Banana Drop Cookies

This recipe for Banana Drop Cookies is an old one from the 1940’s. It was sent to me by Brian from our local public radio station, KUT. Brian says this recipe was given to his mother by a friend who ran a lunch counter in South Dakota called “Minute Lunch”. The cookies became a family favorite.

banana drop cookies

The cookies were big, fat, cakey and moist. The original recipe was four times what’s below, so I scaled it down to yield 12-16 very big cookies. Because they are so cakey, I recommend frosting them with your favorite frosting. However, I also dusted a few of them with cinnamon and sugar and that version was great too.


Here’s the original lunch counter recipe and below that, is the “household” version.

Banana Drop Cookies – Original Version

2 1/8 lbs flour (8 ½ cups)
1 3/4 lbs sugar (3 ½ cups)
1 oz baking powder (2 tbsp)
2 lbs bananas
1/2 oz salt (1 tbsp)
13 oz eggs (8)
1 tsp soda
3/4 oz vanilla (1 ½ tbsp)
1 lb shortening (2 cups) (Crisco or equivalent)
sugar and cinnamon or sugar and nutmeg for topping

Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add a little flour alternately with eggs, bananas, and vanilla just until blended. Drop onto ungreased cookie sheets, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon or sugar and nutmeg.

Bake at 400° F for about 12 minutes. Raisins may be added if desired

Makes 8 to 10 dozen

There is an added note that time is 9 ½ minutes for a convection oven.
The cookies tend to disappear quickly.

Banana Drop Cookies – Scaled down version

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoons soda
1/2 cup Butter Flavored Crisco shortening (subbing butter may cause spreading)
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup mashed bananas
3/4 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
sugar and cinnamon or sugar and nutmeg for topping

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Have ready two cookie sheets.

Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt and set aside.

Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in eggs and bananas until well mixed. By hand, stir in the flour mixture. Batter will be thinner than regular cookie dough, but should be thick enough to hold its shape when you drop it onto a cookie sheet.

Drop by quarter cupfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets (about 6-8 cookies per sheet) and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon or sugar and nutmeg/

Bake at 400° F for about 12 minutes or until they appear lightly browned around the edges.

Makes 12-16 large cookies

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  1. says

    My boys would LOVE these! I love anything with frosting on it. This time of year is so bad for me, I am baking and cooking like a crazy woman! Thanks for all the great recipes Anna!

  2. Sue says

    Hi Anna!

    Something about this recipe makes me think of a pumpkin drop cookie recipe I have. The cookies are really cute frosted and decorated with candy corn and walnuts to make jack o’ lantern faces for Halloween. I’d be happy to share it with you via email, or I’d post it here if you’d rather.


  3. says

    Hi Jenny,

    These would be good all year round. I think of all the banana cookies I’ve tried, these are my favorite. They’re fairly simple…not flashy or creative, but they have good structure and aren’t too dry. They’re also a good vehicle for frosting.

    Sue, I emailed you about that pumpkin cookie recipe.

  4. says

    These sort of remind me of the Pumpkin Cookies at one of my favorite Pike Place Markeet bakeries, Cinnamon Works. Of course, this would be their banana cousin. I agree, what a nice year round treat! Just because I’m so obsessed with pumpkin pie type seasoning this time of year, I wonder how a little extra nutmeg / cinnamon might taste baked right into them too?

  5. says

    Cakespy, I found a new pumpkin pie recipe and will post it after Halloween. It’s got maple syrup.

    Pike Place Market sounds interesting. I’ve never been to Seattle.

  6. says

    These look great, and even better than a slice of cake. Because of the cinnamon and sugar, they remind me of snickerdoodles (which I LOVE)–also a cakey cookies. Is it the crisco that makes it cakey? I heard that you should make snickerdoodles with cake flour to get that soft texture…

  7. says

    Julie, I think these would be good with cake flour or pastry flour. I might make them with White Lily next time. Cake flour and all purpose flour have different weights, so you might want to weigh out your cake flour to be the equivalient of all purpose. 1 cup of cake flour is 4 ounces and 1 cup all purpose is about 4 1/2 oz.

    I think the Crisco just helps the batter stay stiff and not spread when baked.

  8. gillian says

    Oh man, I want to make these. But I have a lot of trouble ignoring bananas long enough for them to ripen.

  9. Sharron davis says

    I made these and took them to work. They are so good that they were almost gone before I put them on the counter. I make a good sour cream cookie w/ sourcream frost for work, but I think everyone was getting tired of them. Who knew banana cookies would be our new favorite cookie.

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