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No Butter Banana Bread (With Tahini!)

This no butter tahini banana bread is incredibly moist, sweet, and so delicious! The tahini gives it a slight nutty flavor while the extra-virgin olive oil and buttermilk gives it the melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Tahini banana bread loaf with two slices already cut. It sits on a wooden cutting board with a dish of butter pads in the background.

I’ve been loving adding tahini to my baked goods (like these tahini pumpkin chocolate chip cookies). So when I realized the bananas on my counter were about to go bad, I knew it was time to whip up some banana bread. Why not add some tahini to them?

And thank goodness I did because this tahini banana bread is SO. GOOD. I think you’re going to love it too.

This recipe does call for buttermilk but I always make my own substitute. To make the 1/2 cup of buttermilk this recipe calls for, I add 1 1/2 teaspoons of white vinegar to a measuring cup and add milk until it reaches 1/2 cup total. I let it sit while I’m making the batter and after a few minutes, it’s the perfect buttermilk substitute.

If you’re looking for more buttermilk recipes, check out these fluffy buttermilk pancakes or whip up some buttermilk cornbread with a pot of chili for dinner.

Looking for another delicious bread option? Check out this chocolate chunk banana bread or cranberry wild rice bread!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Super Moist – The bananas, extra-virgin olive oil, and buttermilk make this banana bread incredibly moist.
  • Simple – This banana bread came together easily. I pretty much used one bowl aside from the bowl I used to mashed my bananas in. A whisk and spatula were all I used to mix the ingredients. No need for a hand or stand mixer.
  • Lower Oven Temp = Perfectly Baked Banana Bread – Ever had the trouble of baking banana bread but the inside is not cooked while the top of the bread is starting to burn? You don’t have to worry about this with this recipe! I bake the bread at 325 degrees Fahrenheit which allows the bread to bake slower but more evenly. It came out perfect.
YouTube video
Three slices of tahini banana bread with butter spread on them. They are sitting on top of a wooden cutting board with a dish of butter pads and the loaf next to them.

Ingredients

The ingredient shot for tahini banana bread including: flour, baking soda, salt, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla extract, granulated sugar, bananas, extra-virgin olive oil, buttermilk, and tahini.
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil – add moisture and richness to the banana bread. Make sure that it’s extra-virgin olive oil, as this kind has the mildest flavor.
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Brown Sugar – I used dark-brown sugar for this recipe, but light-brown sugar would be just as lovely.
  • Mashed Bananas – I like to mash them *just enough* but still leave some chunks of banana because I love the texture of it in my bread. Mash them to your liking!
  • Buttermilk (or milk and white vinegar) – Gives the banana bread even more moisture.
  • Vanilla Extract – Packs a lot of flavor!
  • Eggs
  • Tahini – Adds flavor, depth, and nuttiness to the banana bread.
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt

See recipe card for quantities.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Bananas mashed in a mixing bowl.

Step 1: Set oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. If you do not have buttermilk, make your own with vinegar and milk (full instructions in the recipe card below). Set aside. Mash 3-5 bananas in a large bowl. Set aside.

tahini and olive oil in a mixing bowl with a whisk.

Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the tahini and extra-virgin olive oil.

Tahini, olive oil, brown and white sugar, vanilla extract and eggs mixed together in a mixing bowl.

Step 3: Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs. Add the buttermilk. Whisk until combined.

All the ingredients for the tahini banana bread in a mixing bowl with a spatula.

Step 4: Fold in the mashed bananas with a spatula or wooden spoon. Then add the baking soda, salt, and gradually pour the flour into the mixing bowl. Mix until completely combined.

Tahini Banana Bread batter in a loaf pan with parchment paper.

Step 5: Prepare a loaf pan (I use a 6-inch by 10-inch glass pan) with parchment paper and pour the batter into it. It will nearly fill the loaf pan. Bake the bread for 80-85 minutes. If using a metal pan, bake for 70-75 minutes.

Fully baked loaf of tahini banana bread on a wooden cutting board.

Step 6: Stick a toothpick in the center of the banana bread. If moist crumbs stick to it, it is done. If it still has wet batter on it, it needs to be baked longer. Allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting into slices and serving. Top the slices with butter and enjoy!

Hint: Make sure to mix the ingredients until just combined. This is because the more you mix, the more the gluten develops. If you over mix, you run the risk of a dense banana bread. We’re going for moist here!

Substitutions and Variations

  • Tahini – While the tahini adds flavor to this banana bread, you certainly don’t *need* it. So if you don’t have any on hand, this bread should come out beautifully without it too.
  • Butter – If you don’t have extra-virgin olive oil, you can use melted butter. If using salted butter, you can leave the teaspoon of salt out of this recipe. If using unsalted, keep the salt in the recipe.
  • Buttermilk Substitute – If you don’t have buttermilk (or don’t want to make the buttermilk substitute) you can add whole milk or try greek yogurt. It will have a bit different texture.
  • Cinnamon – In the fall, it’s fun to add some spices to banana bread. Add a teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon of ginger for an added autumnal flavor.
  • Nuts – Add some chopped walnuts or pecans to this banana bread to give it a little crunch.
  • Chocolate Chips – I love to add chocolate chips to my banana bread. Dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips work.

Equipment

Storage

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. The banana bread will last in the fridge for up to 5 days.

If freezing, store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Allow it to come to room temperature before eating.

Top tip

I baked my banana bread in a glass loaf pan and took 85 minutes to fully bake. If you use a metal loaf pan, your banana bread should take 70-75 minutes.

FAQ

Do I have to use tahini?

Tahini adds a unique flavor and nuttiness to this banana bread. But you certainly don’t have to add it to the banana bread. It will still be delicious without it.

What can I substitute for the tahini?

If you wish to use a different nut or seed butter, almond butter or peanut butter would also work. This will change the flavor the banana bread. I haven’t tested it with either of these butters, so let me know how it pans out for you if you do try one of them!

Is this tahini banana bread gluten-free?

No, it is not. You can certainly try it with gluten-free flour instead of all-purpose flour. It will most likely change the texture/taste of the banana bread, though.

Do I need ripe bananas for this banana bread?

Definitely! They make the banana bread so sweet. You’ll know your bananas are ripe if they have brown spots on the peel.

Can I use frozen bananas for this recipe?

Yes! Just make sure you thaw them before adding them to the batter.

Looking for other recipes? Try these:

Tahini banana bread with two slices cut out.

Tahini Banana Bread

This tahini banana bread is incredibly moist, sweet, and so delicious! The tahini gives it a slight nutty flavor while the extra-virgin olive oil and buttermilk gives it the melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Bread, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 449kcal
Author: Jamie

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3-4 bananas)
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (light or brown works)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

If Making Buttermilk Substitute

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup milk (remove 1 1/2 teaspoons of milk)

Instructions

Make the Buttermilk Substitute (skip this step if you have buttermilk):

  • First, add 1 1/2 teaspoons of white vinegar to a 1/2 cup measuring cup. Fill the rest of the 1/2 cup with milk. Let sit while preparing the other ingredients. It should only take a few minutes for the milk to start to curdle (that's what we want it to look like!).

For the Tahini Banana Bread:

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Mash the bananas in a bowl. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, add extra-virgin olive oil, tahini, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Whisk thoroughly.
  • Whisk in the eggs. Add the vanilla extract and buttermilk. Add the baking soda and salt, then with a spatula, gradually mix in the flour. Make sure to scrape the sides. Stir the ingredients until just combined. Do not over-mix!
  • Cover the loaf pan with parchment paper, then pour the batter in. If using a glass loaf pan, bake for 80-85 minutes. If using a metal pan, bake for 70-75 minutes. The banana bread will be done when you stick a toothpick in the center and moist crumbs stick to it. If wet batter sticks to the toothpick, it needs to bake longer.
  • Allow the banana bread to cool on a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes before cutting into slices and serving. Top the slices with butter. Enjoy!

Notes

I used a 6-inch x 10-inch glass loaf pan for this banana bread. If you’re using a smaller pan, keep an eye on bake time. Also, metal pans cook this banana bread faster.
Make sure to use ripe bananas for this recipe. The banana peel should have brown spots on it. Ripe bananas add natural sweetness to this banana bread and help make the bread moist!
Storage:
Store this tahini banana bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. If stored in the fridge, it will last about 5 days. To freeze this banana bread, store it in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw to room temperature before eating. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 449kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.004g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 379mg | Potassium: 135mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 82IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 2mg

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