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Brown Butter Banana Bread

If you love the texture and ease of a traditional banana bread but also love the warm, nutty flavor of brown butter, have I got a treat for you! This simple recipe adds rich spices and luscious browned butter for a unique twist on an old favorite. 

Can I Use Brown Butter in Banana Bread? 

Brown Butter Banana Bread from Out of the Box Baking.com

This was the question I asked myself as I stared at (yet) another batch of over-ripe bananas in my kitchen last night. 

I have so many banana recipes on this blog already—my mayonnaise-infused banana bread (a personal favorite), Banana Berry Cake (which starts with a box of white cake mix), Classic Banana Bread with Walnuts, and even my Southern Hummingbird Cake, which is loaded with bananas and other tropical flavors. 

What I didn’t have, however, was a Traditional Banana Bread that included one of my favorite ingredients on the planet. . .brown butter. 

Mmm! Brown Butter! Yes, Please!

If you’ve followed me for any length of time you know I’m crazy about brown butter. I still remember the first time I invited a friend into my kitchen while browning butter. Her eyes were huge when she tasted the Brown Butter Frosting I made that day. 

I’ve used it in my Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies. I’ve baked with it in my Brown Butter Walnut Cake. I’ve even devoted an entire post to How to Bake with Brown Butter. Clearly, I’ve been down this road before. 

Martha Stewart loves brown butter so much that she devoted a whole post to it, as well. Check out What is Brown Butter and How to Use It for more info.

That said, I’ve never used it in my banana bread. In fact, the idea never crossed my mind until I happened to be watching a baking show on television. The moment I heard the words “brown butter banana bread” my antennae went straight up. 

Put Brown Butter into Your Banana Bread

That was it! I finally had a new-to-me plan for those over-ripe bananas! And y’all, can I just say. . .in all of the times I’ve made banana bread (or banana cake) I’ve rarely baked it into an actual bread loaf pan. 

Today, I decided to do that. I used my new Pioneer Woman loaf pan for this recipe. I believe it’s a 5-inch loaf pan but don’t hold me to that. 

No matter which pan you choose—a loaf pan, a bundt, or an 8 x 8-inch square pan, you’ll be so glad you baked this tasty treat! 

Brown Butter Banana Bread Ingredients. 

Brown Butter Banana Bread from Out of the Box Baking.com

You will find a full printable recipe card at the bottom of this post but here’s a quick peek at what you’ll need for this recipe. This is a simple one, y’all! 

  • room temperature brown butter, (salted or unsalted, your choice)
  • granulated sugar
  • brown sugar
  • large room temperature egg
  • pure vanilla extract
  • mashed overripe bananas
  • baking soda
  • all-purpose flour (unsifted)
  • finely chopped pecans (or walnuts)
  • ground cinnamon
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • powdered sugar for sprinkling

Perhaps you noticed a couple of interesting additions to this recipe that set it apart from my Classic Banana Bread. I’ve added half a cup of brown sugar and half a cup of white. The brown sugar adds a richness of flavor that complements the brown butter. (Hint: You can use dark brown sugar for an even richer flavor if you like.) 

And check out those spices! They’re warm and rich, perfect for fall and ideal with browned butter. 

How to Make Brown Butter Banana Bread. 

This recipe came together so easily! I didn’t use a hand mixer or a stand mixer with paddle attachment (both norms for me). Nope, not this time! I used a large bowl and a blending fork (basically a large serving fork). 

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Prep a loaf pan by spraying with Baker’s Joy or using a thin layer of shortening with a dusting of flour. Make sure you coat the sides of the pan as well as the bottom. 

Brown your butter. Start with 2/3 cup. Place it in a heavy saucepan and place over medium heat until it comes to a boil. 

Lower the temp and melt butter. Continue to cook until it turns golden brown and you see specks (brown bits formed from the milk solids). Remove from heat and stir well. Set aside to cool. 

In a large mixing bowl combine sugars and spices.

Brown Butter Banana Bread from Out of the Box Baking.com

Add cooled butter. Mix well. Add egg. Mix well. 

In a separate bowl mash bananas. I used a serving fork but you can use a potato masher if you prefer. Add banana mixture to the wet ingredients. 

Add dry ingredients (flour and baking soda) to wet ingredients. 

Add a cup of chopped nuts (optional). Fold gently into batter. (Now that you’ve added the flour you don’t want to over-mix or you’ll end up with a tough bread.) 

Brown Butter Banana Bread from Out of the Box Baking.com

Place batter in prepared loaf pan and put in preheated oven. 

Brown Butter Banana Bread from Out of the Box Baking.com

Bake at 350 degrees for 55 – 60 minutes or until bread pulls away from the edges and a toothpick comes out of the center of the loaf clean. You want to make sure this one is completely done. If you’re worried about the top getting too brown (is that a thing?) you can always use a bit of aluminum foil to cover the top for the final 10 minutes or so. 

Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. 

Brown Butter Banana Bread from Out of the Box Baking.com

When pan cools to the touch, turn out the banana bread loaf onto the wire cooling rack to continue cooling. 

Brown Butter Banana Bread from Out of the Box Baking.com

Slice and serve.

You can serve warm (it’s yummy with a bit of butter) or cool. 

Store at room temperature for 2-3 days in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. 

You can freeze banana bread for later use. Use within two months. Allow to come to room temperature naturally. 

What to Expect from this Brown Butter Banana Bread

It’s rich, it’s warm, it’s everything I thought it would be! I love, love, love the addition of the brown butter. And y’all, I’m a big fan of those crusty edges. (Wow, delicious!) This is an incredibly moist brown butter banana bread, one I thoroughly enjoyed! 

I will tell you that I was a little concerned when I saw the depth of color. My first thought was, “Did I overbake this?”

Brown Butter Banana Bread from Out of the Box Baking.com

Then I remembered all of that cinnamon. And pumpkin pie spice. And brown butter. I did not overbake the bread. It was perfection, baked perfectly. And those lovely brown colors added a depth of flavor that absolutely sets this version of banana bread apart from all others.

I know that most purists use walnuts in their banana bread. I love them, but I prefer pecans, especially with the brown butter. Somehow they just go together (at least to my way of thinking). Regardless, I loved the combination. And it’s the perfect texture, y’all! 

All in all, I have to say. . .this banana bread is divine.

https://outoftheboxbaking.com/2022/07/20/16-easy-cookie-exchange-recipes/

Like, out of this world divine. I hope you guys love it as much as I do! I think this one is good enough to bake up in little loaf pans to give away at Christmas time. I might have to add banana bread to my annual Cookie Exchange Platters

This quick bread is also perfect for breakfast. It’s got the denseness you expect from a banana bread and it will hit the spot early in the morning with a big cup of coffee or hot tea. 

https://outoftheboxbaking.com/2022/07/20/16-easy-cookie-exchange-recipes/

This is one of those banana bread recipes you’re going to use again and again! 

Variations on this Recipe

You know me—no matter how great a recipe, I’m always looking for ways to change things up next time. (Hey, that’s creativity at work! How else would I have come up with this recipe, if not for tweaking an earlier one?) 

Here are some fun ideas for next time: 

Butterscotch chips: I think the addition of butterscotch chips to the batter would be luscious! Brown butter and butterscotch with those warm spices? Perfection! 

Cinnamon chips: Same comments as above. If you use cinnamon chips you can cut back on the amount of ground cinnamon you use in the recipe. 

Chocolate chips: I love the addition of chocolate with banana bread. If you prefer to pull back on the spices, feel free! 

Bundt pan: I always love a good slice of banana bread and I think a bundt pan would work well for this recipe. 

Muffins: This would easily translate to a muffin pan. I’m guessing you could make 18 – 20 with this recipe. Cut the baking time. I would start with 16 minutes (my norm for cupcakes) and continue baking as needed. 

Cover with a streusel. I think this recipe lends itself to a crunchy nut and oat streusel. You’ll find an easy recipe for that in my Easy Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake. 

Caramel topping: You know those caramel bits you can buy in a bag? Yeah, those. Melt down a bagful with a couple tablespoons of heavy cream and drizzle it over this banana bread. Swoon! 

Maple glaze. If you’re looking for a great recipe check out my Brown Butter Walnut Cake. It’s a simple mixture of butter, powdered sugar, and maple extract (or pure maple syrup). 

Other Brown Butter Favorites

I’ve listed some of my favorite brown butter recipes already but here are a few more you might consider: 

Brown Butter Pecan Cookies: You love brown butter. You love pecans. You’re thinking about merging the two into a cookie but don’t know where to start. You’ve landed in the right spot!

Easy Brown Butter Frosting: This is where it all began for me! My dreamy buttercream with the addition of browned butter. Delicious! 

Butter Pecan Cupcakes with Brown Butter Frosting: You can always use browned butter in the cake mix as well as the frosting. Perfection! 

Butter Pecan Bundt Cake: If you’re crazy about brown butter and pecans you’re going to love this easy cake. It’s topped with a crunchy praline topping and rich with flavor. Best of all, it starts with a boxed mix! Easy-breezy!

Sour cream: You can always use sour cream in place of some of the butter or bananas. It will add a tartness to the recipe. 


That’s it for this post, friends! I hope you love this easy brown butter banana bread as much as I do! 

Brown Butter Banana Bread

Brown Butter Banana Bread

Yield: 10

If you love the texture and ease of a traditional banana bread but also love the warm, nutty flavor of brown butter, have I got a treat for you! This simple recipe adds rich spices and luscious browned butter for a unique twist on an old favorite.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup room temperature brown butter, (salted or unsalted, your choice)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large room temperature egg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 mashed overripe bananas
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (unsifted)
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans (or walnuts)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar for sprinkling

Instructions

How to Make Brown Butter Banana Bread.


This recipe came together so easily! I didn’t use a hand mixer or a stand mixer with paddle attachment (both norms for me). Nope, not this time! I used a large bowl and a blending fork (basically a large serving fork).

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prep a loaf pan by spraying with Baker’s Joy or using a thin layer of shortening with a dusting of flour. Make sure you coat the sides of the pan as well as the bottom.

Brown your butter. Start with 2/3 cup. Place it in a heavy saucepan and place over medium heat until it comes to a boil.

Lower the temp and melt butter. Continue to cook until it turns golden brown and you see specks (brown bits formed from the milk solids). Remove from heat and stir well. Set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl combine sugars, spices, and cooled butter. Mix well.

Add egg. Mix well.

In a separate bowl mash bananas. I used a serving fork but you can use a potato masher if you prefer. Add banana mixture to the wet ingredients.

Add dry ingredients (flour and baking soda) to wet ingredients.

Add a cup of chopped nuts (optional). Fold gently into batter. (Now that you’ve added the flour you don’t want to over-mix of you’ll end up with a tough bread.)

Place batter in prepared loaf pan and put in preheated oven.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes (1 hour) or until bread pulls away from the edges and a toothpick comes out of the center of the loaf clean. You want to make sure this one is completely done. If you’re worried about the top getting too brown (is that a thing?) you can always use a bit of aluminum foil to cover the top for the final 10 minutes or so.

Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.

When pan cools to the touch, turn out the banana bread loaf onto the wire cooling rack to continue cooling.

You can serve warm (it’s yummy with a bit of butter) or cool.

Store at room temperature for 2-3 days in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.

You can freeze banana cake for later use. Use within two months. Allow to come to room temperature naturally.

KC

Thursday 17th of November 2022

Mom's recipe calls for buttermilk, and also separate the eggs and beat the daylights out of the whites to make sort of a meringue that you carefully fold in just before baking. It's a real fave but I'm loving this idea of brown butter. Going to adapt and try! Thank you! Love your blog!

booksbyjanice

Saturday 19th of November 2022

Thank you!

Bev

Friday 11th of November 2022

Can I use regular butter?

booksbyjanice

Saturday 12th of November 2022

Absolutely.

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