Easy Banana Bread with Brown Sugar Recipe. It’s easy to make this moist banana bread.
Does anyone ever really plan on making banana bread? Usually I notice that a few bananas on the counter turned brown and, boom, it’s time to make banana bread.
Since banana bread is a last-minute baked good, I’m always amused by the ingredient list of many recipes. They call for things like sour cream, buttermilk, oat flour, or some other random ingredient that I don’t have in the house.
The only special ingredient I use in my banana bread? Brown sugar. (And if you need to make banana bread without brown sugar, I’ve got you covered.)
The reason I reach for brown sugar when making banana bread is that the molasses/caramel flavor is a perfect partner for ripe bananas. Think bananas foster. Brown sugar adds a depth of flavor without asking you to do any baking acrobatics like toast sugar or use a hard-to-find flour.
Simply put: brown sugar makes banana bread taste good.
My other requirement? Banana bread should be easy. I’m talking “plop everything in a bowl, stir, put in a pan, and bake.” Some folks call this a dump recipe. I personally dislike the word “dump” used when talking about food. So let’s just call this an easy recipe.
Brown Sugar and Banana Bread: Dark or Light?
For banana bread, use either light or dark brown sugar. (Actually, that’s true in all baking recipes. Light and dark brown sugar are interchangeable. Need another recipe for brown sugar? Try these Three Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies.)
But just because they’re interchangeable doesn’t mean they’re the same. Light brown sugar gives you a milder flavor. The flavor notes are more caramel and less molasses. It’s also less acidic (something, to be honest, that can be hard to detect in the finished baked good).
Dark brown sugar contains more molasses and more moisture than light brown sugar. Usually, when something has a different moisture content, we freak out a bit because moisture changes things. Brown sugar is an exception to this rule. The moisture difference between light and dark brown sugar isn’t enough to impact your banana bread.
How Brown (Ripe) Should Bananas Be for Banana Bread?
You know what does have enough moisture to affect the bread? The bananas! The riper the bananas, the more moisture they bring to the bread.
If your bananas are black and have turned into an almost gooey liquid, they’re too ripe for this recipe.
Use bananas that are mottled with brown spots but haven’t turned totally black and squishy.
How to Mix Banana Bread
I wish this recipe was a one bowl affair. It’s not. Before mixing the batter, you need to mash the bananas. This is easy to do with a fork. (If mashing bananas with a fork is a challenge due to physical restrictions, use an electric handheld mixer or a potato masher.)
Once you’ve mashed the bananas, grab another bowl. Stir together all the dry ingredients. Then add the eggs, melted butter, and mashed bananas. Then…stir. Do this with a fork, firm rubber spatula, or electric hand mixer. Once the batter is thick, you’re done.
How to Tell When Banana Bread is Done
Spread batter evenly into a greased pan and bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean.
Take care to check the top of the loaf. Banana bread can be a little slow to finish baking. The very top of the loaf sometimes doesn’t play along. If the top of your loaf looks raw, but the rest of the loaf is done, cover the pan with a piece of foil. Reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees and bake until the top is done.
FAQs: Brown Sugar Banana Bread
What can I replace brown sugar with?
For this recipe, replace the brown sugar with an equal amount of granulated sugar.
What’s the best pan for banana bread?
For this recipe, use a 9×5 loaf pan.
Can I make banana bread into muffins?
Yes. Scoop the batter into 12 lined or greased muffin pans. Bake until done, about 25 minutes.
Can I add nuts to banana bread?
Yes. Add up to 3/4 cup chopped nuts. For the best flavor, toast the nuts before adding them to the recipe.
Can I add chocolate chips to banana bread?
Sure. Add up to 3/4 cup chocolate chips to the batter.
Can I add both nuts and chocolate chips?
Yes. Add a total of 1 cup. You can add half nuts and half chocolate chips or go heavy on the nuts and light on the chocolate chips. It’s up to you. Just don’t exceed one cup in total.
Easy Banana Bread with Brown Sugar
Easy banana bread recipe with brown sugar. This moist banana bread is simple to make.
- nonstick cooking spray
- 3 large ripe bananas (about 1 ¼ cups mashed)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (10 ounces; 285 grams)
- ¾ cup packed light or dark brown sugar (5 ¼ ounces; 150 grams)
- 1 teapsoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick butter, melted (4 ounces; 112 grams)
- 2 large eggs (about 4 ounces; 113 grams out of shell)
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x5-inch loaf with nonstick cooking spray.
Mash bananas until almost smooth in a medium mixing bowl with a fork. Set aside. Whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. (If there are any lumps of brown sugar, rub them with your fingers to break them up.)
Add melted butter, eggs, and mashed bananas. Stir until a batter forms. Spread batter evenly into greased loaf pan.
Bake until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean, about one hour.
In addition to checking the center of the loaf, be sure to check the very top of the loaf for doneness. If the top browns too quickly and the center isn't done, cover the loaf a lightly greased piece of foil. (If the center is baked and top of the loaf is raw, cover with a greased piece of foil and reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees. Bake until done.)
Cool loaf in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into slices with a serrated knife.
Love, love, LOVE! This bread. I added walnuts. We ate the almost the whole loaf in a day. 10/10 will make again!
I have the same recipe but with roasting the
walnuts in the oven for extra flavor
Regina Keyser says
Delicious just made 4 small loafs for Christmas presents added 1 T cane syrup
Easy recipe! The brown sugar gave it such a nice flavor. It’s the best banana bread I’ve ever made.
Excellent! Love love love this bread!
cooked this for thanksgiving and turned out great.
julie howard says
Used green butter. So good
Sylvia T. says
I just made 3 loafs. Havent tasted yet. I put trail mix of almonds, cranberries, raisins in one.. Taking it to superbowl party tomorrow. I will post results.
Lindsay C says
How did it turn out?! I am making my first ever loaf of Banana Bread I didn’t have baking soda but I had all other ingredients hope it turns out!!! Kinda nervous
Without baking soda, the loaf will be dense. It does have baking powder, so (and I’m crossing my fingers here) it shouldn’t be a doorstop.
I added 5.3 ounces of Chobani Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup walnuts and 1/2 cup dried cranberries and turned out perfect!
Sharon Markey says
I love this receipe so much. I’ve made it twice now and both times added choc chips and nuts. This morning I’m trying receipe in muffin style, they’re in the oven as I write. I’ll post later the result. It will be great ???. Thankyou so much for sharing this lovely recipe x
Sharon, we need to know how the muffins turned out.
Basic receipe is great, we like it even better changing 1/4 of the flour with almond flour and adding zest of 1 orange
Sharon Markey says
Once again this lovely receipe is a success. I made this as muffins and they were really moist….they didn’t last long ? and I’ve just made another three loaves to give to family and friends ?????
How b many muffins does one loaf m make?
It makes about one dozen muffins. Muffin pans vary a bit. I’ve had this recipe make as few as 10 muffins in some pans.
Christopher Illig says
I added some Quaker’s low sugar oak meal Brown sugar and cinnamon mix to give it more flavor. I will be adding that again for sure.
How much exactly is a ‘cup’ and what is ‘stick’of butter???
A cup of all-purpose flour is about 4 ounces/113 grams and one stick of butter is also 4 ounces/113 grams.
Let me know if you have any other questions!
Amy B says
A cup is 8oz.
A cup of water is 8 ounces.
The weights are correct for the other ingredients I listed. Just like a cup of chocolate chips is heavier than a cup of marshmallows, not all cups weigh 8 ounces.
Love this recipe. Made it today and it came out great. I sprinkled light brown sugar on top of the batter before baking and some walnuts. We loved it!
Has anyone add oil to the recipe to see if it makes it moist. I other recipes they add vegetable oil to make it moist. I wounder if it works in the brown sugar bread
Frances Coffie says
I made this also made a few adjustments to the recipe I probably didn’t have to but I did. I used softened butter instead of melting it, I added 1/8 c of vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 T of molasses I also added black walnuts. It was absolutely fabulous. It was moist, tender and flavorful. This from now own is my banana bread recipe.
Diane Larsen says
Just took it out of the oven 45 mins ago. All the time I could wait ! I made it with cup of fresh blue berries and used Spends Brown sugar with 2 tsp of cinnamon . Excellent nice and moist not too sweet. I put some whipped cream cheese with honey pecans in it on my slice Ok lots of flavors but a little bit of heaven .This is a keeper.
Cindy Davidson says
Do I use salted or unsalted butter??
Good question! I’ve tested the recipe with both salted and unsalted. Both work. I prefer salted butter but it’s up to you.
followed your recipe and made it today. turned out pretty good even by using 9 inches round pan.
This is by far the BEST banana bread recipe! I always add a dash of cinnamon and vanilla and some walnuts to ours! We LOVE it every time! 🙂
I love this recipe! I add cinnamon, vanilla and some chocolate chips. My family and I always eat it with a smile and my siblings beg to make more.
This is a great, easy recipe. I added a tsp of Mexican Vanilla. Some of my family like nuts and some don’t so I split the recipe into two 9 x 5 loaf pans. I added pecans to the second loaf and topped it with a little brown sugar and pecans. Doing two loaves worked out fine. Not as big but perfect for my family. I’ll definitely be using this recipe again because the bread was yummy!
Very good recipe! I took mine out 5 minutes before and turned out great! I added nuts and sprinkled brown sugar on top! I like my banana bread sweet so next time may add more sugar
meah, it was okay. Will not make the recipe again.
The banana bread was perfect.
I like the flavor dark brown sugar gave it
The first banana bread that I like
joy lovd the bread making it again
Shonee Singer says
About how long does it take to bake? First banana bread ever!
It takes about an hour to bake. When checking for doneness, check the center of the loaf and the very top. Since banana bread is so dense, sometimes you need to cover it with foil so the entire loaf bakes.
Love this recipe but I used half a cup of granulated sugar and a half cup of brown sugar, I just like the combination. I also used cinnamon & chocolate chips instead of nuts!
A Russell says
First time did it ,it was was wonderful. Brown colour with flavour. Although we could taste
The baking soda a little. Second time it came out rather white and more bread like?.Hopefully next time will be perfect. Can you tell why it came out so white?
It’s hard to say why the bread was white. I haven’t experienced that. Perhaps the bananas weren’t as ripe? Or you used less sugar?
Susan Schreiber says
Easy recipe and tastes great too. I will be adding more brown sugar
and cinnamon next time. (I like it a bit sweeter.) Thanx for posting this.
Kathy McDermott says
Loved this banana bread. Moist and fantastic. Had no walnuts but next time………..
This is a great base recipe. If you have a sweet tooth I’d recommend adding more sugar. I used 1/2 granulated and 1/2 dark brown. I also added toasted pecans, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, nutmeg and clove. I doubled the recipe and used 6 very ripe spotty bananas. Next time I think I’m going to add more sugar (maybe maple syrup) and more banana and chocolate chips. Thank you for posting this recipe. I had a lot of fun making it and I think I’ll have fun playing around with it in the future.
Selin Akalin says
This is the first banana bread i ever tried and it is AMAZING! I also added salted caramel chocolate bits in it, carried it to next level 🙂
Next level INDEED! That sounds amazing!
I don’t usually leave reviews but I made this recipe exactly as written and I have to say it is my absolute favorite! And I am someone who’s tried QUITE a few online recipes. Most are good but I always feel like they’re missing something, I think the brown sugar in this recipe finally satisfied that craving, lol. Plenty of flavor with simple ingredient, my bread always turns out moist, and it’s just as good if not better the next day. Thank you so much for sharing. I can finally delete the other numerous banana bread recipes in my bookmarks! 😀
DELICIOUS! I’m eating my first slice as I type this, warm from the oven 🙂
I added some walnuts, almonds, raisins, cranberries and chunks of dark chocolate to make it more decadent. YUMMY!
I hope this recipe continues to be available forever, it makes a fantastic bread. Probably the best banana bread I’ve ever had.
But….. for a change of pace, I substitute, or just add, mango to the batter. I like that this recipe has “wiggle” room, you can add foods (nuts, chocolate chips, maybe cinnamon chips?) that go well in banana bread!
That sounds delightful!
Crystal KATT Rosales says
I added chocolate round drops from Ghirardelli and had just about 1/2 cup of brown sugar left over so I added it as a topper to the banana bread before baking. It was delicious and the brown sugar topping added just a bit more sweetness and a bit of a crisp crust.
My family loved it and have already asked me to let the fresh bananas go overripe for more!!
Lijesh Nair says
Best banana bread ever!
Perfect the first time I made it even though I accidentally left out baking powder. Still delicious! Added vanilla and cinnamon. Making again but with almond flour – hoping it is just as good.
I’ve used alot of online recipes for banana bread, but this one is without a doubt my very favorite and the best!!! Bread came out wonderfully perfect it was moist sweet and oh so scrumptious ? my roommate and I loved it . I added a bit of blueberries and Cherry’s with a little fresh Lemon juice , cinnamon to the banana mash along with vanilla and I sprinkled brown sugar and cinnamon on top before baking and oh my goodness it was just wonderful thank you for such a fool proof delicious and easy recipe it’s the best
I added chocolate chips & about a tbsp of mexican vanilla maybe less, idk, I didn’t measure. I was short 2tbsp of butter which I substituted w/ margarine, and melted them together. My bread came out moist with an absolutely perfect crust. `
Peggy Woon says
Came out perfect with my additional 1/2 cup of walnuts and 1/2 cup of chocolate chips! Wouldn’t change a thing. This will now be my go-to banana bread recipe!
So so so goooodd!!
Will definitely make again
Perfect sweetness and so yummy!
Patti Cadoret says
Just baked banana bread with brown sugar. I added golden raisins. I had my doubts, BUT, feel need to walk away from my kitchen before I devour the entire loaf!!! Best banana bread I’ve ever baked/tasted. Plus, this recipe saved me a trip to the market after discovering I didn’t have enough granulated sugar when initially starting my old recipe!
Do you think I could use gluten free flour at the same quantity? 😀
I think so!
My family all LOVED this recipe! I added full cup of sugar and since the dough was a bit thick, 1/4 cup buttermilk I had on hand. I sprinkled the tops of muffins before baking.
sprinkled with brown sugar