Sourdough Banana Bread


This recipe for sourdough banana bread is perfect when you’re looking for the classic banana flavor, and all the benefits of sourdough baking. It’s truly the best, most delicious of both worlds!

Sourdough Banana Bread

I have been a die-hard fan of banana bread all my life. It’s just so dang good.

But it can be better, as it turns out.

I know the world is crazy for sourdough right now, so it sounds like I’m just jumping on a hype train, but there’s a good reason we’re all in love with it, and in my defense, I was making sourdough bread back in my teen years when I lived in an Amish community. So maybe the world is finally catching up to my hype train. 😉

Here’s the thing about sourdough; it’s a living bacteria that changes the grains you put in your baked goods, making them easier for many people to digest, more bio-available, and adding a prebiotic component to our beloved baked goods and breads.

It’s traditional, it’s a sustainable leavening agent. It’s a good thing.

And that’s why I’m also not the biggest fan of sourdough discard recipes, which feature simply adding some discarded sourdough starter to batter so you can feel better about what you’re eating.

No. I want a proper ferment. I want the grains broken down properly. I want to use active sourdough starter and give the batter a proper ferment time whenever I am able to do that.

That doesn’t mean that something isn’t better than nothing, and that you can’t use a quick little sourdough discard recipe when you need to get the show on the road.

It just means that it isn’t the ideal when you have another choice.

For instance, I prefer to ferment my sourdough waffles overnight if possible, but if not, then it’s not the end of the world. We take what we can get.

With that said, the main instructions for this recipe are for fermented sourdough banana bread using active starter. The kind of bread that will not only taste delicious, but also sit well on your stomach. The kind you can truly feel good about eating.

Ingredients for sourdough banana bread

sourdough banana bread ingredients mis en place

Other than using sourdough starter, the ingredients for this banana bread aren’t much different than what you’re likely already used to.

  • Butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Ripe Bananas
  • Eggs
  • Sourdough Starter
  • Vanilla extract
  • All Purpose Flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt

While sourdough starter itself is a leavening agent, in this bread, I do prefer to also add baking powder to get the nice quick-bread crumb.

Ingredient Substitutions

There’s honestly not a lot to substitute here.

The main one would be that you can use melted coconut oil, or another oil in place of the butter. I really enjoy the flavor that butter gives this bread, but to each their own in that department.

You could also sub white sugar for the brown.

The differences in these two substitutes are very minor.

One addition you can make is adding 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, and a cup of nuts., such as walnuts or pecans, or chocolate chips. 

Other than these, I don’t really recommend any other substitutions.

sourdough banana bread, sliced

How long does it take to make sourdough banana bread?

That’s largely up to you. As I mentioned above, I like to let my sourdough doughs and batters proof or ferment for a nice, long time to give the bacteria time to do its work.

So it really just depends on how much time you have.

If you want your sourdough banana bread ASAP, and are starting with cold starter, also known and sourdough discard, It’ll take you about 10 minutes to prepare, and an hour to bake.

If you want to feed your sourdough first so that it’s active when you start your bread, then let the bread batter ferment, It’ll take you the prep time, baking time, plus several hours of fermentation time.

For me, this second method is ideal – IF I’ve planned ahead and made time for it. But we all know that making treats like this are often spontaneous. 😉

How to Make This Sourdough Banana Bread Recipe

After you’ve gathered your ingredients, Beat butter and brown sugar together in a large bowl until light.

Next, beat or whisk in sourdough starter.

adding sourdough starter in a bowl with butter and brown sugar

Then beat in bananas and vanilla. I use rotary beaters and find there’s no need to mash the banana before adding. But if you’re using a whisk, or fork, you may want to add mashed bananas rather than whole.

adding bananas from bowl

Stir flour into your wet ingredients until fully incorporated, cover, and let ferment (proof) for 1-7 hours (your preference) at room temperature. At this point, your batter will be fairly stiff. If you’re making this as purely a sourdough discard recipe, you can continue on with the recipe right away.

flour in a bowl of banana bread ingredients

After the fermentation period, preheat oven to 325º.

You will notice that the texture of the batter has changed to be more goopy. This means your sourdough starter is doing its job!

banana bread batter after it's fermented

Beat eggs, baking soda, and salt to the batter, and pour into a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan.

eggs and salt added to sourdough batter

Bake in preheated oven for 60-70 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

sourdough banana bread batter in loaf pan

Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.

Loosen edges from sides of loaf pan, and turn onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

Serve as desired.

sliced sourdough banana bread on a cutting board served with milk

More banana recipes you’ll enjoy:

How to store leftover banana bread

If you have leftovers, or plan to serve your sourdough banana bread at a later time, let it cool completely, then seal it in an airtight container or bag such as a gallon ziplock baggie. You can let this sit at room temperature for one to two days.

To Freeze wrap bread in aluminum foil, and then a ziplock bag or wrap in plastic wrap. Sourdough Banana Bread and be frozen like this for several weeks.

To thaw frozen bread, let come to room temperature while still wrapped. If you unwrap it before it’s warmed up, it will get soggy with condensation.

More Sourdough Recipes to Try:



Sourdough Banana Bread

  • Author: Elise New


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter (active for fermented bread, discard for a quicker version)
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Beat butter and brown sugar together until light
  2. Add sourdough starter and mix until combined
  3. Beat in bananas until fully incorporated – if using rotary beaters, you probably don’t need to mash the bananas first, if whisking, you may need to mash them before adding
  4. Stir in flour until fully incorporated – the batter will be fairly thick
  5. Cover and let ferment at room temperature for 1-7 hours – depending on your preference and time scale. Or, if using this as a quick, sourdough discard recipe, continue on with step 6
  6. Preheat oven to 325º
  7. Whisk eggs, baking powder, and salt into batter
  8. Pour into a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan
  9. Bake in preheated oven for 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
  10. Remove from oven and let rest for ten minutes
  11. Loosen edges of loaf from pan with a butterknife, and turn onto a wire cooling rack
  12. Let cool completely
  13. Slice and serve
  14. Enjoy!

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