Browned Butter Banana Nut Bread is made by browning butter to add a toasty taste and then loading and topping the bread with chopped walnuts to add even more nutty flavor. It is definitely a step up from traditional banana bread and possibly my new favorite way to enjoy it! If you prefer a recipe without nuts, I also have my Best Banana Bread Recipe you will want to try.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Butter: For best results, use unsalted butter to brown for this recipe. Salted butter can be harder to judge the color change (which is important to watch carefully) because it foams more as it melts. This can result in burned butter, not browned butter.
Bananas: I used 4 large ripe bananas. You could also use 5 medium-sized or 6 small bananas.
Nuts: Chopped walnuts are added to the batter and on top before the bread is baked. If preferred, try the bread with pecans, macadamia nuts, or hazelnuts. Just be sure the nuts are chopped properly before adding them to the batter. Or, omit the nuts altogether.
Do I Have To Brown the Butter?
If you want the best-tasting banana bread that you have ever had, yes, you need to brown the butter first. Browned butter packs more flavor when compared to just plain old melted butter. In fact, if you do a taste test comparing browned butter vs. melted, you will be able to taste the difference yourself. Browned butter gives off a nutty, more complex flavor after the water evaporates, which adds flavor to recipes.
Can I Brown Butter Ahead of Time?
Yes! If you want to get a head start on browned butter banana nut bread, brown the butter ahead of time. Once cooled, browned butter will last in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days! Or, for even longer storage, freeze it for up to 3 months.
More Delicious Ways to Use Browned Butter
Now that you know how much flavor browning butter can add to your recipes, here are a few of my favorites:
- Browned Butter Toffee Cookies
- Browned Butter Toffee Cookies with Chocolate Chunks
- Brown Butter Fudge
- Homemade Five Cheese Ravioli with Garlic Browned Butter Sauce
- Baked Brown Butter Honey Glazed Salmon
- Browned Butter Brussels Sprouts
Storing Browned Butter Banana Nut Bread
Room Temperature: Store banana nut bread in an airtight container, uncut, for up to 3 days at room temperature. (For a little bit longer storage, you could store the bread in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.)
To Freeze: To freeze banana nut bread, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and place it into an airtight container or freezer-safe sealable plastic bag. Label and date the packaging; it will last up to a few months in the freezer.
Browned Butter Banana Nut Bread
- ½ cup (1 stick / 113 g) unsalted butter
- 1 ½ cups (187.5 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 large ripe bananas, mashed (about 2 cups)
- ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup chopped walnuts, divided
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8×4-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.
- In a stainless steel skillet (or another light-bottomed pan) over medium-high heat, melt the butter, swirling the pan occasionally. The butter will begin to foam, which signals the water in the butter is boiling off. (Watch closely at this stage; browned butter and burnt butter are within seconds of each other.) Tiny brown specs of milk solids will begin to appear at the bottom of the pan; constantly stir and scrape these off using a spatula so they don't stick. As soon as the butter turns chestnut brown and smells nutty, remove the pan from the heat.
- In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mash bananas with a fork. (You can use up to 5 regular-sized bananas or 6 small bananas in this recipe.)
- To the bananas, add browned butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Mix well.
- Add the dry ingredients, mixing until ingredients are JUST incorporated. (Be careful not to overmix.)
- Gently fold in ¾ cup of chopped walnuts.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Top with the remaining ¼ cup walnuts.
- Bake for 35 minutes.
- After 35 minutes, cover with aluminum foil. Bake for an additional 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with crumbs, but not wet batter.
- Let the bread cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack or plate to cool completely. Slice and enjoy!
Did you make this recipe?
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What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:
Your whole house is going to smell AMAZING! As if Banana Bread wasn't good enough. This bread goes over the top with browned butter and chopped walnuts, so impressive!!
Wow, just wow! I have always loved banana bread, and this recipe just kicked it up a notch in flavor and texture. If you love nuts in bread, they really shine in this recipe because of the browned butter. YUM!
The banana bread was moist and delicious. It is certainly nutty. The walnuts add a little crunch and texture to it. This is a classic banana bread but the browned butter makes it more interesting!
The browned butter definitely brought this to the top of your average banana bread recipe. My family has nut allergies, so it is not a recipe I could follow to a 'T', but I am going to try it without the nuts and see what they think! Great presentation!!
Perfectly moist and so full of flavor. The browned butter kicks this up a notch and really makes the nutty flavor stand out!