Sweetened condensed milk banana bread is easy to make from scratch and so delicious. Comforting and perfectly moist, this easy banana bread recipe calls for only 3 simple ingredients. It’s perfect for breakfast + snacking and a treat your whole family will enjoy!
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3-ingredient banana bread without cake mix
Homemade banana bread is truly a comforting favorite and impossible to resist. Soft and tender, it tastes as delicious as it smells, and you’ll be pacing impatiently before the oven as it bakes.
This sweetened condensed milk banana bread is incredibly simple and straightforward, using 3 pantry staples you likely already have on hand. I’ve made it again and again. It’s my go-to when I’m left with overripe bananas that I don’t want to go to waste.
The recipe is quick and easy to whip up. The resulting loaf is moist, soft, and deliciously flavored with banana and condensed milk. Bookmark this recipe because it will quickly become a favorite!
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Why you’ll love sweetened condensed milk banana bread
- Moist + tender: This 3 ingredient banana bread is comforting and delicious. Despite being made with only 3 ingredients, the bread tastes flavorful, has a fluffy texture, and is deliciously sumptuous and moist. Pure indulgence in bread form!
- Easy: The recipe comes together super quickly, with only 3 ingredients and minimal equipment. All you need is a bowl, whisk, and baking pan – no stand mixer required.
- Forgiving: The ingredients and method are so simple that even beginners can nail the quick bread recipe.
- Stores well: Because this banana bread uses a generous amount of condensed milk in addition to bananas, it stays fresh and moist for days.
- Versatile: You can easily expand on the base recipe and customize it with any number of delicious add-ins, such as chopped nuts and chocolate chips.
- No Cake Mix: This recipe is for 3-ingredient banana bread without cake mix. It also has no eggs, no oil, and no butter.
This has to be the simplest ingredients list ever! I recommend stocking up on all of these ingredients. Because once you see how good condensed milk banana bread is, you’ll want to make it on repeat. See the recipe card below for specific measurements.
- Bananas: The best banana bread is made with overripened bananas that are fragrant, spotted, and almost black. It’s a great way to use up leftover bananas. No worries, though. I‘ll show you a simple trick of ripening yellow bananas in minutes in the FAQ section.
- Sweetened condensed milk: The recipe calls for one 14-oz can of sweetened condensed milk.
- Self-rising flour is essentially all-purpose flour with added baking powder and salt. It gives the bread structure and rise. If you can’t find this ingredient, I’ll show you how to make your own self-rising flour at home in the FAQ’s.
You’ll also want to grab a large mixing bowl, whisk or spatula, and a 9 in x 5 in / 23 cm x 12 cm loaf pan.
How to make condensed milk banana bread
Now that you have all of your ingredients ready, this no cake mix banana bread takes only a few minutes to prepare. Let’s take a look at each step!
Step 1: Preheat oven
Adjust a backing rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4.
Step 2: Prep pan
Lightly grease a 9 in x 5 in / 23 cm x 12 cm non-stick loaf pan with oil, butter, or cooking spray. Line with parchment (baking) paper, leaving a 2 in / 5 cm overhang on the long sides. Grease the parchment (baking) paper as well.
Step 3: Mash bananas
Add the bananas to a large mixing bowl and mash with a fork until pureed.
Step 4: Make batter
Next, stir in the sweetened condensed milk until well combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the self-rising flour until just combined, and you no longer see traces of flour.
Step 5: Fill pan
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan (tin) and smooth out the top with a spatula or back of a spoon. Optionally, slice a peeled banana in half lengthwise. Arrange the banana halves with the cut side up on top of the bread batter.
Step 6: Bake
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. The banana bread is done when a skewer or cake tester inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, with only a few crumbs attached and no liquid batter.
Step 7: Serve
Let the banana bread cool in the pan (tin) for about 15 minutes. Then lift the bread out using the parchment (baking) paper overhang as handles. Cut the banana bread in thick slices and serve warm or at room temperature.
How to tell when condensed milk banana bread is done?
The baking time ranges between 40 to 55 minutes. But banana bread is notorious for fooling you into thinking it’s done when it really isn’t.
The best way to test doneness is to stick a skewer or cake tester in the center of the loaf. The skewer should come out mostly clean, with only a few crumbs attached.
If you see wet batter, continue baking the bread. Cover the top with a loose piece of aluminum foil if the bread gets too brown. Doing this protects the bread from darkening too much.
I usually start testing my banana bread at the 35-minute mark and mine is done after 43 minutes. Since every oven bakes differently, your banana bread may bake quicker or take longer.
You probably have to bake the bread a few minutes longer if using extremely ripe bananas as they contain more moisture.
Tips for the best banana bread
Homemade banana bread is such a rewarding treat to make. My easy tips will help ensure your few ingredients banana bread turns out perfectly. I hope you love this luscious banana bread as much as I do!
- Overripe bananas are key because they are sweeter, easier to mash + incorporate, and have a richer banana flavor. The peel of the bananas should be in the range of very spotty to almost black.
- Measure the flour correctly. When measuring flour by volume, use the spoon and level method to ensure you aren’t accidentally adding too much flour. To do this, spoon flour into your measuring cup, without packing, and level by running the back of a knife over the cup.
- Avoid overmixing. If you over-mix the batter, your banana bread won’t come out as soft and fluffy. Stop mixing once everything is well combined and the flour is incorporated.
- Don’t overbake the banana bread, as it will continue to bake as it cools. You should take it out of the oven when a toothpick or skewer inserted comes out clean, without liquid batter.
- Remove the baked banana bread from the pan after 10 to 15 minutes. This helps to prevent a soggy bottom and center.
Variations & mix-ins
A slice of this banana loaf is perfectly delicious on its own. But if you’re looking to jazz things up a bit, sweetened condensed milk banana bread is also delicious using the following add-ins and toppings:
- Nuts: Mix 1 cup chop nuts into the batter and scatter a few nuts on top before baking. Use whichever nuts you prefer for banana bread. I think walnuts and pecans are great options.
- Chocolate chips: Prepare the recipe as indicated and fold 2/3 cup chocolate chips into the batter before baking. Optionally, sprinkle a few extra chocolate chips on top.
- Spices: To add extra warmth and coziness, season the batter with 1 tsp vanilla extract + 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon + 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg.
- Coconut: Banana and coconut are a classic combo. Make the batter as directed and add 2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut.
- Dried fruit: Fold 1/2 cup dried fruit into the mixed batter. Raisins, dried cranberries, and chopped dried apricots make tasty additions.
- Brown sugar: The bread isn’t overly sweet, but you can make it sweeter by stirring 1/2 cup brown sugar into the banana-condensed milk mixture.
- Peanut butter: You can replace 1 banana with 1/2 cup peanut butter for peanut butter banana bread.
- Banana halves: Decorate the bread with 2 banana halves cut sides up before baking. This is what I did for the bread you see in the photos.
- Powdered sugar: Dust the top of the banana bread with powdered (confectioners’/icing) sugar after baking.
- Cinnamon sugar topping: You can also sprinkle the unbaked bread with cinnamon sugar for an extra crunchy crust.
- Glaze: If you’re looking for a sumptuous glaze for banana bread, try our sweetened condensed milk glaze. It’s luscious, thick, and the perfect finish for banana bread.
- Streusel topping: A crisp streusel topping makes this recipe even better! Add 3 tbsp melted butter, 1/3 cup flour, and 1/4 cup sugar to a mixing bowl and stir gently with a fork until crumbs form. Sprinkle the mixture over the banana bread and bake.
A thick, warm slice of banana bread fresh from the oven makes delicious breakfast food, a great snack, or treat. You can eat as is or top your slice with a pat of butter and a drizzle of honey. I also like to sprinkle my banana bread with a pinch of cinnamon.
How to store condensed milk banana bread
After the loaf has cooled to room temp, store the sweetened condensed milk banana bread in an airtight container on the counter or in your pantry. It will be good for 4 to 5 days. Don’t store the bread in the fridge because that can dry it out.
How to freeze banana bread
- Whole loaf: Once cooled, wrap the bread a few times in plastic wrap (cling film) and a layer of foil. Put the bread in a large zip-lock bag and label it with the date. The bread will last 3 to 4 months in the freezer. When it’s time to eat, thaw the loaf in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
- Individual slices: When the bread is cool to the touch, individually wrap each slice in plastic wrap (cling film). Put each piece in a zip-lock bag and freeze. When you want to enjoy a slice, reheat it in the microwave for a quick breakfast or snack.
- Tip: If you plan on freezing the banana bread, omit the banana halves on top as they will turn black once thawed.
Reheating condensed milk banana bread
For that fresh-out-of-the-oven taste, reheat your banana bread in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds. For the best result, only reheat one slice at a time. Alternatively, warm in a toaster oven.
Can I turn this banana bread into muffins?
Absolutely! You easily turn the recipe into banana bread muffins. Here’s what to do:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
- Prepare the batter as instructed. Then fill each paper liner 3/4 of the way full with batter. You’ll probably get 12 to 14 muffins out of the recipe.
- Bake for 20 to 24 minutes.
- Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring the muffins to a cooling rack.
What does condensed milk do in banana bread?
Simply put, sweetened condensed milk adds moisture and sweetness to banana bread, creating a tender crumb and beautiful caramelization.
Banana bread recipes without it, have a drier texture and go stale much faster. But banana bread with condensed milk keeps fresh and moist for a whole week after baking.
And the best part? Condensed milk adds a subtle toffee note that beautifully accentuates the banana aroma.
Just in case you were wondering, condensed milk doesn’t make the recipe overly sweet. It’s just the right amount of sweetness to qualify as bread, not banana cake.
Can I use dairy-free condensed milk?
Yes! I usually use regular (dairy-based) condensed milk, but dairy-free coconut condensed milk will work, too.
Can I substitute evaporated milk?
Yes, you can substitute evaporated for condensed milk. Since evaporated milk isn’t sweetened, I recommend adding 1/2 to 3/4 cup brown sugar to the banana bread batter to maintain the sweetness.
What are the best bananas for banana bread?
Extremely ripe bananas are best for banana bread. You know the kind that is spotted, soft, on the point of black. Why? While bananas ripen, the fruit inside becomes more flavorful and sugary. Oils from the peel leech into the fruit and make it even more aromatic.
You could technically use firm, yellow bananas, but they are still pretty firm and don’t contain as much aroma and natural sugar.
My family loves bananas, and the truth is they rarely make it to that overripened stage in my house. Luckily, there are several ways to ripen bananas. Read on to learn how to do it!
How to ripen bananas faster?
While you can wait for bananas to naturally brown and ripen, baking bananas in the oven to expedite the repining process. It’s my favorite way to get things done fast.
- Preheat your oven to 300°F / 150°C / gas mark 2.
- Place your bananas (still in their peels) on a lined, rimmed baking pan (tray). Lining the baking sheet makes clean-up easy in case the bananas leak.
- Bake the bananas in the preheated oven until the skin turns black, for about 30 to 40 minutes.
This super-fast hack was originally shared by Jill Nystul on One Good Thing by Jillee.
How do you make self-rising flour?
If you don’t have self-rising flour, don’t worry! You can easily make some yourself. I use self-rising flour because it adds to the simplicity and cuts back on the ingredients.
For every cup of all-purpose flour, add 1 tablespoon baking powder + 1/8 teaspoon salt. Then, sift everything together. Once fully sifted, measure the amount of flour you need for this 3 ingredient banana bread recipe.
For this banana bread, you’ll need 2 1/2 cups flour + 2 1/2 tablespoons baking powder + 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Can I make banana bread with cake mix?
Though I haven’t tested it, I guess you can make this 3-ingredient banana bread with cake mix, too. Like self-rising flour, cake mix has a leaving agent (baking soda, baking powder) and salt added. So that’s great.
But cake mix also contains sugar, meaning banana bread with condensed milk + cake mix will be sweeter and more cake-like than one with self-rising flour. If you like your banana bread on the sweeter side, go for cake mix!
Where did 3-ingredient banana bread originate?
I wish I knew who came up with this no cake mix 3 ingredient banana bread so I could credit them for creating this heavenly quick bread recipe. I found quite a few different iterations of 3 ingredient banana bread, but couldn’t determine the original author.
Some recipes use cake mix, bananas, and eggs. Others are made by combining self-rising flour with condensed milk and bananas, like my recipe.
Anyway, if you know who came up with this, let me know. I’d love to credit them for the amazing sweetened condensed milk banana bread!