Slow-Baked Banana Bread

By Ann Fulton

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An unconventional baking temperature creates perfectly tender, foolproof banana bread every time. The recipe makes two large loaves-perfect for freezing or sharing!





I just returned from a wonderful afternoon volunteering at the Boys & Girls Club. We read a lot, shared some good stories, and enjoyed a yummy snack.


I baked banana bread for the occasion and paired it with apple slices and a cold glass of milk. This banana bread is one of my oldest recipes. A slow-baked version-you actually bake it at 250 degrees and the finished product is moist and delicious.


One batch was plain, the other had dark chocolate chips. I thought they would enjoy a taste test. Chocolate won!


An unconventional baking temperature creates perfectly tender, foolproof banana bread every time. The recipe makes two large loaves-perfect for freezing or sharing!

A batch without the chocolate chips…this moist, tender bread truly needs no mix-ins!

Slow-Baked Banana Bread
This makes two large loaves, freezes well, and mixes up in one bowl.
  • 4 very ripe bananas (browner than you’d want to eat) **see options below
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups flour (I usually use half whole wheat, half all-purpose)
  • May add 1 cup walnuts or pecans and/or 1 cup chocolate chips–I like dark chocolate but you could use milk, semi-sweet, mini chips, or chunks. Sometimes, I also add an additional banana–diced–after mashing the first four.
  1. Mash bananas well in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients in order and mix well. Pour batter into 2 greased, 9×5-inch loaf pans. Bake for 1 3/4 to 2 hours at 250 degrees–yes, 250 degrees!–or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean and the top is golden. Cool for 10-15 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on a baking rack.
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  1. Lori

    I’d like to try this in my wood cookstove! I don’t have buttermilk but I do have heavy cream and milk. Is there anything I can try to substitute?

    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Lori, You can absolutely work with the milk. Start by adding 1 tablespoon lemon juice or basic white vinegar to a 1 cup liquid measure, and then add milk to equal 1 cup. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes (it will look a bit curdled) and then use in place of the buttermilk. You can use whatever milk you have. I’ve even used plant-based milks like almond and coconut. For best flavor, I like to use full fat or 2% buttermilk. So, if you have nonfat milk, I’d add two or three tablespoons of your cream to the mix. Using all cream would likely create a heavier loaf. If you have more questions, feel free to ask…and hope you enjoy!

  2. Jackie

    I have a recipe very similar to this one and been making for many years. I freeze ripened bananas and when time to use, defrost bananas in microwave and the bread is so moist.

    1. Ann Post author

      I agree, Jackie. This banana bread is a keeper - and I always have a bag of overripe bananas in my freezer, too!

  3. debbie walsh

    I have to use Gluten Free flour. Do you know if I would use the same amount of flour or make any changes to this recipe? Thank you I can’t wait tor try this recipe out !!

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  5. Donna T

    Does baking it longer help keep the outside from getting to dark? That is my biggest problem, due to the heavy nature of Banana bread it always seems to get dark on the outside before the inside is done.

    1. Ann

      With the lower oven temperature, I never have a problem with this bread becoming too dark on the outside before cooking all the way through the center. When I do have this problem with a baked good in general, however, I drape a piece of foil over the top and that usually does the trick.

  6. Laura

    Just made this last night, substituted 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce for the 1/2 cup of oil, and it turned out great! Baked it in my oven for 1h 55min and it was nice and moist on the inside. Yum!! I think I may be converted from my usual pumpkin bread – this recipe was so, so easy!

  7. Amie

    I am made this yesterday and it’s almost gone. I have a second loaf in the oven right now. That two hours is a long time to wait!

  8. Rila Hackett

    Hi Ann …. I had 4 very ripe bananas so I decided to make this recipe. In addition to the 1 cup of chocolate chips and 1 cup of pecans, I also threw in 1 cup of coconut. Very delicious!

    The bread was perfectly moist. I’m assuming that you wouldn’t get the same effect if baked at 350 degrees for an hour?

    1. Ann Post author

      I’ve always stuck with the 250 temperature, Rila. It would likely work at 350, although this method virtually eliminates the chance of over-baking and drying out the bread.

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