6 Perfect Substitutes for Sour Cream in Banana Bread

Substitutes for Sour Cream in Banana Bread
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Have you ever been midway through making a batch of banana bread only to realize you’re out of sour cream? It’s not a fun situation, right? Sour cream adds moisture, richness, and a slight tang that helps balance the sweetness of ripe bananas. As an avid baker and sour cream fanatic, I’ve experimented with various alternatives over the years and found several that work great in banana bread. So, what are some substitutes for sour cream in banana bread? 

Some of the best substitutes for sour cream in banana bread include Greek yogurt, buttermilk, evaporated milk, lemon juice or lime juice, coconut milk yogurt, and cottage cheese.

Whether you’re avoiding dairy, looking to lighten the recipe, or just dealing with an empty fridge, these sour cream stand-ins will boost the flavor of your banana bread and ensure you end up with a delicious, bakery-worthy result.

Greek Yogurt

As an alternative to sour cream in my banana bread, I like to use Greek yogurt. It adds a nice tangy kick and creamy texture without the fat.

Greek yogurt is an excellent 1:1 substitute for sour cream. Just use the same amount of Greek yogurt as the recipe calls for in sour cream. The yogurt makes the bread slightly denser, but you can’t tell the difference.

For extra flavor, choose a yogurt with live and active cultures. The little critters give yogurt its characteristic tang.

If desired, you can thin out the yogurt with a bit of milk or buttermilk to reach a sour cream-like consistency. Start with a tablespoon at a time until it’s right.

Using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream is an easy way to lighten your banana bread and boost your nutrition. With nearly double the protein of regular yogurt or sour cream, Greek yogurt will give your bread-staying power. [1]

The yogurt’s bright and citrusy notes also pair perfectly with the bananas. Your bread will have a more complex, layered flavor that everyone will love.


Banana Bread With Buttermilk

Buttermilk is a great substitute for sour cream in banana bread. I often use buttermilk instead of sour cream because it adds moisture and a slight tangy kick that complements the sweetness of the bananas.

As an avid baker, I usually have buttermilk on hand, but if you don’t, you can easily make a substitute. Just add a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup of milk. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, then stir. The milk will curdle and become buttermilk. Use the same amount of buttermilk as the recipe calls for in sour cream.

Buttermilk, cultured buttermilk, or homemade buttermilk substitutes all work well and will make your banana bread extra fluffy and moist. The acid in the buttermilk reacts with the baking soda, causing the batter to rise. This reaction results in a lighter, softer crumb.

Buttermilk also adds a slight tang that enhances the flavor of the bananas. I love using it, even when I have sour cream at hand because the tartness balances the sweetness and prevents the bread from tasting flat. 

Evaporated Milk

When I want to add moisture and a subtle creamy flavor to my banana bread without using sour cream, evaporated milk is my go-to substitute.

Evaporated milk is milk that has had about 60% of its water removed. What’s left is a rich, creamy milk product that adds moisture, texture, and a slightly caramelized flavor to quick breads like banana bread. Since most of the water has been removed, evaporated milk has a longer shelf life and can be stored unopened for months.

Substituting evaporated milk for sour cream in banana bread is easy. Just use the same amount of evaporated milk as the recipe calls for in sour cream. So if the recipe calls for 1 cup of sour cream, use 1 cup of evaporated milk instead. The evaporated milk adds moisture and tenderness to the bread, just like sour cream.

Keep in mind that evaporated milk is not the same thing as condensed milk, so make sure you’re aware of the differences so you can use it efficiently.

Lemon or Lime Juice

Adding the juice from half a lemon or lime is a great way to mimic the subtle sourness of sour cream. Just mix in 1-2 tablespoons of fresh lemon or lime juice along with the wet ingredients. The citrus juice will add a bright pop of flavor to your banana bread without overpowering it.

However, note that it may slightly change the texture compared to sour cream. Use a light hand, as too much can make the bread bitter.

Lemon juice adds a burst of acidity that provides the same tang as sour cream.

Since lemon juice is more tart than sour cream, I often add a bit of honey or sugar to balance the flavor. Start with one teaspoon of honey, and add more honey, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until the tanginess is mellowed to your liking. I also like to use a bit of milk or cream and lemon juice to create a creamy lemon sauce.

Coconut Milk Yogurt

As an alternative to sour cream, coconut milk yogurt is a great substitute for banana bread. I’ve used it myself and honestly couldn’t tell the difference.

Coconut milk yogurt has a creamy texture similar to sour cream but with a subtle coconutty flavor. It provides moisture and richness without overpowering the other ingredients. You can find plain or vanilla coconut milk yogurt, either of which will work in banana bread.

To use it, simply substitute the same amount of coconut milk yogurt for the sour cream called for in your recipe. Stir it well before adding it to the batter, as the yogurt can separate in the container.

The yogurt may make the batter a bit thinner but don’t worry since the end result will be moist and delicious bread. And coconut milk yogurt is a perfect solution for those avoiding dairy or looking for a vegan option. Your banana bread will burst with flavor from the bananas, brown sugar, and spices, with just a hint of coconut essence.

Cottage Cheese

Banana Bread With Cottage Cheese

Using cottage cheese instead of sour cream is a simple substitution that can make your banana bread healthier without sacrificing taste or texture. I often have a cottage cheese container in my fridge, so it’s a convenient option. Cottage cheese has a mild flavor and creamy texture similar to sour cream but lower in fat. [2]

To use cottage cheese instead of sour cream, measure out the same amount of cottage cheese as the recipe calls for in sour cream. So if the recipe says 1 cup of sour cream, use 1 cup of cottage cheese. 

The cottage cheese I buy tends to be lumpy, so I pulse it a few times in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy before adding it to the batter. You can also push it through a mesh strainer with a rubber spatula to achieve an even smoother consistency.

Cottage cheese adds moisture, richness, and a subtle tangy flavor to banana bread. Because it’s lower in fat than sour cream, the bread may be a bit denser but still delicious. You can add a teaspoon of lemon or lime juice to the cottage cheese for extra flavor. The bright citrus complements the bananas and helps enhance the tangy notes.

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