Brown Butter Banana Bread

By Jeri Mobley-Arias
January 22, 2024 | Updated on February 20, 2024

Brown butter banana bread is an easy recipe that enhances the flavor of the classic dessert. Indulge in the sweet, toasty richness of a warm slice of banana bread made without nuts.

Want to elevate more recipes with brown butter? Try my Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Toffee, Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats, and Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Frosting next. And for more recipes with banana, try my Sticky Toffee Pudding with Banana.

a plate containing two slices of brown butter banana bread with butter slathered on the first piece

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I’ve always loved the simplicity of a banana bread loaf but adding brown butter to the batter takes the traditional recipe to new heights. Brown butter banana bread deepens the sweet, banana flavor, adding a rich, toasty, nutty complexity that will have your mouth watering. It’s moist, decadent, and so damn delicious!

So the next time you have some ripe bananas, pull out the butter too so you can make the best brown butter banana bread.

Why This Brown Butter Banana Bread Recipe Works

  • Simple – Banana bread is a great starter recipe for new bakers, even with the added browned butter step. It adds just 5 minutes to the total time. Then you mix, pour, and bake.
  • Versatile – Easily customize this recipe with tasty add-ins.
  • Great Make-Ahead Recipe – Although I love enjoying this when its oven fresh, it stores well too. Make it now and save it for later.
a plate containing two slices of brown butter banana bread

Tools You’ll Need

Ingredients You Will Need for Brown Butter Banana Bread

The ingredient that sets this apart from other banana bread recipes is the inclusion of brown butter. It adds a tasty, toasty quality to the bread for even more flavor.

  • All-purpose flour – I use the King Arthur brand.
  • Unsalted butter – Using unsalted butter for brown butter allows for better control over the overall saltiness of your recipe.
  • Milk powderAdding milk powder to brown butter enriches the butter, resulting in a creamier mixture. It also ensures the bread has a moist, tender crumb.
  • Eggs – This is a binding ingredient. Using room temperature eggs encourages even cooking.
  • Light brown sugar –  Light brown sugar has a milder flavor compared to dark brown sugar. It adds a subtle caramel taste and boosts the natural sweetness of the bananas without overpowering the other ingredients.
  • Baking soda – This leavening agent helps the bread rise and achieve a light and fluffy texture.
  • Bananas – You want the bananas soft to the touch. The riper, the better! This not only adds banana flavor but adds moisture to the bread.
  • Pure vanilla extract Adding a touch of this complements the sweetness of the bananas. I use Neilson Massey brand.
  • Buttermilk – Buttermilk is used in banana bread to contribute moisture, tenderness, and a subtle tangy flavor, enhancing the overall texture and taste of the bread. It also reacts with the baking soda to help leaven the batter, resulting in a softer bread.
  • Kosher salt –  I always opt for Diamond Crystal.

How To Make Brown Butter Banana Bread

Adding brown butter to banana bread is a quick and easy way to elevate the recipe.

  1. Place oven rack in the center. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9-inch loaf pan and set aside.
  2. Mash bananas in a medium bowl. It’s okay if you have small lumps remaining. Set aside.

Brown Butter

  1. Keep a small heat-proof bowl next to you as you will need to pour the butter into a bowl.
  2. Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add butter to saucepan and whisk to encourage melting.
  3. Once melted, butter will foam a little bit (that’s normal). Carefully swirl the pan. Watch carefully as brown specks will start to form and you will begin to smell a nutty aroma. Turn heat off. Add milk powder and continue to swirl and stir with a spoon until milk powder turns a caramel color.
  4. Add sugars to the brown butter and whisk to combine to cream the mixture.
side by side images showing the process of combining ingredients for brown butter banana bread

Add eggs, mashed bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla and beat until smooth.

side by side images showing the banana bread mixture before and after whisking

5. In a separate bowl add flour, salt, and baking soda. Whisk then add to the batter. Fold until the mixture comes together. Do not overmix as that may result in a dense loaf.

side by side images showing flour, salt, and baking soda being added to the batter

6. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan then bake in a prepared 9-inch loaf pan for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Wait two hours before slicing. The flavor of the banana bread will enhance overnight.

side by side images showing a loaf of brown butter banana bread before and after baking

7. Slice and enjoy with butter and flaky salt.

Tips and Tricks

  • Make banana bread the night before. The flavor gets better the next day!
  • Take the time to brown the butter. This process adds a depth of flavor to your banana bread.
  • Use unsalted butter for the brown butter. During the browning process, the water content in butter evaporates, intensifying the flavor. If you start with salted butter, the salt concentration becomes more pronounced as the water evaporates, potentially leading to an overly salty result.
  • Don’t mash the bananas into oblivion. It’s actually better to have a few chunks because it helps you achieve super moist brown butter banana bread.
  • Ensure the eggs and buttermilk are at room temperature. This makes it easier to mix, creating a smoother batter.
  • Allow the banana bread to cool completely before slicing to ensure clean and neat slices.
a plate containing two slices of brown butter banana bread with butter slathered on the first piece

Variations

  • Brown Butter Banana Nut Bread – You can add up to 1 cup of chopped nuts to the batter. Keep it classic with walnuts, or opt for pecans or academia nuts instead.
  • Chocolate Chips – Morsels of melty chocolate make this dessert even more mouthwatering.
a loaf of browned butter banana bread on a cooling rack with two bananas in the background

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to store brown butter banana bread?

Store leftovers in an airtight container or tightly wrap with plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days. It lasts 5 days in the fridge. To freeze, wrap the loaf or individual slices with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Why ripe bananas for banana bread?

Ripe bananas are essential for banana bread because they are sweeter, easier to mash, and have a more intense banana flavor. They also have more moisture than regular bananas, which results in moist banana bread.

How long does it take brown butter to brown?

It takes about 5-8 minutes to make browned butter.

Does brown butter taste different?

Brown butter has a more complex taste and aroma than regular butter so the difference is palpable. The browning process caramelizes the milk solids in butter, adding a depth of nuttiness and a subtle toasty taste.

a loaf of brown butter banana bread on a cutting board with two slices apart from the loaf; bananas in the background

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a plate containing two slices of brown butter banana bread with butter slathered on the first piece

Brown Butter Banana Bread

Brown butter banana bread is an easy recipe that enhances the flavor of the classic dessert. Indulge in the sweet, toasty richness of a warm slice of banana bread made without nuts.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 10 slices
Author Jeri Mobley-Arias
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American

Equipment

  • mixing bowls
  • Whisk
  • 9-inch Loaf pan
  • saucepan

Ingredients

  • cups (210g) all-purpose flour, I use King Arthur
  • 1 stick (112g) unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons milk powder,
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • ¾ cup (165g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 bananas, the riper, the better
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, I use Neilson Massey
  • cup buttermilk
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, Diamond Crystal

Instructions

  • Place oven rack in the center. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9-inch loaf pan and set aside.
  • Mash bananas in a medium bowl. It's okay if you have small lumps remaining. Set aside.

Brown Butter

  • Keep a small heat-proof bowl next to you as you will need to pour the butter into a bowl.
  • Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add butter to saucepan and whisk to encourage melting.
  • Once melted, butter will foam a little bit (that's normal). Carefully swirl the pan. Watch carefully as brown specks will start to form and you will begin to smell a nutty aroma. Turn heat off. Add milk powder and continue to swirl and stir with a spoon until milk powder turns a caramel color.
  • Add sugars to the brown butter and whisk to combine to cream the mixture. Add eggs, mashed bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl add flour, salt, and baking soda. Whisk then add to the batter. Fold until the mixture comes together. Do not overmix as that may result in a dense loaf.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan then bake in a prepared 9-inch loaf pan for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Wait two hours before slicing. The flavor of the banana bread will enhance overnight and tastes better the next day!
  • Slice and enjoy with butter and flaky salt.
Keywords Banana bread brown butter, best brown butter banana bread, Brown butter banana bread, Browned butter banana bread, moist brown butter banana bread
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a plate containing two slices of brown butter banana bread with butter slathered on the first piece

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jeri-mobley

Hey, I'm Jeri!

At Whisper of Yum, we explore ALL cuisines - comfort foods, classics, elevated originals. If you love food like me, I invite you to settle in to this place, where swoon-worthy food is attainable + inspo for your next meal awaits.

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