Buttermilk Banana Bread

filed under: Bread on June 28, 2014

Buttermilk Banana Bread is a certainty in my life… I know I love it and I know I always will! My obsession with banana bread runs deep, and I have many on my site.  This one, this one with a brown butter glaze, this one where my husband emotionally cheats on my and declares his love for another woman’s banana bread, this caramel banana cake, and this zucchini banana oat bread and the crappiest day of all time. I love them all!

Buttermilk Banana Bread!

Buttermilk Banana Bread

The perfect banana bread contains one special ingredient, buttermilk! It helps to produce this light, almost white, banana bread that cannot be achieved with a normal recipe. The flavor is spot on, with all the banana goodness you would want, but also a presentation that will leave people with questions. “How did you get it so light?” The answer is simple, buttermilk.

How to Bake the Perfect Banana Bread

I prefer a course mashing of the bananas as I love the small chunks peppered through the loaf. To achieve this simply lightly mash with a fork. If you want a smoother consistency, add the bananas to a food processor.

Make sure your baking powder and baking soda are fresh! This is what helps the loaf to have a beautiful rise and be a lighter crumb practically falling apart in your hands. The buttermilk in this recipe helps to activate the baking soda.

Stick to a tried and true method of adding the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined and your banana bread will bake to perfection.

Buttermilk Banana Bread Recipe

How to Make Perfect Banana Bread

  • Use ripe banana’s. This may seem like a no-brainer, but I can’t tell you how many times I have heard from people that their recipe didn’t have a strong banana flavor. When asked if their bananas were ripe, the typical response is, “does that make a difference?” Yes, SO MUCH yes. If you need to ripen banana’s in a pinch, try placing them on a baking sheet in a 250-degree oven for about 15 minutes.
  • Room Temperature Dairy. Make sure your buttermilk is not cold. This applies to the butter (and eggs, even though not technically dairy) in this recipe as well. You will find they incorporate much better and the resulting texture is second-to-none.

Easy Buttermilk Banana Bread

Can This Be Made Gluten Free?

You can use all gluten-free flour substitute. Just follow the instructions on the bag to make sure it is a 1:1 ratio.

How to Make Buttermilk Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips

We prefer to add milk-chocolate chips when making a chocolate chip banana bread, but you can use whatever flavor you prefer. (White chocolate is also a great addition!) Simply fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips and then reserve a few for sprinkling over the top before baking.

5 from 7 votes
Buttermilk Banana Bread! You will never go back to regular banana bread again!
Buttermilk Banana Bread
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins

The perfect banana bread contains one special ingredient… buttermilk!

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Buttermilk Banana Bread
Servings: 1 loaf
Author: Amanda Rettke
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 cup mashed bananas, 3-4 bananas
  • 1/2 cup (113g or 1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup (300g) granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  1. Prepare 9x5 loaf pan. (I used two smaller loaf pans.)

  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. (Do not skip this step!)
  3. Mash bananas and set aside.
  4. In a stand mixer on medium-high, cream butter and sugar together for about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time with mixer on low speed. Add in buttermilk and vanilla until the batter is just combined.

  5. Slowly pour in the flour mixture. Mix until JUST combined.
  6. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in mashed banana's.

  7. Divide batter into greased and floured bread pans and bake at 350°F for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean.

This is Mel’s Kitchen Cafe original recipe, which I have slightly adapted.

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  • andrea says:

    Just finished my banana bread i used brown sugar and looks darker but real fluffy and good flavor 😀

  • Heather says:

    I have always had success with banana bread. It was the first thing I learned how to bake. I really like this one, and plan on trying this recipe–i was just wondering if I can use “one” loaf pan” and what size? your typical loaf pan?

  • Kari Quintana says:

    So delicious. Crust came out perfect. I made a regular loaf pan but didn’t want to fill it up so I made a mini loaf with walnuts too. Mini one was done 10-15 minutes sooner than the loaf.

  • Chef Dnice says:

    A tip for not burning the top and baking the inside completely…… No matter where I’m baking I always bake at least 50° less than normal and turn the oven off 10-15 mins before the recommended time, depending on what’s being baked!. Dont take the item out, let the oven continue to bake it! Works like a charm!!! Good luck!!!

    • Joanne says:

      Great idea. Thank you.

  • Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom says:

    OK, I’m totally trying this one!!! I LOVE banana bread and love trying new recipes. . This banana bread looks perfect!!!

  • Michele Zembow says:

    Isn’t that an awful lot of sugar (in addition to the bananas, which are also loaded with sugar)? It sounds great, but more like a pretty sugary Banana Cake. Would love to hear more about it from you and others who’ve made it (including those who reduced the sugar, as I’d be inclined to do). Thanks!

    • Amanda says:

      Yes! It is. But it really isn’t so different from other tried-and-true recipes. I think the best gauge of successfulness in what YOU think! Hope you will try it. 🙂

    • Alice says:

      I made the recipe with the full amount of sugar. It was perfect!

  • ynez says:

    I made this so many times. And its really.moist.and soft.made this into.cake.covered with fondant.and my relatives loved it..Made a dozen loaf of this for family gathering..

  • joy orlando says:

    This recipe was absolutely easy and delicious. Usually my banana breads come out dark looking almost burned. This one baked and came out looking cake like. I’m glad I found this recipe because I was successful with it.

    • Amanda says:

      YAY!! I felt the same way the first time I made it… SOOOOOO glad you were also able to enjoy it!

  • Zeny Balonso says:

    Tried this recipe. The bread was moist soft and fluffy. However the inside color of my cake is not as the same color as yours.

    • Christine says:

      I stirred the bananas after i mixed the flour. Mine came out light inside.

  • Cindy says:

    Hello! This is Cindy. I would like to try out this. But i have a few questions here regarding the recipe. What type of flour should i use? Bread flour or cake flour? And is there any substitute for buttermilk?
    Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks:)

  • Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog says:

    Yup – headed to the grocery store after work to buy ingredients for this deliciousness!

  • Lisa says:

    It’s a cold rainy day in Castle Rock CO today. I had some bananas that were past their prime, so I looked on your site and of course I found the perfect recipe! I doubled the batch and made some muffins too (and added a maple brown sugar streusel to them too!) Thanks for always having what I need for my baking days! 🙂

  • Marie says:

    How is it that this banana bread comes out so white on the inside?? Especially if you are using ripe bananas? Every banana bread I’ve ever made has brown flecks in it, and had a deeper interior. What’s the secret? I think I’d actually prefer the paler version! Thanks!!

  • Nancy Thurman says:

    When you say in this banana bread recipe that you “use two smaller loaf pans,” what size are you speaking of? In making any of the breads … pumpkin, zucchini or what have you, I always make two regular sized loaf pans. So in making YOUR recipe, how many “regular sized” loaf pans will this make? One or two? I think possibly this is a recipe for one regular size loaf pans … right?

    • Amanda says:

      Yes, one regular sized loaf pan is just fine. 🙂

  • Anne says:

    I just used this recipe to make banana bread muffins. This recipe made 18 standard muffins. I adjusted the time to 30 minutes for the muffins. Came out great! I do think they would be good with a topping next time.

    • Amanda says:

      Good to know!

  • Kasandra says:

    Okay, my family has a banana bread recipe that’s been handed down from generation to generation. Everyone in the family loves it, and i do mean everyone! Cousins, aunts, uncles, 2nd cousins, etc. while it is good, I just never loved it. Maybe I’ve just had it too many times, maybe I’m just weird, maybe I was switched at birth not really a member of this family after all! (That would explain so much) So, I ventured out, on a quest for a new perfect banana bread recipe. Sorry Grams. While I’m usually reluctant to admit that ANYONE could make something better than my family, I must be honest and say that this IS the best banana bread I’ve ever tried. This will now be my go-to banana bread recipe. My mouth says thank you. My hips, maybe not so much…

  • Amber says:

    I just made this banana bread today and it came out so perfect. It has a beautiful crumb and the texture is to die for. I only had one smallish loaf pan, so I used the rest of the batter in a cupcake tin and made muffins out of it. They are delicious. It is already almost gone, and I just made it this morning. This is going into my cookbook to be rotated frequently. I might try it with a brown sugar crumb next time. So yummy

  • Mariah says:

    Great recipe! So delicious!

  • Lina Di Marco says:

    After reading all the comments I believe one standard sized loaf pan would be fine although would like to know if batter should fill pan apprx. 3/4 or would that result in oven clean-up? I usually add nuts directly in batter; would this alter texture? Also, I ususlly hand mix loaf breads by hand, I assume the mixer makes it light and fluffy or am i wrong; my bananas need a good baking!

  • Ember Jandebeur says:

    I have made this twice now and it is a delicious bread. The second time I used only 1 cup of sugar and it came out great and still sweet. That 1/2 cup of sugar isn’t needed. It does need the full 55 minutes. Excellent banana bread!

  • Tammy StClair says:

    I just made this for the first, I had buttermilk left over from fried chicken and thought why not? It came out wonderful, good breakfast bread for my hubby. Thanks.

  • Eileen E says:

    I love making banana bread and this recipe is by far the most delicious! I adjusted the recipe by only using 1 cup sugar. My heart cannot put 1 1/2 cups in and it was delicious. This is my new favorite.

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