Buttermilk Banana Bread

Buttermilk Banana Bread

This one-bowl Buttermilk Banana Bread, with chocolate chips added, is the best banana bread ever! Like many baked goods, the addition of buttermilk is the secret.

I grew up baking and eating banana bread and tried many different recipes. Once I developed this one it became my favorite! This banana bread stays moist for days, even if you slightly overcook it.

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Ingredients for Buttermilk Banana Bread:

  • Sugar
  • Eggs (2)
  • Bananas (3)
  • Buttermilk
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Vanilla Extract
  • All-purpose Flour
  • Salt
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda
  • Optional: Chocolate Chips and Pecans or Walnuts

Buttermilk banana bread is a type of “quick bread”, meaning there is no yeast or “rise” necessary.

The addition of buttermilk is necessary because the acid in the buttermilk reacts with the baking soda and baking powder to give it the rise. The tang of the buttermilk gives it extra flavor, as well.

How to make Banana Bread:

The key to any quick bread is to be careful not to overmix and overbake. Just mix enough to combine all of the ingredients. When adding extras, like nuts or chocolate chips, to any quick bread add them at the end and gently mix in.

The steps for quick bread are nearly always the same and this bread is no exception:

  • Sift all of the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl
  • Combine sugar and eggs and then beat until light and creamy. This will take about 5 minutes and it’s important that you don’t skip this step.
  • Add in mashed bananas, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract
  • Gently fold in dry ingredients and mix until just blended
  • Add in any additional add-in ingredients
  • Bake until top springs back when touched
  • Allow bread to cool in the pan for about 10-minutes

Prepping the pan for nonstick Banana Bread:

Make your life easy and use a strip of non-stick parchment paper to line the pan and overlap it to use as a handle. You can easily pull the whole loaf out once cooled. If you don’t have parchment paper then generously grease the pan with non-stick spray, coconut oil, or butter.

Prepping the pan

Add-ins for banana bread:

  • Chocolate Chips – regular or mini chips
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans

When my children were small I started adding the chocolate chips as an enticement to get them to try banana bread and it was an instant hit in my house. Even though my boys are teenagers now they still want the chocolate chips!

Be sure to add pecans or walnuts if you love nuts in your bread. Serve this bread for breakfast or as a quick snack with a glass of milk or a warm cup of coffee. It also travels well for lunches!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Need a buttermilk substitute?

In case you don’t have buttermilk on hand it’s easy to make a substitution:

  • The ratio: 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to every 1 cup of regular milk.
  • Mix together and let stand for a few minutes

The best type of bananas to use:

One of the great things about this buttermilk banana bread is that you can use up bananas that have passed their prime. The bread is actually better with overripe bananas because they mash better and have a deeper flavor.

Tips for making the best banana bread:

  • Do not over mix the batter – the more you mix the more the gluten develops. Over mixing will result in a dense, rather than a fluffy loaf
  • Test for doneness with a skewer in the center of the bread
  • Let the bread rest for about 10 minutes before removing from the pan to let it cool completely
  • Most quick bread will crack on the top during baking which is OK!

Looking for other quick bread recipes to try?

Buttermilk Banana Bread cooling on a rack
Buttermilk Banana Bread with chocolate chips
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5 from 4 votes

Healthy Buttermilk Banana Bread Recipe

Healthy Buttermilk Banana Bread is made quickly in one bowl. Super moist and flavorful!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Bread, Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 14 servings
Calories: 171kcal


  • 9" x 5" Loaf pan


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 medium ripe bananas mashed
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips optional
  • 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped, optional


  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a 9"x5" loaf pan. Line with parchment with sides overlapping.
  • Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer; add sugar and eggs then beat for about 5 minutes until thick and light in color.
  • Mix in mashed bananas, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Blend until well combined.
  • Add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Do not overmix. Gently fold in chocolate chips and nuts, if using, with a rubber spatula.
  • Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake bread on the middle rack of the oven, until golden brown on top, for about 1 hour. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean the bread is done.
  • Let the bread cool on a cooling rack for about 1 hour. Remove bread from pan by lifting out using parchment paper as handles. Cut into about 12 slices.
    Store, covered at room temperature for up to 3 days.


Calorie count does not include optional pecans


Calories: 171kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 158mg | Potassium: 141mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 66IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg

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