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This buttermilk banana bread recipe is moist and full of sweet banana flavor. It's simple to make, freezes beautifully, and it's ready in just over an hour!
We're not exaggerating when we say that this recipe for buttermilk banana bread is the best ever! It's a simple recipe with no fancy ingredients, but it has that classic moist texture and sweet banana flavor we all know and love.
The buttermilk really takes this banana to the next level, so we don't recommend using plain milk. The acidity in buttermilk actually helps break down the gluten which results in a lighter, fluffier, more tender texture. If you don't have any on hand, it's easy to make buttermilk at home using lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, or you can substitute it for kefir, or thinned-out yogurt or sour cream.
Spotty bananas are another key ingredient. They're sweeter, have more aroma, and mash easily to incorporate into the batter. When they start to look overripe, it's time to make banana bread!
Enjoy a slice of buttermilk banana bread anytime with a simple spread of butter (like our homemade butter) and a cup of tea or coffee. Make a second loaf and share it with friends, or freeze it for those moments when only a slice of freshly baked banana bread will do!
Buttermilk banana bread ingredients
This buttermilk banana bread is made with simple ingredients you're likely to have on hand already. Here's everything you need to make it:
- Flour – we use regular, all-purpose flour. But you can use a gluten-free flour blend if needed.
- Baking soda + Salt
- Bananas – save your spotty bananas for this recipe! Instead of throwing out overripe bananas, we freeze them, then thaw them in the oven while we're getting out our banana bread ingredients.
- Eggs – if you have time to bring your eggs to room temperature eggs, it does help in the baking process. They blend more evenly into the batter, and it helps the dough rise more easily.
- Buttermilk – you can buy buttermilk or make your own by adding lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to regular milk.
- Granulated sugar and brown sugar – a mix of both granulated sugar and brown sugar gives this loaf great texture and just the right amount of sweetness.
- Butter – real butter gives this loaf a rich taste and helps keep it nice and moist.
- Vanilla extract
How to make banana bread with buttermilk
This basic buttermilk banana bread recipe is the perfect anytime treat that pairs perfectly with tea, coffee, or a glass of milk. Here's how we make it in a few easy steps:
- While your oven preheats, butter your loaf pan and whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl.
- In a separate large bowl, mash the bananas and then whisk in the eggs, followed by the buttermilk, sugars, melted butter, and vanilla.
- Now you know the drill. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet until they're just combined (without over-mixing).
- Pour the batter into your loaf pan and bake until it's golden. We know it will be hard, but allow the bread to cool on a cooling rack before slicing into it. If you have the patience to let it cool overnight, it will be even better.
How to make buttermilk
No buttermilk, no problem! Making buttermilk at home is really easy to do with some plain milk and an acid like fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. To make it, add 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of buttermilk, stir it, and allow it to sit for 5 minutes until it starts to curdle.
Buttermilk banana bread add-ins
Depending on how we're feeling, sometimes we like to keep this recipe simple and enjoy it as written. It really is the best banana bread recipe ever! Other times we like to jazz it up. Here are some of our favorite add-ins:
- Toasted nuts like walnuts or pecans
- Dark or milk chocolate chips
- Chopped dried fruit like dates
- Warm spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, or cardamom
Can I substitute sour cream for buttermilk?
Yes, you can, but sour cream is thicker than buttermilk so it needs to be thinned out with water or milk. To replace 1 cup of buttermilk, stir together ¾ cup of sour cream with ¼ cup of milk or water until smooth. Follow the same directions if using greek yogurt.
How long does it keep at room temperature?
Either wrap or store your banana bread in an airtight container and it will keep on your counter for at least 3 days.
Can I freeze buttermilk banana bread?
Definitely, this banana bread freezes beautifully. Allow it to cool completely and then either slice it or freeze it whole. When properly stored, it will keep in your freezer for up to three months!
Can I make mini loaves?
Sure! If you have mini loaf pans, you can definitely make mini loaves, just be sure to adjust the cooking time as they will cook quite a bit more quickly depending on their size.
How do I know when my banana bread is done?
You'll know your banana bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (a few moist crumbs are fine). If the top is getting too dark and it's not quite finished, tent a piece of aluminum foil overtop for the last bit of baking time.
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 medium ripe bananas (1 cup)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ½ cup EACH: granulated sugar and brown sugar
- ½ cup melted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 5"x9" loaf pan. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt.2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt
- In a large bowl, mash the bananas then whisk in the eggs, buttermilk, both the sugars, melted butter, and vanilla.3 medium ripe bananas, 2 large eggs, 1 cup buttermilk, ½ cup EACH: granulated sugar and brown sugar, ½ cup melted butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients until they are just combined. Do not over mix the batter.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Check the bread after 45 minutes and if it is golden brown on top, tent it loosely with a piece of foil to prevent it from browning too much. Let it cool for 10 minutes in the loaf pan then remove it and cool it completely on a wire rack before slicing it.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.