Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter

Buttermilk Banana Bread — This homemade banana bread recipe is made with buttermilk and browned butter, which makes it super flavorful. Top it with a schmear of strawberry butter and dig in! 

two loaves of Buttermilk Banana Bread

Moist Buttermilk Banana Bread

Are there enough B’s in that title for you? I can think of more. Brown sugar, beautiful, bouncy, beyond good.

Anytime you take the tenderizing and fluffing effects of buttermilk, combined with the richness, nuttiness, and depth of browned butter, add sweet ripe bananas, cinnamon, vanilla, and brown sugar, the results won’t be bad. In fact, you’ll be happy when your bananas start to turn brown!

Although I would not change a thing about my go-to Banana Bread with Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze, I had some leftover buttermilk after making some Carrot Cake Loaves and it had bread-making written all over it. So I decided to deviate from my usual recipe with this.

Normally I use yogurt or Greek yogurt in my homemade banana bread and using buttermilk is different, yet the same. They’re both cultured milks and tenderize and moisten the bread, but buttermilk seems to make it fluffier, whereas yogurt (or sour cream) makes it denser. Both make it scrumptious.

loaf of Buttermilk Banana Bread on wood tray

Kerrygold was nice enough to send me some butter and it’s burning a hole in my refrigerator. I’m inventing recipes that use butter, just to use butter. And buttermilk. Help.

The bread is full of rich flavor. The bananas are complemented by the browned butter and it really adds another dimension, and it’s something that the more I make with it, the less I want to make without it.

Butter, buttermilk, brown sugar, bananas. All those B’s add moisture and softness, which is the only way I want banana bread, or any kind of bread or doughy pastry. Who says, oh I would love to have a dry, hard, cardboard-tasting muffin for breakfast? Oh wait, I know. The people who like biscotti. This bread is the opposite. So bouncy and springy.

I love the big crack that formed down the center from the steam as it escaped while baking. The crust that’s right near the crack, which is all shiny and smooth, is the bread equivalent of a muffin-top. I love that part and would love to dismantle the loaf, just for those parts.

four slices of Buttermilk Banana Bread smeared with strawberry butter

What’s in This Buttermilk Banana Bread? 

For this banana bread recipe with buttermilk, you’ll need: 

  • Unsalted butter
  • Large eggs
  • Buttermilk
  • Granulated sugar
  • Light brown sugar
  • Vanilla extract 
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Bananas
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda

And for the homemade strawberry butter, you’ll need: 

  • Unsalted butter
  • Strawberry preserves 

Many banana bread recipes call only for granulated sugar, but I like to add a bit of brown sugar to boost both the moisture content, softness, and overall flavor.

I also can’t imagine not including vanilla and cinnamon in my banana bread. Any sweet bread, quickbread, muffin, pancake, waffle, pastry, or danish is fair game for vanilla and cinnamon.

I love both of them, probably more than the average person, but I didn’t go overboard. They just round out and complement the existing flavors rather than adding any telltale taste.

sliced loaf of Buttermilk Banana Bread

How to Make Buttermilk Banana Bread

I started by browning butter. I’ve talked at length about how to brown butter in here and here. It’s a three- to four-minute process of heating the butter over medium heat, and after the butter melts, stops being noisy, foaming and hissing at you, tiny brown flecks will appear. That’s crunchtime.

Remove the pan from the heat while continuing to stir or swirl the pan so that the butter doesn’t continue to cook and go from browned to burnt. Pour the browned butter into a large mixing bowl and to it add the sugars, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, cinnamon, and whisk until it’s smooth.

Stir in the bananas along with the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. I didn’t add salt, because buttermilk is already salty, but add salt to taste if desired. If you’re using salted butter (I used unsalted), you may wish to omit the salt because between salted butter, salty buttermilk, and added salt, you could end up very thirsty.

Stir everything together and then divide the fluffy, golden batter into two 8-by-4-inch loaf pans. Baking the batter in various assortments of mini loaf pans, muffin pans, or in a Bundt pan would all work.

Baking times will vary based on the sizes used. I baked at 350F for 37 minutes for one loaf, and 40 minutes for the other. One had a little more batter in it than the other and my oven runs hotter on one side than the other.

Bake until domed, golden, and a toothpick comes out fairly clean. It’s banana bread, so it’s not going to come out perfectly dry.

banana bread with buttermilk in it topped with strawberry butter

How to Make Strawberry Butter

While the bread baked, I combined softened butter with strawberry preserves and whipped them vigorously by hand for strawberry butter.

Of course, you could just put a layer of butter on your bread, then top with a layer of jam, but something about whipping the butter and aerating it, and having it coat the strawberries made the combo taste better than if I kept them separate. I told you I’m making things with butter, just to use butter.

Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread slices on white plate

Do I Have to Brown the Butter? 

Technically, no. In my usual banana bread recipe, I use melted butter. Although regular melted butter is fine, the whopping four minutes it takes to brown the butter first is highly recommended because it adds unparalleled depth, richness, and flavor.

Can I Make This Recipe with a Buttermilk Substitute? 

If you don’t have buttermilk on hand and don’t want to buy it for a recipe that calls for a small amount, you can make a cheater’s version by adding one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to one scant cup of milk.

Let it stand for about 10 minutes. The milk will sour, and then use it as needed in place of buttermilk. I wouldn’t suggest this homemade buttermilk for a fancy cake, but for 3/4 cup for a loaf of banana bread, it’s perfectly fine.

slice loaf of banana bread with buttermilk on wood tray

Tips for Making Buttermilk Banana Bread

The darker your bananas are, the sweeter the bread will be, but they don’t have to be pitch black and on their last leg. Your bread will be extra luxurious if they’re extra dark, but sometimes it’s hard to wait for them to get to that point when you just want to bake.

If you like extra banana-ey banana bread, consider using 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas. In doing so, you may need to increase the flour by one-quarter cup, for 2 cups total, give or take.

Also, I generally shy away from baking powder because I can usually taste the chemical components in the finished product and it makes things almost too light and airy for my taste. But it’s an obvious choice in a recipe that uses buttermilk because baking powder and buttermilk react to form big, fluffy, puffy dough like a fluffy stack of buttermilk pancakes. In turn, I reduced the amount of baking soda I generally add by half.

Although you probably could use one 9-by-5-inch pan for this buttermilk banana bread recipe, by looking at the volume of batter, and knowing that buttermilk-based batters rise quite a bit, I knew two pans was a safer choice. I didn’t want to press my luck and have to clean my oven. Or worse yet, waste butter and buttermilk to the bottom of my oven.

Plus, with two smaller loaves, you can freeze one and later when you unthaw it, you can relive the party, minus the work. Or give the second loaf away to someone special. Or happily eat both loaves within a few days.

slice of Buttermilk Banana Bread topped with strawberry butter

More Banana Bread Recipes: 

  • Pineapple Banana Bread — This Banana Pineapple Breadis incredibly moist and is ever so slightly coconut flavored thanks to the coconut oil in the batter. 
  • Six-Banana Banana Bread — Not sure what to do with overripe bananas you have on hand? Make this Six-Banana Banana Bread! This is the best banana bread recipe EVER! 
  • Brown Sugar Blueberry Banana Bread — Super moist blueberry banana bread made with Greek yogurt and dark brown sugar. Smear some homemade blueberry butter onto a slice of this blueberry brown sugar banana bread and prepare to fall in love! 
  • Cream Cheese-Filled Banana Bread – Banana bread that’s like having cheesecake baked in! Soft, fluffy, easy and tastes ahhhh-mazing!!
  • Zucchini Banana Bread — It’s just sweet enough to taste like a dessert and not like you’re eating vegetables. It really is the BEST zucchini bread recipe!!

Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter

Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter

This buttermilk banana bread recipe is made with browned butter, which makes it super flavorful. Top it with a schmear of strawberry butter and dig in! 

Yield: two 8x4-inch loaves
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Cooling Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes



  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), browned
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 large ripe bananas)*
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste

Strawberry Butter

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, well softened
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons strawberry preserves (or another favorite jam, jelly, or preserves)


Make the Bread 

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray two 8-by-4-inch loaf pans with floured cooking spray; set aside. Bread may be baked in one 9-by-5-inch pan at your own risk; or bake as muffins, mini loaves, or in a Bundt pan, adjusting baking times accordingly.
  2. In a heavy-bottomed large pot or skillet, melt 1/2 cup butter over medium-low heat, stirring nearly continuously or swirling the pan. Butter will melt, foam, turn clear, golden, turn brown, and will then smell nutty. As soon at the butter begins to turn brown, take the pan off the heat, and continue to stir for about 1 minute, to ensure carryover heat doesn’t continue to cook and subsequently burn the already browned butter. Pour butter in large mixing bowl.
  3. To the butter, add the eggs, buttermilk, sugars, vanilla, cinnamon, and whisk to combine.
  4. Add the bananas and stir to incorporate. Increasing mashed bananas to 1 1/2 cups and also increasing flour to 2 cups is optional if you prefer more intensely banana-flavored banana bread.
  5. Add the flour, baking power, baking soda, optional salt (buttermilk is already salted, and if using salted butter, and then adding salt, bread could become too salty so use caution here), and stir until just combined, taking care not to over-mix or bread will be tougher as the gluten will over-develop.
  6. Turn batter out into prepared pans, smooth tops lightly with a spatula, and bake for 35 to 42 minutes (I baked 37 mins for 1 loaf, 40 mins for the other), or until top is golden and set, and a wooden skewer, cake tester, or knife inserted in the center comes out mostly clean (banana bread is gooey and it won’t come out perfectly clean). If bread is browning too fast on the top, you may wish to lower your oven temperature to 325F in the second half of cooking or tent the pan with foil although I don’t suspect this will be an issue.
  7. Allow bread to cool in pan for at least 10 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling. Bread will keep for up to 1 week airtight at room temperature (I wrap my fully cooled bread in plasticwrap, then I place it in a gallon-sized Ziplock). Second loaf may be frozen for up to 6 months.

Make the Strawberry Butter

  1. Combine 2 to 4 tablespoons butter with preserves and whip vigorously until combined and fluffed. The softer the butter is, the easier it will be to whip. Quantity may be doubled, tripled, etc. based on need. Store strawberry-butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


*The darker your bananas are, the sweeter your bread will turn out.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 219 Total Fat: 8g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 43mg Sodium: 101mg Carbohydrates: 35g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 21g Protein: 3g

Even More Quick Bread Recipes: 

Pumpkin Banana Bread with Browned Butter Cream Cheese Glaze — I will never tire of pumpkin recipes and this one pairs pumpkin bread with banana bread for a soft, tender loaf that’s subtly pumpkin and molasses flavored

Carrot Zucchini Bread — The bread is soft, tender, uber-moist, dense enough to be satisfying, but still light. It’s just sweet enough to taste like a dessert and not like you’re eating vegetables.

Apple Fritter Bread — The bread tastes as decadent as the apple fritters of my childhood, no deep frying required and it’s more like cake disguised as bread.

Carrot Apple Bread — This is carrot cake that’s been infused with apples and baked as a loaf. It’s an easy, no mixer recipe that goes from bowl to oven in minutes.

137 comments on “Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter”

  1. Browning butter is one of my #1 go to’s when it comes to building depth with any baked good! OK, you need to tell me, honestly — is Kerrygold better than regular butter when it comes to baking with it? I’m always tempted to try it, but at the same time, my budget appreciates regular butter. ;)

    • Yes it’s wonderful butter. That said, if you’re going to splurge on it, use it on something you’re going to ‘eat’, i.e. on a piece of bread, a baked potato. To bake with it like where it’s masked is like baking with a $10 jar of gourmet peanut butter when Jif will do :)

  2. I am a brown butter convert after recently using it in blondies. But it seriously took 20 minutes to brown. Worth it though. I always put some aluminium foil in my oven if I ever think something might possibly bake over because it’s torture to clean the oven.

  3. This bread looks absolutely delicious. I love that you added so many delicious ingredients: browned butter, buttermilk, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon – WOW! Talk about packing in the flavors. Your bread turned out so pale and moist looking, too! I love how fresh and springy it looks! I also love the idea of mixing a fruit spread with the butter. Great idea! I could do that with strawberry for Simeon, blueberry for Seraphim and peach for Isaac. Then I would have happy campers, all 3! :-)

    My go to recipe for banana bread has been my grandma’s for years. It is so simple and so delicious. I have it in a simple little cookbook she gave me before she died (she passed in 1998, 2 months after Simeon was born) and it is all worn and stained. Good memories of eating it at her house and making it with her all those years ago.

    My banana bread loaves ALWAYS have a crack. I kinda like having it there! :-)

    Cute flowery board, too, btw!! :-)

    • This was a bread that stayed so pale…have no idea why. Usually my breads tend to be on the browner side in order for them to cook through and the tops get a little darker sometimes. Baking is always a science…and a mystery some days :)

      What a sweet story about your grandma and the little cookbook. I bet you cherish that like no other! :)

      I commented to a few other people what I have read a crack means…here you go:
      The crack in the center. Ive researched this as it pertains to yeast bread baking and why some loaves need slits on them pre-baking..” I never usnderstood and still don’t why some loaves rise in the middle and crack and others don’t. Even your photos, using similar recipes, some have it and some don’t. Baking is still such a mystery!”– What I can gather is that when all conditions are ideal, the flour, sugars, water, leaveners, and in yeast bread the yeast too.. when all ratios are basically in perfect alignment with the other ratios, steam forms and builds up and causes that perfect dome. Some consider it the hallmark of perfect ratios. When you don’t get that, it means that there is a certain density, or lack of pure chemical balance between the ingredients and to the tastebuds, it’s great. But from a molecular standpoint, ‘perfection’ hasn’t been achieved. I know you would love the baking science & I need to research it more too!

  4. Looks perfect Averie! I love the combo you did with the strawberry butter, yum!

  5. Mmm, love the strawberry butter!

  6. Beautiful photos, Averie! I’d love to borrow that adorable cutting board sometime!! :D Normally banana bread does not appeal to me- but I can’t resist brown butter and buttermilk. This bread looks so moist!

    p.s. Thanks for the pin! :)

  7. Best browned banana bread butter by buckets!!

  8. YUM!!! I am always on the search for the best banana bread recipe and I can’t wait to try this one!!! Looks delicious!

  9. Seriously, your breads just keep getting better!!! Love the strawberry butter, I think my kids would love that on waffles and pancakes. Quite perfect for Valentine’s Breakfast!

  10. Yummmm…Avery that looks fantastic! I could go for some right now :)

  11. I love using buttermilk when I have it on hand. It just makes everything so much more moist and delectable!

  12. Hi. My name is Ashley, and I am a banana bread fanatic. This looks awesome, Averie–and with that strawberry buttered slathered on top?! Holy moly, I love you.

  13. yeah the banana bread recipe that i specifically requsted on your other post is here ;-) LOL yeah….and I just got some strawberry jam so this is going to be perfect to try…I love the wood board you have the bread on that is so pretty. just love the photos…and now I know to keep both loaves for myself. :-)

  14. Oh yum, love browned butter just about anything! Adoring your photos on this post, and love that cutting board too. I think I want to try a bananas foster bread next :)

    Btw what plugin are you using for your recipes?

  15. That is the prettiest butter I have ever seen. Everything about this recipe is just amazing. And I adore that cutting board–so cute! :)

  16. So why have I never thought of doing a flavored butter with banana bread?! You just opened up a whole new world for me Averie!

  17. Just made this delicious bread today and my boys are currently enjoying their second slice for dessert! I loved the crispy sugary top – tasted just like a muffin top and, yes, I wanted to eat just the entire top of the loaf first :) I didn’t have time to make the strawberry butter but will be bringing some with me tomorrow when I share the extra loaves at our playdate. I made three mini loaves (5.75″ x 3″) and they still took 35 min. It probably would’ve been better to use a tblsp. or two less in each loaf for appearance sake. Luckily I keep a supply of powdered buttermilk in my fridge for just these baking occasions – I love that I can make just as much as I need when I need it. Thanks for the recipe, Averie!

    • Angela thanks for the great field report and happy to hear you loved it. The top is so muffintop-like, isn’t it! Glad yours turned out with that sort of taste-sensation as well. Loved that top :) And the 3 mini loaves sounds cute and fun and good to know they still took 35 mins. San Diego is so dry, things take a little less here I think in general. And I have been meaning to get some powdered buttermilk – glad you know you like it. My own groc store doesn’t carry it but am going to be at the one that does later in the week. Thanks for LMK you do like it!

  18. It’s funny, I just had strawberry butter for the first time this weekend (I know, I know…) on pumpkin pancakes, of all things (drizzled in peach honey syrup of all things). I’m normally a flavor purist in that I’ll make plain pancakes and make a strawberry sauce or pumpkin pancakes with maple syrup, but would have never thought to mix the flavors. I did. It worked, so that obviously a) got me hooked on strawberry butter b) made me more open minded about flavor combinations and c) made me wonder why I had never thought to combine other flavors like strawberry and banana, especially after seeing this gorgeous post! I also love that you made the banana bread with browned butter. It took me a while to be okay with nuts in my baked goods; I like the nuttiness, but would prefer the soft texture not to be interrupted with crunchy bits.

    • I love combining flavors and blending things and glad you’re on board with some new finds and more open-minded to new things and combos! I love the nuttiness of browned butter, and I do like nuts by themselves, but I always call it rocks in my cookies when I chomp into a nut. haha!

  19. Oh wow this looks divine. Oh and strawberry butter??!?! Who knew this existed! I love it!

  20. I’ve baked with buttermilk before, but I’ve never made browned butter.

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  22. Strawberry butter? Where has that been my entire life?!

  23. Pingback: browned butter buttermilk banana bread « thebarefootnester

  24. Beautiful. I love the idea of strawberry butter with this delicious looking loaf. Your plates are so pretty xx

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