Buttermilk Banana Bread

March 2, 2020
Loaded with rich banana flavor, Buttermilk Banana Bread is our family's go-to banana bread recipe.  With buttermilk in the batter, this banana bread bakes up tender and moist.  And a hint of ground cinnamon and nutmeg beautifully compliment the banana's sweetness.  It's a family favorite, for sure!

Slices of Buttermilk Banana Bread Image

One of our daughter's absolute favorite foods is banana bread, so we end up making it a lot at our house.

In fact I swear, she purposefully doesn't eat bananas when I buy them just so they'll get overripe. -- Knowing that overripe bananas inevitably lead to a loaf of fresh-baked banana bread appearing in our kitchen.

With buttermilk in the batter, this banana bread bakes up tender and moist.

Banana bread is one of the first things my daughter and I baked together, way back when she wasn't even tall enough to reach the counter top without a step stool's assistance.  And she's loved baking tender loaves of the stuff with me ever since.  I'm not sure if it's banana bread's wonderfully rich banana flavor and sweetness, or her fondness of baking it together with me that make her love it so much.

But I suspect, it's a little bit of both.

And when we do get in the kitchen to bake up a tasty loaf of banana bread?  This Buttermilk Banana Bread recipe is our go-to.

Buttermilk brings tenderness and moistness to baked goods it's in, like our fluffy baked buttermilk pancakes, family-favorite oatmeal muffins, and classic fluffy buttermilk biscuits, of course.  And it's no different with this Buttermilk Banana Bread.

That moistness and tenderness is what's made this banana bread recipe our go-to favorite, for sure.

Sliced Buttermilk Banana Bread Image

What are the best bananas to use to make banana bread?

One of the secrets to flavorful banana bread that's loaded with rich, sweet banana taste is using very overripe bananas to make it.

So let's talk about those bananas for a little bit.

Bananas that are nice and unblemished yellow may be perfect for snacking on, but they're not perfect for making banana bread.  They haven't yet developed enough sweetness and strong banana flavor to bring a really nice banana flavor to the bread.

One of the secrets to flavorful banana bread that's loaded with rich, sweet banana taste is using very overripe bananas to make it.

The best bananas for making banana bread are those that have gone past their prime.  In fact, the very definition of overripe is "too ripe" or "past its best."  And some definitions even go so far as to say "beyond ripeness toward decay."  So when reaching for those bananas to make your bread, you want those that have gone "past their best" for snacking -- because that is exactly what makes them the best for bread!

But just how do you know when an overripe banana is perfect for making banana bread?  How overripe is overripe enough? 

To answer that question, let's take a look at the bananas in the photo below.

Perfect Overripe Bananas to Make Banana Bread Image

The bananas you see in the photo that still have a yellow background on their peels, dotted with lots of brown spots, are the earliest in the overripe scale I use to make banana bread.  These bananas are quite spotted with brown, and have long streaks of brown along their sides that can be seen if you look closely at the two spotted bananas on the left side of the photo.  These bananas will produce a very yummy loaf of banana bread, indeed.

But there's something that will produce an even more yummy, more richly-flavored loaf of banana bread.  And that's the blackened banana you see on the left side of the photo laying across its spotted counterparts.

Why are black bananas best for making banana bread?  Because they're sweeter & have a more pronounced banana flavor.

Now that blackened banana is the perfect banana for making banana bread.

Why are black bananas best for making banana bread?

Why?  Why are black bananas best for making banana bread with a fabulously rich banana flavor?  Because they:

  1. Are sweeter -- More of their starch has converted into sugar.
  2. Have more aromatic, strong banana flavor -- Which brings a more pronounced banana flavor to the baked bread.
  3. Mash more easily -- They incorporate more smoothly into the batter, and thus disperse more readily throughout the entire loaf of banana bread, which means not a single bite goes without that banana deliciousness.

So once you have these perfectly overripe bananas, definitely use them to whip up a flavorful loaf of banana bread. 

How to Make Buttermilk Banana Bread:

To whip up a loaf of Buttermilk Banana Bread, start by mashing some beautifully overripe bananas with a fork. -- They'll mash really easily.  When baking banana bread with my daughter, this mashing is her favorite part of the recipe to do.

Then pour in the recipe's buttermilk, and mash the bananas again with the buttermilk to form a kind of soupy mixture.  Set this aside while you prepare the rest of the bread's batter.  

Mashed Bananas and Buttermilk Mixture to Make Buttermilk Banana Bread Image

The rest of the banana bread batter is pretty straightforward.  The base of its creamed mixture is butter and brown sugar.  Using brown sugar instead of granulated sugar brings a wonderful depth of flavor.

Once the butter and brown sugar are creamed together, add in a couple of eggs and a touch of vanilla extract.  Then, alternately mix in the bread's dry ingredients and the mashed banana-buttermilk mixture.

Finally, fold in a cup of chopped pecans.  And bake the loaf up until it's cooked through and golden brown, which takes about an hour.

Loaf of Buttermilk Banana Bread in Baking Pan Image

The result?

A beautiful, moist, tender, and flavorful banana bread loaf that's nicely flecked with chopped pecans throughout.

Loaf of Buttermilk Banana Bread with Chopped Pecans Image

You can certainly substitute chopped walnuts or other nuts for the pecans, if you prefer.  

Or, omit the nuts altogether if you're not a fan of nuts in your banana bread.  The loaf will still bake up well and taste delicious.

Sliced of Buttermilk Banana Bread with Chopped Pecans Image

So when you're looking to enjoy those overripe bananas in a loaf of tasty banana bread, give this Buttermilk Banana Bread recipe a try.

Loaded with rich banana flavor, and moist and tender from the buttermilk in its batter, it's our family's favorite -- and it may just become your family's favorite, too.

Check out these other tasty banana treats:
Golden Brown Buttermilk Banana Bread Image
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Yield: 1 loaf

Buttermilk Banana Bread

Buttermilk Banana Bread

Loaded with rich banana flavor, Buttermilk Banana Bread is our family's go-to banana bread recipe. With buttermilk in the batter, this banana bread bakes up tender and moist. And a hint of ground cinnamon and nutmeg beautifully compliment the banana's sweetness. It's a family favorite, for sure!
prep time: 20 Mcook time: 1 hourtotal time: 1 H & 20 M


  • 3 very ripe bananas (about 1 1/2 c. mashed)
  • 1/4 c. buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 3/4 c. light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. chopped pecans


How to make Buttermilk Banana Bread

  1. In a small bowl, mash bananas with a fork. Mash in buttermilk; set aside.
  2. Place softened butter in a large bowl. With an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth. Add brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy. 
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating briefly after each addition. Mix in vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Alternately add the flour mixture and mashed banana to the butter-brown sugar mixture, beating after each addition just until incorporated. 
  5. Fold in chopped pecans.
  6. Lightly grease a loaf pan. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
  7. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Remove loaf from pan and cool completely before slicing.
  1. Substitute chopped walnuts or other nuts, if you'd prefer.  Or omit nuts altogether if you're not a fan.
  2. To bake as mini loaves, pour batter into 3 mini loaf pans (5 3/4" x 3 1/4" x 2") and bake for about 35 minutes.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Buttermilk Banana Bread ~ Loaded with rich banana flavor, this is our family's go-to banana bread recipe. With buttermilk in the batter, this banana bread bakes up tender & moist. A hint of cinnamon & nutmeg beautifully compliment the banana's sweetness. A family favorite, for sure!  www.thekitchenismyplayground.com

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  1. Thanks for the tip on black bananas ~ good to know. I always think I'm buying 'extra' bananas to make banana bread, but we always end up eating them. I'm pinning in hopes I can make! I'm visiting from Create Bake Grow Gather.

  2. I love Banana Bread. It is the best with nuts <3

  3. I would love to have a slice of your bread to go with my afternoon tea! Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and come back to see us soon!
    Miz Helen

  4. Is the brown sugar in the banana bread recipe packed?

  5. I made banana bread from this recipe today, used walnuts as my choice of nuts and it’s absolutely delicious. I used GF flour so added a little baking powder and Xanthan Gum. We love cinnamon so I added a bit more than the recipe suggested. I would recommend you give it a try if you like moist tasty banana cake

    1. Thank you for sharing your tweaks. Part of the fun of baking is personalizing a recipe.

  6. Are you using a 8x4 loaf pan or a 9x5?

  7. I struggled finding the bake temperature!

  8. It’s in the instructions part

  9. Can sour cream be used in place of buttermilk?

    1. You can use sour cream in place of the buttermilk. -- It will affect the texture a little bit. In our experience, the bread bakes up more tender and moister with buttermilk.

  10. I love this recipe, because it doesn’t, use all the oil the others do but is still moist. I did add 1/3 of a cup of choc chips instead of walnuts turned out fabulous this is my new go- to!!!!


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