The Best Buttermilk Banana Bread
If you’re looking for an easy recipe that uses leftover buttermilk and ripe bananas, then this quick bread is for you! Old fashioned buttermilk banana bread is tender, sweet and super delicious.
Buttermilk is magical in baking. It makes the most tender and light texture all while balancing out the sweetness thanks to its acidity. Adding just a splash makes even the best banana bread even better.
Why this recipe works
This homemade buttermilk banana bread is a great use for leftover buttermilk and brown bananas! The two ingredients together create a perfect texture that is tender and moist. The batter is quick and easy to make (only 5 minutes) and you can add in whatever mix-ins you please for a personal touch!
- Buttermilk: This makes the most tender texture in baked goods. It also helps the loaf rise!
- Bananas: Opt for ripe bananas with brown spots on the peel. Mash them well before using in the recipe.
- Butter: Unsalted butter at room temperature is best for this recipe.
- Flour: All purpose flour will yield the best results, but whole wheat flour will also work. I have not tried this recipe with self-rising flour.
- Sugar: I prefer granulated sugar, but you can do a mix of half brown sugar half granulated if you prefer a subtle molasses flavor.
- Baking soda and baking powder: These leavening agents will help the bread rise. Make sure they are not expired in order for them to do their job!
If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make a substitute at home! Add 1 1/2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar or fresh lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup. Add whole milk and fill to the 1/2 cup measure, stir and let sit for 5 minutes before using in the recipe.
Another suitable substitute is sour cream or plain yogurt thinned out with a tablespoon of milk. I suggest full-fat for best results.
Add some mix-ins! After combining the wet and dry ingredients, mix in 3/4 cup chocolate chips to the batter. Other options include 3/4 cup nuts, blueberries, shredded coconut or peanut butter chips.
Try a different baking pan. This recipe also works in a 10-cup bundt pan. Check for doneness around 45 minutes. For mini loaves, bake for 25 to 30 minutes. You can also make buttermilk banana muffins. Fill each cup 3/4 full and bake at 375° F for 15 to 20 minutes.
To make this recipe gluten-free, use a 1:1 gluten free baking flour. I do not recommend almond flour or other nut flours as they have a higher protein content, which makes a dense texture.
How to make buttermilk banana bread
- Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- Beat the wet ingredients: cream butter and sugar together, then mix in the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla (mixture will look curdled and that’s okay). Finally, stir in the mashed bananas.
- Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix just until combines (avoid over-mixing). Transfer batter to loaf pan.
- Bake at 350° F for 50 to 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out with little to no crumbs.
Weigh your ingredients with a kitchen scale. If you don’t have a scale, spoon your flour into a measuring cup and level with a knife (don’t pack it down). Also, use room temperature ingredients. It’s easier to mix and makes a better textured bread.
Use a metal 9×5 loaf pan. It conducts heat better than glass pans and bakes the bread more evenly. To check if the loaf is done, I suggest using a long skewer or butter knife to get check the center of the loaf to make sure it’s not gooey or under-baked.
Let the loaf cool in the pan for only 10 minutes, then remove it from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. If left in the pan, the bottom of the bread will get soggy. Finally, let the loaf cool completely before slicing. If possible, let it rest for a few extra hours or overnight. Banana bread always tastes better the next day!
Store banana bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the refrigerator for a week. Before storing or freezing bread, make sure it has completely cooled. If it is still warm, the contained heat will make the loaf soggy.
To freeze, wrap the cooled loaf in plastic wrap and aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before bringing to room temperature and serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Buttermilk creates a tender, moist crumb in baked goods. Also, the acidity reacts with the baking soda to help the bread rise.
After the loaf has cooled completely, wrap it in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container. For best results, keep it in the refrigerator overnight. It tastes better the next day!
Most likely there was too much flour added. Be sure to spoon your flour into a measuring cup or use a scale. Another reason could be that your oven was too hot and the bread was over-baked.
Over-ripe bananas with black spots on the peel are best. They are soft and mushy, which adds moisture, and natural sugars for flavor.
It’s done when a long toothpick or butter knife is inserted in the center and comes out with little to no crumbs.
Here are some more recipes using buttermilk!
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Get the Recipe: The Best Buttermilk Banana Bread
- 2 ¼ cups (280 g) all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (225 g) mashed ripe bananas, about 3 medium bananas
- ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup (120 ml) buttermilk, room temperature
- ¾ cup (125 g) chocolate chips or nuts, optional
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand mixing, beat butter and sugar together until creamy, about 1 minute. Add eggs, buttermilk and vanilla, then mix until combined. Finally, mix in the mashed banana.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until combined. If adding chocolate chips or nuts, stir them in now. Avoid over-mixing.
- Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan and spread evenly. Bake at 350° F for 50 to 60 minutes or until a skewer or butter knife inserted in the center comes out with little to no crumbs. Cool loaf in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove it and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve.