We Tried 6 Celebrity Banana Bread Recipes, And Here's The Winner

Celebrities have thrown their glitter all over the home culinary scene, hawking everything from signature cookware to special edition fast food. It was inevitable that they'd get in on the banana bread action at some point. Several superstars have begun touting their personal recipes for this homey comfort bake via everyone's preferred source of wisdom from the rich and famous: the Internet. This made it easy for fans to jump into the kitchen to give their favorite famous person's banana bread a try. Who wouldn't relish the opportunity to play a home version of America's Test Kitchen and whip up some of the superstar set's best take on a flavorful favorite?

But unless their loaves are studded with diamonds and embellished with gold leaf, famous folk couldn't possibly have that much magic to add to the basic banana bread concept ... or could they? We figured there had to be one recipe appealing enough to justify celebs crushing so hard on a classic. So we stepped into the world of celebrity baking to see which of these recipes shines the brightest. We made some minor substitutions along the way, like keeping our ingredients ground-level instead of going for pie-in-the-sky expensive elements. We also ripened our bananas by heating them in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, a kitchen hack that let us bake without waiting for nature to take its course.

So whose banana bread baked up the best? The suspense is pretty tasty, so let's dig in!

Giada De Laurentiis

The glamorous culinary creative of the Food Network, Giada De Laurentiis has one of the more elevated celebrity banana bread recipes making the rounds on the Internet. Using almond and rice flour in place of traditional all-purpose flour and trading out canola oil for coconut oil, this tempting take on the tried and true original calls for specialty ingredients. These changes remove gluten and add a more flavorful fat, presumably to produce a more well-rounded bake that can be enjoyed by gluten-free eaters. Adapting a recipe to be more mindful is a thoughtful move, but does it hold up when texture and flavor are on the line?

We were amazed by how much of an upgrade Giada's recipe is to ordinary banana bread, from the rich color to the deep flavor to the elegant texture of the bake. This creation also gets points for being the most fragrant, though it's not the bananas throwing scent into the air. Instead, it was the almond butter that gave the batter a caramel scent. Due to budgetary constraints, we opted out of other deluxe ingredients on the shopping list. We would have loved to be bougie with it, but so few of these premium elements were used that we couldn't justify the cost. Even with the alterations, this banana bread turned out to be exceptionally delicious.

One caveat: the tenderness of the loaf made it difficult to cut without crumbling. We cleverly sliced it into triangles to accommodate the softness.

Chrissy Teigen

Who wouldn't want to try making banana bread like Chrissy Teigen, one of Instagram's favorite relatable celebrities? Of the big names that are offering their reinventions of this baked favorite, Teigen is one of the most trustworthy when it comes to home baking. Even the preamble to the recipe on her Cravings website is informal, explaining her process of experimentation as she tinkered with add-ins and flavors. Her down-to-earth description makes you feel as if you, too, can transform basic banana bread into an exceptional bake, even if you change things up a bit.

Teigen's recipe uses more bananas than the others we tested, to the tune of a whopping six. Teigen specifies that this number should not be reduced by any measure. Note taken, chef! There's also a box of vanilla pudding mix and a cup each of chocolate chips and unsweetened coconut shreds, presumably to add texture and taste tending in a tropical direction. Teigen also uses a bundt pan instead of more traditional loaf pans, claiming that the shape brings added moistness. 

We opted for a simple round pan since this banana bread was giving cake vibes with all the add-ins. The presumption is that it doesn't matter what pan you choose, as this dense, super-sweet banana bread variant is the best birthday cake ever. The island essence we expected turned out to be more of a toasty vanilla layer that helped bring up the banana notes ... good thing we used all six bananas.

Joanna Gaines

The soothing style of Magnolia's own Joanna Gaines is a perfect fit for a sweetly Southern banana bread recipe. Contemporary farmhouse is the aesthetic for this celebrity chef's Magnolia-based enterprises, so a country-style treat is a natural fit to go along with her other modern rustic culinary creations. Who couldn't picture Joanna and her husband, Chip, settling in for a cup of coffee and a slice of her homemade banana bread after one of their radical home redesigns? She may just be the perfect celebrity to offer a soothing baked beauty that everyone can make and enjoy. We knew her recipe had to be on the list.

Boy, are we glad we went with our instincts. This super-moist take on banana bread can easily become a centerpiece for a brunch or breakfast get-together, as ideal for an early-morning morsel as it is for a later-day snack. Joanna's banana bread is baked in an 8x8 pan as opposed to a more rectangular loaf pan, which gives it more of a banana cake personality. This isn't a bad thing, though, as we believe there's more than one shape banana bread can take. Depending on the depth and width of the slice, as well as whether or not you get an edge piece, sometimes a square delivers flavor differently than a traditional loaf. By slicing it into cubes, the deep flavors can be enjoyed in a bigger bite than some of the traditional loaf-shaped breads in the collection.

Kourtney Kardashian

Who knew any of the Kardashian kids could cook? Maybe superfans have caught a glimpse of kitchen work during episodes of the long-running show featuring this bunch. A family that lives its life on television and bickers over hiring chefs for Thanksgiving would have surely dropped a scene or two of someone whipping up a dish by now if it was a regular deal. So Kourtney Kardashian boasting about her Valentine's Day-ready banana bread recipe was something of a plot twist. She even baked it in a heart-shaped tube pan to drive home the idea that her decadent banana bread was created with love in mind. We couldn't find the love aisle at the grocery store, so we stuck with the ingredients on the list instead.

Kourtney's recipe results in a luxurious batter that's dense and almost gluey, with enough to make two loaves in a single go. A full pint of sour cream helps add richness in both texture and flavor, elevating a homey recipe into the realm of gourmet artistry. It also cooks for almost a full 30 minutes more than the other recipes on the list, which caused a bit of anxiety as we closed the oven door but made sense after seeing how tall the loaf grew. This recipe has pound cake ambitions and it isn't afraid to show them, even with chocolate chips and a touch of cinnamon. It's easy to picture K-Kard's creation behind glass in a high-end coffee shop bakery case.

Paul Hollywood

If there's one celebrity chef you can count on to produce a banana bread recipe that's worth barking about, Paul Hollywood would be the one. Surprisingly, this confection contains a trimmed-down list of ingredients — eight in total — which is the fewest of all the creations on the list. Even with the inclusion of orange zest and dark chocolate chips, the base of sugar, flour, butter, and eggs doesn't get so much as a dash of salt or a sprinkle of cinnamon to clutter the finished bake. It's as straightforward a combination as you can get away with, plus a few flavor elements that add fun surprises no one would be mad about if they made this confection to celebrate Banana Bread Day (yes ... that's a real thing).

We tinkered with the ingredients a bit after discovering caster sugar doesn't exist in our grocery world. We used granulated sugar instead, believing Paul would approve if he ever found out. The orange-chocolate aroma wafting from the oven with the banana bread essence made this one too tempting to wait for the finished loaf to cool before tasting. A burnt tongue wasn't enough to prevent us from taking a second bite of a moist sponge filled with citrus and cocoa enhancing the creamy banana base. Complexity is the word that came to mind, more so as the second slice came around for sampling. There's a reason this guy is the steely-eyed judge of The Great British Baking Show.

Ina Garten

Of course the Barefoot Contessa has a banana bread recipe. Judging by the staying power she's had throughout her career, Ina Garten might have enough to fill an entire banana bread cookbook by now. Her popularity with home cooks makes her creations seem simple and eminently possible, even when there are gourmet touches added to the mix. Her calm demeanor and easygoing charm on her cooking shows likewise help generate the kind of confidence that domestic chefs need to feel like they, too, can successfully recreate a celebrity chef's banana bread and enjoy it, even if it doesn't go entirely to plan.

Not surprisingly, Garten's recipe is the most traditional on the list. It came out of the oven warm and earthy, with undeniable banana appeal and a toothy crust that the others didn't achieve. There are no curveballs on the ingredient list, where the presence of cinnamon and nutmeg provide an undeniable autumn sensibility, and the texture makes it easy to turn out and slice the loaf. The big question: Is it Jeffrey's favorite? Who can be sure? All we know is this thoroughly lovely banana bread is a comfort food classic, though after trying a slice, we wish it had a little more rousing razzle-dazzle. Even chocolate chips or a drizzle of glaze would add a more creative spark to what is an otherwise very nice banana bread.

Winner: Giada De Laurentiis takes the crown

Though it took a lot of baking and a lot of eating, we muddled through without the help of a kitchen staff or even a tasting valet. We took on separate sampling sessions to make sure each recipe got its due without the texture or flavor of other recipes overlapping on our taste buds. In the end, we concluded that of the celebrity banana bread recipes on our list, Giada De Laurentiis' entry was far and away superior to the others. The texture of her banana bread is the perfect blend between cake and bread, while the flavor is luxe with enough complexity to challenge the banana essence without pushing it aside. And though the ingredients are prime and the shopping list is admittedly a bit long, the baking process is no more complicated than the others.

To be clear, though, none of the banana bread recipes chosen for this experiment are bad in any way. Each formulation results in a flavorful adaptation of banana bread with plenty of customized twists. We were able to create a thoughtful variety of treats that anyone can recreate in their home kitchens. But, if celebrity banana bread is on your wish list of kitchen things to try for yourself, then we think that De Laurentiis' recipe is a stellar place to start.