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The Only Banana Bread Recipe You’ll Ever Need

By Sarah Jio

A friend of mine once tweeted a confession that remains one of the best (and simply honest) things I’ve come across on the Twitterverse: “I made banana bread today so I could eat a spoonful of the batter.” I know, I know, we’re not supposed to eat raw eggs—bla, bla, bla—but seriously, is there anything better than banana bread batter? Alright, maybe it’s the elementary-school-aged kid in me, but I definitely concur. So why can’t it taste as good out of the oven as it does in the bowl? Oh, but wait—it can!

Without further ado, I give you my holy grail banana bread recipe (with a super-secret ingredient—see below!).

The Holy Grail Banana Bread


2 cups mashed bananas (aka, 4 medium-sized bananas—preferably over-ripe and with lots of brown spots)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon banana extract

1 stick (half cup) melted butter, cooled

½ cup buttermilk

1 egg

¾ cup brown sugar (or substitute your fave natural, zero-calorie sweetener, like monk fruit)

2 cups all-purpose (or gluten-free) flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon sea salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease a loaf pan with butter or cooking spray. Mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl (I use a potato masher to get a really smooth consistency), then add the egg, buttermilk, vanilla, banana extract (the secret ingredient for the most banana-y flavor ever, brown sugar and melted butter. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. With a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients until well combined (but resist the urge to overmix). Pour the batter into your prepared pan, and bake for 50-60 minutes, checking frequently with a toothpick at the end to make sure your loaf is cooked through. Enjoy!

Sarah Jio is a journalist and the New York Times bestselling author of 11 novels with Penguin and Random House Books. Find her on Instagram ( or at her web site (

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