Plain old banana bread gets a makeover and, va-va-voom, Bourbon Banana Bread is in the house —  extra moist and definitely decadent, but still welcome at the breakfast table.

Bourbon Banana Bread

It’s funny how some recipes come about.  It was a busy morning at the supermarket the other day and the woman in front of me asked if I would hold her place while she sprinted to grab some bacon.  When she got back she explained that she was having friends over for brunch and then proceeded to recite her entire menu, from soup to nuts, while she checked out.  Just as she loaded the last bag in her cart and the line shuffled forward with me up at bat, I heard her say “Oh, and my famous bourbon banana bread”.  — Wait, whaaaaat?  Wait a minute, I tried to get her attention while swiping my card so as not to annoy the restless hoards behind me — “That sounds really good, I need that recipe!”— but the pressure to move things along was too great, I had to enter my pin…and by the time I looked up she and her cart were drifting out of sight and all I could catch was a faint “just throw some bourbon in your favorite banana bread…”  

Bourbon Banana Bread | The View from Great Island

Sheesh.  So anyway, that’s basically what I did… I even took it one further and added a bourbon glaze…just because.  I can see why her bread was famous, bourbon adds that little something extra that makes a big difference.  Despite all that I don’t really consider this a dessert, it’s more of a coffee break type treat.  I think Mom would love this on her breakfast-in-bed tray, don’t you?

Moist and tender banana bread with a bourbon glaze

This bread is moist and tender and all that you imagine it to be.  I highly recommend giving it a try.

Bourbon Banana Bread


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp bourbon
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 mashed bananas
    bourbon glaze
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 4 Tbsp bourbon
  • milk or water to thin


  1. Set oven to 350F
  2. Lightly spray a standard 9x5 loaf pan and line with a piece of parchment paper with long ends so you can lift out the bread after baking.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the bourbon and vanilla bean paste.
  4. Toss the flour, baking soda and salt together.
  5. Blend the sour cream and mashed bananas together.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar, alternately with the sour cream/banana mixture, beginning and ending with the dry. Blend just enough after each addition to combine, don't over mix.
  7. Turn the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until fully risen and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out without wet batter on it.
  8. Let cool before glazing.
  9. To make the glaze, stir together the sugar and bourbon, adding a touch of milk or water to thin to glaze consistency.
  10. Pour or spread the glaze on the cooled cake.


  • Instead of the glaze, you could try another approach with the bourbon…while the cake is still warm, poke little holes all over the top and drizzle on a tablespoon or two of bourbon and let it soak in.  Just sayin’.
  • Loaf pans vary in size, if yours is not standard, your bake time will likely be different.  Tent with  foil toward the end of baking if the bread is getting very brown.

Bourbon Banana Bread


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Glazed Bourbon Banana Bread --- a classic moist bread laced with plenty of bourbon!



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30 Responses to Bourbon Banana Bread

  1. Jennifer says:

    What is an appropriate substitute for vanilla bean paste?

  2. I want this now, which is why I’ve saved it for so long! Trying it tomorrow! Thanks, Sue!

  3. Nancy Long says:

    Sounds wonderful – think Sailor Jerry’s (not Capt. Morgan) Spiced Rum would be great too!

  4. Yolie says:

    I made this and – OMG! Fantastic! The first time I made it I dialed way back on the bourbon in the glaze. The second time I went for it exactly as written. I definitely prefer less bourbon. I used 2 tsps. To me, the taste is more balanced and doesn’t over-power the fabulous bread.

  5. Laura says:

    Okay, I made this recipe today and the bread was fantastic, but 4 tablespoons of bourbon to 1 cup of powdered sugar is NOT a good ratio for the glaze! WAY TOO MUCH bourbon! Maybe 4 TEASPOONS… I just thought it was over powering… And I like bourbon!

  6. Shihoko says:

    Bourbon Banana Bread sounds great!! I would stop the lady in front of you too to get recipe. I don’t have to though, now I have it here. Thank you for sharing. I love Banana bread and baking and have to try this soon.

  7. Susan says:

    Raising my hand for a slice! This looks incredible, Sue!

  8. Sara says:

    I love this twist on the classic, it’s amazing how a few little changes to a recipe can create something even better than the original!

  9. cheri says:

    Hi Sue, I could definitely begin my days with a slice of this beautiful bread. Love that you added bourbon in the bread and the glaze. Very nice!

  10. Dom says:

    ha! I love this story… the other shoppers must have thought she was mad but I love it… mind you, throw any booze into your favourite cake recipe is pretty much a wonderful idea so it’s a win-win from me!

  11. Sue, what a beautiful loaf! The glaze looks pretty and takes it right over into the dessert category for me — perfect with a cup of tea.

  12. Great story! Love this bread, because the only thing that came make banana bread better is bourbon :)

  13. Yes please, I’m all for a thick slice of boozy banana bread!

  14. Bijouxs says:

    Hi Sue! This is a wonderful combination & I have some over-ripe bananas ready and waiting. Best, Bijouxs

  15. We love banana bread and this is a terrific flavor to spice it up! Genius!

  16. Penny says:

    I am posting a banana bread recipe next. But if I had seen your addition of bourbon, I would have tried it. There are so many ways to take a simple recipe to the next level. Good job Sue.

  17. Emma says:

    I’m a huge banana bread fan and have never put bourbon in it!!! (Until now that is!) Truly inspired :)

  18. This looks amazing!!! I’m definitely going to make this this weekend!! Thanks!

  19. Monique says:

    I don’t have bourbon..think we need some..I just made a Nantais cake..w/ hum..nice touch..the bourbon must be also!

  20. Lisa says:

    YES to bourbon!! I love cooking with fruits and alcohol, and can almost taste that banana bread!! I love how it came about too! I wish we were more chatty in the UK, I’d love to know what someone was making for a dinner party!!

  21. This just speaks to me! I put bourbon in everything from cocktails to marinades to desserts. Now it’s breakfast fodder! LOVE! Pinned!

  22. Yum, I love recipes that evolve like that! I think your friend at the supermarket would be quite proud of you Sue!

  23. Oh I really want to try this and I’m not even a drinker but I love banana cake and can imagine the flavours working so well as my mum used to fry bananas in brown sugar with whisky or was it rum!?

  24. Sarah says:

    Banana bread may or may-not be one of my favorite foods. This looks amazing. I’m in heaven reading the recipes and I absolutely can’t wait to try it!! :)

  25. Oh my oh my. Yes please! The texture, color, icing, vanilla bean paste – all of it is absolutely stunning! Pinning and sharing!

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