Best Banana Walnut Bread

Here is the Best Moist Banana Walnut Bread recipe I’ve kept for over 20 years.  I’ll give you the secret to making it flavorful, super moist, tender and delicious every single time. You can make it with or without nuts. This is a One-Bowl Recipe. No mixer needed, just a fork and spoon. WATCH the video to see how quick and easy this is to make.

Let’s jump right in here and talk about Banana Bread. Is there anything that smells better than fresh homemade banana bread baking in the kitchen? Oh! if there is a scent for comfort, that’s it! No wonder so many candles are named “Banana Bread.”

The Ingredients

There are no weird ingredients in this recipe. Pure Basic Banana Bread. This recipe is a simple and pure, loaded with fresh ripe bananas, butter and pure vanilla extract. You can go a little wild here and add some walnuts. I like to make a few loaves with walnuts and a few without.

Banana bread ingredients.

  • ripe bananas
  • margarine or unsalted butter, gently melted
  • white sugar
  • regular sour cream
  • table salt
  • eggs
  • pure vanilla extract
  • baking soda
  • all purpose flour
  • chopped walnuts (optional for Banana-Nut Bread)

Why this recipe is so good

There are several reasons why Banana Bread recipes might turn out dry or undercooked. I’m sharing with you the TWO secrets to great Banana Bread –

1. Make it in mini-loaf pans. These are the 5-inch long pans. You can use the inexpensive aluminum disposable type and those are easy if you aren’t ready to invest in a set of mini-loaf pans. Most people use the larger loaf pans to make Banana Bread. Those larger loaf pans are really designed for YEAST Breads or Pound Cakes. (Note: Don’t Make Meatloaf in a Loaf Pan, that’s another story- “Loaf” doesn’t always mean LOAF.) Banana Bread is considered a QUICK bread. I also like the small loaf pans because it slices up into perfect size pieces that fit right into your hand to hold and nibble.

mini loaf pans 5by3.

I’ve always found that Quick Breads turn out better if they are made in smaller forms. There is a reason that cupcakes are generally moister than large cakes. The reason is, it bakes from the outside in. So if you are using a larger pan to bake in, by the time the middle is baked, the outer edges have developed too dark. And Dark edges equals DRY.

2. This recipe has Sour Cream in it. This lends to a moister bread.

How Ripe Should Bananas Be For Banana Bread?

You will get out of your bread what you put in to it. If you put over-ripe fully black rotten bananas in your bread, you will have Rotten Banana Bread. Ideally, your bananas should be yellow and have some brown freckles on them. They are best from the time they have a few freckles, and no more freckles than the photograph below. At any point after this ripeness stage, they are ready for the compost pile.

ripe bananas with spots.

History Tidbit: Is This a Vintage Banana Bread Recipe?

Yes! I printed this recipe out in 1999 from what was probably one of the first recipe card sites on-line. Have NO IDEA what site that was. I have modified it a little bit. But since then, I’ve come across several variations in cookbooks of this recipe using sour cream as far back as the 1960’s.

How To Store?

Wrap the bread as soon as it cools with Saran Wrap. Heat in microwave to soften it up.

Can you freeze Banana Bread?

Yes. This recipe is great for freezing. Make sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then place them inside a freezer bag or container so that it doesn’t get freezer burn. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 4 months. To thaw, just let thaw naturally on the counter or use the defrost function on your microwave.

This recipe makes 3 small loaves. Not one big one. 🙂 You can put it in one big loaf pan but only fill it halfway. SEE how easy, VIDEO below.

Banana Walnut Bread

Pure Basic Banana Bread. This recipe is a simple and pure banana bread loaded with fresh ripe bananas, butter and pure vanilla extract. You can add some walnuts. I like to make a few loaves with walnuts and a few without.
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Author: Lanie Smith


  • 3 small sized ripe bananas (or 2 medium sized) yellow with brown freckles
  • 1/2 cup margerine or unsalted butter lightly melted
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp regular sour cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts* optional


  • Place peeled bananas in a large bowl and mash until slimy.
  • Add all of the other ingredients in the bowl, one at a time, in the order listed, stirring each one in, as you go.
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray tins with Pam Baking spray.
  • Spoon batter evenly and equally into each of the 3 Tins.
  • Bake for about 27-30 minutes until a golden brown crown on top appears. Keep the oven door closed while it's baking. A massive drop in heat can cause your bread to collapse in the middle.
  • Enjoy warm with a pat of butter.


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Bessie’s Blue Ribbon Cider Basted Apple Dumplings

apple dumplings - The vintage cook

Fresh Apples are wrapped in a home-made dough, baked and then covered in a delicious apple cider syrup!


It was during the Christmas season. The year was 1977. Ron and I had been dating and he wanted to introduce me to his very special Grandparents “Pop and Mom-Mom.” He was addicted to his Grandmothers delicious cooking and recounted to me all of her specialties. His favorite were her Sour Cream Cookies.

The day finally came when I would meet The Mrs. Mom-Mom Bessie Potteiger. She had prepared a special meal for us. I already felt a warmth and familiarity before we arrived.

When the front door opened and Mom-Mom saw Ron, she had this love light in her eyes.  She put her hands on his face and then hugged him.  He was 29-years-old at the time. I was so impressed by his affection towards his Grandmother, and her to him, that she must surely be a wonderful lady.  OMG!  THAT was one of the most beautiful and emotional moments I ever saw.

The “little old lady type” did NOT describe Mom-Mom. She was up-to-date with her fashion, a sharp dresser, every hair in place, with manicured fingernails. We immediately bonded over the topic of cooking.

Mom-Mom Bessie  had such a loving and generous way about her. We spent time in the kitchen together over the years. She shared with me the process of her favorite dishes, such as Fasnachts, Apple Dumplings and even her Holiday Potato Filling. I cherish these memories. I just LOVED that lady!

She made the BEST apple dumplings. She had no measurements and just “dumped” the ingredients. These apple dumplings are the closest I could get to hers. This recipe earned a Blue Ribbon in the Just A Pinch Recipe Club.

apple dumplings - The Vintage Cook



CONTRIBUTOR: Susan is a recent Pillsbury Bake-Off Finalist and skilled Home Cook. She grew up admiring her mother in the kitchen as she prepared dinner every night. She says it was like watching her very own private cooking show. During the turn of the century, her Great-Grandfather owned a confectionary store in Bethlehem, PA. He was famous for his homemade ice cream and pastries. Susan is the Designated Guardian of his handwritten recipe book! She is also a Community Cook for Taste of Home Magazine. We are grateful to have her at The Vintage Cook to share timeless classic family recipes.
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Pigs in a Blanket with Puff Pastry

Pigs in a Blanket Recipe - The Vintage Cook

An appetizer that doesn’t require dipping because the creamy flavorful dip is on the inside! These FANCY type pigs in a blanket are wrapped in puff pastry as opposed to the usual canned dough.

So what is The Junior League? To put it simply, it’s a women’s volunteer organization that has been around since 1901. There are various chapters in every state and local groups within each area. The Junior League are known for their compassion and commitment to community service. They also deserve some accolades for their publication of high quality cookbooks with lots of family recipes. I love them!

It was a mission of mine to have a JL cookbook from every SINGLE state. It’s like, Stamp Collecting, so fun!

Click on the book if you’d like to buy it!

Today’s feature is “Meet Us In The Kitchen” from The Junior League of St. Louis (Missouri). It’s a beautiful and barely vintage cookbook (2000) with some wonderful looking recipes. Pastel artwork on the cover is from a local artist.

I made the very first recipe in the book. It’s a gourmet version of an old favorite. The author of the recipe tells a story of how in the 1960’s her mother used straight pins in place of toothpicks to improvise. However, she didn’t get all the pins out before serving the piggies to her husband. Please do use toothpicks! (New Cook Note: Cooking toothpicks like wood or bamboo, not Plastic) Here is the great part, you don’t need to use toothpicks although I did stick some in after they were done baking. This is a fun party appetizer.

I hope you enjoy this easy appetizer recipe as much as we did. You can put your own spin on it too with different mix-ins to the cream cheese. We used a spicy ground mustard.

Pigs in a Blanket Recipe - The Vintage Cook

Thank you for stopping by!



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How To Make Homemade Caramel Apples with Video!

Level : Difficult- requires constant whisking and temperature monitoring.

Don’t you love the fall season? My favorite thing about autumn and all of the other seasons, is the change itself. Change is good. Change reminds us to stop and pause, notice where we are, where we’re going.

I’m a caramel apple freak. I have always loved the caramel with peanuts. When Mema and I were in Nashville and visited a little candy shop we were amazed at the coatings. From crushed Oreo cookies to mini-peanut butter cups, the possibilities are endless.

If you roam the grocery displays this time of year you might think the way to make caramel apples is to spend a half-hour unwrapping little squares. Well, you can, but… why bother when you can make a fresher tasting caramel with just a few ingredients? It’s buttery, gooey and makes your kitchen smell like a confectionery store. (more…)

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Perfect Snickerdoodle Recipe

What is a Snickerdoodle?

You might think a Snickerdoodle is simply a sugar cookie, dusted with cinnamon and sugar…Well not exactly. The one defining ingredient which differentiates it from its sister sugar cookie is Cream of Tartar. If it doesn’t have Cream of Tartar, it’s really just a sugar cookie rolled in cinnamon and sugar, not a Snickerdoodle. The origin is thought to be with the Pennsylvania Dutch. They said it’s from the German word Schneckennudeln (lit. “snail noodles”) but others claim it’s simply a New England cookie with a “fanciful name.”

Have you ever dipped your finger in some Cream of Tartar? It’s tart and has a similar taste of baking soda. Cream of Tartar is a natural substance that is derived from crystals that form in the casks during the fermentation process of grape juice. I think it’s safe to say, however, that Cream of Tartar is non-alcoholic! It will help to stabilize a baked good that contains egg whites.

I’ve tried a few recipes that claim to be the best, but every good vintage recipe can be better, and I hope that is what I’ve achieved here in my salute to the Snickerdoodle.

The Standard Ingredients

The original recipe I worked from is a typical one found in cookbooks and on-line. It calls for two eggs, which I thought left the cookie with too much of an egg-scented essence, so I removed one yolk and reduced the flour. There were also two teaspoons of Cream of Tartar, which I thought overpowered the overall cookie. It had an equal part butter and shortening component, which works well in some cookies but in this case the cookies were hard by the end of the day. I increased the shortening and decreased the butter to leave us with a soft center and butter crisp edge that is less greasy. A cookie that is too greasy is not suitable for dipping in tea or coffee!

Sugar Burns Faster

Finally, the instructions in most recipes say to roll the whole ball in cinnamon and sugar, but leaves the bottoms easily scorched because of the sugar. For best results, just roll the top part of the cookie in the sugar mixture. Here is what happens when you roll the whole ball in sugar.

I hope you will enjoy a little classic cookie flavor from the past.

Old-Fashioned Snickerdoodle Recipe

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Author: Vintage Cook


  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 egg white
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Cinnamon & Sugar Mixture

  • 3 Tablespoon granulated white sugar
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, cream together with a fork (or mixer on low speed) the shortening, softened butter, and extract until light in color. Slowly add in the sugar until all creamed together. Then add the egg and egg white until incorporated well. Set aside.
  • In another medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, salt, cream of tartar, and baking soda. With a spoon, gradually mix into the wet mix bowl. May use your hands to finish blending as it gets thick.
  • On plate, mix the 3 Tbs. sugar with cinnamon.
    With a cookie scoop, measure out equal Tablespoon-sized balls, and gently roll on one side into the sugar-cinnamon mixture. Place un-coated side down onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheet or baking mat. If you do not have parchment paper or a baking mat, lightly grease pan with Crisco shortening or cooking spray.
  • Bake for 8 minutes or until just golden. Let cool, and store in an air-tight container to keep soft. Special Note: Take them out a little bit before they start to golden. The centers will still be bubbling and you might think you are taking them out too soon, but they continue to cook once you remove them. AS soon as they are just cool, put them in an airtight container. This prevents them from getting hard.

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