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A close-up side shot of a halved loaf of banana bread, showing gooey chocolate chips. The bread sits on a parchment-lined wooden board atop a grey textured surface.

Seriously Moist & Tender Sour Cream Banana Bread

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Jess Larson
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60-65 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 8-10 1x
  • Category: Breads and Cakes, Dessert Recipes, Breakfast
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


My Hawaiian Grandpa Clarence was one of the most special and influential people in my life. He was an incredible cook and baker with the most generous heart – truly an embodiment of the spirit of aloha!

While he had lots of signature dishes, his moist and tender banana bread has always been my personal favorite. I’m so excited to share this recipe with you!

Grandpa always made his banana bread with a generous amount of overripe bananas and overflowing spoonfuls of vanilla for extra flavor, stabilizing the extra moisture in the batter with a packet of instant pudding mix.

To eliminate the retro box mix from the recipe for a from-scratch version, my mom and I began using sour cream in its place. Sour cream ensures the loaf has pillowy rise with good structure. Plus, its tangy flavor helps offset the banana bread’s natural sweetness.

Be sure to add in nuts or chocolate chips, bake into a loaf or muffins, and share generously with those you love – just like Grandpa did! ♡ Happy baking!


  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 4 large, overripe bananas
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • optional add-ins: ¾ cup dark chocolate chips or chopped nuts of choice (macadamia nuts, walnuts, etc.)


  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, ensuring a rack is positioned in the center of the oven. Spray a 9×5 or 8.5×5 loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set the pan on a small baking sheet and set aside.
  2. Mash the bananas: Remove the bananas from a peel. Place on a cutting board. Using a fork, mash the bananas into a smooth mixture, doing your best to eliminate any large lumps or bumps. 4 large, overripe bananas should yield about 1 ¼ – 1 ⅓ cups mashed bananas. Set aside.An overhead shot of a half-peeled banana and mashed banana on a light brown cutting board atop a grey textured surface.
  3. Cream the butter: Add the butter and sugars to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn the mixer on medium-high speed and cream the mixture for 2-3 minutes, until the butter is light and fluffy. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.An overhead shot of batter in a glass batter bowl atop a white and black textured surface.
  4. Mix the wet ingredients: Add the eggs to the bowl one at a time, mixing well between additions. Add in the mashed bananas, sour cream, and vanilla. Mix until combined well, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.An overhead shot of mashed bananas, sour cream and bananas being added to wet ingredients in a glass batter bowl atop a white and black textured surface.
  5. Mix in the dry ingredients and finish the banana bread batter: Add the flour, baking soda, and salt to the bowl. Mix until just combined; take care not to overmix as doing so leads to a dense loaf. If using, gently fold in the chocolate chips and/or chopped nuts, mixing just until combined. Transfer the banana bread batter to the prepared loaf pan, filling the pan no more than ¾ full.An overhead shot of batter in a large aluminum loaf pan atop a black and white textured surface.
  6. Bake the banana bread: Transfer the pan to the preheated oven. Bake 65-70 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. We like a deeply golden brown crust, but if you’d like a little less color, you may want to carefully tent foil over the loaf pan after about 45 minutes.An overhead shot of baked banana bread in a tin loaf pan atop a grey textured surface.
  7. Cool and serve: Once baked, set the banana bread aside to cool completely (waiting is the worst part, but Grandpa Clarence was a stickler for allowing the bread to cool!). Run a knife around the edge of the pan to carefully remove the loaf, then slice and serve with salted butter as desired. Enjoy!An overhead shot of 4 slices of chocolate chip banana bread and the remaining unsliced loaf on white parchment paper atop a wooden board. A dish of butter and two cups of coffee sit alongside the loaf of bread.


Jess’ (and Grandpa’s) Tips and Tricks

  • Add-ins: Grandpa most often made his banana bread with chopped walnuts or macadamia nuts, but when baking with his grandkids, chocolate chips were a non-negotiable. He’d often use mini chocolate chips for a more even distribution throughout the loaf and he always let us sprinkle extra over top. These days, I like to use a combination of mini chocolate chips and dark chocolate chips for extra texture and rich flavor.
  • Or, make banana muffins! This banana bread recipe also bakes up wonderfully into a batch of muffins. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and fill them ⅔ full. Bake 20-25 minutes, until the muffin tops are browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins come out clean. One batch yields 15-18 standard muffins or 12 bakery-style muffins using larger parchment paper liners. Larger muffins will require a slightly longer bake time.

Storage and Freezing

  • Storage Instructions: Once cooled completely, wrap the banana bread loaf tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 5 days.
  • Freezing Instructions: Once cooled completely, wrap the banana bread tightly in a few layers of plastic wrap, then transfer to a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight at room temperature.