This banana bread recipe is something I like to serve to my family on Sunday mornings. I toast a slice and smear it with butter and honey. At the holidays I bake them in miniature loaf pans to give as gifts with a jar of honey from the bees in our backyard.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 overripe bananas
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup ( sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup pecans, finely chopped plus ¼ cup whole pecan halves
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting


Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Mash 2 of the bananas with a fork in a small bowl, leaving them with a bit of texture. With an electric mixer, or by hand, beat the remaining bananas and the granulated sugar together like you mean it, for a good 3 minutes; you want a light and fluffy banana cream.

Add the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla; beat well and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the flour mixture just until incorporated; no need to overblend. Fold in the nuts and the mashed bananas with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Give the pan a good rap on the counter to release any air bubbles. Arrange the pecan halves decoratively on top of the batter.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Rotate the pan every 25 minutes to ensure even browning. Don’t get nervous if the banana bread develops a crack down the center of the loaf; that’s typical.

Cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes or so, and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. Toast the slices of banana bread, dust with confectioners’ sugar, and serve.