Cinnamon Brown Butter Banana Bread
April 2, 2020
Updated April 4, 2021
I feel like everyone is making banana bread right now! Have you noticed that too? It seems like all over social media, I’m seeing friends and family and fellow bloggers posting about this delicious bread. Why? Banana bread is super simple to make, and it uses really basic ingredients. Plus, it’s a great way to use up all the bananas you overbought. So here’s my version to add to the club, Cinnamon Brown Butter Banana Bread.
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Brown butter is one of those secret ingredients that just makes everything taste a little bit better. It adds a subtle nuttiness and extra depth of flavor to so many different dishes and baked goods. Knowing how to brown butter is a great skill to have in your repertoire. In a lot of cases, you can easily replace the butter in a recipe with brown butter.
What You Need to Get Started
You can easily find all of the ingredients for this brown butter banana bread at your grocery store:
- Fridge: Butter, Eggs
- Produce: Bananas
- Pantry: Brown sugar, Vanilla extract, Baking soda, White whole wheat flour
- Spice Rack: Cinnamon, Allspice, Salt
- Equipment: Ceramic pans, Potato masher or pastry blender, Loaf pan, Cooling rack
How to Make Brown Butter
You start by melting the butter in a small or medium saucepan, gently stirring. I like to use white ceramic pans, because it’s easy to see the color of the butter as it starts to brown. Brown butter can go from not-quite-done to burnt pretty quickly, so a light-colored pan is especially helpful.
After the butter is melted, it will start to crackle, and you’ll see foamy bubbles popping on the surface. This is the water in the butter cooking off, and it’s exactly what you want to happen. Stir to cook evenly.
After about five minutes, or a little longer, you’ll notice the milk solids drop to the bottom of the pan and begin to brown. Keep a close eye, and keep stirring. Once the butter is medium brown, and smells undeniably fragrant and nutty, immediately turn off the heat. Quickly transfer the brown butter to a large heat-proof bowl and set aside to cool.
Let’s Make Brown Butter Banana Bread
Start by smashing the bananas. I like to use bananas that are just past the point of ripeness that I’d want to eat them raw: yellow, and covered with brown spots. If your bananas get to that point early, you can always freeze them. Peel first, and freeze in a plastic bag. Then thaw in the fridge before using.
To smash, use a potato masher, a pastry blender, or a fork. For this, I find the potato masher to be the easiest. Mash them thoroughly, although a few small chunks are okay. They should get liquidy and begin to turn a golden brown.
In the large bowl with the brown butter, once it’s cooled to be nearly room temperature, add in the sugar and stir until combined. Then you’ll add the rest of the liquid ingredients: eggs and vanilla, and stir those in as well.
Next, add in the baking soda, salt, and spices, including plenty of cinnamon, and a little bit of allspice to add some more flavor. Allspice is fun because it has notes of many different other flavors, like clove and ginger. Be sure to stir thoroughly after this step. Then add in the mashed bananas and mix those in as well.
Finally, you can add in the flour. Do this slowly, so it’s easier to mix in. I like to add a cup at a time, but at the beginning, it may be easier to do even less at once. Mix with a spatula, so you can fold the flour into the wet ingredients. After this you can add in any nuts or chocolate chunks you might want.
Transfer the batter to a greased loaf pan. and bake at 350 degrees F for 55-60 minutes. When it’s done, a toothpick should come out of the center clean. Let it cool in the pan to set up for about 20 minutes. Then carefully transfer to a cooling rack until room temperature.
Banana bread is the perfect snack, moist and cozy and sweet. Try this version with nutty brown butter for the best banana bread you’ve ever tasted!
How to Serve Brown Butter Banana Bread
Wait until completely cool to slice this bread. Then, you can warm up in the microwave for about thirty seconds for a 3/4-inch thick slice. Top with a pat of butter. Or enjoy at room temperature, if you prefer. It makes a wonderful side dish for breakfast and brunch, or a fun afternoon snack.
For a quick and easy breakfast, complement the banana bread with a black forest cake smoothie. If you’re looking for dessert, add a scoop of creamy coffee ice cream. Or make a complete meal with something savory, like lentil-pecan breakfast sausage.
If you’re serving this with brunch, don’t forget the cocktails! A cinnamon, pear, rum cocktail will accentuate the cinnamon flavor. Or for something with a little more brightness, try a brûléed grapefruit brown derby, which also features brown sugar.
Use Up Leftover Ingredients
Cinnamon Brown Butter Banana Bread
- 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter (1 stick)
- 4 Bananas very ripe
- 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 Tbsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Allspice
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 2 Cups White Whole Wheat Flour
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Then continue cooking, swirling the pan gently, until the popping subsides, and small solid pieces down and brown. It should be nutty and fragrant. Once brown, remove from heat and transfer to a large heatproof bowl. Cool to room temperature.
- In a medium bowl, use a potato masher, pastry blender, or fork to mash the bananas. A few small chunks are okay, but it should be fairly liquidy and brown.
- In the bowl with the brown butter, add the sugar, and stir until combined. Then add the eggs and vanilla and thoroughly combine. Add in the baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, salt, and stir until combined. Finally, add in the mashed bananas.
- Once everything is combined, add the flour, one cup at a time, stirring until fully incorporated. If you'd like, fold in any chocolate chips or nuts. Then transfer to the prepared loaf pan.
- Bake for 55-65 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, and then transfer to a rack to cool completely before cutting. Serve the same day or store for later.
- Make ahead tips:
- Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for 2-3 days.
- You can also freeze by tightly double wrapping in foil for about 2-3 months. Thaw at room temperature overnight before cutting and serving.
- Freeze individual slices by tightly double wrapping in foil for about 2-3 months. Thaw in the microwave for 30 second-1 minute.
- Variations: There is so much you can do with banana bread, and I have tried so many different add-ons and mix-ins with this as my base recipe. To see them all, access the ebook in the Slumber & Scones library, available free to email subscribers.