Why It Works
- Ripe-but-not-overripe bananas give the batter structure, so the loaf bakes up fluffy and light.
- Oat flour thickens the batter and improves moisture retention, for a loaf that rises higher and lasts longer than one made from all-purpose flour alone.
- Nutmeg and cloves are high in eugenol, the same compound that gives ripe bananas their distinctive flavor and aroma, deepening the banana flavor of the loaf.
- Because coconut oil is solid at room temperature, it gives the banana bread a uniquely rich yet buttery crumb.
This is my favorite recipe for banana bread, loaded with coconut oil, oat flour, and thick Greek yogurt so it's always tender and moist. I use a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves to boost the natural flavor of banana, making this loaf less spicy than banana-y. If you really want to step up your game, forget butter—try topping a slice with a dollop of thick and fruity banana whipped cream.
- 4 medium bananas (20 ounces; 565g), ripe but not fully black
- 4 ounces plain Greek yogurt (1/2 cup; 115g), preferably nonfat
- 2 large eggs, straight from the fridge
- 1/2 ounce vanilla extract (1 tablespoon; 15g)
- 10 ounces all-purpose flour (2 cups; 280g)
- 5 1/4 ounces sugar (3/4 cup; 150g), preferably toasted
- 3 ounces oat flour (3/4 cup; 85g), such as Bob's Red Mill (see note)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon (3g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume or use the same weight
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground or grated nutmeg
- 5 1/4 ounces coconut oil, virgin or refined (3/4 cup; 150g), creamy but firm, about 70°F
- 6 ounces toasted pecan or other nut pieces (1 cup; 170g) (see note)
Line a 10 1/2– by 5 1/2–inch loaf pan with a 9- by 13-inch sheet of parchment paper, or two 9- by 5-inch loaf pans with 7- by 13-inch sheets of parchment paper. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 350°F. Peel bananas (for roughly 12 ounces or 340g fruit) and mash with Greek yogurt, eggs, and vanilla in a medium bowl. If bananas are underripe, cover bowl with plastic and let mixture stand 30 minutes.
Combine flour, sugar, oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and coconut oil in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low until coconut oil disappears into a mealy powder. Add banana mash and continue mixing only until the floury bits disappear. Fold in nuts with a flexible spatula, scrape into prepared pan(s), and spread into an even layer. Bake until well risen and golden brown, or to an internal temperature of around 206°F (about 70 minutes for a large loaf or 45 for small). Wrapped tightly in foil, banana bread will keep up to 3 days at room temperature or 1 week in the fridge.
For Banana Nut Muffins: Divide batter evenly among 12 lightly greased nonstick muffin cups, adding approximately 1/2 cup (4 ounces; 120g) to each cup. Bake until domed and just beginning to brown around the edges, about 25 minutes.
Stand mixer; one 10 1/2– by 5 1/2–inch loaf pan, two 9- by 5-inch loaf pans, or one standard muffin tin
Update: Avoid Greek yogurt thickened with gum, gelatin, or pectin. Look for brands that contain only milk and active cultures; this recipe was tested with both Fage and Chobani. If you don't happen to have any oat flour on hand, simply use an equal amount of whole wheat or all-purpose flour. For a slightly sweeter variation, replace the toasted nuts with an equal amount of dark or milk chocolate chips.