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Brown Butter Banana Bread

Taking a few minutes to brown the butter for this Brown Butter Banana Bread takes it from great to amazing!

sliced Brown Butter Banana Bread on a floral patterned tray

One of baking’s simple pleasures, at least for me, is banana bread. There’s just something about homemade banana bread that I find irresistible and comforting.

Brown Butter Banana Bread on a patterned tray

I’m always trying to think of a new twist on banana bread, and I’m a big fan of this Brown Butter Banana Bread. It’s really just a simple banana bread with one equally simple twist that gives it a richer flavor. As the title says, there’s brown butter involved here, which is always something that piques my interest.

Just that one little tweak really makes this banana bread something special. If you’ve never browned butter, it really is amazingly simple. All you need is a small saucepan and some butter. As the butter cooks on the stovetop, a lot of the water is lost so the buttery flavor becomes more concentrated. The milk solids left behind start to caramelize, as evidenced by little brown specks in the butter.

Want to make muffins instead of a loaf? See my tips for How to Convert Muffins to Bread!

The only caution I give is that you need to keep an eye on the butter. It can go from perfectly brown to burned fairly quickly. Once you start seeing browned bits, be ready to remove the pan from the heat soon. Because of that visual cue, it’s best to avoid using a dark pan so the color change is clear. You’ll also notice the nutty smell that signals that your butter is nicely browned.

slices of Brown Butter Banana Bread on a patterned tray

The topping for this bread is also in keeping with the simplicity of this bread. It’s just a combination of chopped nuts and coarse sugar that’s sprinkled on top of the batter before baking. As the bread bakes, the nuts get toasty and a little caramelized from the sugar. I think it’s just the thing to top off this bread. If you’re not a fan of nuts or just want a simpler bread, you can, of course, omit the topping.

If you love banana bread but want something just a little different, then try this Brown Butter Banana Bread. I hope you’ll love its wonderful flavor as much as I do!

Find more quick bread recipes in the Recipe Index.

More Banana Bread Recipes

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Brown Butter Banana Bread

Yield 10 to 12 servings (1 standard loaf)
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes

The simple addition of brown butter makes this Brown Butter Banana Bread extra delicious!

sliced Brown Butter Banana Bread on a floral patterned tray


For the topping:

  • 1/3 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons sanding sugar or turbinado sugar

For the bread:

  • 10 tablespoons (141g) unsalted butter
  • 1 & 1/2 cups (180g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 & 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3-4 medium bananas)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


      To make the topping:

    1. Mix the nuts and sugar, making sure to coat the nuts well with the sugar.
    2. Set aside while you make the bread.

    To make the bread:

  1. Place the butter in a medium saucepan or skillet. Cook over medium heat until the butter melts and begins to foam. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until brown specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan and the butter has a nutty aroma. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a standard 9"x 5" loaf pan.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Make a well in the center.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the cooled butter, bananas, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Pour into the well in the flour mixture. Stir just until combined or only a few small streaks of flour remain.
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Sprinkle the topping onto the batter.
  6. Bake 55 to 60 minutes, or until the bread has browned and a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then transfer the bread from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

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    10 Comments on “Brown Butter Banana Bread”

  1. This is one of the best banana breads I’ve made. It was gone in one afternoon (grandchildren). It was easy to make and definitely is a keeper. Thanks for such a great recipe.

  2. Normally I am not a fan of Banana Bread,  This recipe Is to die for, I did switch out the cinnamon for pumpkin pie spice.  Just bought enough bananas to make a few loafs & muffins.

  3. Hi
    Plz share how to replace eggs

  4. you can replace eggs with oatmilk

  5. The flavor is delicious but I’ve made this a couple of times and the cooking time or temp seems off. The outside gets crunchy but the inside stays gooey. I cooked it for over an hour before just deciding to eat it gooey. Any suggestions?

    • Hi, Carly. Are you by chance using a dark colored pan? The way you described the over-baked outside and under-baked inside is usually exactly what happens with dark pans. Also, if you’re using something besides a metal pan, then you can expect differences in the final result due to how those different materials conduct heat.

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