Banana bread is unbeatable when it comes to breakfast, and we can barely contain ourselves in its presence. With some clever naming, we've somehow tricked ourselves into making it acceptable to consume what's essentially a piece of cake before 10 a.m. To justify reaching for the inevitable second slice, we've come up with a version that has about half the butter and sugar of other banana bread recipes.
The result is still wonderfully moist and allows the sweetness of the ripe bananas to shine. The key differences that make this banana bread recipe special? Brown butter and brown sugar. Browning the butter adds a hint of addictive nuttiness, and brown sugar adds a richness from the molasses. Decorate the top of the bread with a Pinterest-approved banana sliced in half and brush the loaf with more brown butter when it comes out of the oven. Good luck having any leftovers.
Brown-Butter Banana Bread Recipe
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
Nonstick cooking spray, for greasing
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3 large ripe bananas, mashed, plus 1 halved lengthwise for decoration
3 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup dark brown sugar, plus more for coating
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1. Preheat the oven to 350˚. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
2. In a light-colored sauté pan, brown the butter and set aside. In a small bowl, reserve 2 tablespoons of the browned butter for basting; let cool slightly.
3. In a medium bowl, mix the mashed bananas with the eggs until fully incorporated.
4. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Using your hands, break apart any large clumps of sugar that remain. Pour the banana mixture into the dry ingredients and mix together until just combined. Pour in the 8 tablespoons of melted brown butter and stir until fully incorporated.
5. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan. Dip the 2 banana halves in some brown sugar cut-sides down; dust off any excess sugar. Place the sugared bananas in the batter cut-sides up and bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes.
6. Once the banana bread has finished cooking, brush the top with the 2 tablespoons of reserved browned butter. Allow the banana bread to cool; serve slightly warm or completely cooled.