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Buttermilk Banana Bread on a square white plate with a red handled knife

Buttermilk Banana Bread

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This Buttermilk Banana Bread is a classic, dense,  and moist quick bread using buttermilk for a delicious change of pace.

Do you ever buy a quart of buttermilk for one recipe, then have loads leftover that you have no idea how to utilize? Yes, me, too. This banana bread and my corn muffins are two quick breads that will help decrease your supply!

Buttermilk Banana Bread slices on a white ceramic tray

Buttermilk Banana Bread

I hadn’t made banana bread in a long time.  My kids all ate bananas as toddlers, but when that stage was through, this fruit became banana non grata in our household. I had a legitimate excuse for not liking bananas.

My sisters and I had to choke down banana-flavored liquid Dramamine before our cross country vacations through the plains and over the Rocky mountains in an unairconditioned station wagon. The nausea from riding in the back of that station wagon on winding roads through the mountains and the nausea from the nasty taste of the Dramamine resulted in my siblings and I boycotting banana anything for years.

So it was a bit of a shock when my oldest asked if I could make banana bread.  What?  Where did this request come from?  I picked up bananas the next day and left them to ripen on the kitchen counter.

2 slices of Buttermilk Banana Bread on a square white plate topped with a pat of butter

Tips for Making This Banana Bread

That request had me hooked again! The sweet tender loaf was perfect for breakfasts and snacks. Here are a few tips for making banana bread and also a few for baking up quick breads in general.

  • Use very ripe bananas for this recipe. The skin should be covered with dark speckles and there should be an obvious banana aroma.
  • PRO-Tip: You can also ripen bananas by roasting them when you’re in a pinch. Place unpeeled bananas on a foil lined cookie sheet and roast at 300 degrees for 15-30 minutes.
  • Did you know you can freeze ripe bananas to use later? If you just have one or two, but not enough to make a full recipe, peel them, then toss them in a Ziploc freezer bag, remove any excess air, and freeze until you have enough to complete the recipe.
  • To use your frozen bananas in banana bread, defrost first, mash a bit if needed and mix into the batter as your recipe directs.
  • PRO-Tip: If you don’t have buttermilk on hand you can make your own by putting 1 tablespoon of either vinegar or lemon juice into a 1 cup Pyrex measuring cup. Fill the cup to the 1 cup mark and let sit for a few minutes to allow the milk to thicken and curdle slightly. You will only need 1/4 cup for this recipe.
  • PRO-Tip: Make sure not to over mix your batter. The dry ingredients should be mixed in just until combined. If you must use a mixer, mix on the lowest speed only until the flour is incorporated or tunnels will form throughout the loaf.
  • PRO-Tip: Baking times will vary depending on your oven and even the ripeness of your bananas. Insert a toothpick into the middle of the loaf to check for doneness (I insert a toothpick into the cracks along the top of the loaf at a few spots). If it comes out clean, the loaf is done. If not, bake for a few more minutes and recheck.
  • Let  your banana loaf cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to finish cooling. This first cooling period allows the loaf to firm up a bit before your release it. I like to line the bottom of my pans with a rectangle of parchment so that the bottom does not stick. I spray the top of the parchment with non-stick cooking spray for easy removal

Perfect Banana Bread

When those bananas became perfectly ripe, I knew it was time to bake that requested loaf of banana bread. I opened one of my recipe binders and right on top was a sheet I had printed off the Internet in 2006 for “Indescribably Delicious Banana Bread.”  I couldn’t resist trying a recipe with a name like that. Plus it contained buttermilk which, like sour cream, adds a certain tenderness to baked goods.

It also had a brown sugar nut glaze, but I didn’t guild the lily this time. I will make that version for my girlfriends, who aren’t nut phobic like my family.

The resulting bread was perfect…a lovely crumb, not too dense and incredibly moist…just the way a quick bread should be.  After a lengthy hiatus from all things banana, I think I found a new favorite banana bread recipe.

If you love nuts in your banana bread, try my Classic Walnut Banana Bread.  I also have a marvelous Cinnamon Topped Banana Bread and Chocolate Chip Toffee Banana Bread for you to check out. Other favorite quick breads include these Mini Pumpkin Breads, Southern Peach Bread, and Classic Zucchini Bread.

Buttermilk Banana Bread on a square white plate with a red handled knife
Originally posted in 2011; photos and text updated in 2019

More Banana Recipes:

This Sugar Crusted Zucchini Bread is another favorite quick bread recipe, but you may also enjoy these other banana recipes:

This recipe was first shared in June 2011. Photos and text were updated in 2019.

Buttermilk Banana Bread slices on a white ceramic tray

Buttermilk Banana Bread

A classic moist banana bread with a buttermilk twist.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield 16 servings


  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Optional Topping:

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 10 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350º.  Grease and flour one 9 x 5 loaf pan.

Cream butter and sugar with a hand mixer for 2 minutes. Add bananas, eggs, vanilla and buttermilk and mix to combine. Whisk together flour, soda, baking powder and salt in a clean bowl.  Add to banana mixture.  Mix until just combined (I like using a wooden spoon or spatula for this step) as quick breads should not be beaten or over mixed.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake 50-55 minutes, or until the bread pulls away from the sides of the pans and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool before slicing.

To make optional topping, melt the butter in sauce pan, then add the sugar and milk.

Cook until very syrupy, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add chopped pecans.

Pour over bread, and spread across the top. Place under broiler, watching very carefully,  until brown and bubbly.


Adapted from The White Oak Restaurant on Buffalo Lake.

Makes 1 large loaf.


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74 comments on “Buttermilk Banana Bread”

  1. Lizzy, this sounds wonderful. Banana Bread is my 10 year old niece’s favourite recipe to make when she has a sleep over at my house. We will make this recipe for a change. Who could resist a recipe that starts “Indescribably Delicious …”

  2. 15 years!!Well, this certainly makes up for lost time.

  3. This looks yummy! So moist… it would be perfect with a cup of tea (or even better with my espresso)!!!!

  4. I have used the same recipe for 30 yrs now, have six loaves in the freezer, we have banana’s go bad quick in Florida, so either i freeze the extra mashed to use later or make banana bread. Looks like its time to try an new recipe this looks great, and have some ready to go ! love that second picture~

  5. Looks delicious! It’s been awhile since I’ve made banana bread, mainly because we love putting bananas on our cereal!

  6. I adore banana bread! Although, I tend to add cinnamon rather than vanilla to mine. Buttermilk is a real winner in making breads extra moist and tender.
    Martha Stewart’s banana bread recipe available on her site is also quite a good one. If I remember correctly, it uses sour cream (super decadent and very melt-in-your-mouth-ish).

  7. Looks delicious! Haha I’m in the middle of making banana bread stage as kids eat bananas and we also get brown banana when we can’t finish. I’d love to try yours to switch the taste a bit. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I haven’t had banana bread since the last loaf my grandma made when I was still in middle school. I really need to give this a try since everyone in my house loves it. It looks delicious. Yummy!

  9. Lovely banana bread! But bananas here are so insanely expensive.. 1 banana is 3.5$! So I guess I will wait πŸ™‚

  10. I love banana bread. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  11. I love banana bread…I buy extra bananas so that I will have an excuse to make it! I don’t have a recipe that calls for buttermilk but will try that next time. I love buttermilk in baked goods!

  12. Banana Bread is such a classic! Yours looks beautifully done! I can’t wait to try out your recipe.

  13. banana non grata – really? Glad to see its reversal and banana being given another chance!

  14. Looks perfect! Hopefully you have found a new reasons to get Banana’s back in your house! My son loves them!

  15. Good morning Lizzy! I love banana bread when I was a child Mom make us and we loved! this look amazing, many times I dont make, look nice, thanks for sharing, gloria

  16. I’ve tried so many different banana bread recipes, but never one with this kind of topping! It sounds SO good!

  17. I absolutely love banana bread!!! Great recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  18. This sounds wonderful, with a glaze and all. Wow!

  19. I haven’t made banana bread for years, mostly because we prefer to use leftover bananas to make the To Die For Banana Cake w/Vanilla Bean Frosting that I posted in January. With that said, I must admit, your recipe sounds pretty tantalizing – especially with that topping. Will definitely be saving this recipe. Thanks, Lizzy!

  20. love banan bread always

  21. love banana bread especially with lots of walnuts in them!

  22. β™₯
    oh.. so nice post.)
    Love your blog.))
    I now spend a survey of bloggers with such questions.
    1. Why did you create a blog?
    2. For whom you taking him? Want to be popular?
    3. How long will it keep going?

  23. I am staring at 3 very brown bananas that are soon to become this recipe!

  24. MMMMmmmmmmmm…never met a banana bread I did not like. This one look great…a good way to use up leftover buttermilk I always seem to have!

  25. Woah! 15 years! Well, it looks like you haven’t lost your magic banana bread touch! I can almost smell it through my computer screen!

  26. Whoa, that brown sugar glaze sounds all sorts of good…but you’re right, banana bread is so good on it’s own, it hardly needs it! Yours looks gorgeous.

  27. Bananas seem to come and go, I get tired of them and then I crave them. I have bookmarked to try this recipe when the craving comes along. thanks for sharing.

  28. Your banana bread looks and sounds really yummy!

  29. That topping is scrumptious Liz as well as the bread itself.

  30. I have bananas at the back of my counter, too. Maybe I should give this recipe a try!

  31. This banana bread looks scrumptious Liz! Very similar to my Grandma’s recipe, which I love! I can see why this bread is so irrisistable! I think I would have the entire loaf eaten in no time ;)! Hope you have a wonderful week :)!

  32. Gretchen Weber had THE BEST recipe for Banana Bread…It was pretty similar to this…I’ll have to see how they compare!!!

  33. Lizzy…your banana bread looks so good….. love it with pecans or walnuts. Thanks for sharing one of your recipes and pics. :-)))


  34. Yea! I keep trying banana bread on my family but they say they don’t like bananas any way but as the fruit. So I buy them and they get black (as a few are on the counter right now). I’m making this, doggonit! It looks incredible and if it has your seal of approval, it’ll be awesome.

  35. There’s actually a loaf of banana bread baking in my Zojirushi as we speak! I just use the Alpha Bakery recipe I’ve been using since before I could bake by myself. My husband’s obsessed with it.

  36. What a great name for a recipe! I love it.

  37. Wow – looks delicious! To me…it’s the buttermilk that would take it right over the top…I love the flavor it gives baked goods! BTW – I am already subscribed, but I “followed” you on Google – I love the little picture blocks – it’s like having your friends with you all the time!

  38. P.S. You’re right…that skinny chick CAN bake!

  39. Aw, thanks, Ann!

    Thank you all for your wonderful comments…I’m going to pull out the second loaf from the freezer for breakfast tomorrow πŸ™‚

  40. I dig me some banana bread. I like to sneak some chocolate or butterscotch chips into mine for some extra naughtiness πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing your new favorite!

  41. Lizzy banana bread looks delicious
    torviewtoronto and createwithmom

  42. this is looking irresistable Liz ! thx for sharing ^,^

  43. I too, haven’t made banana bread in quite some time. Thanks for the reminder, it looks delicious!

  44. Ok…this is printed out and I’m heading in the kitchen. Making a loaf for us and a loaf for the vet friend that came to confirm that Bailey was at the end of her precious canine life. I can’t wait to taste this!

  45. I love banana bread! It’s almost a staple in my house. So easy to whip together and smells so great baking. A quick snack anytime of the day. I’ve often added chocolate chips to the recipe…my SIL loves it when I do that. Your bread looks great, I’m sure your kids were happy πŸ™‚

  46. I’ve never thought to use buttermilk! great idea! I like to add sour cream to my banana bread..makes it very moist

  47. Beautiful bread. Banana is one of my favorite quick breads.

  48. Lovely bread! I love banana bread…it’s actually a staple in our house! When my grandchildren come to visit, I always make a loaf.

  49. Who doesn’t love banana bread? I’m so glad your oldest requested this and brought back the happiness that comes with bananas πŸ™‚ Although, I must say–those must have been some family adventures you guys had!

  50. I don’t eat bananas (working on it) but I love banana bread! This looks perfect.

  51. This turned out so perfect! I love the sound of that butter pecan topping!

  52. Am I crazy or is buttermilk missing from the ingredient list?

  53. I haven’t had banana bread in a long time… Bet the boys would like some next Sunday:@)

  54. I have made this recipe! So good! It’s not like any other banana bread, delish!

  55. Oh, wow! This banana bread is absolutely incredible! It will be my go-to recipe from now on!

  56. So delicious and I love your pro tips!

  57. I see why your oldest requested this banana bread – looks fantastic! Love the idea of tangy buttermilk in it – I bet it adds a nice flavor and texture.

  58. Lizzy I love the idea of a banana bread with buttermilk, sounds delicious ! hugs!

  59. now i can switch from oats to this buttermilk banana bread it’s hard to make a breakfast which is delicious and healthy enough too thanks.

  60. All baking is better with buttermilk! Looks so comforting and delicious, Liz!

  61. What is it about buttermilk that makes quick breads, pancakes and biscuits taste SO GOOD! Your banana bread is a winner!

  62. I bet the sharp buttermilk works so well with the sweet bananas, this looks great.

  63. I never get tired of banana bread, neither baking nor eating. And I keep changing the permutation combinations of additives to keep the novelty factor for family going.

  64. Delicious looking banana bread…as I always have extra banana this recipe is a keeper…thanks for the recipe Liz. Enjoy your week!

  65. Banana bread is among my favorite foods. πŸ™‚

  66. Banana bread is my all time favourite so I am definitely adding this recipe to my rotation.Β 

  67. Banana bread? Yes, please. Such good stuff. Worth buying extra bananas just so some get soft enough for bread. πŸ™‚

  68. Buttermilk in your banana bread. That’s brilliant. We have a few bananas that either need to be put into bread or consumed immediately so this could not have had better timing. Gorgeous clicks Liz! Saved to our favorite boards.

  69. I am a huge fan of banana bread and with buttermilk, it’s even yummier! I always do the lemon juice to milk trick now instead of buying buttermilk. I do think you can freeze buttermilk too, 1 cup portion ziplock bags.

  70. I think my hubby will love this! xoxo

  71. I remember those unaircondtioned car rides. And my mom smoked. Instead of bananas I vowed never to smoke! But this banana bread sounds yummy!

  72. Such a perfect banana bread, I’d love a slice with my coffee!

  73. When the kids were home they ate lots of bananas, especially the boys. I think the girls would be a big fan of banana bread, count me in that group as well.

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