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
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.
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!
- 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.
- Baking staples– Flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, vanilla, and a hint of cinnamon round out this classic banana bread.
How to Make Banana Bread with Sour Cream and Brown Sugar
- 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.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add bananas. In another bowl, mash the bananas then whisk them into the sour cream mixture.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
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).
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.
More Quick Breads and Muffin Recipes
- Lemon Zucchini Bread
- Easy Pumpkin Bread
- Lemon Blueberry Crumb Bread
- Banana Nutella Swirl Muffins
- Apple Cinnamon Muffins
- Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins
- Lemon Raspberry Jam Muffins
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Whisk in the sour cream, then add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
- In another bowl, mash the bananas then whisk them into the sour cream mixture.
- Sprinkle the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon on top of the wet ingredients, then stir everything together until no white remains.
- 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.
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