This classic banana nut bread with delicious streusel topping is an easy-to-make recipe that is a surefire hit at any gathering. It’s the perfect baked good for brunch or to serve for afternoon tea.
Whether you’re looking for a delicious addition for your brunch menu or you have a couple of too-ripe bananas you want to use up, this classic banana bread recipe is just what you need.
It’s a little denser and not as sweet as some banana bread versions (that are more like a cake). But it’s full of banana flavor and tastes delicious.
And the crumb topping finishes it of with just the right amount of sweetness and a little crunch.
It also freezes really well, so you can make it ahead of time and pull it out when you need it.
This post may contain affiliate links. We make a small commission if you buy the products from these links (at no extra cost to you). As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. But we only recommend products we would use ourselves. For more information, click here to see our disclosures
This recipe makes enough for 1 loaf of banana bread.
Here is your shopping list:
- sugar – ½ cup brown sugar for the streusel, ½ cup regular white sugar for the bread
- baking supplies – 1½ cups all-purpose flour, 1½ teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt
- flavoring – 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- rolled oats – ½ cup for the streusel
- dairy – 2/3 cup butter (divided between the streusel and the bread)
- eggs – 2 large eggs
- fresh fruit – 2 ripe bananas. Overripe bananas work best since they are easy to mash and make the bread moister.
- nuts – enough pecans or walnuts for 1 cup after they have been chopped
- This recipe can be made gluten-free by substituting measure-for-measure gluten-free flour instead of the regular flour. Also, make sure the oats are certified as gluten-free since they are often processed in factories that handle other grains.
- You can substitute chocolate chips or raisins for the nuts. Or use half of each.
- The nuts can also be left out altogether. Although I don’t think the bread tastes as good without them.
How To Make Banana Bread with streusel topping
Pre-heat the oven to 350℉.
Chop the nuts.
Melt ⅓ cup butter in a small saucepan on the stove or in a microwave-proof bowl in the microwave.
We want the melted butter to cool before mixing it into the bread batter so set it aside for now.
Prepare the loaf pan
Get a 4″ x 9″ loaf pan ready to use by cutting a piece of parchment paper to fit inside.
The short side of the paper should be the same width as the long side of the pan.
And the long side should cover the bottom, the sides and fold over the top edge of the pan.
Push the parchment paper down into your loaf pan so that it it is covering the bottom of the pan. Make sure there is at least a couple of inches sticking out over the top of both sides.
This is going to make the bread so much easier to get out of the pan after it is baked.
If you don’t have parchment paper, you can spray the inside of the pan with non-stick cooking spray or grease it with butter. But these don’t work nearly as well as the parchment paper.
Make the streusel topping
The streusel topping is optional, but it tastes delicious and I love the little bit of crunch that it adds to the banana bread.
It also keeps the top of the banana bread from getting too brown.
Chop ⅓ cup cold butter into half-inch slices.
Then add it to a mixing bowl with ½ cup brown sugar and ½ cup uncooked rolled oats.
Using two knives (or a pastry blender), cut the butter into the oats and brown sugar until it is is well mixed and the butter is in pea-sized pieces.
Set it aside.
Mix the dry ingredients
In a small bowl, combine 1½ cups flour, 1½ teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda and ½ teaspoon salt.
Mix the wet ingredients
Mash 2 bananas with an electric mixer.
Start on low speed to get bananas softened. Then speed up and mix until they are pureed.
Add 2 eggs, ½ cup sugar and the melted butter to the bowl.
Beat on medium speed until the mixture is smooth.
Make the batter
With a spoon (not the mixer), stir the dry ingredients into the mashed bananas mixture. Mix just until combined.
Do not stir too much or the bread will be tough.
Add in 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts.
Stir just until combined.
Bake the bread
Spoon the banana bread mixture into the parchment-covered loaf pan.
Sprinkle the streusel over the top.
Bake in the oven at 350℉ for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Take the pan out of the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before removing the bread.
Loosen the bread from the sides of the loaf pan with a knife.
Use the excess parchment paper as handles to pull the banana bread out of the pan.
Let it cool completely on the wire rack.
Serve plain or with butter.
Banana bread can be stored in an air tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
To freeze it, wrap the loaf in foil or plastic wrap. Then put it in a freezer bag or air tight container.
If you slice the banana nut bread before you freeze it, you can take out individual pieces when you need them and they will thaw quicker.
Frequently asked questions
The easiest way to remove banana bread from the pan is to line the sides and bottom of the pan with a long piece of parchment paper before putting the batter in.
If you cut the paper so it hangs over both edges by a couple of inches, you can use the extra as handles to pull the bread easily out of the pan in one piece.
Leave banana bread in the pan for about 5 minutes before removing it and letting it cool completely on a wire rack.
Other baked goods you might like
- Old-fashioned date nut bread
- Strawberry rhubarb bran muffins
- Maple pecan scones with cinnamon butter
- Traditional buttermilk scones
- Blueberry muffins
Classic Banana Nut Bread (With Streusel Topping)
- mixing bowl
- two knives or pastry blender
- small sauce pan or microwave-proof bowl
- small mixing bowl
- Electric mixer and bowl
- mixing spoon
- parchment paper
- loaf pan
- wire cooling rack
- ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ½ cup uncooked regular oats
- ⅓ cup cold butter cut into pieces
- ⅓ cup butter
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour, or measure-for-measure gluten-free flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 bananas
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup pecans or walnuts (optional)
- Heat the oven to 350F.
- Combine the brown sugar, oats and cold butter in a mixing bowl.
- Using two knives (or a pastry blender), cut the butter into the oats and brown sugar until it is cut into pea-sized pieces, and is well mixed.
- Melt the butter. Set aside.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
- With your electric mixer, beat the bananas until they are mashed up.
- Mix in the eggs, sugar and melted butter.
- Beat on medium speed until the mixture is smooth.
- With a spoon, stir in the flour mixture just until combined.
- Add in the vanilla and the nuts (if desired)
- Cut a piece of parchment paper that is the same width as the long side of your loaf pan but is long enough to cover the bottom, the sides and fold over the top edge of the pan.
- Insert the parchment paper into your loaf pan so that it covers the bottom and the sides, and is sticking up over the top on both sides.
- Spoon the banana bread mixture into the loaf pan.
- Sprinkle the streusel over the top.
- Bake in the oven for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
- Pull the banana bread out of the pan using the excess parchment paper as handles.
- Let cool completely on the wire rack.
- Streusel is optional but it keeps the top of the banana bread from getting too brown.
- Don’t mix flour too much or the bread will be tough. (Since gluten is what makes this happen, this tip doesn’t apply for gluten-free flour.)
- To mash the bananas in the mixer, start on a slower speed until the bananas are softened. Then speed up until they are well mixed.
- Cut the parchment paper larger than the pan so it can be used as “handles” to remove the banana bread from the loaf pan when it is finished baking.
- Chocolate chips can be used instead of or in addition to nuts
- To make this recipe gluten free, substitute measure-for-measure gluten-free flour instead of the all-purpose flour using the same measurements
- If you are making the streusel, make sure the oats you are using are certified to be gluten-free. While oats don’t naturally contain gluten, they are often contaminated because they are processed in factories that also handle other grains which are not gluten-free.
How To Store
- Banana Nut Bread can be stored in an air tight container for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
- To freeze, wrap it in foil or plastic wrap and put it in a freezer bag or air tight container.
- Slicing it before you freeze it will make it easier to take out individual pieces and they will thaw quicker.
Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.
Have comments or questions about our classic banana nut bread recipe? Tell us in the section below.
Pin It So You Don't Forget It!
This post was originally published on May 19, 2020 but was updated with new content on March 30, 2023.