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This brown butter banana bread features a soft crumb and moist texture. The brown butter gives it a rich and nutty flavor you can’t get anywhere else, while the sugar and banana give it a sweet flavor we all love in classic banana bread. You’ll need about 3 large overripe bananas!

a loaf of brown butter banana bread sliced into pieces
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The base of this recipe comes from my favorite classic banana bread recipe that we use in our Nutella banana bread and apple banana bread. It’s a classic recipe you can print, get dirty, and pass on to your family for years. You may even memorize it.

We love to take classic, tried, and true recipes and put a twist on them. Baking with banana bread takes the butter and pulls that nutty buttery flavor to the forefront. Dare I say this is the best banana bread? Maybe even better than the original?

File this recipe for when you see those spotty bananas in the pantry. They’re waiting to become moist brown butter banana bread!

Why You’ll Love this Brown Butter Banana Bread

  • Easy to make with one bowl—no hand mixer necessary.
  • Browned butter has a distinctly rich, nutty, and toasty flavor you can’t get anywhere else.
  • Bursting with banana flavor (from 1 1/2 cups of mashed bananas!).
  • Freezes well for make-ahead holidays and parties.
  • Easy to customize with add-ins like chopped nuts or chocolate chips.
  • The perfect texture —ultra-soft with moist crumbs.
5 stacked slices of brown butter banana bread

Ingredients You Need

Here are the simple ingredients to make this homemade banana bread. Jump down to the recipe card for exact measurements.

brown butter banana bread ingredients
  • Bananas: use ripe bananas that are brown are brown and spotty for sweeter flavor.
  • Unsalted butter: using unsalted butter let’s you control the amount of salt in the recipe. Use quality butter for best results.
  • Flour: all-purpose flour or 1:1 gluten-free flour (like Bob’s Red Mill) work well.
  • Baking soda and baking powder: the mixture of baking soda and baking powder help the banana bread rise. Make sure they’re not expired!
  • Salt and vanilla extract: for flavor.
  • Brown sugar: you can use light brown sugar or dark brown sugar, which plays well with the rich flavors of the butter.
  • Granulated sugar: for more sweetness
  • Eggs: to bind the bread together. I’ve swapped these for 1/2 cup of applesauce and it worked well.
  • Sour cream: the acid in sour cream brings moisture back into the bread that was lost when browning the butter. Because sour cream is a good substitute for yogurt in baking, you can also use plain yogurt here.

How to Make Brown Butter

Slice the butter into equal pieces so they cook evenly. Swirl in a small saucepan over medium to melt.

The butter will begin to bubble and foam. Around the 5 minute mark, some bubbles will subside and you’ll see the milk solids start to toast. They’ll turn a deep golden brown color and smell buttery and nutty. Immediately remove it from the heat and pour it into a medium bowl to cool.

How to Make Brown Butter Banana Bread

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Jump to recipe for the printable instructions.

Mix Dry Ingredients

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

flour, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl

Mix Wet Ingredients

Mash bananas in a large bowl and measure out 1 1/2 cups or weigh 345g. Add the brown butter, eggs, sour cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla stir to combine.

Success tip: all bananas are different sizes, so weigh the bananas for best results, but measuring in cups works too.

wet ingredients in a mixing bowl for brown butter banana bread

Combine the Batter

Pour the flour mixture into the banana mixture and use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix until completely combined. Be careful not to over mix.

brown butter banana bread batter in a mixing bowl

Bake

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread it out. Slice a banana in half lengthwise and place it cut-side-up (optional). Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the top and sides are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out with a few moist crumbs.

Is it looking too brown? Tent it with aluminum foil and finish baking.

Ripen Bananas Quickly

Sometimes the craving strikes when your bananas aren’t ripe enough. Here’s how to ripen them quickly!

  • 20-Minute Method: place the bananas (with the peel) on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 250°F. Reduce the bake time based on initial ripeness.
  • One-day method: put the bananas in a paper bag, close and leave it at room temperature and you’ll have ripe bananas the next day. The ethylene the bananas release speeds up the ripening. Add an apple to speed this process up even more.

FAQs and Quick Tips

What does browning butter do?

Browning butter separates and toasts the milk solids for a nutty aroma and flavor. See the section above for more details about baking with brown butter.

What makes banana bread dense?

Baked goods, especially cakes and quick bread, can become too dense when they’re over-mixed. Mixing the dough too much will overdevelop the gluten, and that’s what causes dense and springy banana bread. Working the gluten is ideal for yeast bread, like our pecan sticky buns, but not for quick bread.

Can bananas be too brown for banana bread?

The bananas should be covered all over in brown spots with a noticeable banana fragrance. You can also use bananas that are mostly covered in brown. If they’re looking ripe, pull the peel away and double check the banana itself isn’t covered in brown spots.

Why is my banana bread gooey in the middle?

If the center is gooey the banana bread is underbaked. Stick a toothpick in the center of the bread to see if it comes out just barely clean. Use a medium-dark baking pan for even baking.

Storing Leftovers

Allow the brown butter banana bread to cool completely then wrap it in plastic wrap or store in an airtight container at room temperate for 2 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Baked banana bread will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 4 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and serve cold or warm each piece in the microwave and enjoy with butter.

a piece of brown butter banana bread with butter

If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!

Tap stars to rate!
5 from 14 votes

Brown Butter Banana Bread Recipe

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
This brown butter banana bread features a soft crumb and moist texture. The brown sugar and banana give it a sweet flavor we all love in classic banana bread, while the brown butter gives it a unique, rich, and nutty flavor you can't get anywhere else.

Save this Recipe!

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Servings: 12 slices

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (1 stick; 113g) unsalted butter cut into equal slices
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (1:1 gluten-free flour if needed) spooned and leveled
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (345g) very ripe mashed bananas (about 3 large bananas) plus an additional banana for topping
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup (60g) sour cream or greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup (50g) of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray and line the center with a piece of parchment paper.
  • Brown the butter: Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Swirl to melt and continue to stir until it bubbles and foams. Some bubbles will subside around the 5-minutes and the milk solids will toast and turn a golden brown. It should smell buttery and nutty. Immediately remove it from the heat to a separate bowl.
    brown butter in a bowl
  • Mix dry ingredients: while the butter is cooling, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  • Combine wet ingredients: Mash the banana with a fork and measure out 1 1/2 cups or weight (345g) it for best results. Mix it with the brown butter, eggs, sour cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. and whisk well until combined and all of the lumps are gone. It's okay to have some lumps of bananas.
  • Combine the batter: Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix until completely combined. Be careful not to over mix.
  • Bake: Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Slice another ripe banana down the center lengthwise and add it to the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, until the top and sides are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Tent with foil if it looks to brown.
  • Cool and serve: Allow the bread to cool in the loaf pan for 15 minutes. Use the parchment paper to pull it out of the pan then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve plain or with butter.
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 318kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 212mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 336IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe Rating




18 Comments

  1. Nancy says:

    Can this recipe be reduced (cut in half, quarters, etc.)? Would it be better for that to use something like a muffin tin or cupcake tin instead of a loaf pan? 🙂

    1. Molly Thompson says:

      Hey Nancy!! Yes, you can cut this recipe in half and turn them into muffins.

  2. Esther says:

    5 stars
    It’s great! Easy to make and super delicious…not overtly sweet. I even tried the ripening banana trick…worked like a charm!

    1. Molly Thompson says:

      Love it, Esther! That trick has saved me so many times when I’m craving banana bread but don’t have overripe bananas:) I hope you try more of my recipes!

  3. Maureen Elow says:

    Haven’t baked this yet but noticed there are two typos in the Storage and Freezing instructions (write, temperate)

    1. Molly Thompson says:

      Thanks! I made those updates.

  4. Joyce says:

    5 stars
    This banana bread is still good even if you sub the AP flour with whole wheat pastry flour, use less sugar, and add cinnamon and nutmeg!

    1. Molly Thompson says:

      Thanks for sharing, Joyce! Love that you adapted and shared your changes! Thanks.

  5. Amber says:

    5 stars
    Made these the other night for my family and they ate the whole loaf right away. Best banana bread I’ve ever had! So moist!! 🥰 thank you Molly!

    1. Molly Thompson says:

      The best compliment!!! Thanks, Amber! I love it.

  6. Maria says:

    5 stars
    This was amazing!!

    1. Molly Thompson says:

      Thanks, Maria!!

  7. Grace says:

    5 stars
    This Banana bread was so moist definitely making again!!

    1. Molly Thompson says:

      Thanks, Grace!!

  8. Erin says:

    The recipe says 1/2 cup butter and directions say 1 cup. Which is correct?

    1. Molly Thompson says:

      It’s 1/2 cup!

  9. Nic says:

    This recipe is AMAZING 😍😍😍😍

    I made it gluten free and my family loved it.

    Thank you!!

  10. Jideofor says:

    5 stars
    Looks Delicious