.

Another reason for uneven baking, where the item comes out fine on the top and burnt on the bottom, is if a crumb or a piece of something is at the bottom and will burn as you bake.

If your cake comes out lopsided, one way to fix that is to slice off the uneven part before putting on the frosting. I hate losing cake, so when it do this, I will slice approximately half way through the higher part and flip it over on to the lower part before adding the frosting.

To help prevent lopsidedness in the first place, this method is often used: take a strip of aluminum foil that is around 4-6 inches longer than the circumference or perimeter of your pan and lay the wet paper towel on it fold the foil over the paper towel lengthwise so it is just a bit less wide than the height of the pan.

Wrap the foil around the pan and slide one end in the other (crimp it a bit if you need to so it will hold). This will create a moisture barrier for baking (I have read that some people put a pan of water in the oven when baking – I haven’t tried that yet).

I found all of that a little tedious, so I bought cake strips.  These are absorbable cotton belts, around 2″ wide and come in a few different lengths to be wrapped around and secured on round cake tins. They are soaked (but not dripping) when you wrap them around the pan.

If you need to use them for a larger rectangular pan, you can just attach a number of them together.


You know your baked good is ready when a toothpick can slide clean and easily in and out of the baked item (or when the top is a little firm and springy), it can be removed from the oven. 

Leave to cool for 10 – 15 minutes.

If you are going to remove the item from the pan, run a knife around the sides between the cake and the pan. Place a plate or cooling rack over the top and flip.

If you want the top side to remain on the top, you will flip the item over twice (once to remove from the pan and once to get it back).

For cupcakes and muffins, I recommended using cupcake paper and after you have used the knife to loosen them from the cup, you should be able to just pop out carefully using the same knife.

Baking Pantry Essentials

I never know when someone in my family is going to want a dessert at home, to bring to a friend’s house or need for an event, so I like to make sure I can bake anything with very short notice.  To that end, I keep a variety of supplies and ingredients in the house that will allow me to do just that. 

I can’t tell you how many times I was glad to have whatever I needed within reach for the last minute visitor or for when one of my kids went to a friend or had a school event without much prior notice.

I have slowly collected things over the years as I needed them (or if I found a good sale) and like to keep more than one of the smaller items, in case I don’t want to wash dishes in the middle of baking.

My basic “equipment” includes:

  • a stand mixer, which I use mostly for dough and, sometimes whipping
  • a hand mixer (for things that aren’t dough and I don’t want to mix manually)
  • a small scale
  • different sizes and shapes of baking pans, including loaf pans
  • mixing bowls (or just large bowls – I have plastic, glass, and metal)
  • cookie sheets 
  • pie dishes
  • dry measuring cups
  • liquid measuring cups
  • whisks
  • rubber spatulas (really good for when you don’t want to leave anything in the bowl)
  • rolling pins
  • a baking mat for rolling out dough
  • baking strips
  • a good supply of baking (or parchment) paper (also round for layer cakes)

I can certainly get by without a lot of the above, but it makes baking so much simpler when I just have whatever I need at my fingertips.

In addition to the equipment, there are the baking ingredients that I try to keep in the house at all times: 

  • flour
  • white granulated sugar
  • brown sugar (light/dark – I usually keep dark)
  • confectioners sugar(powdered sugar)
  • salt
  • baking powder
  • baking soda 
  • cocoa powder
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground nutmeg
  • ground ginger
  • ground cloves
  • baking chocolate
  • chocolate chips
  • instant dry yeast
  • vanilla and/or vanilla sugar
  • cooking oil/cooking spray
  • margarine or butter
  • eggs
  • honey
  • instant coffee
  • various extracts (real or imitation)

I also make sure that I have the following on hand to be able to make a variety of fillings, frostings, and toppings:

  • whipping cream
  • powdered pudding mix
  • powdered sugar
  • a good chocolate spread

Then, there is the following to make last-minute quick desserts:

  • packaged pie dough or ready-made pie crusts
  • puff pastry dough

Lastly, it’s not a bad idea to keep fun toppings, such as chopped walnuts, raisins, and the oh-so-important container of sprinkles.

Banana bread loaf and a slice in from on a wooden cutting board on a white wood background

A little about quick breads

A quick bread is any bread that uses a chemical agent to leaven bread rather than a biological one, such as yeast.

Quick breads can be prepared quickly without the need to wait for them to rise.

For example, this recipe is a quick bread as it does not use yeast, but rather uses baking soda as its leavening agent.

A little about bananas

Bananas are a healthy and comparatively inexpensive fruit. The most popular type found in grocery stores starts out (and are shipped to destination countries) green, but turn yellow by the ripening process. Unripe, they are not sweet but get softer and sweeter as they ripen.

Bananas normally have approximately 80 – 110 calories, depending on size and are almost exclusive made up of carbohydrates and water, with only a little protein and no fat. In addition, bananas have nutrients, anti-oxidants, and a variety of other health benefits.

When used in baking, the over-ripe bananas (the kind that you would often throw out as non-edible) give the most flavor. You can freeze bananas (even those that are ripe and flavorful enough for good eating) and they will be perfect to bake with when defrosted.

So, there you have it! Go ahead and make your Easy Banana Nut Bread and enjoy!

Yield: 8 slices

Easy Banana Nut Bread

Banana nut bread loaf with a piece cut off on a wooden cutting board on a white wood background

Dairy free banana bread with walnuts.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 medium or 3 large bananas, over ripe *
  • 1/4 water (if you prefer a more dense banana bread, leave out the water)
  • 1 cup ground walnuts
  • chopped walnuts (optional, for topping)


  1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, sinnamon, baking soda and salt.
  2. Mix in the eggs, oil and vanilla.
  3. Mix in the bananas and walnuts well (small pieces of banana should melt into the batter).
  4. Pour into a standard loaf pan that has been well greased.
  5. Bake at 350° for approximately 50 minutes or until the toothpick test (slide a toothpick into the middle of the loaf) comes out clean. Personally, I just lightly touch the top with my fingers to see if the loaf is just firm to the touch.
  6. Remove from oven when ready and let cool for 10 -15 minutes.
  7. To remove cake from tin, slide a butter knife around the edges of the cake, between the pan and the cake, and gently turn over on to a plate (you may have to knock the bottom). Then flip back over onto a serving plate.


* or freeze regular ripe bananas ahead of time and defrost when ready to use. The consistency will be good for this recipe.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 230Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 206mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 5g

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