How to Make Joanna Gaines’ Banana Bread Recipe

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Joanna serves this banana bread as a school day breakfast for her kids—and your family won't be able to resist it, either.

Banana bread is just about the best thing since, well, sliced bread. I’ve come to find that the moist, tender and delightfully sweet treat is enjoyed by nearly all—even those who’d never be caught eating the contentious curved yellow fruit on its own—and rightfully so. What’s not to love?

Although Best Ever Banana Bread is my go-to recipe (along with our other easy quick bread recipes), I was curious to try Joanna Gaines’ banana bread. The mogul behind Magnolia and HGTV’s Fixer Upper published the recipe in her first cookbook, Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering, and shared on the Magnolia blog that it’s her family’s go-to breakfast, especially when topped with a pat of melty butter.

With our favorite brand of butter and a table knife at the ready, I was eager to see if I agreed. Follow along and learn how to make it yourself!

Joanna Gaines’ Banana Bread Recipe

Joanna Gaines’ banana bread is simple. From the required ingredients to the actual method, it’s made for beginners.

You’ll need basic baking staples, plus bananas—extra ripe, of course. (Here’s how to quickly ripen a bunch of bananas if needed.) One of the photos on the Magnolia blog features pecans, but the recipe doesn’t explicitly call for them. So, add your favorite banana bread mix-ins at your leisure.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Tools You’ll Need

Directions

Step 1: Combine wet ingredients and sugar

Following Joanna’s instructions, I creamed the sugar, softened butter and vanilla extract with my trusty hand mixer. Then, I added the eggs and mashed bananas, which I squashed with a fork in a deep measuring cup beforehand.

Step 2: Mix dry ingredients and combine

Next, Joanna says to mix in the remaining ingredients: flour, baking soda and salt. Here, I took it upon myself to whisk together these dry ingredients in a separate bowl to ensure they were fully incorporated before I added them to the mixture of wet ingredients.

In regards to consistency and texture, the batter was a little stiffer than that of other breads I’ve made, but it was nothing too out of the ordinary.

Step 3: Bake and enjoy

Before adding the batter to the pan, be sure to thoroughly grease your 13×9 pan. You read that right! This recipe calls for a 13×9 rather than a loaf pan. I found this to be a bit odd, but, hey, I guess shape doesn’t affect taste.

Once you’ve poured the batter into the pan, bake it at 325˚F for 30-40 minutes. Because of the baking vessel, this bread requires less time in the oven than most other quick breads—a bonus, if you ask me. My batch of bread was done after about 33 minutes, but I left it in a couple minutes longer so it would evenly brown on all sides.

Final Product

Joanna Gaines’ banana bread was tasty, but it didn’t totally wow me; mostly because it was so basic, which, of course, one could argue is a positive!

I think the bread would’ve benefited from some mix-ins. Think chocolate chips (my personal pick), toasted walnuts, fresh blueberries or even a sprinkling of cinnamon.

Plus, I had a hard time getting past the fact that it was made in a 13×9. It seemed more like banana bars or a banana cake rather than a quick bread. And the other experts at Taste of Home agreed. (We seriously considered slathering our squares with some cream cheese frosting.) Without the “slice” look, it lacks that quintessential quick-loaf feel.

Aside from those critiques, the flavor and texture were spot on. You could definitely taste the bananas. Just remember: The riper, the better! (Here are more ways to use up ripe bananas.) And because I’m used to super dense quick breads, I enjoyed the light and airy quality of this one. Be careful, though—you might end up eating a third of the pan in one sitting.

In my opinion, you should look to this solid recipe when you’re in a pinch, with little time to go to the grocery store; when you’re expecting picky eaters; or when you need to serve family and friends.

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Annamarie Higley
Annamarie Higley is an Associate Print Editor for Taste of Home magazine, as well as the brand's special issue publications. A midwestern transplant originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she enjoys hiking, trivia-ing, and—you guessed it!—all things cooking and baking.