My famous, award winning Banana Bread recipe! The best (and only!) recipe for banana bread you’ll ever need. This Purple Ribbon Banana Bread recipe is moist, flavorful and super delicious!
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Purple Ribbon Banana Bread – my Award Winning Banana Bread Recipe!
If you need a seriously good recipe for banana bread, look no further than my Purple Ribbon Banana Bread. Made with simple ingredients, and a delicious streusel topping, this award winning banana bread recipe is the only recipe my family makes.
During childhood, 4-H is where I really learned the essentials of cooking and baking. How to measure wet and dry ingredients, how to properly mix ingredients, and how to use an oven and stove. This Purple Ribbon Banana Bread is a recipe that taught me the fundamentals of all of those things.
What do I need to make a banana bread recipe?
Here’s a check list of the ingredients you’ll need to make banana bread. Be sure to double check your fridge and pantry before you start:
- Ripe bananas – bananas that are mostly brown and spotty are the best. As bananas ripen, they become very sweet. You’ll need three ripe bananas for this recipe.
- Vegetable oil – vegetable oil is what I’ve always used, however, you can also substitute unflavored coconut oil for a healthier option.
- Granulated sugar
- Eggs – large eggs at room temperature are ideal.
- Lemon juice – yep, I know this sounds odd and unconventional for a banana bread recipe, but trust me on this. The acidity of the lemon juice acts to balance the sweetness and creates a wonderfully flavorful banana bread.
- All-purpose flour – you can substitute a gluten-free flour like King Arthur Gluten Free AP Flour.
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Salt – very helpful in balancing the flavors. Don’t leave this ingredient out.
- Chopped walnuts – walnuts are fantastic in banana bread, however, if you have a nut allergy or prefer to not use nuts, you can leave them out. I will say, they add an amazing crunch to every bite!
- Crumble topping ingredients: softened butter, light brown sugar and all purpose flour. The crumble topping is a fabulous addition. It adds a bit of sweetness and crunch which goes perfectly with the soft and moist banana bread below.
For exact ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions be sure to reference the recipe card at the bottom of this post. Thanks!
How do I make banana bread?
The best thing about this recipe is how easy it is to make! Start by mixing the wet and dry ingredients separately. Then gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stopping to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.
I usually mix the batter manually with a whisk, but you could also use a hand mixer.
The batter consistency will be thicker than cake batter, but a little thinner than brownie batter. Divide the batter evenly between two 8″ x 5″ pans, lined with parchment paper.
Crumble topping for banana bread:
Adding a crumble topping to this banana bread is a fantastic addition. When baked, it becomes slightly crisp, adding a nice crunch to every bite.
To mix the crumble topping, you’ll need soft butter (not melted), light brown sugar and flour. Mix these three ingredients together with a fork. The texture will be gravel-like and crumbly. Sprinkle over the top of each loaf, after pouring the batter into the prepared pans.
Where this recipe won its awards and notoriety
Summer is usually when my brother and I were the most active in 4-H, as this was the time to prepare all of your exhibits for county achievement days. For several years, my mom’s car would be packed full of stuff that we were taking to be judged at Achievement days.
If you did an especially good job creating your item/exhibit, you would receive a purple ribbon. You could then submit that item again for the State Fair. This Purple Ribbon Banana Bread is one of my very favorite recipes that I’ve been making since about 8 years old. And it ALWAYS won a purple ribbon!! (Thus, the name!)
What makes this banana bread so good?
I attribute the exceptional flavor of this banana bread recipe to a very untraditional ingredient: lemon juice. Instead of an extract, I use lemon juice to boost the flavor. It also helps enhance the flavor of the bananas.
I’ve been making this award-winning banana bread recipe for over 30 years. I always attribute the amazing flavor to this unconventional ingredient. I never NOT use lemon juice in this recipe!
This Banana Bread recipe is moist, delicious and super flavorful! When its baking in the oven, your entire house smells of the most beautiful, sweet delicious aromas you can possibly imagine.
Its topped with a delightful crumble topping which gives in an amazing texture that complements the bread beautifully! The bread itself it not overly dense or heavy – in fact is has a lightness that melts in your mouth!
Looking to use up over-ripe bananas? Here are some other banana recipes you’ll love:
- Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Banana Protein Muffins
- Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
- Peanut Butter Banana Baked Oatmeal
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
- 4 Ingredient Oatmeal Cookies
- Sugar-Free Healthy Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
- Healthy Banana Brownies
Can this banana bread recipe be made as muffins?
Yes! Instead of using two loaf pans, the batter can be added to a lined muffin tin. This recipe will make approximately 18 muffins. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes.
Make sure you test the muffins by inserting a toothpick into the center of a muffin. If toothpick comes out clean and crumb free, the muffins are done.
Check out some of my muffin recipes here:
- Healthier Bakery-Style Blueberry Muffins
- Carrot Cake Muffins
- Blueberry Protein Muffins
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Protein Muffins
- Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
- Cranberry Orange Muffins
Ingredient Substitutions and Recommendations:
- Flour: Instead of all-purpose flour, you can substitute whole wheat flour, or gluten-free flour, like King Arthur Gluten Free Flour.
- Sugar: To cut down on refined sugar you can substitute the refined sugar for Whole Earth Granular monk fruit sweetener. It’s a great granular sweetener that bakes well in breads and muffins.
- Nuts: If you or someone in your household has a nut allergy, it is completely fine to omit the nuts from this recipe.
- Why lemon juice? Yes, I realize that lemon juice is not a traditional ingredient in banana bread. However, I’ve been baking banana bread recipe for over 30 years. I will say that the addition of lemon juice takes the flavor over the top! It balances the sweetness and flavor of the loaf beautifully. I highly recommend using lemon juice and will never NOT use it in these banana bread recipes.
If you loved this delicious award winning banana bread recipe, be sure to check out some of my other delicious quick bread recipes:
- Cinnamon Apple Bread
- Zucchini Banana Bread
- Cherry Bread
- Double Chocolate Banana Bread
- Better Than Starbucks Pumpkin Loaf
- Healthy Carrot Cake Loaf
- Strawberry Banana Bread
- Cinnamon Swirl Zucchini Bread
- Cinnamon Sugar Quick Bread
- Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread
- Cinnamon Pear Quick Bread
- Healthy Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chunks
- Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bread
Purple Ribbon Banana Bread
- Loaf Pan This 9" Non-stick loaf pan by Wilton is perfect for any banana bread recipe!
- Mixing Bowls These stainless steel mixing bowls are an essential cooking tool for every kitchen.
- Rubber Scrapers These Cuisinart rubber scraper spatulas are fantastic for fillings, batters, and so much more!
- Parchment Paper Sheets These pre-cut parchment paper sheets by Reynolds are super convenient and the perfect size for lining loaf pans!
- 1/3 cup softened butter (not melted, just softened)
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 2/3 cup all purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 8" x 5" loaf pans with parchment paper. Helpful tip: secure paper to edges of pan with binder clips. This prevents paper from sliding when batter is added to pan. Set pans aside.
- In mixing bowl, combine mashed bananas with oil, eggs, sugar and lemon juice. Mix until all ingredients are well combined.
- In another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients; flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, using a large whisk to combine. Stir the batter until just combine and until there are no more lumps.
- With a rubber scraper, fold in the chopped nuts.
- Evenly divide the batter into the two prepared pans.
- For the crumb topping; in a bowl, combine the softened butter, brown sugar and flour. Mix the a fork until crumbly. Sprinkle over the top of each loaf.
- Remove the binder clips from the edges of the pans (if you were using to secure the parchment paper) and place loaves in oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and crumb free.
- Let cool 10-15 minutes before slicing.