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Banana Friendship Bread

If you’re looking for a delicious sweet treat to share, try this easy banana bread recipe. You’ll love the moist crumb and the distinctive banana flavor.

sliced loaf of banana bread; text overlay "Friendship Banana Bread"

Friendship Banana Bread

This recipe was my son’s favorite food for a long time, and I used to make it often, just to see the smile on his face! He was five years old when I was given this recipe and I must have made it dozens of times over the next 30 years.

I originally found it in an old church cookbook. One of the reasons I think my son liked it so much was that it didn’t contain any strong tastes, such as cinnamon.

This is the best banana bread recipe I’ve ever made, and that’s why it’s been a keeper in our family!

This banana bread is incredibly moist (no dry crumbles here!) and has subtle banana flavor all throughout. Because there are no baking spices to compete, the banana really shines here! The crust is thick and chewy and the perfect compliment to the soft inner loaf.

sliced loaf of banana bread with hand grabbing a piece

Why is it Called Friendship Bread?

When I was a young mom, my friends and I exchange recipes all the time. It was also very common to make something like this friendship banana bread and take it to a neighbor. Back in the day if someone was sick, or had a baby, or moved into the neighborhood it was very common to bring over some food.

When we tasted something one of our friends had made—we asked for the recipe. It was really a part of friendships to share food and recipes. Much of my recipe box contains recipes from friends or church functions. When I make an old recipe like this; I am reminded of the friends who shared it with me.

Food = Memories!

This banana bread is still a treat and I’m sure you can find many ways to use it. It would be great to serve with coffee or brunch or prepare and share with a friend.

Related: For another fabulous treat to share with friends over coffee, try our cinnamon coffee cake recipe too!

loaf of banana bread wrapped in striped towel

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick of butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup of bananas mashed (about 3 large ripe bananas)
  • 1 ½ Tablespoon milk
  • 1 cup of chopped nuts (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Flour Mixture

  • 2 cups flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

Kitchen Tools Used

Instructions

  1. Cream white sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the beaten eggs, milk, and vanilla and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, mash bananas and add lemon juice.
  3. In a third large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
  4. Pour the flour mixture and the banana mixture to the bowl containing the butter mixture, alternating flour with bananas. Mix as you add, until everything is well combined.
  5. If adding nuts, fold them in now.
  6. Scoop batter into a greased bread pan and bake in the oven for 50-55 minutes at 325°F. You’ll know it’s done when a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

2 step photo collage showing how to make mix and bake banana bread

When the bread is done baking, remove from oven and allow to cool just enough to handle safely. Give the pan a good shake to loosen the bread from the bottom of the pan, then flip carefully onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

I do recommend waiting about 1/2 hour before cutting into slices.

Optional Mix-Ins

  • Frozen Blueberries
  • Chopped Nuts
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Golden Raisins

Simply add 1/2 – 1 cup of any of the above to this recipe — stir in your fruit or nuts right before you move the batter to the prepared pans for baking.

loaf of banana bread with 3 slices

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Add Nuts to this Banana Bread?

Sure! You are welcome to make this a banana nut bread by adding one cup of your favorite type of chopped nuts. Pecans and walnuts would both work well. I usually omitted the nuts when making the bread for my kids because they preferred their desserts sans-nuts.

TIP: If you love nuts in your dessert breads, try our recipe for Maple Walnut Banana Bread too!

How Long Does Banana Bread Last?

The best way to store your homemade banana bread is to cover completely with foil or plastic wrap and keep at room temperature. Store away from light or heat sources which can cause the bread to spoil more quickly. Otherwise, it should stay good for 3-4 days on the counter.

I don’t usually refrigerate my baked goods because they tend to dry out, but you can absolutely freeze this bread! You can wrap and freeze either a whole loaf, or individual slices. Place the wrapped bread into a freezer bag for up to 3-4 months.

Is This the Same as Amish Friendship Bread?

While they share a name, Amish Friendship Bread is different from this Banana Friendship Bread. Amish bread is sourdough-based — the name comes from the fact that you gift friends and family both a loaf and a sourdough starter. That way they can make their own bread and keep the tradition going.

But even while the actual recipes are different, the concept is the same: food = friendship!

3 slices of banana bread on cutting board

Friendship Banana Bread Recipe (Printable Copy)

If you tried this recipe and loved it too, please rate it!

 

hand grabbing a slice of banana bread

Friendship Banana Bread

Sara Garska
If you're looking for a delicious sweet treat to share, try this easy banana bread recipe. You'll love the moist crumb and the distinctive banana flavor.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 360 kcal

Equipment

  • mixing bowl
  • Hand mixer
  • Bread pan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed bananas 3 large ripe bananas
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon milk
  • 1 TB vanilla extract
  • 1 TB lemon juice
  • 1 cup chopped nuts optional
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Instructions
 

  • Cream sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl
  • Add beaten eggs and vanilla to the sugar and butter mixture.
  • In a separate bowl, mash bananas and add lemon juice.
  • Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a third bowl.
  • Add flour mixture and banana mixture to the butter mixture, alternating flour mixture with bananas.
    2 step photo collage showing how to make mix and bake banana bread
  • Fold in chopped nuts if using them.
  • Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes at 325°F.
  • Let rest for about 1/2 hour before cutting.

Notes

Nutrition information is provided as an estimate; your actual values will vary based on exact ingredients used and serving size.

Nutrition

Calories: 360kcalCarbohydrates: 56gProtein: 5gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 251mgPotassium: 238mgFiber: 2gSugar: 29gVitamin A: 437IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 52mgIron: 2mg
Keyword banana, bread
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2 photo collage of banana bread with text overlay "Friendship Banana Bread"

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