One Banana – Banana Bread

Three things inspired this recipe. First, sometimes you want to make banana bread but you only have one ripe banana. Or maybe I should say, sometimes you have a ripe banana and you want to do something with it—ideally make bread. But is that one lonely banana enough all on its own?

Second, sometimes you just want to bake something. Is it just me, or does everyone feel this way now and again (especially in the winter months)? Ideally, I want to bake something easy that will make my whole kitchen smell amazing. But I’d prefer if the end result was NOT a dozen cookies or scones or whatever because I know myself well enough to know that this means I will likely eat a dozen cookies or scones over the following couple of days. I want a little treat, sure, but mostly I just want to carry out the act of baking something and just get a little bite of something at the end.

Third, and most literally, this recipe is inspired by Chrissy Teigen’s recipe from her new cookbook (which I love). But, I’ll be the first to admit that this is a much more simple version that results in a smaller serving amount in the end. It’s really very different, but I was still inspired by her recipe and I love her cookbook so much I wanted to mention it anyway. 🙂

If you only have one banana, make this banana bread. If you LOVE banana bread (raises hand high) but don’t need a giant bundt cake size in your house due to a lack of self-control, make this banana bread. If you just feel like baking something, make this banana bread. You will not be disappointed. Enjoy! xo. Emma

5 from 10 votes

One-Banana Banana Bread

Servings 6


  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


  1. In a medium size mixing bowl, mash the banana. Then stir in the egg, vanilla extract, and oil until combined. Then add all at once the flour, sugars, baking soda, and salt. Fold until combined. Then stir in the chopped walnuts.

  2. Spoon into your prepared (oiled or lined with parchment) baking vessels and bake at 325°F
  3. Regular size muffins or a baked donut pan will yield six and should be baked for 14-15 minutes.
  4. If you use mini loaf pans (like I have in the photos), this will yield three and should be baked for 18-20 minutes.

Recipe Notes

I added a second banana to the top of these mini loafs just for the photos (just trying to give you something pretty to look at it). This is not necessary and in fact I found it caused the batter just under the banana to bake unevenly. So I really don't even recommend it, but if you want the look ... I get it. 🙂

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • Emma. I literally have one banana, that’s been sitting in the freezer, waiting to be made into bread. Thank you for this recipe!

  • All hail this 1 banana recipe! Usually I have 1 or 2 super ripe banana’s leftover and I don’t like eating them that way (I like them a bit greenish). But all banana bread recipes are for three bananas, and I’m too lazy to divide by 2/3 😉

    • I found the temp & baking time way too low.
      Delicious recipe. I’m making this morning again.
      I’m trying this….Oven 400. Reduce when putting in muffins. I’m going to bake for 20 minutes @ 350. Will let you know.

  • This is the PERFECT recipe because we constantly have one or two bananas leftover that will usually get thrown out, plus I have ZERO self control when it comes to banana bread and WILL eat an entire loaf to myself 😅 With this recipe, I am eliminating waste AND lessening the amount of sweets I eat in one day (or sitting) 🙌

  • Oh my gosh these look so yummy! I am definitely going to try this out! Also I have been loving Chrissy Teigens cookbook as well! So many good recipes!

  • I love make banana bread but if I dont have enough I use baby food for the remaining of what I’m missing and it leads it a little moist thank you for your dividing

  • Emma, I try many of your recipes and if I don’t try them, they’re printed in a pile for me to try when the time pops up. Haha. My son and I love banana bread!!!! If this recipe is anything close to your vegan pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, I will make it multiple times THIS month. I even made those cookies for my students (I have a few who are vegan) and they’re asking for more. Thanks for sharing your creativity with us!

    Lindsey Jones

  • Just put the bread in the oven. I really had one lonely ripe banana at home. Usually I use them for smoothies but I totally wanted to bake something (know this feeling very well) and eat something baked. I didn’t have all the ingredients at home so I exchanged the vanilla extract with vanilla sugar (much more common in Germany) and reduced the sugar a bit and I also used pecan nuts instead of walnuts. I‘m gonna show you how it turned out on Instagram @green_kerstine .

  • You should check out the cookbook Sweet and Simple: Dessert for Two by Christina Lane. She scales every recipe down to a generous two person serving and they are SO GOOD. I got it specifically because, like you, I wouldn’t have enough self-control to not eat a whole lot of a good dessert. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  • I made this banana bread the other day and it turned out sooooo good! Subbed the walnuts for a chopped up chocolate bar I had laying around and the flavour was out of this world! Super moist and evenly flavoured. 10/10 will be making again. Next time I’m going try subbing in whole wheat flour and taking out the chocolate to make them a little healthier. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Just baked a batch, had to let them go a fair bit longer in the oven and give a few minutes at 350F, to brown the tops. I highly recommend the classic “toothpick test” to ensure they are ready. They smell so lovely, can’t wait to dig in!!

    • Totally agree with you Annie—the toothpick test is where it’s at! Ovens can vary so much I think. Also I feel like mine has a few hotter spots, if that makes sense.

  • I baked this in a small loaf pan for 30 minutes. I loved that the ingredients were things I always have. It was perfect for 2. Dessert one evening and breakfast the next day.

  • Very thankful for this recipe! Baked these today as regular size muffins and they turned out very well. Bake time in a gas oven here in Las Vegas was closer to 20 minutes for me. I’ll probably add less sugar next time because I prefer a little less sweetness. Thanks for sharing!

  • Thank you for an excellent recipe. Baked in 3 mini loaf pans. Did not have any walnuts. Still very delicious!

  • Thank you for having this recipe. I wanted to make this recipe work and glad you have this for us! I am already excited to see your other ideas!

  • The BEST banana bread I’ve had in a while, and one that I made myself too.
    Thank you so much – great delicious recipe for that one leftover banana!!

  • Me and my daughter literally ate this entire thing in one night. So good. Took everything I had to leave one piece for my husband to have in the morning. Haha. 😂

  • Just made these this morning as mini muffins! 350 degrees for 10-11 min or until toothpick comes out clean. Substituted chopped hazelnut. Frosted 2 with choco hazelnut spread at the request of my 5YO and he stans.

    Can’t wait to make another variation of this awesome base recipe!

  • Thanks for this recipe! I usually freeze lonely bananas, but I just can’t be bothered to lately. This banana bread is perfect and so quick to mix up!

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