Classic Sourdough Banana Bread

One of my most popular recipes (both online and in real life!), you’ll come back to this soft and sweet loaf over and over. Sourdough banana bread is a frugal kitchen hero, using up discarded sourdough starter and those old brown bananas.

Sourdough bakers, keep this one handy. And don’t worry about it tasting sour. This recipe tastes just like the sweet, moist, classic banana bread we all know and love.

⭐️ “This is just the very best banana bread I have made, ever and I am an old person. It will probably have to be made at least once a week.
Thanks for sharing.” -Diane ⭐️

loaf tin with banana bread

Classic Sourdough Banana Bread

Sourdough starter adds a mild tang to a classic banana bread recipe that’s moist, sweet, and delicious.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Serving Size 12 slices

Ingredients 

  • cup softened butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 3 bananas mashed
  • 1 cup discard sourdough starter stirred
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

Instructions 

  • Prep. Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare a loaf pan by greasing with vegetable oil spray or butter.
    An empty gold-colored loaf pan, ready for banana bread batter.
  • Wet ingredients. Beat the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed.  Add the egg and vanilla, mixing until combined. Add the mashed banana and sourdough starter, mixing on low.
    A bowl of creamed butter and sugar, followed by another image with sourdough starter added on top of the creamy mixture.
  • Dry ingredients. In a separate medium mixing bowl mix the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Add it to the wet ingredients and mix on low until just combined. Overmixing will make the loaf tough.
    A bowl of banana bread batter before and after dry ingredients are added, one with flour on top and the other mixed to a smooth consistency.
  • Bake. Pour into loaf pan, smoothing out the top with a spatula, and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  The top will split. =
    Two images of a loaf pan with banana bread batter, one before baking and one showing the baked bread with a cracked golden-brown top.
  • Cool and slice. Allow to cool before slicing.  Store at room temperature, tightly wrapped, for up to three days.
    Sliced sourdough banana bread on a wooden cutting board, displaying the bread's moist interior and even crumb.

Notes

I use unfed discard, straight from the fridge.   If your starter is bubbly you can still use it,  but it might overflow in a 9×5 loaf pan.   Try a 9-inch square pan instead 😊.
To freeze, allow to cool completely and wrap in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil.  Keeps in freezer for 2 months.
You can add 1/2 cup chocolate chips or chopped walnuts for a yummy twist.  

We love this recipe and I hope you do too!

sourdough banana bread on cooling rack next to blue and white tea towel

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

  • No more wasting your starter! One of my favorite sayings it “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”  Not that I am able to live by it, but I love the sentiment and I think it’s a worthy goal.  And that is one of the frustrating parts of keeping a sourdough starter… you have to discard some of it every day!  So any recipe that can use up that discard starter is always welcome.
  • No sourdough flavor (picky eater approved) By the way, I know the word “sourdough” can be off-putting when we talk about sweet baked goods.  But this recipe tastes just like the sweet, moist, classic banana bread we all know and love.
  • Super-versatile. It makes a great snack, dessert, or breakfast

This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.

bananas, sourdough starter, flour, sugar, and other ingredients for sourdough banana bread

You’ll need the following for this incredible banana bread:

  • softened butter
  • white sugar
  • vanilla
  • egg
  • ripe bananas 
  • discard sourdough starter
  • all-purpose flour
  • salt
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 loaf pan
  • Mixing bowl
  • Hand mixer or stand mixer

🍴Instructions

Step One: Make the batter

grid of 4 images- beating butter and sugar, adding sourdough and bananas, and finished banana bread batter

You can use either a stand mixer or hand mixer for this, whichever is easier for you. 

It is a quick and easy recipe, so go ahead and preheat the oven to 350 degrees before you get started.  

Beat the butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until fluffy and well combined.  It should look light yellow.

Add the mashed banana and discard sourdough starter and gently mix them in. In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Gently add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined.

Step Two: Bake!

Pour into a greased loaf pan, smooth out the top with a spatula, and bake for one hour. The top usually splits. A toothpick inserted should come out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.

(Here are good guidelines on how to tell when quick bread is done.)

Cool completely before slicing.  

🥫 Storage instructions

At Room Temperature:

  • Allow the bread to cool completely after baking.
  • Once cool, wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. This helps to keep the bread moist.
  • You can also place the wrapped bread in an airtight container to further prolong its freshness.
  • Store the wrapped or containerized bread at room temperature, away from direct sunlight or heat sources.
  • The bread should remain fresh for up to three days when stored this way.

Freezing Instructions:

  • To freeze the sourdough banana bread, first allow it to cool completely.
  • Wrap the bread securely in plastic wrap, ensuring all sides are covered and sealed to prevent freezer burn.
  • For additional protection, wrap the plastic-wrapped bread with a layer of aluminum foil or place it inside a heavy-duty freezer bag.
  • Label the wrapped bread with the date so you can keep track of how long it has been stored.
  • The bread can be frozen for up to 2 months. To thaw, remove it from the freezer and let it sit at room temperature until fully thawed. Optionally, you can unwrap and warm it in the oven at 350°F for about 10 minutes to refresh it.

Note: If you prefer to slice the bread before freezing, wrap each slice individually using the same method as above. This way, you can thaw only as many slices as you need at a time.

🔍 FAQs

How can I make this recipe vegan?

Many readers have done it successfully! Replace the egg with a 1/4 cup of applesauce and the butter with coconut oil or another vegan substitute.

Can I reduce the sugar?

Well, you CAN, but part of what makes this a great recipe is that there’s plenty of sweetness. Try substituting some for light brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup, or cutting back a little.

Can I make muffins with the batter?

Yes, it will make 1 dozen. Start checking them for doneness around 20 minutes.

Do I need to feed my starter beforehand?

Nope, that’s the beauty of this recipe. You can use it straight from the fridge. If your starter is already fed and bubbly, that works just fine too. 😊

👩🏻‍🍳 tips for the best banana bread

  • Banana Ripeness: Use bananas that are very ripe – they should have plenty of brown spots. The riper the banana, the more flavor and natural sweetness it will add to the bread.
  • Sourdough Starter: Ensure your sourdough starter is active. If it’s been in the fridge, take it out 12-24 hours before you plan to bake and feed it to revive it. It should be bubbly and pass the float test (a small spoonful dropped in water should float).
  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Have all your ingredients, especially butter, eggs, and sourdough starter, at room temperature to ensure they blend together smoothly and evenly.
  • Mixing Technique: When combining wet and dry ingredients, fold them together gently with a spatula rather than using a mixer. This will prevent overmixing, which can lead to a denser loaf.
  • Flour Measurement: Spoon the flour into your measuring cup and level it off with a knife. Scooping directly from the bag can compact the flour, leading to too much in your batter.
  • Oven Calibration: Oven temperatures can vary, so if you haven’t already, it might be worth investing in an oven thermometer to ensure your oven is at the correct temperature.
  • Batter Consistency: The batter should be thick and pourable. If it seems too dry (which can happen with different flours or sizes of bananas), you can add a tablespoon of milk or water to loosen it up.
  • Loaf Pan Size: Use the correct size loaf pan as it affects baking time and bread height. A 9×5 inch pan is standard, but if yours is different, you may need to adjust the baking time.
  • Don’t Rush the Baking: If the bread is browning too quickly but isn’t done in the middle, cover the top loosely with foil and continue to bake until done.
  • Cooling Time: Let the bread cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then remove it and let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. Cutting into it too soon can cause it to be gummy or crumble.
  • Slicing: Use a serrated knife to slice the banana bread. This will help you get clean slices without squishing the bread.
  • Experiment with Add-Ins: If you’re adding nuts or chocolate chips, toss them with a bit of flour before adding them to the batter. This helps distribute them evenly and prevents them from sinking to the bottom.

Some variations

  • Try adding chocolate chips to the batter or sprinkling the top with cinnamon sugar.
  • Don’t have any overripe bananas? You can bake them at 200 degrees until they turn brown and soft. (About an hour.)
  • Add 1/4 cup of peanut butter in with the starter.

📘 More sourdough breakfast Recipes

  • After mastering our Sourdough Banana Bread, why not switch up your brunch game? Make some homemade Sourdough English Muffins that toast to golden perfection.
  • My Sourdough Blueberry Muffin recipe is bursting with juicy berries. It’s a delightful twist on a classic, perfect for lazy Sunday mornings.
  • Imagine waking up to the aroma of Sourdough Chocolate Chip Waffles. It’s a decadent breakfast treat that’s sure to please every chocolate lover in your family.”
  • Our Fluffy Sourdough Pancakes are so light and airy. They might become your new favorite sourdough creation. You can whip them up for breakfast or brunch!
Looking for sourdough recipes that WORK, written in a language you understand? Sign up for my sourdough email series that takes you from making a starter to baking all kinds of sourdough recipes! You cangrab it here
sliced loaf of sourdough banana bread on wooden board
want this pretty recipe printable? sign up for access to the subscriber library

As we wrap up this culinary journey, it’s clear that sourdough isn’t just a trend—it’s a timeless tradition that brings a unique twist to every recipe it touches, including the delightful Sourdough Banana Bread we’ve shared today.

Classic Sourdough Banana Bread

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Recipe Rating




61 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    one of our favorite recipes. I followed the recipe as is for the first bake afterwards I did adjust to our sweetnesspreference 1/2 cup of sugar , 4 bananas and walnuts.

    we all love it!

  2. 5 stars
    This bread is delicious. I added walnuts which we really liked. I initially used the size of loaf pan recommended and after 5 minutes in the oven had to transfer to a larger loaf pan. The bread did not rise as in the photo but still tastes good. A bit sweet for my taste so next time I might reduce the sugar a bit. I will definitely make it again.

  3. Hi, does this recipe make one loaf? I just made it and tripled it (I have a lot of kids) and all the loaf pans overflowed in the oven.

  4. 5 stars
    I love this! I’ve made it twice now! Both times I added walnuts and blueberries! Thank you for sharing this!!

  5. 5 stars
    I have made A LOT of banana bread. Many different recipes and this was hands down literally my BEST loaf ever!! Deleting any and all other recipes!! This was also my first time using my discard. I didn’t have enough but I was so excited and had this on my mind to bake so I baked with only having 1/2 cup discard. It was still AMAZING. My little girl wanted to add chocolate chips but it would have been heavenly without them. Thank you sooo much. I cannot wait to gather more discard 😅

  6. First time I am going to make anything with discard starter. Have a jar of discard in the fridge – do I need to take it out and feed it the night before or can I just use from the fridge

  7. I would love to try this recipe! How much butter does it call for? It says “? cup butter”. Thanks for your help.

    1. i’m suzy! i’m so sorry, i just changed fonts on my blog and all my 1/3 turned into ? 😭😭😭😭. So it’s 1/3! I’m going to fix it now!

      1. Have you ever made these into muffins? If so do you know how long they would need to bake?

      2. hi aubrey I haven’t but it *should* work. Maybe start checking at 20 minutes? (Also I have a banana muffin recipe on my blog with a really good caramel drizzle icing you should put on top!)

  8. 4 stars
    This is probably my favorite banana bread recipe. I substituted 1/2 cup hone for the sugar and added a tsp vanilla and it was splendidly delicious! Thank you so much for the recipe and for a great way to redeem the discard. Love it!