Favorite Banana Bread Recipe: Using Frozen Bananas

Favorite Banana Bread Recipe: Using Frozen Bananas

Pantry staples + frozen bananas make this supremely easy banana bread recipe a favorite in our house!  A hint of cinnamon and nutmeg for that little touch of something special – this recipe is one you don’t want to miss!

favorite banana bread using frozen bananas

Why You’ll Love this Frozen Banana Bread Recipe

  • Easy & Quick – This simple banana bread recipe takes 10 minutes to make and doesn’t require fancy ingredients or tools to whip up the batter.  Plus, the ease and convenience of using frozen bananas means you can count on having all ingredients on hand. 
  • Just Right Sweetness –  Just the right hit of sweetness from the maple syrup, and the bananas, of course.  No white sugar is needed to make a delicious banana loaf, I promise!  
  • Texture Perfection – This loaf bakes up with a lovely sparkly sugar “crust” and a moist crumb within…such great contrast!  That sugary crust is the reason it’s best the day it’s baked!  
favorite banana bread recipe using frozen bananas

Although the banana eating habits of the five in our household range from a consuming a literal bunch per week to that of my oldest kid who won’t touch one, we consistently buy a very large number of fresh bananas for the week.  Within a few days of bringing them home from the grocery store, most are consumed in their original form; others are relegated to banana smoothies (yum!) as they become progressively more soft and more yellow, and maybe even a little spotty.  Then, there are the final few that never make it off the counter and morph into a color that is more brown than yellow and even a little aromatic.  These are the ones bound for our freezer, and there they remain until they’re baked into this amazing (frozen) banana bread, one that even my banana-averse daughter requests.  

Can frozen bananas be used in banana bread?

Absolutely!  You can save all ripe bananas and collect them in your freezer until you’re ready to bake with them.  They work well in all kinds of banana baking recipes like banana chocolate caramel bundt cakebanana muffins, and, of course, this (frozen) banana bread.  I’ve found the flavor and texture of the bread to be just as good as the loaves made with fresh bananas.  You’ll just need to defrost the frozen bananas before you begin because they’ll need to be soft enough to mash for your baking recipes.

How to freeze bananas:

Ripe to overripe bananas can be frozen up to 3 months in an airtight container or ziplock freezer bag.  Just peel them and line them up in glass lock or bag and find a nice cozy spot for them in your freezer.

You’re looking for a soft, mash-able texture and to release all the excess liquid from the freezing process. 

ripe bananas ready to be peeled and frozen
frozen bananas in airtight container
thawed frozen bananas ready to mash

You can thaw bananas one of three ways:

  • 1 – place them in a bowl (covered) or other container in the refrigerator overnight.  Don’t be concerned if they turn brown as they thaw. They are perfectly safe and delicious to use in your banana bread. Before using in recipe, pour off or drain (and discard) liquid. 
  • 2 – Defrost them in the microwave in 30 second intervals on high power. Drain and discard liquid before using. 
  • 3 – Defrost them in the microwave on 50-percent power for 2-3 minutes, until bananas are soft enough to mash and they have released some liquid. Drain and discard liquid before using.
drain excess liquid in a strainer

HOW TO MEASURE A LOAF PAN

This recipe calls for an 8.5 by 4.5 inch loaf pan but you can also use a 9 by 5 size. You’ll just want to reduce the baking time by about 10 minutes and start checking the bread at 40 minutes. If you’re not sure which size you have, pull out a ruler, and measure the broad, top portion to double check. This is important to get the time right!

how to measure a loaf pan

Ingredients You’ll Need to Make (Frozen) Banana Bread

  • Frozen bananas – Must be thawed (see above how-to) and ready to mash.  You’ll use two large bananas or about 3/4 cup.
  • All-purpose flour – Scoop lightly and level with a butter knife or the back of a measuring spoon. 
  • Baking soda & baking powder – the combination of these two leaveners helps the bread rise.
  • Kosher salt (or sea salt) – Balances the sweetness and brings out all that banana flavor!
  • Cinnamon – Goes so well with the banana flavor (optional)
  • Nutmeg – This is also completely optional but I encourage you to try the bread with the cinnamon and nutmeg at least once! It really gives it a special touch. 
  • Avocado oil – Or another neutral-flavored oil. This adds moisture and tenderness to the banana bread. 
  • Large eggs 
  • Maple syrup – We’re using maple syrup as a sweetener and it also adds a lovely hint of maple flavor. 
  • Vanilla extract 
  • Unsalted butter – for greasing the loaf pan
  • Raw/turbinado sugar – Sprinkling a little on top of the unbaked loaf adds a little sparkle and crunch to the finished banana bread.  You can also use brown sugar as an alternative.
ingredients to make frozen banana bread

How to Make (Frozen) Banana Bread

1. Center a rack in oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan generously with butter and set aside. Mash thawed bananas with a large fork, pastry blender or potato masher. 

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk all dry ingredients including nutmeg and cinnamon to mix well, ensuring all baking powder & baking soda is well incorporated. 

3. Stir together all wet ingredients, starting with eggs and whisking, followed by mashed bananas, oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract.

4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir gently with a rubber spatula until most of flour has been incorporated and only a few streaks of flour remain. Don’t over mix. 

5.  Using rubber spatula again, spoon all batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth.  Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of turbinado sugar on top.

6. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until golden brown on top and a toothpick or thin knife inserted into center of loaf comes out clean. 

7. Cool for 10 minutes on wire rack in pan, and then remove from pan to cool fully on cooling rack. 

8.  Slice into thick slices and serve with butter, if desired.

frozen banana bread batter

How to Store and Freeze Extra Banana Bread

Store banana bread, covered well in the refrigerator or at room temperature for 3-4 days. To reheat, place a slice in the microwave for 15-20 seconds.  To freeze banana bread, wrap well in plastic wrap and then wrap a second time in aluminum foil. Place in tightly sealed ziplock bag or glass-lock container and place in freezer for up to two months. To thaw, place at room temperature overnight. If you’d like, you can reheat the thawed loaf in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. 

fresh baked banana bread using frozen bananas

Mixing Things Up

There are countless ways to play around with this banana bread recipe.  Add nuts or fruit, or, my kids’ favorite, chocolate chips!

  • For blueberry banana bread, gently fold in 1 cup of blueberries to the finished finished banana bread batter.
  • For chocolate chip banana bread, gently fold 1 cup of semi-sweet or dark chocolate chocolate chips into the batter.
  • For Banana nut bread – Gently fold 1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans into the batter before baking.
favorite banana bread recipe using frozen bananas

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Favorite (Frozen) Banana Bread

This recipe calls for an 8.5 by 4.5 inch loaf pan but you can also use a 9 by 5 size. You’ll just want to reduce the baking time by about 10 minutes and start checking at 40 minutes.
Course: Breakfast, brunch, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: frozen banana bread

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt or sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon optional
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg optional
  • 3/4 cup frozen bananas (or two large bananas) thawed and drained of excess liquid
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • butter for greasing the loaf pan
  • turbinado or raw sugar to top loaf (optional)

Instructions

  • Center a rack in oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan generously with butter and set aside. Mash thawed bananas with a large fork, pastry blender or potato masher.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk all dry ingredients including nutmeg and cinnamon to mix well, ensuring all baking powder/soda are well incorporated.
  • Stir together all wet ingredients, starting with eggs and whisking, followed by mashed bananas, oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract.
  • Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir gently with a rubber spatula until most of flour has been incorporated and only a few streaks of flour remain. Don't over mix.
  • Using rubber spatula again, spoon all batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth.  Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of turbinado sugar on top.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes, until golden brown on top and a toothpick or thin knife inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.
  • Cool for 10 minutes on wire rack in pan, and then remove from pan to cool fully on cooling rack.
  • Slice into thick slices and serve with butter, if desired.


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