I never tier of banana bread recipes. Honestly, the more the merrier. I have a pretty extensive catalog of banana bread/quick bread recipes here on my site, with lots of variations and adaptations. But this Buttermilk Banana Bread recipe is the best version of the classic as it comes. And my hope is that it will become your forever go-to recipe!
There are many wonderful reasons to use buttermilk in baking. It’s become my go-to when baking cakes for sure. The acidity in the buttermilk breaks down the strands of gluten and protein, leaving the cake incredibly tender. I don’t recommend subbing in regular, 2% milk, or especially heavy cream for buttermilk. The absence of the acid won’t create a similar result.
What’s Your Secret Ingredient?
My secret to the best banana bread is the same trick I use in my Chocolate Chip Banana Bread recipe, which is one of my most popular recipes! A lot of banana bread recipes call for all mashed bananas. What I like to do is mash 2 of the bananas, and then VERY THINLY slice the remaining banana and fold it into the batter at the end. This method adds extra moisture without resulting in mushy or gummy banana bread. It’s my tried and true method and I think it makes this recipe foolproof!
Medium sized bananas
All purpose flour
Optional – Chopped walnuts
Need a Buttermilk Substitute?
If you don’t have buttermilk in your fridge but still want to make this recipe try out my Homemade Buttermilk Substitute Recipe using lemon juice or vinegar, plus I have some other great options in that post too. Here are a few more:
thinned out sour cream
thinned out yogurt
powdered buttermilk and water
How to Make Buttermilk Banana Bread/Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan with nonstick spray. Line the bottom and up the short sides with a strip of parchment paper. Spray again with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a medium bowl mash 2 of the bananas with a fork, leaving them slightly lumpy. Slice the remaining banana thinly, and set aside.
In a large bowl stir together the butter and sugar. Mix in the eggs and a teaspoon vanilla and stir until smooth.
Add the buttermilk, mashed bananas, baking soda, and salt, and stir until blended.
Stir in the flour until just incorporated. Fold in the reserved sliced bananas, and walnuts.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, and then using the parchment paper as handles, carefully lift the banana bread out of the pan and let the bread cool on a wire cooling rack.
How To Avoid Underbaked Banana Bread and Other Troubleshooting:
Its happened to the best of us, you think it’s done, let it cool and then slice into the center and you have a pocket of gooey batter that didn’t get quite baked. You checked it with a toothpick, followed the directions to a “T”, it’s golden brown, and you baked it for the proper time. What happened? Well there are a few tips for the perfect loaf every time:
Rotate your bread at least once during baking. A lot of ovens (even new ones) don’t bake perfectly evenly. My oven is the worst and it’s only a few years old. I have to make sure I rotate my pan.
Use a long toothpick or a butterknife to test the breads doneness instead of a short toothpick. Since this is such a thick bread if you just test that first inch from the top you might be missing some raw dough lurking below.
If the bread still isn’t done, but is browning too much on the top, lightly tent the top of the pan with foil. This will slow the browning down, while giving it some extra time in the oven.
Bake times can vary. Let me say that again. We’re not all baking in the exact same professional grade ovens, so it’s normal for there to be temperature variance. I always check my bread a few minutes before the recipe calls for to gauge how it’s going. This recipe calls for 50 – 60 minutes. I usually check around 45 and see how things are progressing. Your loaf might take 70 minutes! That’s ok, what’s most important is that it’s baked through!
Can This Banana Bread Be Made Gluten-Free?
Yes! I like to use a gluten free flour like Cup4Cup Multipurpose Flour or Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour. Both of these options turn out great results and you most likely won’t even be able to tell it’s gluten free! Also make sure your vanilla extract doesn’t have gluten in it too. This is an unexpected place gluten can hide if you use Artificial Vanilla extract. Pure vanilla extract is naturally g-free, but always double check! Y
How Do You Store Banana Bread?
You can store this bread airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days. I like to use a zip top bag, or plastic wrap to store mine. Anything to keep the air away from the cut bread to avoid it from drying out.
Can You Freeze Banana Bread?
Yes absolutely! As a matter of fact, I find that banana bread that has been frozen and thawed out is even more moist that fresh baked! Just wrap it in plastic wrap and pop it in a zip-top bag, or double wrap with foil over the plastic wrap and freeze this airtight in the freezer for up to 30 days for best freshness. Allow it to come up to room temperature before serving.
Adaptations and Variations:
There are tons of great ways to get fancy with your banana bread and switch up the flavor! Here are a few additions:
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