Bourbon Banana Bread

Bourbon Banana Bread | The View from Great Island

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. By the way, if the combination of bourbon and banana is calling your name, you have to check out my BOURBON BANANA BUTTER!

Bourbon Banana Bread

notes ~

  • 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 | The View from Great Island
4 from 15 votes

Bourbon Banana Bread

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.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Yield 8 -10 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • 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 tsp bourbon (more or less to taste)
  • milk or water to thin


  • Set oven to 350F
  • 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.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the bourbon and vanilla bean paste.
  • Toss the flour, baking soda and salt together.
  • Blend the sour cream and mashed bananas together.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Let cool before glazing.
  • To make the glaze, stir together the sugar and bourbon, adding a touch of milk or water to thin to glaze consistency.
  • Pour or spread the glaze on the cooled cake.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Don’t forget to pin this Bourbon Banana Bread!

Bourbon Banana Bread Pin



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  • Reply
    May 27, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    5 stars
    Another fabulous recipe- even without the glaze! I didn’t want it to be too sweet so I added walnuts for crunch and skipped the glaze. The bourbon and big dose of vanilla gave the bread fabulous flavor. This is a keeper.

  • Reply
    September 2, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    5 stars
    I just made this and it’s delicious! I was out of sugar (!!!) so I used brown sugar (only 3/4 cup). It’s super moist andonly took 45 minutes to bake for me.

    I used less bourbon in the glaze, half the powdered sugar and added sour cream to it to cut the sweetness. So good!

  • Reply
    February 20, 2018 at 9:16 am

    Can’t wait to try your recipes have you ever tried to make some recipes gluten free… husband and granddaughter have gluten issues….I can always try to bake both ways…..

    • Reply
      February 20, 2018 at 10:53 am

      Hi Lynn ~ yes, I do have quite a few gluten free recipes on the blog, and I plan to do more. I’ve found that when you use a good gf baking mix, like Bob’s Red Mill, for instance, that recipes can often be converted really easily.

  • Reply
    January 13, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    What is an appropriate substitute for vanilla bean paste?

    • Reply
      January 13, 2017 at 8:42 pm

      Vanilla extract is fine, Jennifer, use it to taste. I like a lot, so I’d use 2 teaspoons.

  • Reply
    [email protected] is How I Cook
    July 13, 2016 at 8:57 pm

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

  • Reply
    Nancy Long
    June 25, 2016 at 7:56 am

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

  • Reply
    May 4, 2016 at 11:10 am

    5 stars
    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.

  • Reply
    April 24, 2016 at 11:46 am

    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!

    • Reply
      July 3, 2020 at 4:12 pm

      Hey Laura, that was an error, it should read 4 teaspoons, and it’s been corrected, thanks!

  • Reply
    April 17, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    April 12, 2016 at 3:37 pm

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

  • Reply
    April 10, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    April 10, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    April 10, 2016 at 5:01 am

    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!

  • Reply
    Jean |
    April 9, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    April 9, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Great story! Love this bread, because the only thing that came make banana bread better is bourbon 🙂

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci)
    April 9, 2016 at 3:54 pm

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

  • Reply
    April 9, 2016 at 2:39 pm

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

  • Reply
    2 sisters recipes
    April 9, 2016 at 2:29 pm

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

  • Reply
    April 9, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    April 9, 2016 at 12:56 pm

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

  • Reply
    Gwen @simplyhealthyfamily
    April 9, 2016 at 10:50 am

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

  • Reply
    April 9, 2016 at 10:00 am

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

  • Reply
    April 9, 2016 at 9:58 am

    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!!

  • Reply
    April 9, 2016 at 9:30 am

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

    • Reply
      April 9, 2016 at 9:35 am

      You might be interested in my oatmeal with WHISKEY butter, Lisa 😉

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    April 9, 2016 at 9:14 am

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

  • Reply
    Camilla @FabFood4All
    April 9, 2016 at 8:21 am

    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!?

    • Reply
      April 9, 2016 at 8:22 am

      Mmmmm that sounds so good!

  • Reply
    April 9, 2016 at 7:35 am

    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!! 🙂

    • Reply
      April 9, 2016 at 7:50 am

      Me too, for sure Sarah. Let me know how it works for you if you try it.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    April 9, 2016 at 5:07 am

    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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