This recipe makes the perfect loaf of banana bread when you only have 2 ripe bananas available! Have a craving for banana bread but only have 2 extra ripe bananas? Or were you saving bananas to make bread and realize one was eaten?
Most banana bread recipes call for 3-4 large bananas to create a super moist, super banana-flavored loaf. We can make it work with only 2 bananas and just a few small tweaks. Let’s go!
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Ingredients For 2-Banana Bread
Here’s what you’ll need to make banana bread with only 2 bananas.
Bananas: 2 very ripe bananas, preferably pretty covered with black spots and very soft.
Flour: We’re using all-purpose flour in this recipe. Some gluten-free flours and bread flour require more moisture and since we’re only using 2 bananas in this recipe, we don’t recommend substituting all-purpose flour with any other flour.
Sugar: We used brown sugar in this recipe as it has a higher moisture content than white or cane sugar.
Baking Soda & Baking Powder: These both provide lift in the loaf 🙂 Baking soda also helps baked goods to develop a brown exterior- when you think of banana bread, it usually has a very deep golden brown exterior. For that reason, we use both baking soda and powder.
Butter: Melted butter provides a delicious taste and texture. You may swap the butter for oil, but this can reduce the shelf-life of banana bread.
Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract is one thing we’ll splurge on. This adds a subtle vanilla flavor to the bread.
Optional: Cinnamon! Ground Cinnamon is commonly used in banana bread recipes.
How To Make Banana Bread
Banana bread is a cinch to make! This is a simple quickbread, the same as muffins. It’s a mix wet ingredients, mix dry ingredients, then mix it all together situation. Very simple yet very delicious.
#1 Mix the wet ingredients. This includes mashed bananas, melted butter, vanilla extract, and milk.
#2 Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the wet. You can use a sieve or sifter but you don’t have to. Sprinkle the flour across the top of the wet, then scatter the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt across the flour. Fold it all together.
#3 Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and bake it up!
#4 We think banana bread is best if left to cool for 15-20 minutes before digging in. It will still be warm and delicious, but as it cools the structure firms up a bit giving you firmer slices. Think holding in your hand vs. eating with a fork 🙂
Tips For Banana Bread With Only 2 Bananas
Alright, so the kicker here is this recipe is developed for those who are short a couple of bananas. The best banana bread recipes use a whopping 4 bananas for loads of moisture and a big banana flavor.
To develop a banana bread recipe with only 2 bananas, we first have to figure out what we’re missing from the lack of bananas…
- Moisture: Depending on the size of the banana, one mashed banana is 1/3-1/2 cup mashed banana. This is a wet ingredient in quickbread batter that provides liquid to combine the dough, allow enough hydration for an oven rise, and ensure a delicious crumb and texture. We’ll replace this missing moisture with milk.
- Sweetness: Very ripe bananas are less firm and more sweet than their bright yellow counterparts. The starches break down and turn into sugars, which soften and sweeten the banana. We have used a bit more sugar in this recipe than we typically would in banana bread!
- Banana Flavor: Now without a banana extract, we can’t replace this one. What we can do is ensure we have other flavors that we all associate with banana bread- vanilla, cinnamon, and a sweet, moist cake!
Add Mix-Ins To 2 Banana Bread
Just because you’re only using 2 bananas doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it! Here are some delicious mix-ins you can add to your loaf 🙂
- 3/4 cup chocolate. Chocolate chips or mini chips work great!
- 3/4 cup finely chopped nuts. Walnuts, pecans, or macadamia nuts.
- 1/2 cup oats. Whole oats can be mixed right in for a toothy bite.
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut. Finely shredded coconut takes things to a tropical level.
If you choose to mix something in, get the batter all mixed up then gently fold in your mix-ins. You may need to bake for an additional 5 minutes or so, depending on the inclusions.
How To Tell When Banana Bread Is Done
The trusty ‘toothpick test’ is our preferred method to see how the loaf is progressing! Begin checking at the 45-minute mark by inserting a toothpick into the center of the loaf and removing it. If you see wet batter on the toothpick, pop it back in for about 5 minutes and check again.
Banana bread can take anywhere from 45-70 minutes to fully bake! Many factors are at play on the length of baking time. (read below)
Additional things to note on checking doneness:
1: Look at the edges of the loaf, they should have pulled inward from the pan a bit and feel firm/set.
2: Banana bread always gets a crack down the center as air escapes, the area around this crack is usually last to cook up as the crack runs through the center. If this area is still doughy, it’s not ready.
3: The size of the loaf pan you bake in. There are two very common loaf pan sizes: 8×4 and 9×5. The 9×5 pans create shorter, wider loaves that cook up a bit quicker. An 8×4 pan takes longer as it’s a taller loaf! (which we prefer)
4: The material of the pan! A light-colored metal pan is ideal for all your baking projects as light-colored metal evenly distributes heat and cooks things most evenly. For dark metal or glass pans, the heat transfer is more intense- meaning the edges will cook up faster than the center. If using a metal or glass pan you may need to kick down the temp by 25* or tent the loaf with aluminum foil for the last 10-20 minutes if you notice the edges becoming too dark or dry.
How To Store Banana Bread
Banana bread keeps well at room temperature for 2-3 days if covered. If you need to store longer, keep it in the fridge or freeze it. Banana bread that has been frozen and defrosted has a great taste and texture, it’s quite easy to freeze.
To freeze it, let the loaf of banana bread cool completely to room temperature then wrap it with a few layers of plastic wrap. To help prevent freezer burn you can stick the wrapped loaf into a plastic bag as well. (We usually have a few empty plastic bags in the freezer for this reason).
You can thaw banana bread overnight in the fridge, or pull it out and leave it on the counter to thaw. What we like to do is remove the plastic wrap, place it back in a loaf pan and tent it with foil, then bake at 300 for about 30 minutes. Warm, delicious banana bread!
2-Banana Banana Bread FAQs
- Do you need banana extract for this banana bread? Not at all! Banana extract is handy to have if you frequently bake banana-flavored goods, or only have 1-2 bananas on hand for banana bread but this loaf is delicious as-is!
- Can you freeze slices of banana bread instead of the whole loaf? Slices of banana bread freeze well! As long as they are well-wrapped with plastic wrap, you should be okay.
- What’s the difference between using butter and using oil? While you can use either interchangeably, oil makes a moister banana bread that has a shorter shelf life. It could be a bit ‘gummier’ in texture. Using melted butter adds better flavor and still provides moisture, but just the right amount. Banana bread using melted butter holds up better being stored.
You can still make a tasty loaf of banana bread if you only have 2 bananas! This recipe will walk you through the tweaks you’ll need to make to make a show-stopping loaf of banana bread!
- 2 large peeled bananas* note
- 1/3 cup melted butter or neutral flavored oil* note
- 1/3 cup liquid of choice (milk, thin yogurt, or more melted butter) note
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (white, cane, or coconut sugar also works)* note
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Mix the wet ingredients. Add peeled bananas to a medium-sized mixing bowl and mash very well. Add vanilla extract, melted butter, and milk (or other additional liquid), and mix to incorporate.
- Sprinkle dry ingredients across the top of the wet. Mix until just combined- a small dry spot of flour here or there is fine.
- Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and pour the batter in. Bake in a pre-heated 350* oven for 45-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle removes clean and has no wet batter.
- Depending on many factors, a loaf of banana bread can take up to 70 minutes to fully bake! The post has many tips on why this is. Don’t fret if your loaf isn’t done at 60 minutes =]
- If using a 9×5 loaf pan, the loaf will take less time to cook. Begin to check at the 40-minute mark.
- If using a dark metal or glass pan, you may need to dial back the temp 25* as these pans tend to cook up the edges faster than the center.
- Leave the loaf to cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes before removing and slicing for best results. The loaf will firm up a bit as it cools.
For additional liquid: You can use any milk- dairy or non-dairy milk, thin yogurt (not thick Greek yogurt), oil, or more melted butter.
On Bananas: If using 2 small bananas you may need 1/4 cup + 1-2 tablespoons of liquid.
On Sugar: Very ripe bananas have high sugar content, so by only using 2 bananas you may want to use 3/4 cup sugar to help compensate. If you tend to like things on the sweeter side, use the full 3/4 cup! You can make this recipe with only 1/2 cup of sugar as well if you like to reduce sugar.
Oil vs Butter: Melted butter makes banana bread with a better flavor and texture. Using oil creates a very moist banana bread but it may have a gummier consistency.
Keywords: 2 banana-banana bread