Besides banana bread, what do you do with the overripe bananas sitting on your counter? I’ve found the answer – banana cookies!
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What to do with Ripe Bananas
Am I the only one who regularly ends up with a bunch of overripe bananas on their kitchen counter?
I swear sometimes bananas are a lot like avocados – they go from unripe straight to overripe, with approximately 10 seconds of the perfect level of ripe in the middle. I buy them unripe planning to eat them in a few days and the next day, they’re too ripe to just eat plain.
Luckily, there are plenty of ripe banana recipes, beyond the typical banana bread to use up all of your overripe bananas. In all honesty, they are kind of like banana bread cookies.
What Are Banana Cookies?
The recipe to these is very similar to the recipe for delicious sugar cookies, so what you get is essentially sugar cookies with a hint of banana. Yum!
They’re definitely “can’t eat just one” cookies….but, I mean, they have banana in them so that makes them healthy-ish, right? (Okay, probably not but let’s pretend anyway.)
The kids love making them and you will too. Sometimes we even smear peanut butter on the top or throw in some chocolate chips or caramel chips.
Banana Cookies Recipe ingredients
Besides the overripe bananas, the rest are simple ingredients.
- All-Purpose Flour– Flour provides structure for baked goods. We always use all-purpose unless otherwise noted.
- Baking Powder- The leavening agent used in this recipe, it makes little air pockets in the cookies which helps them rise and stay soft.
- Fine Sea Salt- Salt balances the sweet flavors and amplifies the banana.
- Ground Cinnamon– Check your cinnamon before using and if possible, grate your own freshly from sticks. It will give you the best cinnamon flavor, which starts to decay about 6 months after a jar of pre ground cinnamon is opened. Cinnamon is a naturally complementive flavor to banana.
- Ground Nutmeg- I’m a firm believer that nearly any recipe that uses cinnamon can also use a dash of nutmeg, but if you don’t agree with me, feel free to omit it.
- Unsalted Butter– Salt is great for bringing out flavor and balancing, but too much can also dry out baked goods. If using salted butter, omit the fine sea salt from the dry ingredients.
- Sugar– Regular white sugar.
- Light Brown Sugar- Molasses undertones help to caramelize and brown these cookies.
- Egg- Egg helps to bind the ingredients and gives a small amount of loft.
- Ripe – Overripe Banana- There is a tipping point at which brown bananas go from giving a good amount of natural sugar and banana flavor to going bad. You are looking for one that has some brown spots and is soft when pressed. If it is totally brown and mushy, it’s past its prime.
- Vanilla Extract– Provides an extra punch of flavor.
- Cinnamon Sugar– This simple blend can be made from scratch or buy a tin already blended at the grocery store.
Bananas range greatly in size, but I estimate about 2-3 average size bananas.
You don’t have to- you can use regular bananas, however, overly ripe bananas are softer and sweeter from natural breakdown of sugar, so they are better for baking. This brings out a stronger banana flavor. So while you can use regular bananas, you might lose some of the flavor you were looking for. Enhance even further with banana extract.
How to Make Banana Cookies
These is a super easy recipe to whip up, but be mindful the dough is sticky and does require refrigeration time, so plan for at least 3 hours. Yes, you can add more flour and skip the chilling period, but that will result in dry cookies.
- Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside. If you don’t own a sifter, whisk them together. Don’t skip this step, it ensures that all of the dry ingredients are evenly incorporated and won’t have little pockets of salt or leavener.
- In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar and light brown sugar. When fully creamed, it will lighten in color and be fluffy. This process takes 2-3 minutes and adds air, helping the cookies be light and fluffy. When blended, light and creamy, add the egg, vanilla and mashed banana.
- Gradually add the dry mixture to wet until fully combined, but do not overmix at this stage. Overworking can lead to more gluten being released from the flour and also air, which dries the cookie dough.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours. More refrigeration time is fine, the dough will be easier to work with the colder it gets. For shorter refrigeration time, roll the doll in plastic wrap and shape into a flat disc.
- After the dough has chilled, preheat the oven and line cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Make your cinnamon sugar or place premade in a bowl. Roll the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and then roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat. Alternately, you can use a cookie scoop, but I recommend spraying it with cooking spray between each scoop. Place them on the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Cookies won’t spread, but they do need space to get hot air to circulate around them well.
- Bake until cookie tops start to crack. Do not wait until cookies brown, they will be overdone. The centers might still be a little shiny; that is what you are aiming for.
- Allow the cookies to cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before carefully transferring to a cooling rack using a spatula. Do not let them sit too long on the cookie sheet because the heat will continue to cook them and make them dry. Do not remove too early or they won’t be set enough and have the tendency to crumble.
Easy Banana Cookies variations
Making your own twists on these chewy banana cookies is easy. Here are a few ideas. We’ve love to hear what your did and how they turned out in the comments sections!
- Banana Nut Cookies– Like banana nut bread, add 2 tablespoons of chopped walnuts or pecans to the cookie dough.
- Peanut Butter Banana Cookies– Stir 1 tablespoon of peanut butter into the batter along with the butter and sugars or use a peanut butter frosting to top them off.
- Chocolate Banana Cookies– Stir in 1/2 cup of milk chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips to the cookie dough or top with a dollop of chocolate buttercream frosting.
- Swap the flavors– Try swapping vanilla extract for almond or rum extract for a fun, new flavor combo.
- Ice Cream Cookies Sandwiches– Sandwich two cookies together with vanilla, chocolate or peanut butter ice cream in the middle. Don’t store for too long in the fridge because the cookies will get too hard to bite.
How to Ripen Bananas Fast
- Microwave– The quickest way, but least likely to produce super sweet results. Nuke it for 30 seconds to one minute. Basically, you are cooking it and allowing the sugars to release a little before you put it into the recipe.
- Oven- the same concept as the microwave. Heat to 350 degrees and bake for 5-30 minutes.
- Brown Paper Bag – My mother used this technique, but it still takes about a day. Place your bananas in a brown paper bag and roll it closed. Ethylene will build up and speed up the ripening process.
- Tropical Environment – Everything ages faster in the heat. Place your bananas someplace warm, like in a sunny window. It will still take up to a day, depending on how ripe the banana was to begin with.
- Single them out – lastly, pull your bananas apart. They ripen much faster separated than they do still hooked together.
How to store Banana Cookies
Cookies are great for making ahead and bringing to parties and potlucks, But just like any cookie, they are best enjoyed within 1-2 days of baking. Store at room temperature in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. To keep cookies super moist, place a slice or two of fresh bread in the bag.
Can I freeze overripe banana cookies? You sure can! In fact, I suggest it. You can take just one out anytime you’d like!
Banana Cookies Recipe FAQs
Bananas can vary greatly in size and volume, but in general, 2 medium bananas make up approximately 1 cup.
Soft cookies come from making the sure the cookie dough it the correct temperature specified and that they cook until just lightly browned, or even a hair before. Store in an airtight container to preserve the moisture.
There is a line between overly ripe bananas, which are browned, but allowed the natural sugars to develop and turn sweet, and just plain rotting fruit. Ripe bananas will be brown, but smell sweet, while rotting bananas will have a putrid scent.
More Famous Cookie Recipes
- Chewy Butterfinger Sugar Cookies
- Lemon Cooler Cookies
- Cream Cheese Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- Best Ever Peanut Butter Cookies
- Soft Sugar Cookie Cut Outs
More Delicious Banana Recipes
- Banana Cake
- Cinnamon Honey Fried Bananas
- 3- Ingredient Banana Cupcakes
- Banana Blondies
- Sticky Banana Pancakes
- Peanut Butter Banana Brownies
More Favorites from Savory Experiments
Cookie Dough Recipe:
- 3 3/4 cups flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup unsalted butter , room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup ripe banana* , mashed
- 1 large egg , room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Sugar Cookie Topping:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar and light brown sugar. When blended, light and creamy, add the egg, vanilla and mashed banana.
- Gradually add the dry mixture to wet until fully combined.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.
- After the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon.
- With clean hands, roll the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Dough might be sticky and not roll well, have no fear, just plop it into the sugar and coat.
- Place onto a parchment paper or silicone mat lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes or until cookie tops start to crack. Do not wait until cookies brown, they will be overdone.
- Allow the cookies to cool on cookie sheet for at least 5 minutes before carefully transferring to a cooling rack using a spatula.
- If you've tried this recipe, please come back and leave a comment to let us know how it went and if you made any modifications!
Excellent way to use up my banana supply. Thank you!
Love the texture and flavor of these! And very happy to have an alternative to banana bread for my over-ripe bananas!
These banana cookies turned out perfect! They were so soft and chewy and really easy to make. I always get tired of making banana bread so these cookies are definitely my new go-to for those old ripe bananas!
Easy to make, simple ingredients. Tastes so good
Thank you, Lydia!
Had soooooo many bananas in the freezer. Banana bread, muffins, and now cookies. These were amazing and everyone loved them. Will definitely use this recipe again.
Woohoo! Thanks for coming back to let us know!
This was a big hit in my household and i made it again using half baking flour & half coconut flour and an addition egg because of coconut flour. It was just as good, it is was fluffier and healthier. I will do with trivia next.
Yay! And thanks so much for coming back to let us know!
Very good but next time i will cut down on the sugar by 1/4c. We added 1/2c mini chocolate chips and 1/2c chopped pecans. Yum
Thanks for the feedback!
Great tasty cookies but very sweet, could use less sugar. I used coconut sugar to roll them. I will make again with less sugar. Oh I also made them gluten free.
Thanks for the feedback!
These were delicious and so addictive! Soft and fluffy on the inside with a nice crunch on the outside from the cinnamon sugar coating. A very tasty way to use overripe bananas! I added 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips to mine- so yummy!
Yay! So glad you loved them and thank you for coming back to let us know.
A very tasty alternative to making banana bread! I added chocolate chips to mine and they came out great! They were soft and puffy on the inside and crispy around the edges. The cinnamon sugar on top gave them a nice crunch!
Love the addition of chocolate chips!
These are delicious!!! Loved the flavor and texture, thick and chewy, awesome recipe that comes out perfectly each time!
Yay! That is what we like to hear. Thank you for taking the time to come let us know.
So yummy! I was getting a bit tired of banana bread. I followed the recipe except I ended up keeping them in the refrigerator overnight. Came out just fine! My neighbor called them banana snickerdoodles!
Oh! I love that name! They are one of my favorites for sure.
These are some fabulous cookies
I used xylitol and date sugar in it and they came out perfect
Will be a new favourite in our family
A bit moorish though 🙈❤️
Thank you for the recipe
Glad you liked them!
Can you add chocolate chips to this? I mean you can’t go wrong with chocolate and banana right? How many cups would you suggest?
Ho Cortney! I haven’t tried it but there is no reason why you can’t! I’d probably add 1/2-3/4 cup to the mix.
2 questions please! 1) why do I need to chill it for 2 hours and what will happen if i dont? 2) I have a star shaped cookie cutter i wanted to use but it seems very sticky any advice?
Hi there, no problem. Chilling the dough helps it harden up and bit so it isn’t so sticky and also gets it to the right temp while baking so they don’t spread out to a totally flat pancake. This cookie dough isn’t a roll-out cookie dough. You can try it, but it will likely melt out of the shape you are intending. Most cookie recipes that are a butter base tend to spread while cooking. You can try adding banana or banana flavored extract to my sugar cookie roll-outs if you intend to use a cookie cutter: https://www.savoryexperiments.com/sugar-cookie-cutouts/.
Delicious cookies- so much better than banana bread. Can I freeze them? Thanks
Yep- you can totally freeze them!
These cookies were delicious! They are a cross between banana nut bread and a snickerdoodle cookie. No modifications were made to this recipe. Using a large cookie scoop (1 1/4″ ) yielded 25 cookies.
Awesome! We like them too- and they freeze well!
Made these with the kids to use up our bananas. Super delicious! Highly recommend!
Thanks! They are my favorites too!
Ahhhhmazingly delicious! My cookies turned out great! I followed the recipe to a tee with no modifications. Thank you! ???????
Thank you for taking time to come back and let us know!
Made these cookies today
Turned out great!!!
Yay!!! Thanks, Rose, we love to hear positive results. And thank YOU for taking time out to come back and let us know.
hi there- what do i bake the cookies on? what temperature?
350 degrees- 12-ish minutes. #5 in the recipe instructions.
I was the lucky recipient of these cookies. They were wonderful ❣ I put them in microwave for 10 seconds, boy were they great!!!
Woohoo! That is what I like to hear, Terri. Glad you enjoyed them. <3
Soft and delicious
Followed the recipe as written. Mine came out a little rounder than the recipe photos—I didn’t flatten the balls at all though, and that might have made a difference. These have an interesting texture: cakey on the inside, slightly crispy on the outside. Perfect amount of banana flavor and a nice use of the two brown bananas ripening on my counter.
They are certianly more of a cake-like cookie. I would also say that the ripeness of the banana will have an impact on the fluffiness, amount of converted sugar, water level and size of bananas. Glad you liked them!