The Best Sour Cream Banana Bread

This Sour Cream Banana Bread beat out the competitors and won the hearts of a room full of friends. Banana Bread with sour cream and brown sugar is moist, full of banana flavor, and easy to make. This one bowl recipe really is the best!

A Banana Bread Recipe Worthy of a Wedding Cake

Sliced banana bread.

A few years back, we conducted a very formal scientific study to determine the best banana bread.

By that I mean, we made four different banana bread recipes, served them to a group of our friends, and had them vote on their favorite.

We tried banana breads that used vegetable oil and butter, five bananas or three, all granulated sugar and all brown sugar.

This banana bread recipe with sour cream and brown sugar rose to the very top, striking all the right flavor and texture notes.

A few weeks later, one of our friends (I mean, survey participants), asked us to use that banana bread recipe to make her wedding cake. The story of that cake is for another day, but suffice it to say, we have put this banana bread recipe through its paces.

Over and over, this recipe has proven itself to be delicious enough for a wedding cake, but also easy enough for an average Saturday morning.

Slice of banana bread slathered in butter with a bite taken out of one corner.

What Makes this Banana Bread with Sour Cream recipe the best?

There are a few reasons why this recipe won the battle for the best banana bread.

  • First, it tastes amazing. It’s sweet, rich, and buttery, but it still tastes like bread, not cake. (P.S. If you’d rather eat banana cake, you’re going to want to head straight for this Banana Crumb Cake recipe).
  • The brown sugar and sour cream keeps it very moist without being too dense.
  • It’s got a good banana flavor without being overwhelming, so even those who are iffy about bananas will likely enjoy this.
  • It’s the perfect vehicle for all your favorite banana bread additions (nuts, chocolate, glaze)- more on that below!
Banana bread slices stacked on top of each other.

Ingredients Needed

  • Butter– The banana bread made with butter was much preferred by tasters than those made with oil. You just can’t beat the flavor of butter!
  • Granulated and brown sugar– A mix of brown and white sugar provides the right amount of moisture and sweetness without being too rich.
  • Sour cream- The secret weapon for moisture! You can substitute whole milk Greek yogurt if you prefer.
  • Eggs
  • Baking staples– Flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, vanilla, and a hint of cinnamon round out this classic banana bread.
Ingredients for banana bread arranged on a light wood background.

How to Make Banana Bread with Sour Cream and Brown Sugar

  1. Make a parchment paper sling. This is optional, but it’s helpful to get the bread out of the pan without any stress. To make the sling, cut a piece of parchment paper to be as wide as the long side of the pan. Press the parchment down into the pan so it lays flat. Greasing the pan first can help it stick. Leave 1-2 inches of extra parchment paper draped over each of the long sides to act as “handles” when you’re pulling it from the pan, then trim the rest. Grease the inside of the parchment paper with butter or cooking spray.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Combine the butter and sugars. In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Whisk together until smooth, creamy, and no brown sugar lumps remain.
  4. Add wet ingredients. Whisk in the sour cream, then add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
  5. Add bananas. In another bowl, mash the bananas then whisk them into the sour cream mixture.
  6. Add dry ingredients. Sprinkle the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon evenly over top of the wet ingredients, then gently stir everything together until no white remains.
  7. Bake. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. (Note: I usually check the pan at about the 35 minute mark. If the top is getting too browned, cover it with foil for the remaining baking time.)
  8. Cool. Allow the bread to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan.

FAQs and Storage Instructions

How can I make moist banana bread?

  • First, as with any baked banana recipe, I recommend using extra ripe bananas. This is your chance to use up all those extra spotty, kinda gross looking brown bananas.
  • Secondly, use melted butter instead of oil for the richest flavor and intense moisture.
  • Using both brown sugar and white sugar adds moisture and gives the banana bread a deeper flavor.
  • Finally, add sour cream to banana bread! A half cup of sour cream makes banana bread unbelievably moist and tender.

Can you freeze banana bread?

Absolutely! I froze the banana bread cake layers well in advance for the wedding.

To freeze, remove the bread from the pan and allow to cool completely. Then double wrap in plastic wrap and foil. The bread will keep for up to 3 months.

To thaw, remove the sour cream banana bread from the freezer and place at room temperature for 6-8 hours.

Can I double this recipe?

Yes! Just double all of the ingredients and bake in two pans!

How can I make this banana bread into a cake or cupcakes?

This recipe can be baked in round cake pans or made into cupcakes. One batch will make enough for two thin 8 or 9 inch pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes. I always recommend lining cake pans with parchment circles for easy removal.

Loaf of freshly baked banana bread.

How to Store and Serve Banana Bread with Sour Cream

Banana bread should be removed from the pan and cooled completely before storing, but I highly recommend enjoying a slice while it’s still warm. Slather that baby with butter or whipped cream cheese! Hooo baby! That’s the good stuff.

Once the banana bread is cooled, wrap it in saran wrap and store at room temperature. It will stay perfectly moist and lovely for 3-4 days at room temperature or up to a week in the fridge.

Variations of Sour Cream Banana Bread

There are so many different ways to customize this recipe to make it your own. We sometimes add ½-1 cup chocolate chips or nuts (pecans are my personal favorite). 

I’ve also made Double Chocolate Banana Bread, Cherry Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, and a Banana Ginger Bread Loaf all using this recipe as the base.

You could try a simple crumb topping or frost it with my favorite cream cheese frosting (found on this Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting).

Fresh baked banana bread with sour cream and brown sugar.

Of course, sour cream banana bread also tastes darn delicious without any extras at all.

This is the kind of recipe I hope you’ll return to over and over again throughout the years. Maybe as a surprise after-school snack for the kids. Maybe for breakfast with good friends. Or maybe it’ll find its way into a care package or “Welcome, neighbor!” basket.

I’ve made this bread so many times now, it’s committed to memory. I hope it’ll become a part of our family throughout the years, bringing comfort, delight, and the satisfaction of a warm, buttery slice of bread for generations to come.

Loaf of sour cream banana bread, partially sliced.

More Quick Breads and Muffin Recipes

Sliced banana bread.

Sour Cream Banana Bread Recipe

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

There is absolutely nothing better than a slice of the best sour cream banana bread served warm out of the oven. With a super moist and tender crumb and a hint of cinnamon this is my absolute favorite classic banana bread.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large very ripe bananas (or 4 small bananas)
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Grease a 9 inch bread pan with butter, or create a parchment sling and spray with cooking spray. (Full directions in the notes). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Whisk together until smooth, creamy, and no brown sugar lumps remain.
  3. Whisk in the sour cream, then add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
  4. In another bowl, mash the bananas then whisk them into the sour cream mixture.
  5. Sprinkle the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon on top of the wet ingredients, then stir everything together until no white remains.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Note: I usually check the bread at the 35 minute mark. If the top is getting too browned, cover it with foil for the remaining baking time. Allow the bread to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan. Cool completely on a wire rack, after you sneak a slice warm from the oven, of course.

Notes

To make a parchment sling: cut a piece of parchment paper to be as wide as the long side of the pan. Press the parchment down into the pan so it lays flat. Greasing the pan first can help it stick. Leave 1-2 inches of extra parchment paper draped over each of the long sides to act as “handles” when you’re pulling it from the pan, then trim the rest. Grease the inside of the parchment paper with butter or cooking spray.

This recipe can easily be doubled and made in two loaf pans.

Wrap leftover bread in saran wrap and store at room temperature for up to five days. Tightly wrapped bread can also be frozen for several months then thawed in the fridge or at room temperature.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 373Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 438mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 2gSugar: 30gProtein: 5g

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46 Comments

  1. I just can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. I follow the recipe exactly, add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and after cooking 1hr the centre still isn’t cooked ! Leaving it in longer and hoping the ends won’t be super dry.

    1. Did you check your oven temp with an extra little oven thermometer? Mine tends to be off a few degrees. Sometimes I start with a slightly higher oven and then turn down to bake the bread.

      1. Really is the best ever! Amazing. I had to fudge a little – I was about a half cup short on flour so substituted garbanzo flour – great results. Used Greek yogurt. Then I baked in 3 of those little foil baby loaf pans and it was just the right amount. Great suggestion to check doneness a bit early – mine was perfect at 25+ minutes.

        Put on some frosting or some ice cream and nuts and you’d have a splendid dessert for company!

  2. What do you suggest if I only have two ripe bananas? Do I modify the measurements? How so? Or should I grab another banana from the store that won’t be as ripe?

  3. I made this creamy-moist banana bread (moist part I credit to the sour cream). I added in some walnuts and raisins for fun, and baked inside several emptied, cleaned and greased soup cans. which made them a cute shape. These will be my early Valentines for a few people I will drop in on tomorrow. Red ribbon, card…good to go! I heard about the soup can part from a friend online. I’ll try to post a pic on the instagram site.

  4. Love the banana bread recipe! I am not really a fan of cooking and was so happy with all the details provided, the bread tasted amazing. The tip about covering the bread with foil to avoid burning was great.

  5. This is a very good recipe. I made it exactly as written, adding 1/2 c chopped pecans. The texture is firm which makes slicing easy. It is a sweet bread, especially when using very ripe bananas. I recommend using unsalted butter. I am a seasoned cook yet I don’t remember using the technique of sprinkling the dry ingredients on top of the wet ingredients and folding in. It worked beautifully!

  6. Hi Courtney,
    I have a few very ripe peaches and bananas. What do you think about the addition of peaches to this recipe?

    1. I think that would work, but I haven’t tried it myself. I just wouldn’t use more than 1 3/4 cup TOTAL combined fruits.

  7. Hi Courtney,
    I wondering about using this recipe for banana bars with a cream cheese frosting??? If I used a jelly roll pan would 1 recipe cover it or should I dbl. and if I have leftovers use for cup cakes?

    1. I would probably double it and put any extras in a muffin tin! That sounds delicious! Please let me know how they turn out!

  8. HI Courtney,
    Thank you for replying back to me this is the first time I have ever asked for information on the internet. Will let you know what happens, this is for my neighbor and his wife and family and close friends. They don’t know I am doing this or the husband would be at my door is it ready yet? He is so devoted to his wife she has been ill for a very long time now he is her caretaker 24-7 so he is so happy when someone cooks or bakes for them. This is just a small way I can help them .

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this story with me. It makes my heart so happy that my recipe is being used to share love with neighbors who could use a pick me up. I hope the cake turned out beautifully and that it brought some much needed joy to their day. Thank you for reading and for being a good neighbor!

  9. Hi Courtney,
    I love the banana bread ! I would like to make it like you did using the bread recipe to make the cakes. I know you said to double the recipe for the cakes but what size cake pans and for how long do you bake the cakes? Is the oven set at 350 degrees? please reply asap as I need to make this tomorrow(Thursday) Thank you
    Karen.

    1. I’m so glad you love the Sour Cream Banana Bread! If you’d like to make the cakes, leave the temperature at 350 and use either 8 or 9 inch round pans. 8 inch pans should take 35-40 minutes, 9 inch would be a little less 30-35. Use the toothpick test to make sure it’s done. Good luck!

  10. This was amazing! I don’t need any other recipe. I doubled the recipe since I was taking a loaf to a potluck and didn’t want to bring something I had not tasted. I used my kitchenaid mixer instead of mixing by hand so I creamed the butter and sugars, also added a pinch of nutmeg because I love nutmeg. I will make this often

  11. This is absolutely the best banana bread recipe I have ever used! Easy to make, moist and delicious! I have made this recipe five times and each time wonderful! I have added chopped pecans or chocolate chips and yum! My weekly go to recipe for banana bread now!

  12. Hi Courtney,
    This is now my go to recipe for banana bread as I have made this 4x’s now. I also add some applesauce. I just tripled the recipe and use 2 of the 6-pak of unsweetened applesauce. This time I also added mini milk chocolate chips. I use salted butter and omit the added salt. Makes 4-8″ foil pans when tripled. Love the sour cream and brown sugar in my bread.
    Thank you!!

  13. This is my 3rd time using this for banana bread. I triple the recipe and it takes 5- 3×5″ foil pans. I add some applesauce too and twice I’ve used dried tart cherries. This recipe turns out so moist. I take some to work or I freeze a loaf or two. Also delicious with peanut butter spread on a slice. Perfect breakfast with a hard boiled egg or energy snack. thank you for sharing!!! <3

  14. THIS is an amazing banana bread recipe. I added 1/2 cup of flour(and upped by one half all leavening ingredients;baking soda, baking powder and salt). Had an idea, moment of genius actually. Divided the batter in half. Added diced strawberries (had whole in my freezer) to one half and made muffins. Added blueberries and candied pecans to the other half, also in muffins. Both are INCREDIBLY SCRUMPTIOUS! They are a great texture, very moist, and not too sweet. Follow the procedure, adding all dry ingredients on top of wet mixture. I used a fork to “push” batter around to incorporate all “white” ingredients. Can’t wait to try these in a few days. We all know, banana bread is better after the flavors marry for a couple days-pardon the pun:the creator uses it as a wedding cake ?

    1. Oh my, the strawberries sound like a fabulous addition! And I love your pun! Thanks for coming back to let me know and for sharing your tips! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe.

  15. This really is a great banana bread, and I’ve made dozens of variations over time! We like dark chocolate chips in ours. Easy and delicious ?

  16. If I wanted to make these as muffins instead of loaves, what adjustments would I need to make in baking temp and time? How many muffins do you think would result from 1 recipe?

  17. So incredibly good! Absolutely the best I’ve ever made, so it’s my new go-to. I used 4 mini loaf pans and baked them for about 35 minutes, shifting positions of the pans about halfway through. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  18. So good! Thanks for the recipe. I replaced the sugar with 1/2cup honey, used the spelt flour and added half of the banana extra. It was so delicious and still sweet more than we are use to. Next time will try less honey. Moist and perfect. Baked about 45 min. Thanks agin!

  19. Hi Courtney, thanks for responding. I baked the cakes 30 minutes, 25 would have been perfect. Next time I will use smaller pans, perhaps three 6-inch ones. Didn’t use parchment. Will next time for this recipe. Had to peel cake from pans, not a good look! Seems like a lot of batter for an 8 inch loaf. Anyway it is a very good bread/cake. I did do the frosting. Very nice! I think this is.a keeper and will make again! Thanks for sharing!!

  20. Hi Courtney, the cake is beautiful! Is this the same recipe used for the cake pictured? The recipe is titled “bread”, but i focused on on the wedding cake. I poured batter in TWO 9 inch cake pans! Then realized recipe called for ONE 8 inch loaf bread pan!! Wow, did I do something wrong. Baking as we speak. I am anxious how it will turn out!!! Help?

    1. HI Anita! It is the same recipe as the one pictured, but I doubled the recipe for the cakes. It should still bake up fine, but they’ll be thin so I would start checking on them after about 25 minutes. It looks like they’re probably already finished so I hope they turned out for you! Another note on the cakes: I always grease, line the bottom with parchment, then grease again so they pop right out. Hope you enjoy!

  21. Courtney, I’ll say it again – I’m so impressed by your beautiful cake! You’re a total boss for making it. And I’m printing this recipe out and making it tonight. I’ve made dozens of banana bread recipes but if you say this is the best, I trust in your good taste and judgment. You’ve never steered me wrong!

  22. Your cake is gorgeous Courtney!!!! I’m so so impressed. Also I’m loving imagining the hundred pound of overripe bananas you must have to have kept on hand to whip this up 15 times. haha.

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