Buttermilk Banana Bread sliced on a cutting board

Buttermilk Banana Bread

This recipe for Buttermilk Banana Bread is perhaps one of the nearest and dearest recipes to our family. Once you make it, you’ll never make another banana bread again.

Buttermilk Banana Bread sliced on a cutting board
Buttermilk Banana Bread

This recipe for Buttermilk Banana Bread is perhaps one of the nearest and dearest recipes to our family – every time we make it, it reminds us of my father in law; this recipe is, in its essence, his. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do, and think of him! Once you make it, you’ll never make another banana bread again.

a sliced loaf of buttermilk banana bread

I think I live with a family of monkeys.  We go through a lot of bananas in this house.  A LOT.  Like 5+ bunches a week.  And we use them all, for the most part.  In parfaits, in smoothies, on oatmeal, just plain, what have you.  Friends who come to our house can never believe that we really do eat the huge pile of bananas we have in the fruit basket.

Once in a while, it does catch up with us, and we end up with some very ripe bananas.  When that happens, it’s time to make the family buttermilk banana bread.

When I first met my father in law, I would have never guessed that he spent any time in the kitchen.  Big guy, career military man, you get the idea.  I was so wrong.  It turns out that he developed the best banana bread recipe.  Ever.  It’s moist, it’s cake-like, it’s delicious.

We must have made dozens and dozens of loaves over the years, and after some time, I have updated his recipe to suit our needs.  I’ve replaced his call for Crisco with butter.  While Crisco does allow for a light and flaky crumb, I don’t particularly like the hydrogenated oils.  I’ve also found that buttermilk works very nicely.  And I upped the banana content.

One little trick, in case you don’t already: make a sling by lining your buttered loaf pans with parchment paper.  When it’s time to remove the bread from the pans, it’ll be as easy as…um…banana bread.

The next time your monkeys leave you with ripe bananas, give our buttermilk banana bread a try.  You’ll go bananas over it.

Enjoyed this Buttermilk Banana Bread and looking for more banana baked goods?  Be sure to check out these banana recipes:

Chocolate Banana Fig Bread
Banana Bread French Toast
Chocolate Banana Muffins
Coconut Banana Bread with Nutella
Chocolate Banana Quinoa Muffins

Buttermilk Banana Bread

This recipe is perhaps one of the nearest and dearest recipes to our family – every time we make it, it reminds us of my father in law; this recipe is, in its essence, his. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do, and think of him! I love the recipe as it is written with pecans, but often make it without for my family who isn’t crazy about nuts. Try it with your favorite nuts, with chocolate chips, and even coconut. It’s very adaptable.
Buttermilk Banana Bread sliced on a cutting board
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5 from 3 votes
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 2 loaves
Calories 148kcal


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans optional
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk or substitute 1 cup milk with juice of one lemon
  • 5 - 6 very ripe bananas


  • Preheat oven to 300°F. Prepare two loaf pans by buttering and lining with parchment paper.
  • Sift or whisk flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add pecans if using, then set aside. In a separate bowl, cream sugar and butter. Mix in eggs, one at a time, then add the bananas. Add dry ingredients and buttermilk, alternating until incorporated. Try to end with the dry ingredient addition, and be sure not to over mix.
  • Bake in buttered loaf pans for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean.



Serving: 1slice | Calories: 148kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 97mg | Potassium: 81mg | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 1.7% | Vitamin C: 1.9% | Calcium: 1.6% | Iron: 2.8%
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  1. denise @ quickies on the dinner table

    Liren, my family’s almost as bad with bananas! I never have extra for banana bread *grr* even when I buy piles and piles hoping to wait for at least some to get really ripe and sweet – it’s always all gone before I can say well, “banana bread”. Next time I wanna make it, I will try your recipe :)

    • kitchenworthy

      Hi Denise! I guess it’s probably a good thing that there aren’t enough bananas for banana bread…that means much healthier eating :) But when it’s time to indulge, definitely try it. Hope you love it as much as we do!

  2. TinyGatsbyKid

    I can attest to the sheer awesomeness of this banana bread. I remember when you shipped a loaf across the country to me and despite the long journey and questionable conditions of shipment, it arrived in perfect shape. It retained it’s texture, moisture, and yumminess. Some hardy stuff…

  3. Eric Ackerson

    OMG I am on a cleanse diet this week and of course you would post one of my favorite baked items. And yours looks amazing! I love the buttermilk addition. I need to start baking again.

  4. Bonnibella

    Amazing looking bread, my bf loves banana bread without nuts and I use his mother’s recipe but I will swap this recipe and see if he notices!

  5. kitchenworthy

    Hope you guys enjoy it when you try it!

    Bonnibella, I usually omit the nuts for my hubbie, but I love when the pecans are in the bread — it becomes much more decadent.

    Eric, a cleanse diet sounds too rigorous! You can justify this bread because it’s very high in potassium and fiber.

    TinyGatsbyKid, it really is a hardy bread. We always pack a few loaves when we go on a ski trip — make a great quick snack and stays fresh for days!

    p.s. It made the Foodbuzz Top 9!!!! Check it out here!

  6. Carol Egbert

    I put overripe, unpeeled bananas into the freezer until I have enough to make banana bread. Next time I make it, I’ll try your recipe. Thanks.

    • kitchenworthy

      Great tip! We always end up using our frozen ripe bananas in smoothies; it’s a good reminder for banana bread!

  7. Lori

    Looks so delicious! I always love baked goods that have buttermilk or sour cream in the mix. Seems to have magical properties.

  8. Lori

    Yup- just back to tell you that I did your recipe and it is in the oven as I write. Cant wait. Is it okay if I post about it with a link back to you?

    • kitchenworthy

      Hi Lori, hope it turned out well! Of course you can post about it – I appreciate the linkback! Let me know how it turned out.

  9. Kath

    I can’t wait to try this. We always have old bananas – buy them too green then wait too long to eat them! Think I’m going to have to put my current – green- bananas in a paper bag so they’ll get ripe faster. I’ve made all sorts of banana confections – but I’ve never used buttermilk in the mix – brilliant!

  10. Holly

    I LOVE banana bread but have only really had amazing versions of it maybe twice in my life. This looks like a recipe I need to get my hands on! :) I’m not much of a baker, but if it’s good, I can give it a whirl. I’ll let you know how it goes!

    Thanks for sharing a fam favorite!

  11. C and C Dish

    I have made many banana breads and I don’t think I have ever tried buttermilk. This looks delicious…can’t wait to try it!

  12. Liren

    Buttermilk is definitely my favorite thing to bake with these days. It makes everything so delicious. Hope you all try it and enjoy it!

  13. Dee

    Ahhhh, banana bread, one of my faves! I always add chocolate chips, though not too many! And I add flaxseed. I hide healthy stuff where ever I can! I will try this recipe, I’m intrigued by the buttermilk.

    • kitchenworthy

      Hmm, flaxseed, great idea! My kids gobble this up, it would be good to sneak in some extra wholesomeness!

  14. Theresa

    At what point in the recipe do you add in the buttermilk? After combining the eggs, bananas, butter and sugar, do you add in the buttermilk alternately with the flour?
    It looks delicious in the photo!

    • kitchenworthy

      Hi Theresa! Yes, you add the buttermilk, alternating with the flour *after* adding the eggs and bananas. I’ll update the recipe to make it more clear!

  15. Marcella

    I tried making this today and the house smells wonderful. Just wondering if you really always bake it at 300? It seems low – I had to add an extra 20 minutes for the bread to be baked all the way through. Should be a delicious dessert tonight and for breakfast too.

    • Liren

      Hi Marcella! Great question. Baking at 300 degrees is my father in law’s strict instructions for this banana bread — he is a believer in low and slow baking. I remember the first time I saw the recipe, I thought it was a typo. I will say that over the years, I’ve baked the banana bread in different ovens (each oven is different!), in different states (altitude/humidity matters), in different kitchens (different karma?), and I’ve found that generally, I try to honor his 300 degree/hour instruction. Sometimes it’s spot on, and sometimes it’s not, depending on where I am baking. Feel free to bake it in a normal 350 degree oven for a shorter period of time. Sometimes I will bake at 325 and keep a close eye on it. But, if I have time, I’ll set the oven for 300 for 1 hour then get other things done around the house. In my current kitchen, the timing and temperature does work, give or take five minutes. So feel free to tweak!!

  16. julia

    I just pulled this out of the oven. It looks perfect and smells perfect. Just waiting for it to cool down enough to dig into to! I had to add a dulce de leche swirl! Why? B/c it was in my cupboard and practically SCREAMING my name! Great recipe! Thank you.

    • Liren

      Hi Julia! Oh my goodness, just when I thought it couldn’t get any better you add dulce de leche? YUM! How did it turn out? I’ll have to try that!! I’m so glad you tried the banana bread – thanks for stopping my to let me know :)

  17. Charissa

    I just made this recipe and it is the most moist and lightest banana bread I have ever eaten, let alone made. I’m pleased as punch with this and I’m going to write about it on my blog and put your link up. Thank you so much, this is a new family fav.

  18. Christie

    I have never had a recipe made with buttermilk that was not delicious! It just adds a different taste that you cannot beat…….definitely going to try this!

  19. Joan

    I only had two ripe bananas so I added a cup of zucchini and two Tbls oh dark coco powder. Choc banana zucchini bread. It smells good and the batter tasted good so we’ ll see.

  20. Lisa

    UM….YUMMMMM. Yes the most moist banana bread ever! I love the golden colour too. Not dry at all. I will ask a few questions, what size loaf pan do you use? Also, it just says add bananas but I assumed mashed, or purée. I did cut the sugar in half. I used a cup of organic golden cane sugar. I took a chance and it’s really sweet. I also just wet my parchment and didn’t have to butter the pan. Or was it to read, line with parchment or butter the pan? Many thanks, Lisa

  21. Darla

    I have been on the hunt for a great banana bread recipe!! Thank you thank you thank you! This is the absolute best one! So moist and just perfect! My husband over buys on bananas now so that we have the extra for this treat! The only thing I did different was add chocolate chips…so glad you shared this!

    • Liren

      Darla, I am so glad! It’s a very old family favorite, and we love to put chocolate chips in it too, from time to time. My husband was just saying today how he wanted some banana bread, I need some ripe bananas fast! Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such lovely note.

  22. Brenda T

    I modified the recipe slightly-reduced the sugar to 1 cup white and 1/2 cup brown sugar and added 1 t each of cinnamon and vanilla. Turned out awesome, so moist.
    Thanks for a great recipe.

  23. Maria

    Finally made these…oh so good! Do you think it is bad if I just buy bananas so they go old and then I can make this?

  24. JenniSu

    I just made this recipe…..absolutely fantastic..!!!
    I feel that the buttermilk is the key ingredient that makes it super moist!!
    (I made the buttermilk by using 1 cup 2% milk & 1 tablespoon vinegar.)
    I did add a little vanilla but otherwise used the recipe exactly…& it tastes so great!! My husband loves it….but I made it for my dad…the true test will be when he tastes it….I will let you know the results.

    I also did not have loaf pans…..so I used a Bundt pan & 6 large muffin …..this recipe makes a lot…!!!
    Thank you for sharing your awesome recipe!!
    It’s a keeper!!

  25. JenniSu

    My mom & dad loved it…..My mom asked me for the recipe….I just sent her this link!! Thank you again!!

  26. Kriss

    I just popped my loaves in the oven. I have been searching for a good buttermilk banana bread recipe and by the looks of all of the awesome comments it looks like a winner. Can’t wait to try them!

  27. Josie

    Hey! Finally, a banana bread that looks delicious! Umfortunatley mine is in the oven and doesn’t look so good, meaning it’s not turning the beautiful golden brown it actually looks kinda light brown just like the recipe… Dunno if what I’m saying is very clear… Please help! 

    • Liren Baker

      Hi Josie, I’m not sure how long your bread has been in the oven so far, but it helps to make sure it’s on the center rack in the oven. Due to variations in oven temperature, it is possible that yours is running hotter than other ovens. If you are worried, lightly cover the banana bread with foil to prevent over-browning. Hope this helps. – Liren

  28. El

    I just made this recipe into muffins. I cut the sugar back to one cup and are very sweet. Two cups would be insane! The flavor is AMAZING! The best I have had. Very moist with lots of banana flavor. The only problem I had was I filled my muffin cups 3/4 the way to the top like usual, but the tops didn’t bubble up high like they usually do, they stayed flat and the batter poured off the sides of my muffin pan. If you make muffins be sure to only fill your cups 1/3-1/2 way. I baked the muffins at 350 for 25 min or so.

  29. Mae

    OK, I NEVER leave comments, but I had to for this one.  If you *like* banana nut bread, but don’t *love* banana nut bread, this is the recipe for you to try.  I’ve always thought I should enjoy banana nut bread more than I do.  I mean, I like nuts, I like bananas, and I LOVE sweet breads, but MOST banana nut breads have a tough, dark, crust and I usually end up only eating the tiny inner rectangle and throwing the rest of my piece away.  (Which, when you are busy and have two young children, that reward is not worth the effort!)  So, I normally make pumpkin bread, or a loaf pound cake and leave the banana nut bread making to others.  However, yesterday I noticed we had several overly ripe bananas and a open container of buttermilk that was going to expire, so I thought, “Why not?”  and gave this recipe a try.  I’m so pleased with the results!!  I’m not sure if it is the buttermilk, or all the bananas, or the low and slow cooking time, but this is the best banana nut bread ever.  It is simple and classic and delicious, but NO HARD, BROWN CRUST!  In fact, just looking at from across my kitchen, I would NEVER guess it was banana nut bread.  Even the end pieces are delicious, which is really saying something.  Thank you so much for posting this recipe.  It has now become my One And Only recipe for banana nut bread.  All the others are going into the trash can.  

  30. Sally

    I managed to bake the banana bread and it was very moist and yummy. My family loved it. I will try to post the pics. However, I found it to be a bit too sweet hence might try to reduce the sugar to 1 cup next time. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  31. Liz Molitor

    i also ended up having to cook my loaves for about an hour and 20 minutes instead of an hour – maybe because i used glass dishes instead of metal?

    in any case, it was worth it because oh.  my.  goodness.  this was the most delicious, moist, flavorful banana bread i’ve ever eaten, let alone made.  keeping this recipe for sure!

    • Liren Baker

      Hi Liz! It could be partially due to the glass baking dishes, but it could also be nuances in oven temperature. Either way, I’m so glad you loved the banana bread! The recipe definitely uses the low and slow method of baking, which I think contributes to the moistness of the bread. Happy you think it’s a keeper, too!

  32. Turner

    This was delicious! I also reduced the sugar to one cup and had to bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. It was so light and fluffy, I will definitely be making this one again!

  33. Kathy

    Made this last night after an overabundance of bananas left over from a XC meet.  Delicious!!! Very moist and very addicting.  I keep taking one more slice…  Thank you for the recipe.

    • Liren Baker

      You’re so welcome, Kathy! I’m so pleased you enjoyed it – this recipe has a special place in my heart, and I’m so glad you were able to make it!

  34. KatieAnn

    Will freezing the ripe bananas ahead of time change the outcome??

    • Liren Baker

      Great question! I haven’t had a chance to try it with frozen ripe bananas, but I know plenty of people who make their banana bread with it. I think the trick may be to thaw it partially, then drain off a little bit of the excess liquid after mashing before adding to the dough. I hope that helps, and if you try it out, please do let me know how that works out.

  35. Sharon dicorato

    I made this for my family and it was a hit! I added a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter and omitted the nuts. It was moist and flavorful and totally delicious! Thanks for my favorite banana bread of all time!

    • Liren Baker

      Hi Sharon! I’m so glad my favorite banana bread is now your favorite, too! Adding peanut butter is an awesome idea – I’ll have to try that :) Thank you for coming back to let me know!

  36. kate @ tasty seasons

    i just took the second loaf out of the freezer and microwaved a slice as soon as I could cleave it off the frozen loaf… and it was still delicious and moist!  Any baked good that can withstand that kind of torture is definitely a winner!  Thanks for sharing this family recipe.  :-)

    • Liren Baker

      Hi Kate! So good to hear from you! Yay – so awesome to hear the frozen loaf was just as good as the first. Our second loaf rarely makes it to the freezer ;)

      Funny enough, I hid some ripe bananas today so I can make a batch this weekend!

  37. Barbara

    How much BUTTER? The recipe (at least what I am looking at) says: – cup butter. Please help as I am about to make this…. Sounds wonderful!

    • Liren Baker

      Sorry about that! The measurements got lost in the website redesign. I’ve updated it so you should see it now. Thanks for letting me know, and enjoy!

    • Brenda

      Barbara, half a US cup of butter is 113.4 grams. hope that helps

  38. Michelle

    I just made this……and I must say…..it’s hands down the best banana bread I have ever in my life eaten. It’s been out the oven 15 minutes and already the one loaf is finished. Oh my soul Yum

    • Liren Baker

      Yay, Michelle! This makes me so happy – this recipe is extra special to our family, so I am thrilled that you loved it!

  39. Laurie

    I just made this. I have to tell you, this is by far the best banana bread I have ever made. Great taste and so moist! I have lost all control. My husband and kids love it too. Thank you for sharing. I will be saving and making this recipe again.

    • Liren Baker

      Hi Laurie! I’m so, so glad and am thrilled that you agree — we think it’s the best banana bread, too!! I hope you and your family enjoy it for years to come!

  40. Brenda

    I LOVE this recipe. Everyone I make it for loves it! I would like to make it higher though… I tried doubling the recipe and that just didn’t work and took forever to cook. Any tips please would be greatly appreciated xx

    • Liren Baker

      Hi Brenda, I’m so glad you love the recipe, too. I’m not sure what you mean by making it “higher.” As in loftier or taller? If you do double the recipe, it will definitely take much longer to cook through. You can try to increase the oven temperature to 350°F, but I have found that baking for longer at 325°F produces a more moist loaf, without a dry exterior. I prefer to keep it at two smaller loaves, as it’s nice and moist through and through. I hope that helps.

  41. Christina

    Can u use whole wheat flour for this maybe half whole wheat and half all purpose flour? Or just better white whole wheat flour

    • Liren Baker

      Hi Christina! I haven’t used whole wheat flour, but it would be great to try. I would probably refrain from combining more than half whole wheat with all-purpose flour as it may get too dense. If you try it, please do let me know!

    • Liren Baker

      Hi Kay, I will double check when I get back to my kitchen, but I’m 99% certain my loaf pans are 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ x 2 3/4″ (they are 1 lb loaf pans). However, I have also made them in mini loaf pans, and adjusted my baking times accordingly. I hope this helps you!

  42. Caria

    Used sour milk, mini chocolate chips instead of pecans, and made them in mini loaves. Talk about light! Will be making them again once I get enough bananas. ;)

    • Liren Baker

      Hooray! So glad to hear, Caria! I love making them in mini loaves too, and adding chocolate chips when I can! So glad they came out great!!

  43. Terri May

    Thanks for such a delicious recipe! I didn’t have 2 loaf pans so I baked a batch of muffins and added some chocolate chips.

    • Liren Baker

      You’re SO welcome, Terri! They do make awesome muffins (and yes to chocolate chips!) :)

  44. Shannon

    This is the best banana bread I’ve ever made! It’s my go-to, and I’ve made more times than I can count. Thank you!

  45. Chef Carol Orlow

    Hi Liren!
    Loved your story, so heartfelt. Baking the bread at a lower temp ensures a golden loaf. Most quick breads are baked at 350 which causes a loaf to over- bake! Texture is tender and the buttermilk creates a moist loaf. Perfect every time. Sometimes I add 1/2 cup or so of mini chocolate chips tossed with 1 tsp of flour (so they don’t sink). Thank you for sharing your story and recipe. Chef Carol Orlow

    • Liren Baker

      Hi Chef Carol,

      Thank you for your kind words — I love how this banana bread makes so many people happy and that I am able to share my father in law’s legacy through it. This is what makes cooking so special for me! I also love to add chocolate chips — it makes it extra irresistible. Thank you so much for coming back to say hello!


  46. Lily

    Delicious! Just made the recipe and it turned out fantastically. Thanks so much!

    • Liren Baker

      Hi Kathleen, yes you can! Just keep an eye on it as it bakes; you may need to adjust for baking time. Enjoy!

  47. Liz

    My daughter loves banana bread, so I’m delighted to have a new recipe to try! It looks perfect and I just happen to have some buttermilk in the fridge. It’s meant to be!

  48. geri

    I made the banana bread last night and I haven’t decided how much I like it yet. It definitely is very moist but it didn’t rise very much. I gave some to my neighbors and they thought it was delicious! I used 6 bananas – maybe that made it too moist??

    • Liren Baker

      Hi Geri, I appreciate your honesty! This recipe is definitely different from others in that it yields a super moist banana bread, almost cake like, and it can depend on the batter how high it will rise. Since I divide my batter between two standard loaf pans they will not be huge loaves anyway, but I love the smaller, moist loaves. As for six bananas — it really depends on the size of the bananas! I’ve definitely used six small bananas before, but if they were very, very large, that could of course change things. In any case, I’m glad you tried it and that your neighbors loved it!

  49. Mahima

    Hi! This banana bread looks divine! I just had a quick question. When you say 5-6 ripe bananas how many cups is that when they are mashed? I live in Africa and I’m almost certain our banana sizes are different. Would love to make this properly so any insight would be great. Thanks!

    • Liren Baker

      Hi Mahima! Thank you for your question! I just re-made this recipe and paid closer attention to the bananas. I would say that between 2 to 2 1/3 cups of mashed bananas is about right, and there is definitely flexibility here, just pay attention to the loaves as you finish baking. Hope this helps!

  50. Mama Carter

    I am so thankful that this recipe delivers as promised. Beautiful,moist,bananaie! I bought the overripe bananas at the store already in a count of 5,I added the one overripe one from my own kitchen and then the magic happened.

  51. Yvette Perez Stevenson

    Kitchenconfidante.com my family is a clan of monkeys To! Family of 6 and boys! I buy 6-9 hands each week. They love bananas!

    Your Buttermilk Banana Bread recipe is perfection!
    Yvette Perez Stevenson

    • Liren Baker

      Wow, I can only imagine how fun it must be at your house! I’m so glad you love the recipe, thank you!! :)

  52. Cyndi

    Great flavour and so moist! My kids loved making it with me! It calls for 5-6 bananas and I used 6, but next time I think I will try only 5. This recipe will be made again and again in our house!!

    • Liren Baker

      Hi Abigail! This recipe takes about 2 1/2 cups of mashed banana, which is generally 4-6 medium bananas — you have a bit of flexibility. I hope that helps!

  53. Evelyn

    This is by far the best recipe for banana bread ever!! This has replaced my own family recipe.

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