Best Banana Breads

Cooking Light staffers divulge their all-time favorite healthy banana bread recipes.

Classic Banana Bread

Photo: Randy Mayor

Classic Banana Bread

One of our most basic banana breads, this recipe lives up to its name; it's a classic. Choose very ripe fruit―the browner the better―for the most intense flavor and a soft texture that mashes and blends easily.

The Classic is a favorite of Executive Food Editor Ann Taylor Pittman. "It's pure banana flavor," she says. "You can't go wrong with this one."

View Recipe: Classic Banana Bread

Marbled-Chocolate Banana Bread

Randy Mayor

Marbled-Chocolate Banana Bread

Melted chocolate chips add an elegant (and tasty) swirl to this gorgeous bread, making it a perfect candidate for gifts and guests.

"I love the fact that this recipe has chocolate in it, which complements the banana flavor," says Tiffany Vickers, Assistant Test Kitchens Director. "Plus, it just looks so pretty." 

View Recipe: Marbled-Chocolate Banana Bread

Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze

Randy Mayor and Iain Bagwell

Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze

All-Time Favorite: This recipe first appeared on the cover of our September 2003 issue. Four years later, it was named one of the 20 best recipes in our magazine's history for the 20th anniversary issue of Cooking Light. It remains a favorite of many staffers.

"I'm a sucker for a citrus glaze," says Associate Food Editor Julie Grimes. "It gives this bread an interesting twist."

View Recipe: Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze

Peanut Butter Banana Bread Recipes

Photo: John Autry and Randy Mayor

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Peanut butter is whipped into the basic recipe for a moist banana bread with a hint of nutty flavor. A small amount of chopped roasted peanuts offers delightfully surprising crunch.

View Recipe: Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Basic Banana Bread Recipes

Photo: John Autry and Randy Mayor

Basic Banana Bread

Ground flaxseed adds heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and nutty flavor in this Basic Banana Bread recipe. Look for whole ground flaxseed (sometimes labeled "flaxseed meal") on the baking aisle.

View Recipe: Basic Banana Bread

Morning Glory Muffins Recipe

Photo: Randy Mayor

Morning Glory Muffins

A healthier spin on banana-nut muffins, this recipe packs just about every healthful ingredient you can put in a baked good―crunchy walnuts, hearty oats, chewy dried fruit, and more.

A favorite of Special Publications Editor Mary Creel, RD, she praises this muffin for its versatility. "You can eat them for breakfast, as a snack, or for dessert."

View Recipe: Morning Glory Muffins

Banana Chocolate Walnut Bread Recipes

Photo: John Autry and Randy Mayor

Banana Chocolate Walnut Bread

Mini chocolate chips disperse well and melt nicely for the chocolatey glaze.

View Recipe: Banana Chocolate Walnut Bread

Buttermilk-Banana Pancakes with Pomegranate Syrup

Randy Mayor

Buttermilk-Banana Pancakes with Pomegranate Syrup

A quick-and-easy alternative to traditional banana bread, these pancakes make a tasty weekend (or pretend-like-it's-the-weekend) treat. Don't have buttermilk in the fridge? Try our Test Kitchens' tip on a simple-to-make substitution.

"I'm not much of a baker, so I love getting my banana-bread fix without actually having to bake," says Editor Kim Cross.

View Recipe: Buttermilk-Banana Pancakes with Pomegranate Syrup

Bananas Foster Bread Recipes

Photo: John Autry and Randy Mayor

Bananas Foster Bread

This adult interpretation switches all of the sugar to brown sugar and cooks the mashed bananas with butter and cognac or dark rum. And it's topped with a slightly boozy glaze. Test Kitchen Director, Vanessa Pruett praises, "I love the buttery banana-cognac flavor in this moist treat. It feels decadent enough to be a dessert."

Like most banana breads, this recipe freezes well. Just be sure to slather on the glaze after you've thawed the loaf.

View Recipe: Bananas Foster Bread

Eileen's Best Banana Bread Recipes

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Eileen's Best Banana Bread

After receiving a banana bread recipe from a friend, reader Eileen Solberg brainstormed about ways to make it a healthier treat. She started by replacing sour cream with yogurt and reducing the amount of oil. Next, she substituted whole-wheat flour for half of the all-purpose and added flaxseed meal. The result: a tasty and nutritious top-rated recipe.

View Recipe: Eileen's Best Banana Bread

Banana Corn Muffins Recipes

Photo: Randy Mayor

Banana Corn Muffins

This 3-ingredient reader recipe has become a favorite among reviewers for its ease and versatility. Says recipe creater Tara Bennett, "The moist, sweet muffins go with almost anything and are a great way to use a ripe banana."

View Recipe: Banana Corn Muffins

Banana Blueberry Bread Recipes

Photo: Karry Hosford

Banana Blueberry Bread

We love the combination of sweet bananas and tart blueberries in this quick bread. Praises one Cooking Light reader, "This bread is supereasy to make. I like to take it to my daughter's play group and watch the other mothers and toddlers enjoy it. The freshness of the fruit gives a sensational flavor to the bread."

View Recipe: Banana Blueberry Bread

Chocolate-Hazelnut Banana Bread

Photo: Hannah Whitaker

Chocolate-Hazelnut Banana Bread

Use a light hand when swirling the batter; too much swirling may lose the stripe effect.

View Recipe: Chocolate-Hazelnut Banana Bread

Caramelized Banana Bread with Browned Butter Glaze

Photo: Hannah Whitaker

Caramelized Banana Bread with Browned Butter Glaze

A few smart techniques take banana bread to the next level: Cooking ripe banana slices in butter deepens the sweet banana flavor, while browned butter gives the glaze nutty richness.

View Recipe: Caramelized Banana Bread with Browned Butter Glaze

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