How Many Bananas Are in a Cup? Here’s How to Measure Bananas

From the perfect loaf of banana bread to banana pudding, having the right amount of bananas matters. Here's how to measure them!

Bananas are one of the most versatile ingredients for baking, whether you’re using them to add flavor and texture or as a baking substitution. From classic banana bread to other treats like banana bars, banana cake or banana oat muffins, they’re the star of the show. But how exactly do you measure bananas for a recipe?

Often, a recipe will call for an amount of mashed banana or chopped or sliced bananas. But how many bananas does that come down to? It’s tricky to tell just by looking at them!

How to Figure Out How Many Bananas Are in a Cup

How Many Bananas Are In A Cupsydney watson/taste of home

To help determine how many bananas you need, use the guide below:

    • 1/2 banana: 1/3 cup chopped | 1/4 cup mashed
    • 1 banana: 2/3 cup chopped | 1/2 cup mashed
    • 1-1/2 bananas: 1 cup chopped | 3/4 cup mashed
    • 2 bananas: 1-1/3 cups chopped | 1 cup mashed
    • 3 bananas: 2 cups chopped | 1-1/2 cups mashed
    • 4 bananas: 2-2/3 cups chopped | 2 cups mashed

Hoping for a loaf of banana bread that’s bursting with flavor? Don’t add more banana than the recipe calls for. Mixing in an additional banana can cause banana bread or another banana bake to become too dense or mushy. Use incredibly ripe bananas for best results.

Using less banana in a recipe can also change its flavor and texture. Multiple bananas add great flavor and moisture to a recipe, but they also help bind together ingredients and provide body.

Tips for Measuring Bananas

What size banana should you use?

You’ll find a range of banana sizes at the grocery store. To use the measurements above, it’s best to select medium bananas that are 7-8 inches in length. If you end up with larger bananas, resulting in more mashed or sliced bananas, simply save the remaining bananas for another recipe.

Can you mash or slice bananas ahead of time?

Want to prep part of your banana recipe ahead of time? Go for it! Bananas do begin to oxidize (aka turn brown) after being introduced to air, but an airtight bag or container can eliminate that. Once you have overripe bananas, peel them, mash them up or slice them, toss them in a resealable bag and put them in the freezer. You’ll have mashed or sliced bananas ready to go when it’s time to bake, or even to use in smoothies.

What if I don’t have enough bananas?

For many recipes, you can use a substitute for bananas. While you won’t be able to achieve the same flavor for banana bread or banana pudding, you can use a substitute in other banana desserts. Use 1/2 cup of applesauce to replace one banana or Greek yogurt instead of mashed banana.

Recipes That Call for Ripe Bananas
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Molly Allen
Molly Allen is a previous bakery owner and former event planner. Now, a freelance writer and editor focused on food and beverage, lifestyle, travel and parties, she brings her years of experience and industry knowledge to readers across a variety of platforms.