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Two slices of the best banana bread on a square white plate

Best Banana Bread Recipe

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The Best Banana Bread Recipe is spiked with pecans and enhanced with nutty brown butter. Plus use my tips for perfect results every time!

This Moist Banana Bread is wonderful for breakfast, brunch or snack time! It’s destined to become a family favorite.

Brown Butter Banana Bread slices on a white ceramic tray

Best Banana Bread

I had a board meeting to attend back in 2013 when I first created this moist banana bread recipe. It was my turn to bring snacks and take minutes. Let me tell you, I’d rather bake all night long than have to take minutes, but I’m a volunteer, so I just do as I’m told.  This Classic Banana Walnut Bread is an old favorite and this Blueberry Muffin Bread is scrumptious, but I decided on a Banana Nut Bread with brown butter, and fruit for a nice mid-morning treat.

A partially sliced loaf of banana nut bread on a white platter

How to Make Moist Banana Nut Bread 

A girlfriend raved about Tyler Florence’s banana bread recipe. Since I wasn’t baking for my family I could add the chopped pecans. Plus a little grating of fresh nutmeg, cinnamon, and that flavorful brown butter would make a fabulous treat.

  • First, make the brown butter so it has a chance to cool. Feel free to use regular melted butter if you’re in a hurry, but brown butter offers a nutty taste with caramel undertones. It’s worth a try. Detailed instructions located below.
  • Spray the pan with Baker’s Joy and line the bottom with a piece of parchment, then spray that, too.  PRO-Tip: An oil and flour spray helps prevent the loaf from sticking to the pan.
  • Follow the mixing directions in the recipe. Part of the banana is mashed and part is beaten. The dry ingredients are whisked together, but once they’re added to the wet ingredients, they should be mixed with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
  • PRO Tip: Using a mixer or whisk to incorporate the dry ingredients will overdevelop the gluten and create undesirable tunnels! It’s better to have a few small clumps of the dry mixture in the batter than to overmix it.
  • Add walnuts instead of pecans if that’s your preference. Substitute chocolate chips if you’re not a fan of nuts or leave them out without substituting.
  • Make sure to cool the bread on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan to finish cooling. This gives the bread a little time to firm up before removing the loaf from the pan.
2 slices of Best Banana Bread on a square white plate with the rest of the loaf in the background

How to Make Brown Butter or Beurre Noisette

After making brown butter cookies last week, I just had to brown some more butter to give this loaf even more nuttiness.  To make brown butter, start by slicing the butter into tablespoon-sized chunks. Cook over moderate heat, swirling occasionally until it begins to brown and smell nutty. I used salted butter, but unsalted is actually preferred as it doesn’t foam as much and it’s easier to see the color change.

Use a heavy saucepan, preferably stainless steel, as it’s hard to watch for browning with a dark finish. Don’t walk away as the butter goes from yellow to brown quickly, and if it burns, you’ll need to toss it and start over.

The browning comes from the heat of the burner toasting the milk solids. Coincidentally, this Maillard reaction is what gives seared and grilled meat their delicious flavor and aroma. The chemical reaction transforms amino acids and sugars into hundreds of flavor compounds!

PRO-Tip: There are 3 types of brown butter according to the Science of  Cooking: ” A lightly browned butter with mild flavors, a golden brown butter, and a dark brown butter sauce mainly found in baked goods.” My preference is a brown butter somewhere between the golden brown stage and the dark brown butter stage.

Tray of sliced Nutty Brown Butter Banana Bread with fruit

How Long to Bake Banana Nut Bread

The time will vary a bit depending on your oven, the kind of pan you use (glass, metal or ceramic) along with the size and ripeness of your bananas. This batch took 1 hour and 15 minutes. I tested by inserting a toothpick into the crack along the top. When I pulled it out, it was clean of batter, indicating the loaf was done. 

How to Store Banana Bread

Store your banana bread in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Add a paper towel to the container to absorb any excess moisture.

After 2-3 days, it’s wise to wrap the bread well in plastic wrap and move it to the refrigerator. Since the fridge is a dry environment, it must be wrapped well. This will extend its lifespan for a few more days, or up to a week after baking.

Banana bread, like most quick bread, freezes wonderfully. To prevent it from drying, besides wrapping well in plastic, add a layer of aluminum foil. Bread keeps well in the freezer for up to 3 months.

How to Ripen Bananas More Quickly

I like to buy green bananas so they don’t get bruised on the trip home from the market. They eventually ripen when left at room temperature. But if you’re in a hurry to use them in a recipe, you can speed up the ripening process by placing them in a brown paper sack. The bananas excrete ethylene gas which accelerates the ripening process. The bag prevents the gas from escaping into the air so it can work its magic on the bananas.

If you need a process that takes minutes, not days, you can roast your bananas to soften and concentrate the flavors. Simply place the bananas (yellow, not green) on a sheet pan, preheat the oven to 350º and cook for 15-30 minutes, until the peels area dark brown. Cool and use as directed.

This is truly the best banana bread. Katie, the nut avoider, ate 3 slices with nary a complaint. That says something!

More Quick Bread Recipes

This recipe was first shared in January 2013. The text and recipe were updated in 2020.

Two slices of the best banana bread on a square white plate

The Best Banana Bread Recipe

An extra nutty banana bread with brown butter and pecans.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Yield 1 loaf

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, cooked over medium high heat till just browned with a nutty fragrance, then cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Spray 9 x 5 loaf pan with Baker's Joy or another non-stick cooking spray. Add a rectangle of parchment paper to the bottom and spray that, too. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. With a fork, mash two of the bananas so they still have a bit of texture. With an electric mixer, beat the remaining bananas and sugar till light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the brown butter, eggs, and vanilla and beat well. Mix in the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, just until incorporated.
  5. Then fold in the nuts and the mashed bananas with a rubber spatula. Do not overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Give the pan a good rap on the counter to get any air bubbles out.
  6. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool the bread for about 10 minutes, and remove loaf from pan to wire rack to finish cooling. Slice when cooled completely.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Tyler Florence.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 219Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 214mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 2gSugar: 22gProtein: 4g

HOW MUCH DID YOU LOVE THIS RECIPE?

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54 comments on “Best Banana Bread Recipe”

  1. One could argue that the same recipe with brown butter is a new experience… there are never too many good banana bread recipes, and this one sounds awesome! That pan is amazing by the way!

  2. Wow! This banana bread looks and sounds incredible, Liz!!

  3. Lizzy,
    This banana bread looks so good. You can never have too many recipes.

  4. That is a GREAT endorsement. Occasionally I’ll bake something that my daughters will eat “even though” it has nuts in it. That’s how I know I’ve hit a home run!

  5. You had me at browned butter. I can just imagine how great that loaf made your kitchen smell while it baked.

  6. I think you chose a wonderful item to make – even makes me wish I was at the Board meeting with you – just to enjoy the treats you brought! Any kind of banana bread is a favourite of mine – thanks for your adapted recipe, especially with the browned butter added – as I hit “print”!

  7. What great looking banana bread! I love that you’ve used browned butter. It’s making me hungry just looking at that picture of the bread and fruit platter!. Great addition to the Improv Challenge! I made fried bananas with a brown sugar sauce.

  8. I love banana bread and this recipe looks great.
    Hey Liz, the last banana bread I made I used no eggs. It was a vegetarian blog and had flaxseed meal and applesauce in it instead. It was fabulous. I liked it particularly because it gave me one more use for the flaxseed meal in my ice-box.
    Anyway, take care.

  9. I love banana loaf and need to create a grain and nut-free one. I’m sure it is doable. I hope the meeting went well.

  10. What a great recipe! I think banana bread is a lot like chocolate in the way that there is always room for another way to eat it! Looking forward to trying this!

  11. Sounds like a cool pan to try. Brown butter just brings a depth to the flavor, it is unbeatable. This bread looks scrumptious.

  12. Brown butter makes anything better, love this banana bread Liz!

  13. I really love this Lizzy!! hugs!!

  14. Sometimes ya gotta stick with the classics!!

    And you know how I feel about browned buttterrrrrr mmmmmmmmmmm

  15. What a lovely recipe, and that loaf pan sure looks great. How nice that even the left overs were gobbled up.
    I used to love taking minutes because that meant I didn’t have to talk!

  16. This year I definitely need to start experimenting to bake with brown butter. Have not attempted it because of the fear of burning the butter. LOL.. However, your banana bread sounds heavenly. Love them plain and with nuts is even better. Moist and crunchy from the nuts. Great texture!! ♥ ♥ Jo

  17. Oh yeah, Silicone base is definitely a good one and makes our life easy… great looking banana bread!

  18. Can you believe I have never browned butter? Seriously I need to get on this fad soon. Pecans and banana bread sound lovely.

  19. I have never worked with brown butter…. but I bet this nutty banana bread was fabulous (well you made it after all). 🙂 I love that your daughter ate three slices… that’s enough of an endorsement for me. 🙂 PS.. the Curtis Stone bakeware sounds wonderful. 🙂

  20. Don’t know about unoriginal, dear Liz. You’ve added very gourmet twists (fresh grated nutmeat, browned butter) to one of my favorite comfort foods. Encore, felicitations for a brilliant baking performance mon amie =)

  21. You’ve pretty much made the perfect banana bread here. I loooove anything with brown butter. It just seems to take the flavor to a higher level. But that combined with the bananas and pecans and all those lovely warm spices, this just sounds amazing. Lovely!

  22. I need to show this to my sister. She loves baking banana bread and maybe she’d want a variation.

  23. Liz, I like your banana bread picts and the recipe sounds yummy. I bet the pecans and brown butter are a great combination.

    Thanks for checking out my Breakfast Cookies.

  24. Hi Lizzy, congratulation with the move! How do you like it here, on WordPress? Mmm, that bread looks fantastic! Have some bananas I need to use, I shell make it tomorrow… 🙂

  25. Your banana breads sounds delicious. Nothing wrong with banana bread, I can eat banana bread anytime.

  26. Ah, it looks so moist! I love the browned butter in this =)

  27. Lizzy, it may not be original but hey if it tastes great, who cares? Your daughter eating three slices without detecting the presence of pecans is testament to how good it really is!

  28. Personally, I’m glad you made banana bread and you gave me a few new ideas for my next loaf (using brown butter and I love love love how you paired it with the beautiful fruit – totally doing this for the next school function I need to bring food to)

  29. One of the first things I noticed was how perfectly shaped the loaf is. That pan is a must have and so is this delicious looking bread. I havne’t had the pleasure of using fresh nutmeg but I’m looking forward to it.

  30. There ain’t nothing wrong with good old banana bread. In the food blogging world, it’s rare we get to see classics like this. More commonly, we find cookie-stuffed, cream cheese-filled, candy-studded brownies or the like. You’ve got to stop torturing me with your brown butter goodies!

  31. I’ll take mine toasted with a drizzle of that brown butter on it.
    Mimi

  32. I’ve made this recipe, and it is tasty. Your bread looks beautiful and your photos are stunning.

  33. Perfect timing, Liz. I’ve had a banana bread craving lately and you’ve saved me the trouble of searching out a recipe. 🙂

  34. I love Tyler Florence’s banana bread recipe! Great pictures.

  35. The addition of browned butter really takes this to a whole new level and totally surpasses “regular ol’ banana bread”!

  36. I am getting more curious about this brown butter thing. When we make desi ghee out of butter sometimes we brown a bit to get that nutty flavor. I just have to try to find what’s the difference in both. Have a great weekend!

  37. Sometimes it’s not about making something creative as much as making something totally delicious. Your banana bread looks wonderful.

  38. This looks absolutely wonderful and what a gorgeous, innovative presentation!

  39. The presentation is beautiful as always 🙂 Love how easy the recipe sounds…
    I’ll try it this weekend

  40. Brown butter makes everything…just that much better! thanks for the linky 🙂

  41. My resident baker husband Murray has adopted this recipe now to replace his old banana nut bread. The nutty butter addition is the bomb! For a baker like him, however, who reads and checks the recipe to make sure he hasn’t forgotten something, you didn’t include adding the sugar anywhere in the dry or wet ingredients so he was at a loss as to where to add this. You might want to edit your instructions to either add it with the dry ingredients, or mix it with the mashed bananas, so it’s not left on the counter. Kaye

  42. I just love this easy recipe and my sons both ask for this banana bread often so I make a few and freeze them such a great moist loaf thanks!

  43. This bread is DELICIOUS. I’ve never made banana bread with browned butter before and what a game changer!

  44. Brown butter makes a HUGE difference! Your banana bread looks stunning, Liz.

  45. What a coincidence, my dear friend and neighbour just baked a lovely Keto banana bread and she dropped a couple of slices on the porch, still warm and wrapped in aluminium foil. It was awesome. This one looks really good too, love the addition of nuts.

  46. Browned butter?!? Say no more. This is the best banana bread ever. We have been getting our fair share of bananas as thinking this is something easily peel-able and safe for consumption. However, we are never able to eat them all fresh so banana bread it is.

  47. How did you know that tomorrow I was baking banana bread? I’ve had a few requests and this was one of them! Just might have to try this recipe! I love anything with browned butter!

  48.  This banana bread certainly looks delicious. I read today that banana bread has become the item that everyone is baking in lockdown.

  49. I love the idea of brown butter in the banana bread…it looks delicious and I bet that the brown butter enhances even more the flavor of this banana bread.
    Thanks for the recipe Liz and stay safe!

  50. I love banana bread toasted with butter with my coffee for breakfast or afternoon snack. The best! 🙂 ~Valentina

  51. I’m always skeptical about any banana bread claiming to be the best, but from you I believe it!

  52. I like to make banana bread and always seem to have a couple of bananas that just say “Use me now.” Never have used brown butter with my various recipes. This sounds like it’s worth a try.

  53. I am always on the hunt for new banana bread recipes, the brown butter must add such great flavour.

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