Slicing a loaf of Buttermilk Banana Bread.

Buttermilk Banana Bread

Once you make this Buttermilk Banana Bread recipe, you’ll never make another banana bread again! This family recipe is the best moist banana bread recipe, delicious with nuts, chocolate chips, or your favorite mix-ins!

Slicing a loaf of Buttermilk Banana Bread.
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 loaf of banana bread with three slices made.


Note: This post first appeared on February 21, 2010. The recipe and post have been updated with enhanced content and photographs, as well as improved kitchen notes and recipe annotation. I hope you enjoy this favorite from my kitchen!

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.

A whisk, small pitcher of buttermilk, and a glass bowl filled with flour.

Fresh banana in a bowl of Buttermilk Banana Bread batter.

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.

Buttermilk Banana Bread sliced on a cutting board.

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.

How to Make Buttermilk Banana Bread

This Buttermilk Banana Bread is easy to make and a great base for your favorite mix-ins. Try it with chopped nuts, chocolate chips, or even coconut. The recipe makes two loaves, so it’s easy to customize flavors.

Start by whisking the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together. If you are using the chopped pecans, go ahead and add those in and then set the mixture aside.

Step by step instructions for how to make Buttermilk Banana Bread.

Use a separate bowl for creaming the sugar and butter together. The eggs are added in one at a time and then the bananas.

To combine the mixtures, I alternate adding the dry ingredients and buttermilk. Avoid over-mixing here!

Step by step instructions for how to make Buttermilk Banana Bread.

Transfer the bread into two buttered and parchment-lined loaf pans and bake!

Step by step instructions for how to make the best moist banana bread recipe.

Slicing a loaf of Buttermilk Banana Bread

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 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! 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, chocolate chips, or even coconut. It’s very adaptable. This recipe makes 2 loaves.
A loaf of the best moist banana bread recipe sliced on a wooden cutting board.
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5 from 11 votes
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 24 servings
Calories 202kcal


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans optional
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk or substitute 1 cup milk with juice of one lemon
  • 2 1/4 cups very ripe mashed bananas (about 5 medium bananas)


  • Preheat oven to 300°F. Prepare two 9x5-inch loaf pans by buttering and lining with parchment paper. See notes below if using 8x4-inch loaf pans.
  • Sift or whisk flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add pecans if using, then set aside.
    Mixing chopped pecans into a bowl of flour with a whisk.
  • In a separate bowl, cream sugar, and butter. Mix in eggs, one at a time, then add the bananas.
    A bowl of banana bread batter with an egg just added in.
  • Add dry ingredients and buttermilk, alternating until incorporated. Try to end with the dry ingredient addition, and be sure not to over mix.
    Mixing flour into Buttermilk Banana Bread batter.
  • Transfer to prepared loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour or until the loaves are golden, firm to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you have an instant-read thermometer, the banana bread is ready when the temperature is between 195-200°F. Cool the banana bread completely before storing, it will keep well wrapped at room temperature for 2-3 days (but will likely be eaten well before then).
    Buttermilk Banana Bread batter in a parchment lined loaf pan.



Buttermilk Banana Bread Tips/FAQs

  • What size loaf pan can I use? For many years, I baked this banana bread in two 9x5-inch loaf pans and share the recipe as such.
    • However, I now also like to bake it in two 8x4-inch loaf pans, which results in taller loaves but takes approximately 1.25 hours to bake.
    • You can also bake this in 2 5-cup duet bundt pans at 350°F for 30 minutes, making 4 mini bundt "cakes."
  • Why do you bake it at 300°F? My father-in-law believed in using low and slow baking when it came to banana bread, and it results in a very moist and tender loaf. If you're in a rush, you can bake it at 350°F, but watch the time, as it will take less time to bake. You can also start it at 350°F and lower the temperature halfway through to 300°F. But it's easiest to just set it at 300°F and forget it, or at least until the scent of banana bread beckons you back into the kitchen.
  • How ripe should the bananas be? VERY ripe -- dark and spotted, soft and fragrant bananas are what you are looking for and will make the best banana bread.
  • Do I need to mash the bananas? If you're using a hand mixer or using arm-power, then yes. If you're using a stand mixer, you can pop the whole bananas in (as I do in the video). Keep in mind, the bananas should be very ripe (and soft).
  • How should I store the banana bread? First, cool the banana bread completely. A loaf takes at least 1 full hour on a wire rack to cool. Wrap the banana bread with a paper towel, and then wrap completely with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Wrapping the banana bread well will keep the banana bread from drying out, and the paper towel will absorb any excess moisture from the banana bread.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 135mg | Potassium: 148mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 172IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating

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  1. 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!

  2. JenniSu

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

  3. 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… I used a Bundt pan & 6 large muffin …..this recipe makes a lot…!!!
    Thank you for sharing your awesome recipe!!
    It’s a keeper!!

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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 :)

  12. 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!!

  13. 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!

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. 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!

  17. 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!

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. Lori

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

  21. 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!

  22. 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!

  23. 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!

  24. 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.

  25. 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…

  26. 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!

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