Orange Zest Banana Bread

Banana Bread Loaf
Diana Rattray
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 80 mins
Cool: 10 mins
Total: 105 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
319 Calories
14g Fat
44g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 319
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 6g 29%
Cholesterol 67mg 22%
Sodium 404mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 19g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 2mg 11%
Calcium 88mg 7%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 147mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Don't let your ripe bananas go to waste. There's nothing like an easy recipe for banana bread to put them to good use while making a delicious treat that everyone will enjoy. A little orange zest gives this basic banana bread extra flavor and a wonderful citrus perfume that is irresistible. Great as a treat with a cup of coffee, this banana bread is a filling recipe that can double as a decadent breakfast or as a tasty dessert. Flour, eggs, butter, a few baking staples, plus pecans or walnuts make a delicious dough that bakes for 80 minutes. The best part, there's very little preparation and cleanup as you'll invest 15 minutes in mixing all of the ingredients in one bowl. If you have a hand or standing mixer, better yet.

This is a loaf of vegetarian banana bread, and it contains tree nuts. However, it can be easily adapted to your needs. To make it vegan friendly, simply swap the butter for margarine and use one tablespoon of apple sauce to replace each one of the eggs (three tablespoons of apple sauce total). To make it nut-free, simply skip the pecans or walnuts, or use sunflower seeds or pepitas so you don't miss the delicious crunch. The banana bread can be spruced up further if you feel adventurous. Adding semi-sweet chocolate chips is one fantastic option, or adding a cubed and peeled apple into the batter adds texture and fruity flavor. Serve this banana bread as is, or with a dollop of whipped cream. For a decadent dessert, top with vanilla ice cream, chocolate fudge, fresh bananas, and additional chopped nuts on top.

To add the delicious orange flavor, use a Microplane to retrieve the zest, carefully turning the orange around to avoid hitting the bitter pith. If you don't have a Microplane, use a peeler or grater, working from the top of the orange to the bottom. This easy banana bread is great to eat warm but can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 to 4 days. If you have many ripe bananas, go ahead and double the ingredients to make two loaves. If you can't use the extra bananas right away, slice them, let them cool, and freeze them in zip-top bags. A quick 30 seconds in the microwave is all that it takes for one slice to come back to its original fluffy texture.


  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 cup mashed banana, about 2 ripe bananas

  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

  • 2 teaspoons orange zest, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Grease and flour a 5x9x3-inch loaf pan. Heat the oven to 325 F. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.

  3. In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter or margarine with sugar for about 2 to 3 minutes, until fluffy.

  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well blended.

  5. Stir in flour mixture, alternating with mashed bananas.

  6. Fold in pecans and orange zest or vanilla. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

  7. Bake the banana bread for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until golden brown and a wooden toothpick, when inserted in center, comes out clean.

  8. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then carefully turn the bread out onto a rack to cool completely.

  9. Make this banana bread a day ahead of time for best flavor.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Store banana bread, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to 4 days.
  • Banana bread freezes beautifully. Wrap a whole cooled loaf or slices in foil and place in a zip-close bag. Remove as much air as possible and freeze for up to 4 months.

Why do you use ripe bananas in banana bread?

Ripe bananas are softer and have more flavor and sweetness than more firm, less ripe bananas. The best bananas for banana bread are ones that have turned black, or are streaked with black or brown and have little or no green in their stems.