This easy 4 ingredient banana bread will soon be a staple in your kitchen! The flavorful, soft loaf is full of sweet, mashed bananas and brown sugar for the perfect make-ahead breakfast or afternoon snack. And no mixer is needed for this delicious quick bread.
4 ingredient banana bread without cake mix
Next to my condensed milk banana bread, this 4-ingredient banana bread has been my go-to, never fail recipe for years and always wins rave reviews.
With just one bowl and no mixer, it’s super quick to put together and tastes delicious, moist, perfectly sweetened, and full of banana flavor.
The banana bread is also very versatile because you can customize it with lots of different mix-ins, such as walnuts or chocolate chips.
My family loves this easy banana bread recipe any time of the week, but I really enjoy it on cozy weekend mornings. There’s nothing better than cuddling up with a good book, a great cup of joe, and a slice of this moist banana bread.
There’s no better way to take advantage of those overripe bananas sitting on your counter than this 4 ingredient banana bread recipe. And with such a simple lineup, you’ll be returning to this again and again. Please see the recipe card below for exact measurements.
- Bananas: As with any banana bread, you need very ripe bananas. You know those spotted, brown, or black bananas that no one wants to eat? Those are the ones you want for this recipe. They give the bread an aromatic banana flavor and keep the batter moist.
- Light brown sugar adds the right amount of sweetness to each slice and adds a hint of caramel flavor. Feel free to swap in white granulated sugar or dark brown sugar if that is what you have available.
- Eggs give the bread structure. Let your eggs sit out on the counter for at least 30 minutes to warm up. Room-temperature eggs will incorporate better into the batter.
- Self-rising flour is the base of the batter. It contains leavening agents that help the bread rise and create a bouncy, soft texture. I’ll show you how to make your own self-rising flour later.
How to ripen bananas in the oven
Crave this 4 ingredient banana bread read away but only have yellow bananas? No worries, you can quickly ripen bananas in the oven! Here’s what you do:
- Preheat your oven to 300°F / 150°C / gas mark 2.
- Put the bananas in their peel on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 30 to 45 minutes until they are mushy and sweet. The peel will turn a black, shiny color, but the side will be perfect.
- Let cool completely before using it in the recipe.
How to make 4 ingredient banana bread
This couldn’t be easier! Just stir together the batter in about 10 minutes, put it in the oven, and sink your teeth into warm homemade banana bread. It’s a delicious breakfast or snack throughout the week. Here’s the recipe step-by-step:
#1: Mix batter
- Place the bananas into a large bowl and mash with a fork. It should be about 2 cups, but you can measure to make sure it’s accurate.
- Using a whisk, spoon, or spatula, stir in the light brown sugar and eggs. Mix until well combined.
- Gradually add the self-rising flour and stir until just combined.
#2: Bake banana bread
- Pour the batter into a parchment-lined baking pan.
- Bake at 350°F until the bread is golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes. Be careful not to overbake the bread.
#3: Cool bread
- Remove the loaf from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
- Then lift the bread out of the pan using the parchment paper as handles.
- Let the bread cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
How long to bake
Every oven bakes differently, so don’t worry if your bread isn’t quite ready after 50 minutes.
Have a couple of clean skewers (or toothpicks) ready to go, and test your loaf by inserting a skewer in the center of the loaf.
If it comes out with wet batter, bake for another 5 to 10 minutes at a time until the skewer comes out clean.
In addition to the actual recipe, I’m excited to share a few helpful tips and tricks for the best 4 ingredient banana bread. Here we go!
- Use overripe bananas for maximum sweetness and flavor. You want them to look speckled + brown (or almost black) and feel soft. When nobody wants to eat, and you are thinking about throwing them out, that’s what we’re looking for.
- Do not overmix the batter: The key to moist bread is to avoid overmixing. After adding the flour to the wet ingredients, stir until they’re just combined. Too much mixing can lead to tough, dense, or dry bread.
- The total baking time will vary depending on the type of pan and your individual oven. I prefer light-colored or gold pans because they cook bread more evenly. Dark metal pans tend to cause the outside to burn before the inside is baked through.
- Tent the loaf: If the top of the loaf gets too dark before it’s cooked through, tent your four ingredient banana bread loosely with a piece of aluminum foil.
- Be careful not to overbake the bread, or it might become dry. My loaf is typically done at the 55-minute mark, so start checking it early. You know the bread is ready when a toothpick or skewer inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
Variations & add-ins
The best thing about this 4 banana bread recipe is that you can switch it up anytime and make it new! Here are a few different mix-in ideas that I think you’ll love:
- Extra banana: For even more banana goodness, cut 1 banana in half lengthwise and place on the batter before popping the bread into the oven.
- Vanilla extract enhances the other flavors in this bread. I always add 1 to 2 teaspoons.
- Spices: A pinch of ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg add a cozy, warm flavor to this bread.
- Chopped nuts add a toasty, nutty crunch. Try adding 1 cup of pecans or walnuts.
- Chocolate chips: Banana chocolate chip bread is the best! Stir in 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or any other flavor) and sprinkle some on top of the loaf before baking. Butterscotch chips would be yummy too.
- Shredded coconut: Sweetened shredded coconut makes the bread extra moist and adds a hint of tropical aroma. Stir 1/2 cup into the batter.
- Lemon zest: Give your bread a hint of citrusy brightness by including the finely grated zest of 1 lemon or orange or 2 limes.
- Raisins add plumb, juicy texture and extra sweetness. 1/2 to 3/4 cup is plenty.
- Turn the recipe into muffins by dividing the batter between 12 standard-size muffin cups that have been lined with paper liners. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick/skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
Enjoy the 4 ingredient banana bread warm, at room temperature, or straight from the refrigerator. It’s a delicious option for breakfast or snacks, especially when served with a mug of hot coffee or tea.
While the bread is scrumptious on its own, you might like it with a dab of butter, cream cheese, peanut butter, or chocolate spread. Add some yogurt, fresh fruits, and eggs on the side for the perfect morning feast.
Stale banana bread can be revived and turned into delicious banana bread French toast!
How to store 4 ingredient banana bread
I prefer storing banana bread on the counter, wrapped in plastic and aluminum foil. You could keep it in the fridge, but I find that refrigerating tends to dry it up a little more.
Banana bread will last up to 3 days at room temperature and stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to a week. Be sure to Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or seal it tightly.
Freeze 4 ingredient banana bread
The loaf freezes beautifully. I like to cut my loaf into slices, warp each slice tightly with plastic wrap, and freeze it inside a large freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Of course, it’s also possible to freeze the whole loaf, but I like the option to grab and go a slice whenever we need a quick breakfast or the craving strikes.
To thaw, pop your slice in the microwave (without the plastic wrap) for a few seconds, and off you go.
Make 4 banana bread recipe ahead of time
Banana bread gets better as it sits. The flavors mingle together and help to keep the bread lovely and moist. You can prepare the recipe 1 to 2 days ahead of time. If freezing, you can even make it further in advance.
- 2 cups / 450 g / 16 oz mashed bananas (about 4 large bananas, see note below)
- 3/4 cup / 150 g / 5.3 oz light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 3/4 cups / 210 g / 7.4 oz self-rising flour (see note below)
- Prep. Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4. Grease an 8.5 x 4.5-inch / cm x cm loaf pan and line it with a piece of parchment paper.
- Mash bananas. Place the bananas into a large bowl and mash with a fork. It should be about 2 cups, but you can measure to make sure it’s accurate.
- Add wet ingredients. Using a whisk, spoon, or spatula, stir in the light brown sugar and eggs. Mix until well combined.
- Add flour. Gradually add the self-rising flour and stir until just combined.
- Bake banana bread. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake until the bread is golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes. Be careful not to overbake the bread.
- Cool. Remove the loaf from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then lift the bread out of the pan using the parchment paper as handles. Let the bread cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 186Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 269mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 2gSugar: 20gProtein: 4g
How many cups is 1 mashed banana?
This can be tricky to figure out. If a recipe calls for 3 to 4 bananas – how much is that?
Measurements matter in baking, so the difference between a small banana and a large one can be significant when making banana bread.
My recipe calls for 2 cups of mashed banana. 1 large banana yields approximately 1/2 cup mashed, so you’ll need 3 to 4 large bananas for a total of 2 cups.
If you have small bananas, you’ll need at least 5, maybe even 6. Measuring is always the best way to ensure your banana bread turns out perfectly sweet, moist, and delicious.
Is 4 ingredient banana bread healthy?
While you get some health benefits from the bananas and eggs in this recipe, I wouldn’t consider this recipe healthy. This easy banana bread recipe has plenty of sugar and flour carbs. That said, you can certainly do worse when it comes to sweets and treats.
Why does my 4 ingredient banana bread sink in the middle?
If your banana bread falls in the middle as it cools, it was likely not cooked through.
Banana bread forms a nice, brown crust on the outside that shows the loaf is done – even if the inside is still slightly undercooked.
Before taking the bread out of the oven, push a skewer in the very center of the bread. If you pull it out with wet batter, return the bread to the oven to finish baking.
Why is this the best 4 ingredient banana bread
I spent many hours going through many test batches to find what I consider the best banana bread. Here’s why this version turns out so well:
- Super easy: When it comes to quick bread recipes, making this 4 ingredient banana bread is probably one of the easiest recipes to bake.
- No mixer required: That’s right! Your mixer stays in the cupboard this time. You’ll only need a bowl and a spoon, whisk, or spatula.
- Seriously delicious: This 4 ingredient banana bread is so, so good! Moist, soft, and flavorful. It’s perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee or simply to satisfy a sweet craving.
- Right amount of sweetness: I tested the bread using 1/2 cup of sugar (not sweet enough) and a full cup (too sweet). 3/4 cup seemed perfect. Of course, you can always adjust the sweetness according to your personal preferences.
- Versatile: The recipe is an excellent canvas for all sorts of flavor additions and mix-ins to take this simple recipe to the next level. Walnuts, pecans, chocolate chips, and spices are great ways to customize the loaf.
More banana recipes you’ll love
Bananas are such a great building block for all kinds of recipes, from breads to desserts and pies. I love that they add natural sweetness and such great flavor. Here are a few of my favorite banana recipes that you just have to try!
- Pistachio Banana Bread
- Bisquick Banana Muffins
- Condensed Milk Banana Pudding
- Strawberry Banana Cheesecake Salad
- Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
- Banana Pudding Brownies
- Cranberry Banana Bread
Other quick breads to try next
Here are a few more delicious quick bread recipes! Whether you crave something sweet and chocolaty, or more simple loaves, these check all the boxes. They are soft, tender, and perfect to start your day right!