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

4.84 from 42 votes
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One-Banana Banana Bread

Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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.

      • Agree! After 14 minutes at 350 — they’re still wet in the middle. Thanks for the tip!

  • 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!

    • This was so horrible and dry please use butter when making this and self raising flour and follow another recipe if possible

      • 5 stars
        Love this super easy bread. I make it at least once a week, exactly as written except for I add cinnamon. My mom, neighbor and friends all ask me to make this for them. Yummy!

    • 5 stars
      After dinner my husband said, “do something with this ripe banana before it starts attracting gnats”. 15 minutes later I put my loaf in the oven. I had a loaf pan that is between full and small size. Regardless of how it turns out I am glad I had all the ingredients and the banana didn’t get chucked in the compost bin. Thanks!

  • 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!

    Much!
    Lindsey Jones
    http://www.beautifulbravery.com

  • 5 stars
    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!

  • 5 stars
    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!!

    • 5 stars
      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.

  • 5 stars
    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.

  • 5 stars
    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!

  • 5 stars
    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!

  • 5 stars
    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!!

  • 5 stars
    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. ????

  • 5 stars
    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!

  • 5 stars
    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!

  • 5 stars
    Sooooo good! I used this recipe to a T to make mini bundts in my mini bundt silicone mold and baked them at the same temp for 15 minutes and they came out perfect! The recipe yielded 4 mini bundts which was the perfect amount for me to taste test this recipe! I added about 1/4 cup of Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips and 1/4 cup of chopped pecans and they were super moist, golden in color and bursting with flavor. Can’t wait to make more of these!

  • Fabulous recipe- I substituted butterscotch liqueur in place of one tablespoon of the olive oil and it was a huge hit! Wondering what proportions I might need to make a full sized loaf- I have tried other best banana bread recipes, for full sized loaf, but yours is my all time favorite! Thinking may be the olive oil and mix of brown and white sugar….the others all use butter. Welcome any advice! And thanks for this fabulous recipe!

  • I tried your recipe and it taste amazing! It’s very easy to follow as well 🙂

  • 5 stars
    Ok! I was hesitant because it seemed like it would be eggy, but no it was perfect! I did 350 for 15 (10 wasn’t long enough) minutes, then toothpick. The edges did Brown a little too much, but not burn. I’m very happy.

  • Love it! Good I found this recipe coz I only have 1 ripe banana left. I used the normal pan for banana bread. 20 minutes at 325F is perfect. Thank you for this again! ❤️ Xoxo

  • 5 stars
    I just baked this Banana Bread and it is absolutely delicious… I couldn’t believe the list of ingredients were so simple … I read all the reviews just to be sure I was not missing anything … Thank you soo much .. I will be sharing this recipe and your website to all friends and families specially during these hard times we are all going thru with the Virus .

  • 5 stars
    I used this recipe twice and I’m using it again for the third time. This time I’m adding 1/4 of a teaspoon of allspice and cinnamon. All around great recipe, quick, easy, and delicious.

    • 5 stars
      Thank you so much! I’m baking this banana bread for the second time. Looove it! ❤️🍌🍌

  • 5 stars
    Perfect! Just the recipe I was looking for as only had one banana and one egg.
    Didn’t put in the brown sugar left out snd was plenty sweet enough. Substituted nuts for seed and currant mix.
    Made 13 cakes in little cases and cooked at 200 for 10mins. Delighted how they came out

    • 5 stars
      Hello!
      I would love to make this as a full loaf (9×5) pan, how do I increase the portion? What’s the recommended baking time?

      I made this exactly as states and it was so so so good so I went out and got more bananas. Now I have 4 and I’m ready to bake! 😉 thank you!

  • 5 stars
    This was excellent! I was looking for a 1 banana bread recipe for a lonely brown organic banana. Extremely moist and just all around perfection. Great flavor too! One of the reviewers gave the the idea to add chocolate but with no chips or baking chocolate I chopped up 3 squares of Dove Milk chocolate and sprinkled on top before baking with fingers crossed. Came out great! I did need to Increase temp. and baking time. Baked at 375 for 33 minutes in a foil loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray and the bottom lined with parchment. Perfect.

  • So moist and I love that It’s not too sweet. I substituted granulated sugar with splenda and it’s amazing! I didn’t have the mini loaf pans so I made them in my cupcake pan (made 6). It took 20 minutes to bake. This recipe will not disappoint.

  • 5 stars
    I don’t ????generally cook, no time and often turns out wrong due to rushing with long processes. These loaves turned out lovely, the recipe was was easy to follow and they were moist and tasty. Perfect. Thank you!

  • 5 stars
    Hands down, the best banana bread recipe I have ever tried! I sent this recipe to 10+ family and friends over the weekend. I was able to make 24 mini muffins. We had to hide some in the freezer so they wouldn’t be gone the first day! They are great by themselves, but for an extra treat, top with some cream cheese. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • Crushed up some candy chocolate eggs.. no nuts. Making muffins.
    They’re starting to rise up a little bit, hope I greased up the cupcake holes good enough.

    Can’t see why they won’t taste good.
    Ty

  • 5 stars
    Made this last night and it was delicious!!! my 3 year old is super picky and even he gobbled it up! Can’t wait to make it again 🙂

  • 5 stars
    Perfect size! Wasn’t cooked after twenty minutes, but great after an additional ten.

  • 5 stars
    An incredibly useful & delicious recipe! I substituted 1/2 the flour for whole wheat flour, reduced the sugar a bit, added 2 Tb of ground flaxseeds, and added bit of sour cream (could use yogurt of course) and it had an amazing nutty taste and perfect sweetness. A bit of cream cheese frosting makes it even better! Thanks for the recipe !!

  • 5 stars
    Hi if i want to make more servings of this, can i just double the entire recipe?

  • Is it possible to substitute the olive oil with melted butter? If not, what about canola oil?

  • This came out so so good. Made this but added 1/2 tbsp of peanut butter, chocolate chips and walnuts and baked in a loaf pan. 350F for 20mins. Delicious nutty texture!

  • 5 stars
    Lovely easy recipe. Didn’t need to fiddle around with weighing scales. I did cool them for longer than stated and added in pecans and choc chips. They have come out so lovely and not too sweet either. Thanks for this xx

  • 5 stars
    I made these tonight for morning breakfast. So easy. I didn’t have olive oil so I used avocado oil. Very good!! I had to bake 18 minutes but they turned out wonderful m. I will be baking again

  • 5 stars
    love love love this recipe! i use the recipe except i do it with two bananas. so good and moist. i’ve made this 4 times during quarantine. thank u!

  • I would love a bigger loaf. How to increase the portion of this recipe? Double it?

  • Second time we’ve made this during quarantine. Substituted Just Egg for real egg both times for my vegan daughter. Absolutely delicious. Saw another recipe for one banana banana bread that used an entire stick of butter which sound gross. This is so caramelly good!

  • 1 star
    Way too much sugar for a one banana bread recipe IMO. Did muffins, Mine came out so weird.

  • Prettt good.. yielded 6 small muffins. Baked at 375, 17 mins. Will add blueberries next time.

  • 5 stars
    Perfect! Increased temperature to 350°F for 18-20 minutes.
    My husband loves the muffins and he bakes them with confidence.

  • 5 stars
    The banana bread was great! Me and my family finished it all in one sitting

  • 5 stars
    Wonderful, delightful and easy recipe. Thank you so very much for sharing this. Your pictures look amazing, too!
    So, my muffins just came out of the oven, and I could hardly wait to dig in. They are delicious! I topped them with some almonds, since it was the only thing I had. Next time will try it with chocolate chips! Yes!!!!
    My notes, if they are of any use for someone: I added a dash of cinnamon to the mix. I used medium sized muffin tin (x6), baked in the small (convection) oven at 325 F, for 14 minutes, then 3 more minutes at 350 degrees, since the top looked wet. And… yumminess here I come.

    Thanks again for this gift.

  • 2 stars
    If you make the bread turn the temperature up to 350 and bake for about 30 mins. I tried using 325 for 20 mins and it didn’t even rise. I had to cook it for an additional 30 mins.

  • Made this recipe and it is absolutely delicious! My mother who hates any good or candy to do with bananas LOVED THIS BREAD! Myself as a huge banana lover, will be making this over and over again! I was wondering, how would I increase the measurements if I used 3 or 4 bananas in the recipe?

  • 5 stars
    This recipe is great! The only thing that was an issue for me was the cooking time and oven temperature. I followed the recipe but at the end of the 15 minutes the batter was still extremely undercooked. I raised the oven temperature to 350 degrees and let the bread sit in the oven for an additional 7 minutes. It was PERFECT after this!

  • Absolutely perfect recipe..my husband loved it..I baked in cupcake pan for 20 mins at 350°

  • 5 stars
    Forgot to rate on my last comment…here are some extra stars for perfection ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  • Can a really old babe join the conversation? Having a really RIPE banana (and disliking even the odor) thought I would go to my laptop, not expecting to find your perfect recipe! Another insight as to how we’re really connected. Yep, your recipe, unlike many, has ingredients found in most kitchens. Haven’t made it yet, and will heed the advice of others, but just know it will be lovely. Thanks for being so innovative and fr sharing. Bravo!

  • 5 stars
    Really good flavor! I cooked in a muffin pan at 350 for 15 min but extended time if it was still uncooked. Like the olive oil addition!

  • 5 stars
    Well this was super delicious and easy. Literally made it during my lunch break. Thanks for sharing this recipe, happy to have a way to use a lone banana or make a smaller portion of banana bread all without having to do the math required to scale down a traditional recipe. Thanks!

  • 5 stars
    Absolutely DELICIOUS!!! I replaced flour with some coconut flour, some banana flour, and some cauliflower flour, to make up 1/2 a cup of flour. IT WAS STILL TASTY! In previous recipes, I did that, and it was absolutely disgusting! But with this one banana banana bread, it was exquisite! I also replaced 1/8th of the granulated sugar with Natural Splenda, and it still worked perfectly!

    PS, (I also added a bunch of chocolate chips, and would really advice that you do too, since it makes it such a sweet and tasty dessert!!!)

  • 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this recipe. It turned out perfectly and my banana didn’t have to go to waste. Will definitely add it to my recipe book.

  • 5 stars
    Such a beautiful recipe. Loved how it turned out soft and delish! I added a handful of chocolate chips to the recipe 😊

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