Save your sourdough discard and make sourdough banana bread! My recipe has an incredible banana flavor and pairs nicely with nuts or chocolate chips.
Sourdough Discard Banana Bread
Sourdough banana bread is the ultimate bread mashup you didn’t know you needed in your life. Remember in early 2020 when everyone was trying to find the best banana bread recipe? Well, if you found my banana bread during that time, you probably didn’t do much searching after that. Today, we’re making that recipe even better with sourdough discard!
Adding sourdough discard to this recipe doesn’t make it have a particularly sour flavor, certainly not as much as sourdough bread. Instead, we add the discard to 1) reduce food waste and 2) introduce a subtle depth of flavor. Just like in regular banana bread, the bananas are quite overpowering here (in a good way), especially if they are super ripe. The final result is super moist, flavorful, and fun, especially with the crisp, sugary topping.
What’s so special about this recipe?
- Freezes beautifully, either as a whole loaf or in slices.
- Can handle add-ins like nuts or chocolate chips.
- Tastes incredible; not sour, but there is a depth of flavor here that you won’t find in regular banana bread.
- Reduces food waste by using up old bananas and sourdough discard.
What You Need
Most of these ingredients below will look pretty familiar if you’ve made my banana bread, with one obvious exception. Here’s what you need.
- Ripe bananas. The riper the better! I’m talking super brown, soft, begging-to-be-thrown away bananas. I find I usually need about 3 large bananas to get 1 ½ cups, but you may need more or less depending on the size of yours.
- Sourdough discard. You’ll have this on hand if you’re working with an active sourdough starter. Don’t have one? Check out my sourdough starter post to join in on all the fun!
- Sugar. You will need three types of sugar for this recipe: brown sugar, granulated sugar, and coarse granulated sugar. The brown sugar can be either light or dark brown; darker will add a richer flavor. If you don’t have coarse granulated sugar for sprinkling on the top, regular will work just fine there too!
- Vanilla. I like to use a hefty pour of vanilla in my banana recipes, like my banana cake and banana muffins. I find it really complements the banana flavor, similar to using vanilla wafers in banana pudding.
- Cinnamon. A half teaspoon of cinnamon adds a nice bit of complexity to this sourdough banana bread without overwhelming it. If you like a more pronounced cinnamon flavor, you can increase the cinnamon to 1 teaspoon.
SAM’S TIP: I swapped buttermilk for whole milk in today’s recipe, since sourdough discard adds its own subtle flavor and tang. You could always use buttermilk (or my buttermilk substitute) instead; however, I just didn’t find it necessary here.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Sourdough Banana Bread
- Mash your bananas using a fork or potato masher.
- Add the remaining wet ingredients and stir very well to combine.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add about half of this mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
- Add the milk and stir until fully incorporated.
- Add the remaining dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Over-mixing at this step will cause a rubbery and dense banana bread, so avoid this as much as possible!
- Pour the batter into a greased and floured 9×5 bread pan and sprinkle the surface with coarse or granulated sugar, if desired.
- Bake for 60-65 minutes at 350F. Test for doneness with a wooden skewer; you want it to come out clean or have a few moist crumbs.
- Let the bread cool in its pan for 15-20 minutes before loosening and inverting onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
SAM’S TIP: My sourdough banana bread freezes beautifully! You can either wrap and freeze the whole loaf, or wrap the individual slices for grab-and-go breakfasts/snacks. Whichever you decide, just make sure to wrap the bread very well in plastic wrap before freezing in an airtight container or freezer bag.
Frequently Asked Questions
Technically you don’t really “make” sourdough discard; instead, it’s a byproduct of having a sourdough starter. Before feeding your starter, you always discard half of what is in the jar. That half is sourdough discard!
You can of course throw this discard in the trash, but I personally like to repurpose it and use it anywhere I can instead of tossing it.
I have a post explaining how to make a sourdough starter if you’d like to jump on the sourdough bandwagon with me!
Feel free to stir in any nuts, chocolate chips, or chocolate chunks with the second addition of the dry ingredients (after the milk). I’d recommend about 1 ¼ cup of add-ins.
Note: if you plan to add nuts, they’ll taste even better if you toast them beforehand. I have a post on how to toast pecans if you need help with this.
Sure! Just scoop your batter into muffin liners, making sure to fill no more than ¾ of the way full. I’d recommend baking for about 17 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs (not wet batter!).
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
Sourdough Banana Bread
- 1 ½ cups (385 g) over-ripe bananas mashed (typically 3 large bananas for me)
- ½ cup (110 g) sourdough discard
- ⅔ cup (135g) light or dark brown sugar firmly packed
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (57 g) unsalted butter melted
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon optional
- ¼ cup (60 ml) whole milk
- 2 Tablespoons (25 g) coarse or granulated sugar for sprinkling on top optional
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and grease and flour the bottom of a 9×5 bread loaf pan (or line with a sling of parchment paper).
- In a large mixing bowl, combine mashed bananas, sourdough discard, sugar, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla extract and stir very well.1 ½ cups (385 g) over-ripe bananas, ½ cup (110 g) sourdough discard, ⅔ cup (135g) light or dark brown sugar, ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar, ¼ cup (57 g) unsalted butter, 2 large eggs, 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon (if using).2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Add about half of the flour mixture to the banana mixture and gently fold together with a spatula. Once just combined, add milk, and stir until the milk is combined, then add the remaining flour mixture and stir until just combined. Do not over-mix or bread will be dense and rubbery.¼ cup (60 ml) whole milk
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the surface with sugar (if desired).2 Tablespoons (25 g) coarse or granulated sugar for sprinkling on top
- Transfer to center rack of oven and bake for 60-65 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs.
- Allow bread to cool in pan for 15-20 minutes, then use a knife to gently loosen the sides from the pan and carefully turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Add-insFeel free to add 1 ½ cups of chopped nuts (pecans and/or walnuts are great) or chocolate chips. Stir these in near the end, just before the last of the flour is completely combined into the batter.
StoringStore in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Banana bread may be wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for several months.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.