This easy banana bread recipe without baking soda is everything that comfort food should be. Easy to make and requiring only a few ingredients, a slice of this bread at breakfast will make you feel like you never got out of your warm, cozy bed.
Mashed ripe bananas are mixed with brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and chopped pecans. Every bite is suffused with sweet, soft bread and crunchy nutty flavor.
This banana bread gets its rise with only eggs and baking powder, the eggs adding both lift and richness to the loaf. While you may want to keep it all yourself, this is a great recipe to make if you’re going over to a friend’s for coffee or want to bring something special to your coworkers at the office.
Cut into thick slices, one or two slices of this bread will be all you need to start the day. If you are serving it fresh, have it with your favorite cup of coffee or tea. If you want to warm it up, spread a thin layer of butter on it as you warm it under the broiler. If you still want to pair it with other foods, think about opting for light fruits, like berries or melon.
When you line your loaf pan, create a sling with the parchment paper. You want to cut a piece of paper so that it hangs over the long sides of the pan, leaving enough paper for you to easily hoist the bread out of the pan when it is cooling.
This banana bread recipe is unique in that it doesn’t require baking soda. To compensate, you must use 3 large eggs and baking powder. When you add the baking powder, sprinkle it over the wet ingredients and stir to combine it to make sure that it is properly distributed throughout the dough.
What You Need to Make Easy Banana Bread Without Baking Soda
This recipe only requires a few ingredients: ripe bananas, dark brown sugar, vanilla, all-purpose flour, baking powder, pecans, butter, cinnamon, salt, and eggs.
You can use any kind of brown sugar you have on hand. I like dark brown sugar in this recipe because it adds moisture and has a rich flavor. The vanilla is also optional if you don’t have it.
- Ripe bananas
- Dark brown sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Unsalted butter
- Table salt
- Ground cinnamon
- Vanilla extract
This recipe requires a fork, a bowl, a spatula, parchment paper, a microwave-safe bowl, and a loaf pan. If you don’t use pre-chopped pecans, you will also need a sharp knife and cutting board.
How To Make Banana Bread Without Baking Soda
Make the batter: Melt the butter. Mash the ripe bananas with a fork until only a few chunks remain. Mix in the melted butter and dark brown sugar. Then add in the eggs, mixing with the fork until it is well combined.
Sprinkle the baking powder and cinnamon over the batter. I like to do this to make sure that these ingredients don’t clump up into one pocket, particularly if I’m making a one-bowl recipe (like this one!).
Mix the batter to distribute it. Then add in the all-purpose flour. You can sift the flour and make sure there are no lumps, but this is optional.
Fold the mixture together until almost no streaks of flour remain. Then fold in the chopped pecan pieces until they are well distributed.
Bake: Pour the batter into a lined and greased loaf pan. Line the pan so that you have an overhang of parchment on the long edges of the pan, creating a sling so that you can remove the bread.
Place into a preheated oven set to 350ºF and bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Enjoy: Allow to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before removing from the pan. Cool on a wire rack before slicing.
Can I use another nut besides pecan?
You can substitute or omit the pecans. Walnuts would be a good swap. Although you can completely omit the nuts, I do think having an additional texture adds a lot to this bread, so consider adding a dried cranberry or a raisin instead.
Should I toast the nuts?
Usually, I’m an advocate of always toasting nuts. Toasting opens up and deepens the flavors of the nut. However, in this recipe, I found the banana bread made with untoasted pecans yielded a flavor that was more banana-y than nutty. If I were using a lighter-colored nut, like a walnut, I would probably lightly toast them before adding them to the batter.
Can I make this in advance?
Yes. This bread can be stored at room temperature for several days. Reheat the bread under a broiler with a little butter. You can also double the recipe and make two loaves. It stores well in the freezer!
What can I do if my bananas aren’t ripe?
If your bananas aren’t quite ripe, all is not lost! Pierce your bananas several times with a sharp knife while they are still in their peels. Place on a baking sheet in an oven set to 350ºF for 7 or 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the bananas to cool before peeling and mashing them.
I’ve seen recipes that brown the butter for banana bread. Why aren’t we doing that here?
This isn’t a necessary step because this dish is one bowl and has a really light, lovely banana flavor. However, I love adding browned butter to baked goods, and if you want to make this bread a little extra bit special, you should! To brown the butter, melt it over medium heat in a small saucepan until a few brown bits start to form at the bottom of the pan. Be sure to watch it and stir it—butter can burn quickly. Remove it from the heat when it begins to brown. Once it has cooled slightly, add it as you normally would to the batter.
Easy Banana Bread (Without Baking Soda)
- 3 ripe bananas
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF
- Melt 4 tablespoons of butter and allow to cool.
- In a bowl, mash 3 ripe bananas.
- Add the 4 tablespoons melted butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 cup of dark brown sugar. Mix until smooth.
- Add 3 large eggs and mix until smooth.
- Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 3 teaspoons of baking powder over the wet ingredients and fold a few times.
- Add 1 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour to the batter and mix until well combined.
- Fold in 1/2 cup of chopped pecans.
- Line and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan, allowing the parchment paper to hang over the side.
- Fill the pan with the batter.
- Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Allow it to cool.
- Slice and enjoy!
Here are a few other recipes you might enjoy!
- Almond Flour Banana Muffins
- Strawberry Banana Pancakes
- Banana Waffles
- Pumpkin Nut Bread
- Nutella Banana Bread
- Gingerbread Muffins
Arielle is a food and drink photographer based in Washington, D.C. She was previously a social science researcher before she fell in love with photography.