My family is legit obsessed with this maple walnut banana bread! Mashed ripe bananas make this quick bread super moist and add plenty of banana flavor! While the maple syrup and chopped walnuts make it stand out from other banana bread recipes.
We Love this Banana Bread
We almost always have ripe bananas in our kitchen. And we all know ripe mashed bananas have one purpose in life: BANANA BREAD! Thankfully, my family has BIG banana bread energy! And we’re all fully obsessed with this maple banana quick bread. As soon as I see my bananas are starting to get tiny black spots, my first thought is: “yay! I get to bake maple walnut banana bread again soon!” It’s just that good.
I love slathering a warm slice with melted butter while the coffee is brewing. While my toddler prefers smashing his into a million crumbs… and then savoring each crumb slowly while he colors. To each their own! Because there’s truly no bad way to enjoy this banana bread.
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
- Flour: I have only tested this recipe with all-purpose flour, and cannot suggest substitutions.
- Leavening Agents: Now that we’ve covered flour, baking soda and baking powder are on our list. These help the all purpose flour rise and spread evenly in the oven.
- Spices: I love adding nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt to my banana bread. The first two are optional, but don’t skip the salt (unless you’re using salted butter).
- Butter: For this recipe, we’ll use room temperature butter. Unsalted butter works best, but if you use salted butter, simply leave out the salt called for in the recipe.
- Sugar: For an extra rich flavor, we’ll use all brown sugar. You can use dark or light brown sugar, and in a pinch, you can even sub regular granulated sugar.
- Maple syrup: Please please please don’t use pancake syrup! That being said, any mid-range maple syrup will work fine. It doesn’t need to be extra fancy or grade b maple syrup.
- Eggs: Large eggs work best, but be sure to bring them to room temperature before use.
- Maple Extract: This is another optional ingredient. Adding it will help intensify the maple flavor in the banana bread, but it’ll still taste great without it.
- Sour cream: If you can’t find sour cream, full-fat Greek style yogurt is your best replacement option. Use PLAIN yogurt.
- Bananas: This is our star ingredient and what makes banana bread… well, banana bread. You want super ripe bananas because they’ll add the most banana flavor.
- Oil: I typically use vegetable oil, but you can use canola oil, olive oil, or coconut oil as well.
- Walnuts: If you’re allergic, feel free to skip the walnuts.
Get the Best Banana Flavor
This should come as no surprise, but the most important flavor in banana bread is – wait for it – bananas! So, how do you choose the right bananas for the job? The answer is simple: choose ugly and overripe bananas!
The blacker the better, because the darker it is, the sweeter and more aggressive the banana flavor will be! There’s no such thing as a too-ripe banana when it comes to making banana bread. So save the lightly brown or spotted ones for your morning bowl of granola or a smoothie! And grab the blackest ones you can find for your banana quick loaf.
How to Bake Banana Bread
- Baking Prep: Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick baking spray. A metal or aluminized steel baking pan will work best. But if you must use glass or ceramic pan, plan to add a few minutes onto the bake time. Once your pan is ready, preheat your oven to 350.
- Make the Banana Batter: Do not over mix your batter! You want to mix the ingredients just until they come together and make a smooth dough. Then scrape everything into the baking pan. At this point you can sprinkle with sparkling sugar and add some extra walnuts on top, if desired.
- Bake the Banana Bread: This recipe yields a large and heavy loaf, so don’t fear the longer bake time. This bread needs to bake for about 65 to 70 minutes. Or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool and Serve: I like to cool my banana bread in the pan for a full hour. But you should cool it for at least 30 minutes before digging in.
How to Freeze Banana Bread
- Before you freeze your banana bread, you must let it cool completely! It shouldn’t even be slightly warm when you go to wrap it.
- Once your loaf is completely cool, wrap the banana bread tightly with saran wrap. This will protect the bread from freezer burn, so make sure the plastic wrap completely covers the loaf. I suggest doing at least two layers.
- Now it’s time to add our second layer. Wrap the loaf tightly with a large piece of aluminum foil, ensuring you seal all the edges tightly.
- Finally, place the banana bread in a freezer-safe sealable plastic bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing it.
- Label the bag and add the date, then pop it in your freezer. You will be so happy to have this delicious maple walnut banana bread ready to enjoy in the future.
Your banana bread will keep in the freezer for up to two months. Thaw in the fridge the night before you plan on enjoying it!
Maple Walnut Banana Bread
- 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon optional
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg optional
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup (213g) light brown sugar packed
- 2 Tablespoons (24ml) pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon maple extract optional
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1/2 cup (113g) sour cream room temperature
- 1 and 1/2 cups (405g) mashed ripe bananas about 3 large bananas
- 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup walnuts roughly chopped
- 1 Tablespoon sparkling sugar optional
- Adjust an oven rack to the lower third position. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F). Spray a 9×5-inch metal baking pan with nonstick baking spray. Set aside until needed.
- In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt together until well combined.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add in the brown sugar and the maple syrup and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the maple extracts.
- In a medium-bowl, combine the sour cream, mashed bananas, and oil. Set aside.
- With the mixer on low, add in the flour in the three additions, alternating with the banana mixture, beginning and ending with the flour, and being sure not to over mix. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the walnuts.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan. Top with a few extra walnuts and sprinkle with sparkling sugar, if desired (optional).
- Bake for 65 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs attached.
- Remove the bread from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for at least 1 hour. Remove the bread from the pan and cool on the wire rack until you’re ready to slice and serve.