Have overripe bananas and looking for the perfect treat to whip up so you don’t waste them? These Banana Bread Cookies are a delightful cross between fluffy, moist banana bread and chewy, crisp-on-the-edges cookies.
These cookies are fragrant and aromatic, have an undeniably delicious texture, and are easy to make vegan. The banana flavor comes through delightfully and is perfectly complemented by the cinnamon and nutmeg.
Plus, they come together in under an hour, chilling time included.
As an environmental scientist, I am always looking for ways to reduce food waste. Bananas are one of those produce items that go from perfect to entirely overripe seemingly overnight.
Getting inventive and finding new ways to use overripe bananas has led to the creation of these delicious cookies! They have since become my favorite breakfast cookie (because, yes, sometimes we need a cookie to start our day off strong!).
Green tip: Did you know that of the billions of pounds of food wasted annually, it is estimated that 50% of it happens in our homes? Reduce your contribution to food waste by baking up your overripe bananas instead of tossing them.
Banana Bread Cookies Ingredients
Here’s everything you need:
- Ripened bananas. For moisture, banana flavor, and to bind the cookies together.
- Unsalted butter. Make sure it’s softened to get the batter the perfect consistency.
- Light brown sugar. To sweeten and add more flavor. For a deeper caramel flavor, you can opt to use dark brown sugar instead.
- Vanilla extract. For that classic vanilla flavor in your cookie.
- All-purpose flour. The base of your cookie dough.
- Salt. To elevate all of the other natural flavors.
- Baking soda. For lift and rise in your cookies.
- Cornstarch. This helps soak up excess moisture to give you that fluffy “bread-y” texture on the inside and avoid too much spreading.
- Nutmeg & Cinnamon. These spices perfectly complement the banana flavor and add extra oomph to your cookie. For a more Fall feel, you can substitute pumpkin pie spice here.
Banana Bread Cookies Tips and Tricks
Use a Fork to Mash Your Bananas
As your banana ripens, it actually gets a bolder, fruitier flavor. So, in order to get these cookies, well, banana-y, it’s best to use riper bananas.
In fact, even if they are overripe and the peel is showing brown spots, they’re great for this recipe! Not only will the overripe bananas be packed with flavor, and a little bit softer, which makes them easier to mash.
If you have some bananas that aren’t quite overripe yet, don’t fret! You can quickly brown them in the oven. Set your oven to the “keep warm” or “warming” setting (if you don’t have this setting, 200°F will do), and set your bananas, still in their peels, on a baking tray.
Keep them in the oven for about 3 minutes or until the peel turn dark brown (almost black!).
Once you’ve selected your ripened bananas, peel them and place them in a large bowl. Since they are overripe, it should be very easy to use a fork to mash them.
Continue to crush your bananas with a fork until they are broken down and almost liquefied. It’s okay to have some clumps!
How to Soften Butter for Cookie Dough
The best way to set yourself up for success with these banana cookies is to make sure you start with softened unsalted butter.
The easiest way to make sure your butter is softened is to simply take it out of the refrigerator a couple of hours before baking and allow it to come to room temperature naturally.
Of course, this takes some planning and foresight, and sometimes we get the urge to bake on a whim! So, if you need your butter to soften up more quickly, you do have a couple of options.
The quickest way is to put your stick of butter in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds.
For more simple options, check out this article on How to Soften Butter Quickly & Easily.
Remember we want it softened, not melted! The best way to tell if your butter is softened is to poke it with a clean finger. If your finger leaves an imprint, it’s ready!
Green tip: Look for organic and palm oil-free butter if you can. Buying organic means you are supporting farms that do not use damaging pesticides and fertilizers, and palm oil production is a huge driver behind deforestation.
Cream the Banana with the Butter, Sugar, and Vanilla Extract
Once your butter is softened, it’s time to cream it with the mashed banana, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Creaming the butter and sugar actually aerates it, setting you up for a soft texture in your cookie.
Use a hand or stand mixer (I used this Hand Mixer) to beat your banana, butter, sugar, and vanilla together for about 2-3 minutes until combined. You may still see some banana clumps, but that’s okay.
Add the Dry Ingredients to the Batter Last
Once your banana, butter, sugar, and vanilla extract are combined, it’s time to add the rest of your ingredients.
Add the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Use your mixer again to combine until smooth.
Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides, making sure to integrate any dry ingredients that are stuck to the bowl.
You’ll be left with thick and sticky cookie dough.
Make Sure to Chill the Cookies Before You Bake Them
Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or a reusable baking mat.
A large cookie scoop is the easiest way to shape your cookies. If you don’t have one, you can use a large tablespoon. Scoop out a heaping tablespoon of cookie dough and use a clean finger to scrape the cookie dough off the spoon, so it plops onto the baking tray.
Make sure to leave space in between each cookie to allow some room for slight spreading. On a large, 18 x 26-inch baking tray, you can comfortably fit 8 cookies.
You will need at least two cookie trays to bake up all these cookies.
Once you’ve shaped your dough, place the trays with the cookie dough in the refrigerator or freezer to chill. If you want the cookies as quickly as possible, put them in the freezer to chill for 30 minutes.
If you’re making these ahead of time and plan to chill them for more than 2 hours, then put them in the refrigerator. You can rest them in the fridge for up to 24 hours if you want to make these the day before.
Bake Your Cookies on the Top Rack
These cookies bake at a higher heat than most cookies and are best baked on the top rack of the oven. Heat rises, and the oven temp is hottest on the top rack.
Cooking these at a higher heat gives them that inner texture that resembles banana bread, with a chewy top and outer edges that you love in any cookie!
This means, if you can’t fit both trays on the top rack, it’s best to bake them in two rounds, back to back.
Banana Bread Cookie Storage
At room temperature, these delicious banana bread cookies will last for 5-7 days. In the refrigerator, they can last up to three weeks. Keep them in an airtight container to keep their texture.
You can freeze the cookies once they are baked for up to a year and allow them to thaw before enjoying them.
You can also freeze the dough for up to a year so you can have freshly baked cookies whenever you have a craving for them.
Just make sure to transfer the dough to the refrigerator at least 12 hours before you want to bake them or add an extra minute or two to your baking time if you are baking them straight out of the freezer.
Banana Bread Cookies Frequently Asked Questions
Why does banana bread fall in the middle?
If banana bread sinks in the center, it is most likely underbaked. The same issue can arise with your banana bread cookies. Make sure they are fully cooked before allowing them to cool.
The easiest way to test if banana bread or banana bread cookies are fully baked is by sticking a clean toothpick in the center of them. If it comes out clean, they are ready!
If the toothpick comes out with batter on it, your baked good needs more time in the oven.
What can overripe bananas be used for?
For more inventive ways to use overripe bananas, check out this list of Ripened Banana Recipes.
Want to sharpen your kitchen skills?
Why You Should Make these Banana Bread Cookies
- They’re resourceful. Don’t throw away those overripe bananas! Avoid waste and dive into these delicious cookies.
- They’re fragrant. Between the banana, cinnamon, and nutmeg, the tasting experience begins before you even take a bite.
- They’re unique! When you can’t decide between banana bread and cookies, this mashup is your go-to!
Fluffy Banana Bread Cookies (Vegan Friendly!)PRINT PIN RATE
- 2 large bananas (very ripe)
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened (dairy or plant-based)
- 1 ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- Peel your bananas and add them to a large mixing bowl. Use a fork to mash the bananas until they are almost liquefied (some lumps are okay!)
- Add the unsalted butter (make sure it is softened!), sugar, and vanilla extract to the bowl with the banana and use a hand mixer to cream together for 2-3 minutes until smooth.
- Add the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix on high until well-combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape any dry ingredients stuck on the sides of the bowl to make sure it is integrated into your cookie batter.
- Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or a reusable baking mat. Use a large spoon or cookie scoop to form cookies (the dough will be sticky!), leaving at least an inch in between each cookie.
- Rest your formed cookies in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and bake the chilled cookies for 12-14 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and top starts to turn golden brown.
- If you are making these ahead of time and are going to be chilling them for more than 2 hours, place them in the refrigerator. You can make these and chill them for up to 24 hours before baking them.
- If your bananas aren’t overripe, you can quickly brown them in the oven at 200°F for about 3 minutes or until banana peel is completely browned.
- For a more Fall-flavored treat, you can substitute pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Bananas for bananas? Hate waste? You’ll love this collection of the best ripened banana recipes!
- Cookie monsters are always happy at my house with this delicious selection of my best cookie recipes to choose from! Nom nom nom!
- And check out this list of all my best banana bread recipes.