This old fashioned banana bread is one of my absolute favorite banana bread recipes. I really love old fashioned recipes and I have a small collection of vintage cookbooks that I like to look through. I love to experiment with the recipes I find in them. Plus, banana bread is always a good idea, especially this old fashioned banana bread with buttermilk and white sugar.
This recipe makes one amazing loaf of banana bread that will make your house smell absolutely amazing while it bakes. I always get rave reviews on this banana bread and it’s the perfect recipe to use up extra bananas.
Another great thing about this banana bread recipe is that it calls for buttermilk. Buttermilk and bananas go really well together. It is one of those classic flavor combinations. This loaf of banana bread is light in flavor and color and very moist. If you don’t have any buttermilk on hand, don’t worry. You can easily make buttermilk if you have milk and lemon juice.
The history behind banana bread
Banana bread became a household recipe in the 1930s with the popularization of baking powder and baking soda. It’s also believed that banana bread became a popular recipe during the Great Depression because nothing was wasted. Overripe bananas were baked into a quick bread to avoid waste. Many older banana bread recipes use wheat bran (since it was very filling) but this recipe does not. Older recipes also often call for buttermilk which was often less expensive.
What makes this banana bread old fashioned?
There are several things that make this banana bread stand out as an old fashioned recipe. First of all, banana bread and other quick breads became very popular with the popularization of baking powder and baking soda.
Another reason why this is an old fashioned recipe is because it does not call for brown sugar. In the late 19th century, the white refined sugar industry actually had a smear campaign against the brown sugar industry. The white sugar industry falsely reported that brown sugar was susceptible to an infestations and this caused a decline in the popularity of brown sugar for a time. White sugar was favored in baking.
Buttermilk is also a featured ingredient in this banana bread. Buttermilk was considered cheaper and easier to come by then. It’s often seen in vintage and old fashioned recipes and it’s one of my favorite ingredients for making banana bread and other quick breads with.
What ingredients do I need for this recipe?
Start writing your grocery list or check your pantry because for this recipe, you will need:
- All purpose flour
- White sugar: This recipe only calls for white sugar since it is a vintage recipe. While I love brown sugar, there’s none in this recipe.
- Butter: You’ll want to use softened butter for this recipe. Softened butter will give this quick bread a soft texture and the butter provides a fantastic flavor.
- Ripe bananas: Three medium to large bananas is plenty. You don’t want to overdo it and add any extra or the bread will be too mushy.
- Buttermilk: Bananas and buttermilk go wonderfully together. It makes for a moist loaf of banana bread. If you don’t have any buttermilk, don’t worry! You can easily make ½ a cup of buttermilk by adding one tablespoon of lemon juice to ½ a cup of milk.
- Vanilla extract: When it comes to vanilla extract, I always recommend that you use the highest quality vanilla extract you can afford. High quality vanilla extract is one of the best things you can invest in as a home baker.
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Walnuts or pecans: Adding nuts is totally optional but you can make this a banana nut bread, if desired.
How ripe do the bananas need to be?
Anywhere to a little spotty or turning black are great bananas for making banana bread with. You can also use frozen bananas if you happen to have some ripe ones in your freezer.
How to store it
You’ll want to store your banana bread in an airtight container. It will be OK on your kitchen counter for 3 to 4 days. You can make it last a little longer by refrigerating it, if desired.
How to freeze this banana bread
If you want to freeze this banana bread, I recommend doing a double layer of aluminum foil around your loaf. This will help it stay fresh in your freezer. When you’re ready to eat it, simply let it defrost and then serve. I love defrosting it overnight in my refrigerator and then heating it up using the low setting on my microwave. It’s also great with a little bit of butter smeared on top.
How to make this recipe
To make this recipe, first gather and measure out your ingredients. The ingredients needed for this recipe are:
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cups of white sugar
- ½ cup of butter (softened)
- 3 medium ripe bananas
- ½ cup of buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 large eggs (beaten)
- Optional 1 cup of walnuts or pecans
Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Next, soften your butter in your microwave. You’ll want to soften it, not completely melt it.
Add your flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda to a large mixing bowl. Stir with a large spoon until well mixed. Next, slowly add in all of your wet ingredients.
Peel and mash your bananas with a fork then add them in. Mix with a hand mixer for about three minutes or until the batter is no longer lumpy. If desired, stir in 1 cup of walnuts or pecans into your batter and stir well.
Pour your batter into a greased loaf pan and then bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes. You will know your banana bread is done because a toothpick will come out clean from the center.
Old Fashioned Banana Bread
- loaf pan
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups white sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 3 medium ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1 cup walnuts or pecans optional
- Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Next, soften your butter in your microwave. You’ll want to soften it, not completely melt it.
- Add your flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda to a large mixing bowl. Stir with a large spoon until well mixed.
- Next, slowly add in all of your wet ingredients.
- Peel and mash your bananas with a fork then add them in.
- Mix with a hand mixer for about three minutes or until the batter is no longer lumpy.
- If desired, stir in 1 cup of walnuts or pecans into your batter and stir well.
- Pour your batter into a greased loaf pan and then bake at350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes. You will know your banana bread is done because a toothpick will come out clean from the center.
If you liked this old fashioned banana bread recipe, you might also like:
- Cast Iron Skillet Banana Bread
- Salted Caramel Banana Bread
- Molasses and Buttermilk Banana Bread
- Cast Iron Skillet Pumpkin Bread
- Old Fashioned Fruit Salad