About 8 years ago, I had switched banana bread recipes. A smaller batch of healthier ingredients…. it turned out that we didn’t eat all that much banana bread, until I started making this recipe again. I’d tried others along the way, but this one just has it all. Except you know, being super healthy. Can’t have it *all* I suppose!

In 2013, a reader asked for the original banana bread recipe, saying it was “truly the best banana bread” they ever made. I’d provided it in the comments, so it’s been on the site, but not in an easy to find place. And today, I realized just how long it’s been so here I am to remedy that!

I love this recipe because it’s so versatile. Don’t have enough bananas? Add the rest in pumpkin. Don’t want banana bread? Make pumpkin bread! Same with sugars, oils, applesauce, etc. Just get the general amounts close to the same and it’ll turn out great.

We don’t like nuts, but I know some folks are do love them so I included it as an optional ingredient. Sometimes we aren’t all in the mood for chocolate chips so I’ll make the batter, pour 2 pans without, then mix some chocolate chips into the rest of the batter and pour those.

Let me know if you make this and what you think!

Banana "and/or" Pumpkin Bread

A very versatile and delicious recipe, enough to feed a small army.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 9x5 loaves
Author: Amy Garrett


Wet Ingredients in Extra Large Bowl

  • 4 eggs large
  • 6 cups mashed banana and/or pumpkin puree see notes
  • 1 cup applesauce see notes
  • 1 cup oil and/or melted butter see notes
  • 1 cup milk, plain yogurt, or sour cream

Dry Ingredients in Large Bowl

  • 6 cups flour bread, all purpose, whole wheat, oat, etc
  • 3 cups white and/or brown sugar any combination
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon optional for a more pumpkin-y bread


  • 1-2 cups chocolate chips optional
  • 1-2 cups pecans, walnuts, or other nut optional


  • Preheat oven to 350°f. Generously grease 4, 9x5 loaf pans.
  • In an extra large mixing bowl, combine eggs, banana and/or pumpkin puree, applesauce, oil and/or butter, and milk/yogurt/sour cream. Mix well with hand mixer until completely combined.
  • In separate large bowl, whisk together flour(s), sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon (optional).
  • Add dry mixture to wet mixture and blend together completely; being careful not to over mix.
  • Mix in chocolate chips and/or nuts, if using, and pour or scoop into prepared pans,
  • Baking for 50 minutes. Insert a clean toothpick into center of one loaf. If the toothpick has wet dough on it, cook for another 5-15 minutes, checking every 5.
  • Immediately remove from pans and let cool on wire racks.


Banana/Pumpkin Puree: You can use any combination or just one or the other. This recipe makes both delicious pumpkin bread and banana bread, and a combination is yummy, too!
Oil/Butter/Applesauce: You'll want at least some fats for the best moisture, but I like to balance what would be 2 cups oil/butter with 1 cup applesauce, 1 cup oil/butter.
Flours: Use what you like!
Sugars: I like half and half white/brown sugars, but if you only have one or the other, use it!
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