Our 10 Best Banana Recipes (That Go Way Beyond Banana Bread)

updated Mar 30, 2021
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A bunch of browning bananas is ubiquitous in just about everyone’s kitchen. Last year, banana bread even became the official comfort food of the quarantine.

But maybe you’re finally, actually, a little bit over banana bread. Now what? Here’s what: Ten fresh recipes that do some practical magic with your browned bunch.

Bananas add moisture and flavor to all kinds of baked goods, not just basic bread. They also have a unique magic in lending creaminess to smoothies and ice pops. So move on past the bread, folks — there’s so much more those bananas can do, from that wild one-ingredient ice cream to smart and surprising banana-oat bars.

1 / 10
One-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream
One of the most ingenious things you can do with bananas is freeze them and then whirl them into a creamy, totally dairy-free "ice cream." If you're up for adding a second or third ingredient, try cocoa powder, toasted nuts, chocolate chucks, or even swirls of jam. Or just Nutella, duh.
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2 / 10
4-Ingredient Banana Oat Bars
This recipe is popular with parents avoiding dairy and eggs for allergy reasons, but it should be even more broadly known. It's so easy: just bananas, oats, dates, and nuts. They're chewy, satisfying, and a power-packed snack.
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3 / 10
Classic Banana Pudding
This Southern dessert is a favorite for good reason: It's rich, creamy, and packed with buttery bites of vanilla wafers. Make it in one big serving dish or divide it among individual glasses or jars.
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4 / 10
One-Bowl Vanilla Cake: Upside-Down Banana Cake
Consider this your best step-up from basic banana bread: an easy cake that is nevertheless really impressive. This one-bowl cake is so simple, it hardly requires any foresight to bake it. That means it's the perfect thing to throw together when an afternoon sweet tooth hits.
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5 / 10
4-Ingredient Chocolate Banana Coconut Cookies
Yes, these cookies really do only call for four ingredients, all of which you very well already have on hand. In fact, you can even skip the chocolate dip and drizzle, if you like — then the cookies only require two ingredients.
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6 / 10
2-Ingredient Banana Pancakes
Like the banana ice cream, bananas make a magic trick here with these pancakes. If you haven't tried them yet, there's no better time than now. Combine a mashed banana with two eggs and you have a gluten-free, dairy-free pancake batter that will truly surprise you. They're almost custard-like, with a melt-in-your-mouth texture.
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7 / 10
Chocolate Banana Cake
Want to really upgrade those bananas? Chocolate and peanut butter with this salted, creamy frosting are where it's at. This recipe calls for a whopping two cups of mashed bananas, from four to five bananas. That makes it the perfect solution for when you really do have more browned bunches than you know what to do with.
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8 / 10
Easy Banana Kiwi Smoothie
Oh yeah, smoothies! Remember them? I feel like I often forget about them. You don't have to bake, especially as the weather warms up. Throw those ripe bananas in a box in the freezer and then make this bright, satisfying smoothie.
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9 / 10
Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Pops
Want a break from muffins and smoothies? These breakfast pops do a smart thing with ripe bananas: Roast them for a darker flavor that stands up to peanut butter in these otherwise utterly simple Popsicles. Breakfast on a stick!
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10 / 10
Blueberry Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
This is an old favorite: a really easy, really delicious and deeply luscious cake baked in a 9x13-inch pan and topped with a thick layer of simple cream cheese frosting. It's everything you want a blueberry muffin to be (but better).
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Still Want Banana Bread? That’s Fine! Here You Go.

Changed your mind? Still want banana bread? That’s OK; we got you. Here is our simplest, easiest banana bread, plus some twists on the classic. (Or try the winner of our banana bread Showdown here.)

1 / 5
The Easiest Banana Bread
This most basic of basic banana bread recipes is hardly boring — it's timeless. Make it a few times and you'll likely have memorized it.
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2 / 5
Ultra-Moist Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Most people will agree that the easiest way to make a classic loaf of banana bread even better is to add chocolate chips. This version proves this simple fact and is likely to become a household standby.
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3 / 5
Whole Wheat Banana Bread
Want a little extra whole grains in your weekly loaf? Here you go: a nutty and homey banana bread that's sweetened with maple syrup and a dash of rough sugar on top.
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4 / 5
The Best Gluten-Free Banana Bread
This recipe skips gluten-free flour blends and instead opts for a mix of almond flour and oat flour. You can even make the oat flour yourself by grinding rolled oats in a food processor, if you’d like.
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5 / 5
Tropical Banana Bread with Macadamia Nuts, Pineapple, and Coconut
If you really just want a serious upgrade for your banana bread, this is it. Dried pineapple, coconut, macadamia nuts — this is a total tropical party. Once you try it this way you won't go back.
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