Sourdough Banana Nut Bread

Change up your classic banana nut bread with the addition of sourdough. Add a little sprinkle of cinnamon-sugar on top and you are in for a good time.

Sourdough Banana Nut Bread 1

Like many people, I have had a few important decisions to make in life, one of which was choosing which school to attend for my undergraduate degree. I didn’t do the tour thing, driving around the country to check out each campus, I just looked them up online an applied to the ones that sounded like they had good biology related programs, which ended up being 12-15 schools if I remember correctly. In the end, I was accepted into every school except one that I applied to, which did not help narrow down my decision as I had hoped. After some time, I whittled the list down to four choices: University of Rochester, Ohio State, Michigan State, and University of Oregon.

Sourdough Banana Nut Bread 3

Obviously you know the end of this story – I became a Buckeye! But why? Well, I nixed Oregon because it was too far for my first time flying out of the nest, my brother went to U of R and even though he said it was a great school for what I thought I wanted to do he suggested I go somewhere not in the city in which we grew up, so that left Michigan State and Ohio State. And you know what I used to decide between the two? Not program strength or anything a normal person would think of but rather, which city gets more concerts? Yup. I was a huge scene kid in high school and high on my priority list was continuing to spend all my spare money on concert tickets. As luck would have it, my dorm my first two years was within walking distance of the Newport Music Hall where many bands I liked frequented. In the end, scholastically I don’t think it would have matter where I chose, but dang it am I proud to be a buckeye now and ended up going to grad school to get my PhD afterwards so I think I chose wisely. I actually have another comical story for how I ended up at UT Memphis for grad school, but I’ll save that for another day.

Sourdough Banana Nut Bread 2

Why am I telling you this story? Because since moving back to Columbus, I am already diving head first into many of the concerts this town has to offer. Heck I just finished a marathon of 3 shows in 6 days! Metrix/Imagine Dragons, followed by X Ambassadors, and then the grand finale with Hawthorne Heights/From Autumn to Ashes. I may have a bruise or two from that last one, but whatever, completely worth it especially since this was the first tour since FATA took a hiatus 7 years ago. That’s insanity. I bought their first album in 2001 when I was 16 and now here I am at 30 still loving it.

And no, this story has nothing to do with this banana bread. Other than maybe a metaphorical similarity between the time it takes a sourdough starter to develop it’s flavor for its addition to a classic recipe such as banana nut bread and myself aging from 16 and 30 years old (although hopefully without a smell) yet still enjoying the music of my youth. Boom, you were just weakly metaphored. Now go make this banana bread already.

One year ago: Funfetti Stuffed Chocolate M&M Cookie Cake

Two years ago: Everything Bagel Bites with Bacon-Scallion Cream Cheese Dip

Four years ago: Red Velvet Whoopie Pies


Makes 1 loaf


1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 cup (about 2 large) mashed overripe bananas

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup unfed sourdough starter

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1-2 Tbsp cinnamon-sugar, for top


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan, set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and cream together until light and fluffy. Beat in bananas, egg, sourdough starter and vanilla, and mix well. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and walnuts and mix in dry ingredients just until no dry bits remain.
  3. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan, smooth top, sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar, and bake for one hour or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  4. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Source: Adapted slightly from Mmm… is for Mommy.

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9 Responses to “Sourdough Banana Nut Bread”

  • What an interesting spin on banana bread! it certainly looks tasty 🙂

  • Your academic story sounds so inspiring (potential anthropologist here lol).

    This banana bread looks yummy. 🙂

  • I’ve never been to a concert!! I knoooow-maybe you’ll have to help me break that 😛

    and I love this bread-the sourdough is such a great twist and mmm cinn-sugar

    • spiffycookie:

      Whattt??? Although in the back of my mind I feel like I knew this already? Either way the good thing is that means your ears have not yet suffered from loud-concert damage. I wish I had been smarter when I was younger and wore ear plugs more consistently. No noticeable damage to my hearing yet but I have earplugs on me all the time now!

  • lkvy:

    Ooooh. I just made this. The loaf came out of the oven about 20 minutes ago. I needed an excuse to use my sourdough starter. While it did not give the loaf much of a sourdough flavour, it gave the bread a crusty top! I’ve always wondered how to make banana bread with a crusty top as my previous loaves have always had that soft, sticky top.


    I will be making this again.

  • Gailr1212:

    I just made this bread and boy is it good! I used whole wheat pastry flour, 2 bananas and 1 c chopped walnuts. I omitted the cinnamon sugar on the top and used three quarters of a cup of sugar instead of one cup. It is not a super sweet bread but I like it that way. It rose up beautifully and cooked perfectly in one hour. Thanks for the recipe!

    • spiffycookie:

      Awesome I’ll have to try it with your changes next time. But first I have to revive my sourdough starter…

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