Brown Butter Banana Bread

brown butter banana bread >> Blogging Over Thyme

Don’t be surprised if you see a lot of banana recipes around here for the next few days (weeks?). Connor and I have both had amnesia whilst grocery shopping as of late, continuously picking up one bunch after the other, until we realized that our fruit bowl was practically collapsing from the weight of them all.

And there are only so many frozen banana smoothies you can consume, before you are forced to bake something. I know, such a tough life.

brown butter banana bread >> Blogging Over Thyme

This brown butter banana bread is actually a simple twist on my previous favorite recipe, which my mom used to make for us all the time growing up. It involves brown butter, which is a wonderful thing. Let’s talk butter, people.

Butter is made up of three components: fat, milk solids, and water. Most standard American butter is comprised of about 80% fat–whereas European butters (sometimes referred to by the brand Plugra) contain roughly 83-84% fat–> which in the pastry world is a good thing. The other 20% is basically water and milk solids. When you clarify butter, you are essentially evaporating most of the water content and removing the milk solids (which is what causes butter to burn easily at relatively low cooking temperatures).

brown butter banana bread >> Blogging Over Thyme

In case any of you haven’t used it before, brown butter is essentially clarified butter that has been taken one step further. Instead of skimming or separating out the milk solids, you actually allow them to do what they do naturally, which is sink to the bottom of the pan and start to caramelize and brown. Now, there is a fine line between brown and burnt butter (and trust me, that line will be obvious once you smell the difference. I threw away many a pot of burnt butter during culinary school when I wasn’t paying attention)…

But if you get it just right, you will be left with butter that has so much more flavor than regular old butter. It is incredibly fragrant, nutty and caramel-y and just wonderful. Butter is an amazing thing.

brown butter banana bread >> Blogging Over Thyme

There is some whole wheat flour in there to balance things out, don’t worry. Oh yes, and a nice subtle addition of almond meal, which if that is even possible, somehow makes banana bread even more moist and delicious.

To really bring it to the next level, you could even top it with a brown butter glaze, which I’m tempted to do at this very instant. Enjoy!

brown butter banana bread >> Blogging Over Thyme

Brown Butter Banana Bread

Yield: 1 (9 x 5 inch) Loaf

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes

Print Print Recipe


  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, browned (see directions below)
  • 3/4 cup turbinado raw sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup mashed very ripe bananas (about 3 medium-sized bananas, mashed with a fork)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup very hot water


How to Brown Butter:

    1. Place butter in small saucepan and turn over very low heat. The butter will quickly begin to bubble and foam, swirl pan continuously and use a spatula to stir butter gently for several minutes. Once butter begins to get fragrant and you notice brown bits forming at the bottom, remove from heat immediately.
    2. Continue to stir until butter is golden brown and very fragrant--it should smell nutty and similar to caramel. Remove from saucepan into measuring cup and allow to cool down until lukewarm or at room temperature.

Banana Bread:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, whisk together until well incorporated, and set aside.
  3. Peel bananas into separate small bowl and mash with a fork (or potato masher) until smooth, with some small lumps throughout. Set aside.
  4. Combine brown butter (be sure to scrape all of the brown solids out, these hold the most flavor) and sugar in stand mixer bowl and using paddle, mix over medium-speed until well-incorporated--about a minute or two.
  5. Mix and beat in one egg at a time over low-speed, scraping down the bowl occasionally with a spatula.
  6. Add the mashed bananas and mix over low speed until batter is smooth.
  7. Alternate adding dry ingredients (3 parts) and water (2 parts), allowing the dry ingredients to be absorbed each time for about 15-20 seconds. Scrape down the mixer bowl occasionally with a spatula.
  8. Remove from stand mixer and scrape down the bowl to ensure that the batter is consistent.
  9. Pour batter into a buttered or well-greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Using the spatula, smooth out the top.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 55-60 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Adapted from my Favorite Go-To Banana Bread.

It tastes great with…yes, you guessed it, warm with just a little bit more butter on top. You could even sandwich two slices together with some nutella and cook it in a pan until just slightly crispy and warm.

Or better yet, save a few slices for french toast later in the week! So many possibilities…

brown butter banana bread >> Blogging Over Thyme

16 Responses to “Brown Butter Banana Bread”

  1. #
    Cristina — May 6, 2013 @ 8:12 am

    Ooo! Sounds delish :) could you tell me what the difference is between brown butter and ghee? Could I use ghee in this recipe? Thanks!!

    • Laura replied: — May 6th, 2013 @ 10:30 am

      Ghee and brown butter are pretty similiar. Ghee is almost like a hybrid of the two–from my understanding, ghee is browned butter (with the milk solids removed–as opposed to brown butter, which includes them). So, that sense, I definitely think you could substitute ghee in this recipe, but depending on the ghee you use, the flavor might not be very pronounced. Hope this helps!

  2. #
    Leeann — May 6, 2013 @ 10:22 am

    That looks really good! I’ve been curious to experiment with brown butter and this looks like a great recipe to start with! If you’re up for baking another banana bread, this is my all-time favorite recipe, adapted from a recipe from Bon Appétit:

    Chocolate Chip Walnut Banana Bread

    1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 tblsp cinnamon
    2 tsp ground nutmeg
    1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    3/4 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped (pecans work nicely as well)
    1/2 cup + 2 tblsp unsalted butter, room temperature
    1 cup sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 1/2 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 9x5x2 1/2-inch metal loaf pan. Whisk first 6 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Combine chocolate chips and walnuts in small bowl; add 1 tablespoon flour mixture and toss to coat.
    Beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating until well blended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Beat in mashed bananas, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Beat in flour mixture. Spoon 1/3 of batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of nut mixture. Spoon 1/3 of batter over. Sprinkle with remaining nut mixture. Cover with remaining batter. Run knife through batter in zigzag pattern.
    Bake bread until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Turn out onto rack and cool.

    • Laura replied: — May 7th, 2013 @ 12:05 am

      Sounds great! Thanks for sharing this! :)

    • Marie-Louise Davidson replied: — May 7th, 2013 @ 6:57 pm

      This looks absolutely delicious and now my dilemma is that i will have to try the banana bread on the Popover to Pippa site as well as this one! The lemon juice sounds like a very interesting addition. Does that make the banana taste stand out more?

      I love the new “print” and “save” features of the blog! Brava, Laura!

  3. #
    Pippa@popovertopippas — May 6, 2013 @ 10:24 am

    I really like the addition of the almond meal and turbninado sugar! The pictures turned out great (thank goodness, because Brian was worried about your safety on those chairs).

  4. #
    Mr. & Mrs. P — May 6, 2013 @ 12:01 pm

    When our bananas get too ripe we always make banana bread.. Never though of browning the butter!!! Need to try it next time

  5. #
    Kankana — May 6, 2013 @ 5:11 pm

    That’s one bread I am yet to try baking. Banana is one of my abs fav fruit and it hardly stays long enough to get too ripe :) The brown butter is a great touch!

    • Laura replied: — May 7th, 2013 @ 12:06 am

      I know, I rarely have “too ripe” bananas as well, unless we happen to buy a TON of them (which, in this case, we did). But it’s always fun to have an excuse to make banana bread, haha. Glad you liked this!

  6. #
    Gourmantine — May 7, 2013 @ 3:33 pm

    Yes, it’s such a hard life especially when you have to be eating such lovely loaf of bread! I usually consume my overripe bananas in pancakes or lately smoothies but will have to try to make banana bread for a change :)

  7. #
    Kiran @ — May 9, 2013 @ 3:17 am

    Love the brown butter here. I’m sure it tastes so much more delish than regular banana bread :)

  8. #
    cheri — January 29, 2014 @ 2:32 pm

    Just made this (into muffins instead of bread) and they are so delicious. It was the first time I made brown butter and I appreciate the ease of your descriptions to get it right. I used whole wheat pastry flour plus the almond meal because I never have any AP flour in the house. You’re a terrific recipe writer. Thank you.

    • Laura replied: — January 30th, 2014 @ 12:23 am

      Yay! I am so glad to hear they were success. Nothing makes me happier than feedback on my recipes–I’m honored that anyone makes them at home. Thank you so much!!

  9. #
    chlo — June 9, 2014 @ 10:24 pm

    hi laura, i hope you see this comment (seeing as it’s coming more than a year after this post!)
    could i use just apf instead of combination of wwf and apf, you think? (will keep the almond meal)
    thanks. :) i have been eyeing this recipe for a while but the bananas keep getting eaten up before i can make it!

    • Laura replied: — June 9th, 2014 @ 10:31 pm

      Of course! :) You should definitely be able to substitute with all purpose flour. The protein level should be pretty comparable–let me know if you try them! Thanks!

  10. #
    chloe — June 16, 2014 @ 3:12 am

    sorry, my name is actually CHLOE but there must’ve been something wrong with my keyboard when i left the last comment.
    anyhow! just came back to say that i went with all purpose flour and the texture came out a-ok. think it may have subtracted from the taste somewhat, but i’m not that into the taste of whole wheat flour so it was alright for me.
    yummy, and didn’t have to bust out the stand mixer (resultant clean up was alot easier)
    thanks for the recipe!! :) husband and i plan on eating this for breakfast the whole of this week (i used an 8 by 8 so it LOOKS bigger though it isn’t, really) though it may be a bit difficult to make it last that long since we are partial to a small slice or two after dinner as well.

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