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.
Print This Pin This
5 from 12 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. 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!

  2. 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!

    • 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!

  3. Lily

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

  4. 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!


  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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!!

    • 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. Michelle

    I just made this……and I must say…’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!

  12. 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

  13. 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!

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

  17. 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!

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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.  

  21. 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.

  22. 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

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