Banana bread has long since been a family favorite breakfast or dessert option. Read on below for tons of tasty ideas for the best banana bread flavors to spice up your usual banana bread recipe!
* Cover photo of Pecan banana bread is by @siftnwhisk *
How Do You Make Banana Bread?
Let’s start with how to make classic homemade banana bread. Regular banana bread is, of course, delicious on its own, so let’s dig in on how to make it. You’ll need:
- 2 to 3 overripe bananas
- 1/3 cup salted or unsalted butter melted
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup sugar or brown sugar
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 cup all all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheight and butter or spray a loaf pan.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl mash, the ripe bananas until smooth, and then add in your melted butter.
- Mix in the baking soda and salt, as well as the sugar, egg, and vanilla extract. Then stir in the flour until fully combined.
- Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees F, for 50 minutes to an hour. Insert a knife or toothpick into the banana bread, once it is done it will come out clean.
Well, there is your simple go-to banana bread recipe, but we like to jazz it up with tons of flavor ideas on how to vary up the semi-subtle taste of banana bread.
Chocolate and Flavored Chip Banana Bread
1. Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Adding chocolate chips is the perfect way to easily add a touch of flavor to your banana bread. Any chocolate-lovers in your life will especially be happy! You can add milk chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips for a healthier option, or even white chocolate chips. Whatever you have handy or prefer! Typically a 1-2 cups full will be a good amount to add for two loaves.
2. Butterscotch Banana Bread
Butterscotch chips are a fun flavor to add to banana bread if you’re not feeling chocolate or you just want to mix it up. You can find butterscotch chips in most grocery stores in the baking section. The sweet caramel-type flavor of butterscotch pairs very nicely with the taste of banana.
3. Double Chocolate Banana Bread
Looking to take your chocolate chip banana bread to the next layer of chocolate heaven? You’ll just need to add 1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder to the mix for a scrumptious double chocolate banana bread. This makes an excellent dessert for your next get-together or party.
Berry Banana Bread Flavors
4. Blueberry Banana Bread
Looking to add some fruit to your banana bread? Look no further than some fresh blueberries to pop into the batter. Or if you just have frozen blueberries, that’s fine too! This recipe would also make excellent blueberry banana muffins for a quick healthy breakfast treat.
5. Strawberry Banana Bread
Strawberries have always paired well with bananas. Whether you’re eating a sundae, a candy, or in this case, banana bread, you can’t go wrong with this dynamic duo. Strawberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C and, of course, are super tasty. Plus, if you’re looking to add a pop of color naturally to your bread, strawberries add a reddish-pink color to the mix. Be sure to slice them to ensure they cook evenly within the batter to make an excellent strawberry banana bread. To make this banana bread more like a dessert, you could also top it with a dusting of powdered sugar for an extra bit of sweetness. The incredibly delicious-looking photo below is by @element_cooking.
Strawberry Banana Bread
- 1/2 cup Butter
- 1 cup Granulated Sugar
- 3 Ripe bananas mashed
- 2 Large eggs – beaten
- 2 cups Flour
- 1 tsp Baking soda
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 1/2 cups Freshly cut strawberries sliced and tossed in 1 tablespoon of flour
- First, Preheat the oven to 375F and spray two 9 by 5 loaf pans with nonstick spray, and set them aside for later.
- In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or a kitchen aid mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.1/2 cup Butter, 1 cup Granulated Sugar
- Next, in a small bowl beat the eggs with a fork. Beat until combined. Then mix the eggs and mashed bananas with the sugar and butter mixture until fully combined.1/2 cup Butter, 1 cup Granulated Sugar, 2 Large eggs – beaten, 3 Ripe bananas mashed
- In a separate medium-sized bowl sift in the dry ingredients: flour, salt, and baking soda. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix until flour is combined. Do not over-mix. Then gently fold in the flour-covered chopped strawberries.2 cups Flour, 1/2 tsp Salt, 1 tsp Baking soda
- Finally, pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 30 minutes, until the edges and top are slightly browned or until a knife comes out clean. Let the loaves cool completely before removing them from the pans. Enjoy!
6. Cranberry Banana Bread
Cranberries are typically a bit more sour or bitter, but when paired with the soft sweet flavor of banana bread, this mixture is SO DELISH. Cranberries tend to remind us of the holidays. But you can definitely enjoy cranberries or any type of berry in banana bread year-round for a boost of vitamin c and an extra spring of flavor.
Nut-flavored Banana Bread
7. Walnut Banana Bread
Adding nuts to banana bread is a perfect idea to add a little crunch, but they also have great health benefits. Walnuts contain healthy fats, including omega-6. They also contain other vitamins and minerals, including copper, Folic Acid, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin E. These vitamins can help with bone health, nervous system health, and immune system function. You can grind them into bits to add to the bread or add them on top for some extra crunch. Of course, you can add chocolate chips into the batter for a sweet and salty mix.
8. Nutella Banana Bread
Nutella is always delicious when added onto or into different baked goods. Nutella is a blend of hazelnuts and cocoa made into nut butter. Mix a few spoonfuls into the bread for an extra delicious swirl of flavor. Not to mention the flavors of banana and Nutella will forever be a match made in heaven. To make your banana bead look extra fancy and delicious, you can drizzle it on top like @bakerkhani did in the first photo. Check out the recipe on how to make this tasty bread by Marcellina here.
9. Pecan Banana Bread
Banana nut bread is one for the winners! Another sort of nut that is delicious to add to the banana batter mixture is pecans! Pecans hold many elements, which make them great for your health. They’re cholesterol-free and contain fiber and protein. So it’s never a bad idea to add a handful or two of pecans to your banana bread batter, making it a super tasty banana nut bread or banana nut muffins!
10. Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Americans love peanut butter. We just can’t deny this fact! Therefore we must add it to many things, including banana bread! You can add as little or as much as you’d like depending on how many loaves you are making. But typically, about 1 cup of peanut butter will do the trick. You can also drizzle some peanut butter on top for extra peanut butter flavor. If you want to make this batch extra fun, add regular peanuts or chocolate chips for a delicious Reese’s banana bread dupe. Pair with a glass of milk, almond milk, or a cup of coffee, and you’re in for a treat!
Healthy Banana Bread Ideas
11. Eggless Banana Bread
If you’re looking for a little healthier version of banana bread or simply do not incorporate eggs into your diet, eggless banana bread is the way to go! Check out this recipe for making banana bread with a great egg substitute, applesauce. Remember to have fun with the toppings or whatever flavor you’d like to make it. You can always add fruit inside, chocolate chunks, or a sprinkling of nuts on top for tasty pops of flavor or crunch.
12. Gluten-free Banana Bread
Looking for a gluten-free banana bread recipe? We gotch you! Check out this mouthwatering banana blueberry porridge bread by Jade Leighton. she adds gluten-free oats, maple syrup, chia seeds, blueberries, and mixed seeds, along with other ingredients to create this tasty looking masterpiece. Check out the full recipe in the link here!
13. Vegan Banana Bread
Just because banana bread is vegan or a little healthier doesn’t mean it isn’t delicious! To make your banana bread vegan, you won’t use eggs or milk. Instead of eggs, you can use natural flavored oil, coconut oil in a liquid state, vegan butter at room temp, or applesauce. And instead of dairy milk, you can use almond milk or oat milk as needed. To use a healthier flour, use whole wheat flour instead of regular flour. Even with these vegan substitutions, you’ll still have delicious bread!
Spice and Tea-flavored Banana Bread
14. Cinnamon Banana Bread
Cinnamon has always been the perfect spice to add to banana bread. Most if not all recipes include it. The cinnamon flavor compliments the banana flavor without overpowering it and can easily go with other flavors, including fruit, nuts, pumpkin, chocolate, and much more. But you can also just add cinnamon to the banana bread on its own for a comforting flavor. We love how Bright Bread Co. added a delicious thick frosting and a sprinkling of cinnamon on top.
15. Chai Banana Bread
Chai spice is typically a mixture of cardamom, allspice, cinnamon, and ginger. This spice blend creates a warm mix to lots of different baked goods or in teas and lattes. It’s extra delicious dashed into the batter of your banana bread, making a cozy mouthwatering treat! You can also make a cream cheese frosting or icing to go on top like @weeveganbean. Her chai spice banana bread looks so delicious we wish we could grab a slice here and now!!
16. Matcha Banana Bread
We are huge fans of matcha tea! What the heck is matcha, you may ask? Matcha is a specialty green tea leaf ground into a fine powder. This green tea powder is often used to make lattes, iced tea drinks, or baking. Its earthy-sweet green tea flavor and color add a pop of freshness to baked goods like cakes, cookies, or in this case, a loaf of matcha banana bread! You don’t need much to go far; depending on how many loaves you make, you shouldn’t need more than a tablespoon full of matcha. Just note that matcha does contain caffeine to it may be an excellent treat to eat in the morning!
More Favored Flavors
17. Pumpkin Banana Bread
It may not always be fall, but we can say we are always in the mood for some pumpkin banana bread! Pureéd pumpkin is delicious and not to mention nutritious. Pumpkin contains essential vitamins, including vitamin C, Vitamin E, iron, and folate – all of which strengthen your immune system. Add some chocolate chips for an extra delicious dessert or breakfast treat! As a tip for making sure nothing spills over the bread pan, put a baking sheet under the pan to ensure a clean oven clean-up.
18. Oat Banana Bread
If you want to add a boost of nutrition to your banana bread, adding oats is the way to go! You can throw in a handful into your usual batter, you can use oat flour, or you can simply sprinkle some on top. Oats are rich in fiber, healthy fat, and protein. Not to mention the flavor of oats is subtle and can easily be mixed into any banana bread recipe.
19. Coconut Banana Bread
If you love coconut and want to add a tropical twist to your bread, add coconut to your batter! Dried or moist shredded coconut will do. You typically add about one cup to your mixture for the best consistency. You can also add a sprinkle of coconut on top and use coconut sugar in your recipe for an extra touch of coconut flavor.
20. Cheesecake Banana Bread
We had to end this list with a bang! If you haven’t tried cheesecake banana bread, this is a recipe you should definitely try! For the cheesecake swirl ingredients, you will need one 8 ounce package of cream cheese at room temperature, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup sour cream, and 1 egg. You’ll want to make your banana bread mixture and the cheesecake mixture separate.
After both batters are made, you’ll spoon 1/4th of the banana bread mixture into the pan, then spoon the cream cheese mixture onto the batter. Then you’ll add the remaining 3/4ths of the banana bread batter. Then you’ll stick a butter knife or paring knife into the batter and swirl 4-6 times. You will bake for about an hour or until a toothpick or knife comes out clean. We can’t wait for you to try it!
Get to Baking!
Now that we’ve covered all of the banana bread bases, we hope one or more of these flavors gave you some ideas to try for your next baking session. We can say we are blown away by the possibilities of flavors and the health value of banana bread. Pull those ripe bananas from your freezer or off your counter and get baking!
For more delicious easy, and family-friendly recipes, check out our Food and Recipes category on FamilyApp.