Martha Stewart Banana Bread (Recipe, Tips & Video)

This Martha Stewart banana bread recipe makes the best banana bread ever. It might become your go to banana bread recipe.

Its moist, has a soft & fluffy crumb and is not too sweet – unlike other banana bread recipes which can be too dense. 

Martha Stewart’s banana bread has a secret ingredient which takes this recipe to the next level.

This is a picture of my Martha Stewart banana bread.

I think its the best tasting and best textured banana bread I have ever made.

You can see the crumb looks moist, yet still light & airy – my tips for these results are below.

I added bittersweet chocolate chunks, which go perfectly with banana.

I love Martha Stewart recipes and have an entire page dedicated to her recipes – see my favorite Martha Stewart recipes.

If you want to compare Martha’s banana bread recipe to recipes from other famous women chefs, you could consider any of the following:

Other Martha Stewart bakes I love include, Martha Stewart’s pound cake and Martha Stewart’s chocolate cake.

How Will This Article Help You Make The Perfect Martha Stewart Banana Bread

In the next section I explain why this Martha Stewart banana bread recipe is special.

Martha uses a secret ingredient which most others don’t and it really takes the recipe to a different level.

I then give you my top 3 banana bread making tips.

These tips apply to any banana bread recipe.

My tips are not a repeat of the instructions.

Take a minute to scroll through them and you will be ready for baking.

The detailed ingredients and instructions are listed below my tips.

If you prefer to watch, I have a 2 minute video linked below which walks you through the entire process.

Why This Martha Stewart Banana Bread Recipe Is Special

There are literally thousands of banana bread recipes online.

Many of them are simple recipes that are easy to make, etc.

In many ways this Martha Stewart banana bread recipe is the same.

  • It is easy to make and doesn’t require any special ingredients or equipment. Mix by hand or with a hand mixer is fine.
  • Its not too sweet. Most of the sweetness is natural from the bananas. There is 1 cup of added sugar and when combined with ripe bananas, the sweetness is just right.
What makes Martha Stewart's banana bread special is :

SOUR CREAM (1/4 cup)

Why Does Sour Cream Improve Banana Bread?

Sour cream is one of the fattiest dairy products used in baking.

The additional fat content from sour cream will make your banana bread moister without thinning the batter in the same way as other liquids will (like milk or even buttermilk).

The higher fat levels also provide more richness to the taste.

The acidity from the sour cream also results in a softer and more tender crumb (due to how the acids effect the gluten in the ingredients).

With this special ingredient, this recipe ticks all the boxes for the perfect banana bread.

I love my banana bread sliced thick with plenty of butter.

3 Tips To Make The Perfect Banana Bread

These tips will apply to Martha Stewart’s banana bread recipe, or any other banana bread recipe for that matter.

1. Use overripe bananas for best results

No you dont need to use overripe bananas to make banana bread, but the results will be better if you do. 

As bananas ripen they get sweeter and the ‘banana’ flavor intensifies. 

Riper bananas are also softer and combine better with the batter for a more uniform bake.

(FYI, bananas get sweeter as they ripen because starch within the fruit is gradually turned to sugar).

You can use less ripe bananas if you need to. 

If you do need to use less ripe bananas, you might want to consider adding some additional flavoring, given less ripe bananas have a lower flavor intensity.

You could add banana flavoring but I think it tastes too artificial.

A good alternative is to introduce other flavors like almond extract.

2. How ripe should bananas be for banana bread?

Bananas need to be overripe for best results – the more overripe the better.

But, overripe does not mean rotten.

Use these cues to work out if your bananas are perfectly ripe for banana bread:

  • Banana skin color: the banana skin should be a combination of deep yellows and brown patches/spots. It can be ok if the skin is completely brown.
  • Color of the banana flesh: the flesh should look a relatively ‘normal’ color. Some surface level brown spots are ok – these can easily be cut out. If the flesh is dark brown or black in large patches or deep into the banana, it is likely beyond ripe and is probably rotten.
  • Feel of the banana flesh: the flesh should feel firm yet soft enough that you can easily mash it with a fork, turning it into a mushy paste. If the flesh is mushy or watery when you open the banana, it is probably too far gone and on the way to rotten.
  • Fragrant banana smell: as bananas ripen their smell intensifies. Overripe bananas should have a distinct smell of ripe banana. If your banana smells fermented, or mouldy, or alcohol like, it has likely gone bad.

3. Do not overwork (overmix) the banana bread batter

Banana bread is naturally more dense than banana cake – banana bread has a higher ratio of banana to flour & other rising agents.

To make banana bread that is moist yet still soft and fluffy, it is critical not to overwork the batter. The best way to manage this is:

Do most of the mixing by hand.  

Only mix enough for the ingredients to be combined.

Watch my video below and see how less is more for the perfect banana bread texture.

Watch my 2 minute video below and you will see I: 

  • Only use a hand mixer to cream the butter and sugar. Start with room temperature butter cut into 1 inch chunks. Mix just until light in color and fluffy in texture. (Around 5 minutes should be enough)
  • Combine the rest of the ingredients by hand using a spatula. You can use a hand mixer on low if that would suit you better. The key is – only mix enough to combine your ingredients.

Overworking banana bread batter is equivalent to kneading bread dough. 

Kneading bread dough strengthens the gluten network in the bread – which helps create a strong chewy yeast rising loaf. You dont want this for soft and fluffy banana bread.

The picture above shows a light and airy crumb to my banana bread.

Final Thoughts

That is everything you need to know to master a banana bread by the great Martha Stewart.

Check out the full recipe below.

Watch the quick, 2 minute, video of me making this recipe and see how easy it is.

Martha Stewart Banana Bread (Recipe, Tips & Video)

Recipe by Barbara HuntCourse: Martha StewartDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





Enjoy a perfectly moist, yet soft & fluffy banana bread with this Martha Stewart banana bread recipe.


  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (at room temperature)

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup mashed overripe bananas (3-4 bananas)

  • ½ cup sour cream

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans or bittersweet chocolate chunks


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan.Buttered and Floured Loaf Tin
  • In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time and beat to incorporate.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, stirring until just combined. (Dont overwork this step)Mixing Banana Bread Ingredients Until Just Combined
  • Add bananas, sour cream, and vanilla to the mixture, stirring until combined. Stir in the nuts (or chocolate chunks) and pour into the prepared pan.
  • Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes.
  • Let the cake rest in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.Martha Stewart Banana Bread Cooling on a wire rack
Barbara Hunt


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