Buttermilk Banana Bread

Just like my favorite cheesecake, tried-and-true lasagna, incredible french bread rolls, this banana bread is my all-time favorite if it’s kind. In fact, it is the only banana bread recipe I’ve made in years. Unlike the dark-flecked variety of banana bread (which is delicious in it’s own right), this bread is light, both in color and texture, and it has a wonderful buttery crust that is my favorite part. I’ve played around with the recipe, messing with the amount of sugar/bananas, so check out the notes in the recipe to see what works!

Buttermilk Banana Bread

Buttermilk Banana Bread

Yield: Makes 1 large loaf

Buttermilk Banana Bread

Often times, I'll decrease the sugar to 1 cup, increase the bananas to 1 1/2 cups and the bread still turns out extremely moist and delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (I use about 3 average sized bananas)
  • 4 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda

Directions

  1. Grease and flour 1 large loaf pan (9 1/4 X 5 1/4-inch) or whatever combination of pans you'd like (several commenters have said this recipe works great made into muffins or smaller loaf pans).
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, bananas, buttermilk and vanilla until the batter is well mixed. Add in the flour, baking powder, salt and soda. Mix until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/buttermilk-banana-bread/
Recipe Source: from Aunt Marilyn

206 Responses to Buttermilk Banana Bread

  1. shron says:

    would you be able to add nuts to this?

  2. Mel says:

    Shron – sure! I think nuts would be great.

  3. Melanie says:

    I made these as muffins and my 15 month old daughter has been enjoying one every day for breakfast…Thanks!!!

  4. Susannah says:

    This will seem like a silly question, but how do you grease and flour your pans? Also, do the bananas need to really, really ripe? I’ve read other recipes in the past that call for browning bananas. Thanks, Mel!

  5. Mel says:

    Susannah – I usually take the easy way out and use the Baker’s Joy spray that has grease and flour combined. It is a beautiful thing. If I don’t have that then I simply coat the pan with cooking spray, tap some flour in and around (tapping out the excess) and call it good. As for the bananas, I use any banana that doesn’t have green on it, preferably with a few brown specks. I’m not overly particular and I’ve never browned my own bananas – I just use what I have (as long as they aren’t green!).

  6. Susannah says:

    Thanks, Mel! I will be trying this VERY SOON! :) Can’t wait! Do you just get the Baker’s Joy spray in the baking section at the grocery store?

  7. Mel says:

    Susannah – yes, the Baker’s Joy is right next to all the other cooking sprays/oils. Good luck!

  8. Sharlene says:

    I made this tonight fora Bible study that my husband and I host and it was really delicious! I read the comment about sugaring the pan instead of flouring it and it was a huge bust for the regular loaf size pan. The sugar melted and burned the whole outside if one side of the bread, but I also made a tiny loaf and the sugaring worked great on it because there was lesser cook time I guess. The recipe itself was amazing andmy dough rose nice and dome like when cooked. I added 3 bananas but 4 wouldn’t hurt the bread either. I’m going to try remaking this.. Maybe using some applesauce instead of some of all that butter and definitely for the pan..w won’t be trying the sugaring again!

  9. Lauren says:

    Had some bananas that were getting very ripe so I was looking for a good banana bread. Remembered to check your site first and found this recipe. Absolutely loved it! The texture and taste is a little different from traditional banana bread, which I preferred. My pan is dark so the edges browned a bit (and made sort of a crust), but the taste was incredible! Guess I get to shop for new loaf pans now! Thanks again for another great recipe!

  10. Adrienne says:

    Have you tried freezing the finished product? I am planning on making muffins and freezing them for a brunch next week. That is if they last that long… judging by all the comments I think may be making a second batch!

  11. Mel says:

    Adrienne – I freeze the baked bread all the time so I’m guessing the muffins should freeze just fine!

  12. Bailey says:

    I maybe buy bananas and let them sit on my counter for a while JUST so I can make this bread. It is amazzzzing! I love a slice warm spread with peanut butter and nutella. Oh my goodness. So yummy. I don’t think I can ever go back to the darker version of banana bread again! Thanks for the recipe!

  13. [...] recipe is from one of my favorite food blogs, Mel’s Kitchen Cafe and it is a recipe that she originally got from her aunt.  It’s funny because when I [...]

  14. Sarah says:

    If I don’t have store bought buttermilk can I fake it some how? Will it taste as good?

  15. Mel says:

    Sarah – I always use storebought buttermilk but I know others have used the 1 cup of milk mixed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar method (spooning out what is needed for this recipe after the lemon juice/milk mixture has rested for a few minutes). It’s worth a try!

    • Kecia says:

      I made my buttermilk with 1/2 c. of half and half, and a 1/2 tsp of white vinegar. It was so good that I drank what I didn’t use in the bread.

      This recipe worked very well for me, beginning to end. The only teeny alteration I made was to add a 1/2 tsp of molasses, because we like the flavor around here. The loaves were perfectly brown, the inside a lovely white, very pretty, and the bread had a great banana flavor. Thank you.

  16. Susannah says:

    Hi Mel, I’m making this bread tonight in a non-stick dark 9×5 loaf pan. I followed the directions exactly, but I’m going on an additional 10 minutes cooking time. The middle is still jiggly and raw in side. Not sure what I’m doing wrong. Do I need to use a different pan? Also, the top is getting really brown/overcooked. There must be something I’m missing here. I’ll pull it out in a bit and check. I’m sure the inside will still taste okay, but it definitely doesn’t look as good and light as your photos. Thanks for your help!

  17. Mel says:

    Hi Susannah – yes, the pan can definitely make a difference with the final look of the bread. Chances are your bread will bake up just fine in the dark pan (and additional time may not be a bad thing based on your oven temperature, pan, etc.) but I always use a very light-colored aluminum pan which is probably why the crust is lighter on mine. I hope you liked the finished result – let me know if you have any other questions for me!

  18. Susannah says:

    Thanks, Mel. The bread tastes great, but I’ll try a lighter pan next time.

  19. Jacki says:

    I added 1/2 cup chopped dates and touch of Cinnamon and yummmy…..i actually wanted to make 2 different cakes but ….combined instead for a success !

  20. Ashley says:

    Have you tried making this as a cake? I am looking for a recipe I can use for a first birthday cake. Also, have you tried using whole wheat? Thanks!!

  21. jacki says:

    I made this as a cake can’t fault it delishous!

  22. Mel says:

    Ashley – I’ve never made it as a cake but it’s probably worth a try. Sorry I can’t offer much advice on pan size or baking time. I’ve subbed half whole wheat flour before and it works out great.

  23. Nathalie says:

    I’ve made this a BUNCH of times! It’s so yummy! Thanks for sharing!

  24. erica g says:

    Best banana bread ever!! Cant tell you how much I love your blog…you have a ton of great stuff and have helped turn me into a better cook. Best wishes to you and your growing family.

  25. [...] recommendation and tried Janssen’s delish homemade ranch dressing, as well as Mel’s banana bread. Dinner was an old favorite of CK’s — Milly’s tried ‘n true chicken and [...]

  26. Shante says:

    I was bummed because this was the first recipe I haven’t like on this site, and I LOVE and make a lot of things off this site. My whole family thought the flavor was lacking…it’s not like I left anything out, or that I’m a beginner at baking. The bananas were perfectly ripe…I can’t put my finger on it. It was moist and had a great color, but the flavor just wasn’t there. Maybe it’s one of those breads that needs to set out for a couple of hours before you eat it? We seriously put gobs of nutella on it to help the flavor.

  27. [...] from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe [...]

  28. Jacki says:

    Hi just had to post a comment…FABULOUS! My son was coming down to see me and said mmm would love some Banana bread…and so came here …The BEST recipe for Banana bread I have EVER made…..it even looked the same!

  29. Carolyn Fitch says:

    I am excited about this recipe and have it in the oven now! The batter is heavenly. Can’t wait to try the finished product.

  30. [...] adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe) Share this:SharePrintEmailPinterestStumbleUponTwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like [...]

  31. Heather K Miller says:

    This is in my oven right now and the smell is so intoxicating, I wish I could bottle it! I’m making it for a friend who just had a baby, but I kinda wanna keep it for myself and stop at the store and buy her a package of Oreos for desert! Just kidding. Kind of. Actually, the whole meal is from your site! I’m taking the best sloppy joes (they really are) and French bread rolls! bthanks for your amazing-ness!

  32. Dede says:

    Made this today, turned out great. I did alter it to make it GF , tho.

    Thanks for recipe.

  33. Karyn says:

    This is good. Definately on the sweeter end of banana bread.
    Also nearly burnt it in my stone loaf pan.

  34. Katie says:

    This was delicious! I am a true connoisseur of banana bread and have tried countless recipes…this may be the best I’ve tasted! I reduced the sugar to one cup and increased the bananas…I think that was the key. Super moist with just a subtle sweetness. Thanks so much!

  35. B says:

    Ok, I made a version of this bread this morning, and it took me a while to get this together without coffee in me (I was trying to wait for my coffee to drink with – so glad I waited). I followed as closely as I could. I made this with 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 unbleached white flour (a homemade mix). I love nuts, so I had to add some walnuts to the last portion of the batter for muffins. Both ways, with or without nuts were delicious. The muffins didn’t come out as light as the pic, but I am pretty positive it is the 1/2 whole wheat flour. They were so fluffy and light even with the ww flour. The batter made 17 muffins and there’s only one left for tomorrow’s coffee (hopefully I can get to it before my husband). Thanks for this delicious treat. (Oh, by the way it only took about 13 minutes for the muffins to come out on my 12 muffin tin and almost 20 minutes for the 5 in my stoneware, baked separately).

  36. Chinx says:

    turned them into muffins and they were greaaaaaaaaaat~ the top wasn’t as brown as I expected them to be but still~ it was moist and soft. I’ll try adding chocolate chips and almonds next time. :))

  37. Teresa says:

    I made this banana bread recently and it was so delicious. One question…I made mini loaves and froze what we did not eat. I froze them in tin foil, individually, then put them in ziploc bags. This is how I freeze all my quick breads and have no problem. However, when I defrosted this bread, the top was very wet and sticky. I wonder if you know what the problem could be, thanks.

  38. Mel says:

    Teresa – I don’t freeze bread in tin foil (I usually wrap in plastic wrap and then put in a ziploc bag) so I don’t know if it was due to that or not. I know when I’ve defrosted this banana bread, the top tends to be slightly sticky but not so much that it is inedible. Perhaps it is just the bread recipe that makes it that way.

  39. Beth W. says:

    I usually leave the heel for my husband. I cut off the heel and ate the next piece and a groan escaped my lips. The crust was so good that I quickly returned to snag the heel before anyone else noticed that I had cut it. The only change I made was to add a handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips. It needs nothing and would be great even without the chips. Go get that 5 year old again and tell him to hug you AND pat you on the back. Well done! We are heading out to dinner, but I think my dinner will be ruined by then.

  40. Heidi says:

    Mel,
    Why are there no brown flecks of banana in it? My bananas were older and usually when I’ve used other recipes there are dark flecks throughout the bread. Is this because of the buttermilk? It was delicious but I’m just curious. Thanks!

  41. bea says:

    Can i add chocolate chips to the mix to make the cake? :)

  42. Ali says:

    Oh my! This is sooo good!! I am also one that does not care for the heavy, dark, rotten-banana flavored breads. This one is not like that at all! It will most definitely be my go-to recipe to make when I have bananas around. Only changes I made were to use 1/2 whole wheat flour, 1/2 regular, added 1 tsp. cinnamon, and added chopped pecans. I also made them as muffins (only have a dark bread pan and didn’t want the outside too dark like some other commenters said) and they were perfect! Thanks for the yummy recipe!! :)

  43. Carolyn says:

    Mel, I’ve just started experimenting with coconut oil. So, I’m wondering if you’re at all familiar with it and if I’d be able to substitute that for the butter? I can’t imagine it would taste bad!

    • Mel says:

      Carolyn – I’m only vaguely familiar with coconut oil although I have a jar I’m going to use in some muffins this week. :) I think you could probably use it in this recipe…I just can’t guarantee results since I haven’t tried it myself. Good luck if you decide to experiment!

  44. Carolyn says:

    You sound as familiar with it as I am! This is my first jar that I’ve purchased. This coconut oil thing seems to be taking over and I’m going to try to get on board. I’ll let you know the outcome with the bread!

  45. Carolyn says:

    So they turned out incredibly delicious with coconut oil. I felt like I could taste coconut a little, which I loved. Also, there was a crispiness to the outer shell of the muffin which I found to be amazing:)!!! Because I’ve never made the recipe the “Mel” way, they may have that crispiness either way, but man, they were GOOD!

  46. Brittany says:

    What a great recipe! I have one that is similar but I decided to try yours and this is my new favorite! I love the flavor and the texture. It was a little sweet for me so I did cut back on the sugar significantly, by about 1/2 cup. I thought I would add that the more ripe the bananas are, the sweeter they are going to be– just something to keep in mind in case others thought this was a little on the sweet side too. Thanks for the recipe! I will make this again and again.

  47. Jean says:

    What is the secret to making this bread with the dark flecks? I hate when that happens. But I love how this one doesn’t have any.

    • Mel says:

      Jean – I don’t really know for sure – perhaps the buttermilk? I just know that it always turns out light and golden instead of dark like other banana breads.

  48. Jean says:

    Oh I meant without the dark flecks..

  49. debi says:

    Hi Mel! I made your buttermilk banana bread yesterday and I have to say it was a hit! It’s so different from regular bread with it’s pound cake texture. It’s so moist. I upped the bananas and added 4 and cut back on the sugar (as I usually do) and it was the perfect fit for us! Thanks again!

  50. […] We eat bananas all the time, but it seems like the last one or two in the bunch start getting brown before we get to them. I hate wasting them, so making banana bread is always a tasty option and it’s a good snack for the kids.  I have two really good recipes, but one I’ll post another time.  This one is adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. […]

  51. MICHELLE GARRINGER says:

    Mel- made this yesterday and i’m eating the buttermilk banana bread right now, it turned out great! you are right- its different from “normal” banana bread but its still really good and a keeper recipe! i had two large bananas in the freezer that i wanted to use and most recipes call for more so i was trying to find a recipe with less bananas.. since yours had the three i was like.. worth a try- i used them straight out of the freezer and creamed them with the 1 cup sugar/butter etc.. i added walnuts too.. spot on mel! love your recipes :) this really turned out excellent and will be enjoying it for breakfast Thank you!

  52. Katrina says:

    Hi there! I love this bread, it is soo good and it is now my go-to banana bread. I added it to my blog here: http://fromkatrinaskitchen.wordpress.com/2013/08/20/buttermilk-banana-bread/ and linked it back to yours so everyone can and should try it!

  53. Katie says:

    When I put the batter into my loaf pan it just looked like too much so I took some out and made muffins. My muffins came out perfect, so light and yummy!! The bread tasted good but looks awful. It sank in the middle and it is so heavy, feels like a brick in the loaf pan. The bottom of the loaf was gooey so I think it needed to cook more but don’t know why it was so heavy.Maybe I don’t have a big enough loaf pan? I might just keep making it in the muffin pans since that turned out perfectly.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Katie – I didn’t realize you were looking for a response since your question wasn’t direct. Sorry! What size is your bread pan? The full amount of batter fits perfectly in a 9X5-inch bread pan. If you took some out for muffins (I’m not sure how much batter you took out), the rest of the batter may fit into a smaller loaf pan but I’m having a hard time knowing exactly how much batter you took out and what size of bread pan you used. When I make the recipe as written and bake it in a 9X5-inch pan, it comes out great so you may want to try that and see how it works making the recipe as posted. Good luck!

  54. laura says:

    Hi Mel, i tried this last night but my turned out dense. im sure i did something wrong.would i have overmixed? i used a mixer up until adding flour then changed to wooden spoon. any thoughts? thanks! i do wanr to try again. your photos looks amazing

    • Mel says:

      Laura – I honestly don’t know what happened but you might try mixing start to finish with a wooden spoon. That’s usually how I make it and I try not to overmix and only stir together until just combined.

  55. Laura says:

    Thanks for getting back so soon! Ill try with a wooden spoon next time.

  56. Bethany says:

    Just made this tonight. “The. Best. Banana. Bread. EVER!” Those are words from my husband. I agree with him too! This is absolutely wonderful and will be the only recipe I use for banana bread. Thanks for another great recipe! I love your site and all the delicious dishes I’ve made from it!

  57. Katie says:

    Hello, I am still waiting for a response/help to my comment above from Oct. I really want to make the recipe again because it was so good in the muffin form but don’t want my loaf to turn out the way it did last time. We ended up throwing it away cause it was so moist and heavy. Thanks for your help.

  58. Katie says:

    I am sorry! ok I believe my loaf pan is the 9×5 pan, that is what it measures out to be when I use a ruler. and I made 12 mini muffins with the extra batter I had taken out. My muffins came out perfectly. But the loaf was so heavy, felt like a brick was in the pan. I’m not good in the kitchen so I didn’t know if I didn’t cook it enough, cooked it too long. I will try again cause I really loved the recipe and the muffins were gone in minutes. Thanks for your help.

  59. Bethany says:

    This is absolutely the best banana bread ever! It gets rave reviews everywhere I take it! My pans are dark, so I bake it at 325 and never have a problem with it over-browning. I want to make it into mini loaves, but I have no idea how many pans I need. I’m guessing three??? Thanks again for another all-time-favorite recipe!

    • Mel says:

      Bethany – like, how mini are we talking here? I think if we are talking about the same mini loaf pans, you might need four, but I guess you’ll just have to experiment and see. Good luck!

  60. Cheryl says:

    Excellent recipe! Thanks for sharing.

  61. Suzanne says:

    FYI…been making this fabulous recipe for a couple years now. Thank you for a killer staple!

  62. […] My husband loves banana bread, and it’s a great way to use up bananas that are overripe so they don’t go to waste. When bananas are completely brown on the outside and mushy, they are also extremely sweet. They also keep well in the freezer, so what I usually do is take those overripe bananas, peel them, and put them in a baggie in the freezer until I have enough bananas or enough time to bake. (They’re also great for smoothies!) Original banana bread recipe from here. […]

  63. Shauntel says:

    I commented a few years ago, but just wanted to pop in and say that using brown or white rice flour in place of regular flour works great in this recipe. Light, fluffy, delicious, and gluten free! I’ve made it for gluten eaters (without revealing my secret), and they still rave! No one is the wiser! :)

    Thanks for the many delicious recipes!

  64. Leslie says:

    Mine turned out darker too, I used glass pan. I think next time I’ll use a metal pan and see how it turns out. I did have to bake an extra twenty minutes. Next time I’ll try to smaller loaves, which might take less time. It’s definitely a keeper though.

  65. Cearrow says:

    Self rising or all purpose flour? If you don’t specify does it matter which

    • Mel says:

      Cearrow – I never use self-rising flour and will definitely specify in a post if the flour called for is different than all-purpose. They are very different – self-rising already has baking powder and other ingredients added to it so yes, it definitely will make a difference if you use one over the other (following the recipe is the best bet). As for the banana bread, I usually check for doneness by inserting a toothpick and if it comes out with moist crumbs, it’s good to go. Runny batter on the toothpick = not done. I always keep checking about every 3-5 minutes if I’m consistently getting runny batter after about 50-55 minutes of baking.

  66. Cearrow says:

    I used all purpose and it turned out great!! BUT… I had to leave while it was cooking and I had someone watch it, instructed to check it with a toothpick and take it out after 50 minutes, my oven runs hot and every recipe so far of yours I cook on the shorter end of baking time. She said every toothpick came out with stuff on it and cooked it for an hour 20 minutes and it was great but slightly over done. Since your other recipes cook quicker in my oven I’m wondering how moist should this be when it’s done? I’ve never made banana bread so I have no idea how to tell.

  67. Cearrow says:

    I made this and the cream cheese banana bread and it was just amazing. All your recipes rock I can’t wait for the gluten free one-we are going gluten free because of my child’s medical needs. But I had one more question, I tend to throw away 95% of my buttermilk because it spoils and it’s not cheap. Can you freeze buttermilk and thaw it later to use?

    • Mel says:

      Cearrow – Unfortunately I don’t have a gluten-free banana bread recipe. Sorry! As for the buttermilk. Yes, you can freeze buttermilk.

  68. Tracey says:

    Just made this, subbing coconut oil off the butter. Would NOT recommend it! Apparently some other commenters have had success with this, but mine turned out lacking. It needed more salt, due to lack of salted butter. The texture was weird and chewy and it definitely took longer to cook. It’s still edible, but I say, if you’re going to make this recipe, stick with butter my friends!

  69. Hey Mel – I’m a big fan of your site! Almost all of our recipes have been from you in the last four months or so – and it has been so encouraging to me to know that we have SO MANY more options for dinners in our home since I was in a dinner-RUT. I’ve also taken a liking to your menu plan template and it has saved us HUNDREDS of $$$! I know this because The last two weeks I didn’t make a plan (too busy!) and ended up spending 3x as much as normal at the grocery store AND we still ended up ordering pizza and chinese takeout because of no plan. *sigh*
    Anyway, Just wanted to drop a note saying I made this last night, but didn’t have buttermilk – instead used Whole Milk, and I added about 1/2 cup of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips. It was aaaahhhh-mazing!
    I promise I’ll try it next time I buy buttermilk, and leave out the chocolate chips – but I am positive this is the only recipe I’ll be using for banana bread!!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Amy – thanks for the comment! I’m so happy the menus are helping you out and glad the bread worked out (yum on the chocolate chip factor!).

  70. Kate says:

    Yum! Had to bake for an extra 30 mins and ended up turning off the oven and just letting it sit in there for 10 mins after the extra 30. Maybe I’ll try in two pans next time. But I love the beautiful brown loaf look! Added chocolate chips and subbed milk with a few squirts of lemon juice instead of buttermilk. So tasty!

  71. Linda Turco says:

    Hi Mel,

    Love, love this banana bread recipe and have made it before so I don’t know why I just noticed this now. The recipe says it makes one large loaf but at the end of the recipe, it says to divide the batter? Thanks for clarifying.
    Linda

    • Mel says:

      Linda Turco – Thank you for bringing that to my attention. It is fixed now. I think the original recipe I got from my Aunt made two smaller loaf pans but I don’t have that size of loaf pan so I make it in one large.

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