Mom’s Banana Bread

When I was in college my roommates always referred to this as “Sarah’s Banana Bread” since she was the one who started making it for us. But she got the recipe from Mom, so now that Mom’s gone, it only seems fair to give proper attribution.

We used to cook this in college to use up the brown bananas. We’d take a fresh loaf, slice it thick, slater it with butter, and microwave it until the butter melted through the slice. My roommate Patrick used to eat an entire pan by himself some days.

I prefer to undercook it so that the center collapses when it’s cooling. This creates a bread-pudding-like consistency in the center that is enhanced with the melted butter. Then you can put a spoon of pudding, custard, or ice cream over it and really get nuts.

Or you can just bake it all the way through properly so that it has the consistency of a typical bread. Whichever you prefer.

Don’t use fresh yellow bananas. Fresh yellow bananas produce small chunks when mixed and make pockets of “banana snot” when you cook the bread. That’s not the worst outcome but it’s also not what you want. You want the banana to basically turn into sugar-syrup so that they get mushed all into the flour mix and don’t leave any pockets of banana chunk behind.

Let your bananas turn brown all over (like, completely brown, all the way to black, soft, mushy, far past where you’d eat it by itself), then put them in the freezer to “finely age”. This has a few benefits, in that if you’ve only got 1 or 2 overripe bananas sitting around, you can just toss them into the freezer and let them be until you have 4. Or you can buy 4, let them turn brown/black on purpose, then toss them in the freezer.

I prefer to use bananas that have been frozen until they start to show freezer burn. This is because the freezer is sucking water out the bananas, basically making them banana-mummies, which makes the remains more concentrated and sweeter. It also ensures they completely come apart when mixed so that the banana is totally distributed throughout the bread.

Don’t wrap the bananas or package them or anything, just toss the banana into the freezer by itself, no ziplock bags, no tupperware containers. Banana directly in freezer. After a few weeks (or months) they’ll look dreadful, but that’s when they’re perfect for banana bread.

The bananas are impossible to peel while frozen, so you have to let them come to room temp. Once they’re room temp, after you pierce the peel, the entire thing will just slide out of the cocoon into a pile of sugary banana goo. That’s when you know they’re ready.

Whether you’re doing it on purpose, or just to have a use for bananas that get too old is up to you. But definitely let them get completely brown, then freeze them for at least a few days (preferably several weeks, if not a month), before using them.

Mom’s Banana Bread

The best banana bread recipe you'll find
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 1 small bowl
  • 2 small bread pans
  • 1 mixing bowl
  • 1 ramekin
  • 1 fork
  • 1 whisk OR Kitchenaide style mixer
  • 1 Kitchenaide style mixer OR whisk


  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (or unsweetened yogurt / dahi)
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups AP flour
  • 4 bananas (completely brown, and previously frozen)
  • 2 cups chocolate chunks, chips, or shavings (chunks preferred)
  • 2 tsp vanilla


  • Remove the bananas from the freezer and put them in a bowl to thaw. They will leak sugar/syrup while thawing, so absolutely do not just put them on the counter.
  • Remove the butter and eggs from the fridge and let sit to reach room temp.
  • In the ramekin, mix the sour cream (or yogurt/dahi) with the baking soda using the small fork. Set aside for now.
  • In a mixing bowl (or with a stand mixer), cream the butter and sugar with the vanilla. Set aside the butter wrappers for now.
  • Use the butter wrappers to grease the baking pans, then discard the wrappers.
  • Incorporate all eggs to the creamed butter & sugar, but do not over-beat.
  • Mix flour and salt into the creamed butter-sugar-eggs.
  • Add the bananas, mix, then add the chocolate chunks (chips / shavings) and mix.
  • Finally, add in the baking soda & sour cream (yogurt/dahi) and mix until incorporated. (This goes in last to minimize how much it gets mixed, and therefore, how much CO2 you lose from the baking soda making bubbles in the sour cream.)
  • Bake at 350 F for about 1 hour, or until the batter is set in the center of the pan (usually a big crack forms down the middle as the loaf blooms). Remove a bit early for bread pudding style (my preference).
  • Remove and let cool. If underbaked for a bread pudding consistency, the center will collapse when cooling. If fully baked for a bread consistency, the center will stay risen.
  • Best served hot with butter, and maybe pudding, custard, or ice cream on top.