Brown Butter Banana Bread
This brown butter banana bread is simple to make. Whole wheat and almond flour add flavor and added nutrition.
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.
This brown butter banana bread is actually a simple twist on my favorite healthy banana bread, which my mom used to make for us all the time growing up. It involves brown butter, which is a wonderful thing.
Butter is made up of three components: fat, milk solids, and water. Most standard American butter is comprised of about 80% pure butterfat, whereas European butters generally contain roughly 83-84% butterfat, which for pastries is a superior thing.
The other 20% is water and milk solids. When you make clarified 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.
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 added flavor. It is incredibly fragrant and nutty.
This banana bread recipes uses part whole wheat flour and almond flour for added flavor and nutrition. To really bring it to the next level, you could even choose to top this bread with a brown butter glaze!
Brown Butter Banana Bread
- 8 tablespoons (115g) unsalted butter
- ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 1¼ cups mashed very ripe banana about 3 medium-sized bananas
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup (120g) whole wheat flour
- ½ cup (60g) unbleached all purpose flour
- ½ cup (55g) fine almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅓ cup (80 mL) boiling or very hot water
- How to Brown Butter: Put the butter in small saucepan and place over low heat. The butter will quickly begin to bubble and foam, swirl the pan continuously and use a whisk to stir the butter continuously. Once the butter becomes fragrant and you notice brown bits forming at the bottom, remove from the heat immediately and transfer to a small bowl. Allow to cool until lukewarm or room temperature.
- Prepare Banana Bread: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) with a rack in the center position. Lightly grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix the cooled brown butter, granulated sugar, and mashed banana until mostly smooth. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs one at a time beating until incorporated.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry flour in three additions, alternating with two additions of hot water, allowing the dry ingredients to be absorbed fully with each addition. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure that all of the ingredients have incorporated evenly.
- Transfer the batter into the greased loaf pan. Use a spatula to smooth the surface. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set pan on a wire rack and allow the loaf to cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before serving.
20 Comments on “Brown Butter Banana Bread”
Thank you for a great and delicious recipe, as always!
I had a little suggestion, maybe mentioning that the sugar should not be mixed with the dry ingredients? Although this may be obvious to others, I may or may not have mixed it in with the flours at the beginning and had to improvise 🙂
Otherwise the recipe was very clear and easy. Thanks for all the wonderful recipes
Will clarify this now, thanks for the suggestion and glad to hear you enjoyed the banana bread!
In trying to make Ghee for the first time, I melted 8 ounces of expensive pastier raised butter.
How can I use this for the Banana Bread recipe?
Laura, thank you so much for this recipe! My family loved it and polished the whole loaf in a day. And brown butter has been such a revelation, can’t wait to use it in more recipes. This recipe though, is definitely a keeper 🙂
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!!
Love the brown butter here. I’m sure it tastes so much more delish than regular banana bread 🙂
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 🙂
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!
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!
When our bananas get too ripe we always make banana bread.. Never though of browning the butter!!! Need to try it next time
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).
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.
Sounds great! Thanks for sharing this! 🙂
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!
Ooo! Sounds delish 🙂 could you tell me what the difference is between brown butter and ghee? Could I use ghee in this recipe? Thanks!!
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!