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Banana nut bread recipe

Photo by Evans Caglage

A party without a cake is just a meeting, or so Julia Child once said. However, making one is not always a breeze. So much so that it seems mixing up sugar and salt or catching your food on fire are a part of the recipe.

AAA member Melodie Smith promises new or uneasy bakers can’t go wrong with her grandma’s banana-nut bread recipe. “It’s a flexible recipe—you don’t have to get everything right,” she says. The recipe was her grandma’s signature dish, especially when she needed to be frugal but wanted to treat her family when they came over to visit. Grandma has passed on, but Smith keeps the handwritten recipe close by. When she finds the right frame, she’ll hang it in her kitchen, she says.

Banana nut bread


Makes 1 loaf

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or 1/4 cup buttermilk 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or lemon extract
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (takes about 2 large bananas). (If desired, add a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice to prevent browning.)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat one loaf pan with butter or nonstick cooking spray. Cream the butter and sugar. Add egg, beat well. Add sour cream or buttermilk and flavoring extract, and beat until mixed.

In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, and salt together. Stir mashed bananas and nuts (if desired) into the wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and stir together well. Bake in a loaf pan for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick placed in the center of the bread comes out clean.

Chef’s note: This recipe can be easily doubled, and the second loaf can be stored in the freezer.

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