Brown Butter Muscovado Banana Bread

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I’m having one of those so-much-to-say-I-have-nothing-to-say moments. Maybe it’s because it’s getting cooler? The sky a little darker? Or perhaps because I have a moment to breathe. I was going to talk about how busy I’ve been. We’ve been. How I haven’t taken two seconds to  pause. None of us have. How grateful I am for the work I’ve been getting. I’m talking grateful beyond words. How I secretly hope that it doesn’t stop. My kids are happy. And nice. And seem generally good with life. It’s chilly. I make banana bread.

Election coverage. It’s unsettling. And almost over. Also unsettling. Thoughts of gingerbread and Christmas lights flicker through my mind. Stella listens to Halsey. Gavin sneaks Minecraft. We eat crispy shredded beef tacos. More school. More work. More sports. More banana bread. We love it. But the chocolate sinks. We eat more. We rush to school…rush to sports. Sleep a bit…rush a bit…sleep a bit. I get a new project. I make more banana bread. It tastes delicious. The middle sinks. Just a hair. But just enough. We agree it’s the best we’ve had. Tired. We sleep early. Insomnia. 1am…2am…3am…making cookies and breakfast buns and banana bread. Coordinating oven time so everything’s done by the start of school. By noon, a nap. Halloween is perfect. Not in a fairy tale way. Messy perfect. We wear jackets and scarves and fingerless mittens. The kids have homework. On Halloween. Don’t get me started. Dark clouds line the mountains pretending to threaten rain. Wine in a coffee thermos. Sweet fairies in tutus. Darting from door-to-door, chatting with familiar faces. Laughing. Happy screams in the distance. Candy swapping until late. Monday Halloween vs. Saturday Halloween. Talk of turkey bingo. We fall asleep late. Wake up tired. Homework not done. Candy wrappers strewn across the floor. Costumes still worn. We stay home. All of us. With blankets and pillows and forts in the living room. We make banana bread. Pajamas on. Hair uncombed. Barefoot. We decide it’s the best we’ve ever had.

Before We Get Started:

  • Brown Butter. I love to brown butter and shove it in everything…sweet or savory. I explain the process in the instructions below, but my biggest tip of all is to not walk away from your pan while you’re browning butter. It will go from melted butter to burnt in the blink of an eye. So do yourself a favor and stand watch. As soon as the milk solids start turning a nice and toasty bronze, remove the pan from the heat and pour the browned butter into your electric-stand mixer (if using) or a bowl.
  • Muscovado. I absolutely adore muscovado in baked goods. Muscovado is an unprocessed sugar that hasn’t had the molasses removed. It has a wet, sand-like texture and brings lots of caramel and toffee notes to everything it touches. It’s magic. And a match made in heaven with brown butter and bananas. However, I’m all about options. I tested this recipe with light and dark brown sugar and both worked great. If you want to dip your toe in the muscovado water, this is a great recipe to do so. My favorite brand is the India Tree Dark Muscovado Sugar (you can get it on Amazon). If you can’t be bothered, don’t. Ain’t no shame in your game.
  • Bananas. You’ll need FIVE bananas for this recipe. We’re not kidding. It’s banana bread. I LOVE the banana on top…both from a looks + taste perspective. I love the mega banana flavor it gives to the bread. But if you only have the three bananas needed for the actually bread, skip the top and don’t sweat it. Also, you want your banana ripe and getting brown spots on the peel. But you don’t want an overly ripe banana that’s mushy and whose taste has gone off… you know what I’m talking about? The flavor goes bad if they are too ripe…don’t waste your time making bread with those bananas.
  • Espresso. If you don’t have any espresso handy, go for some fresh brewed, strong coffee. Works perfect. I realize not everyone has an espresso machine. And if you don’t, you should get one. I couldn’t live without mine. Let me know if we need to talk about this more.
  • White Whole Wheat Flour. I feel like this recipe is a highlight reel of all of my favorite things. I love baking with white whole wheat flour…it lends this gentle flavor and texture that can’t be matched. I have so many recipes (cookies and other fun stuff) using this flour that I highly recommend you get yourself some. I haven’t tested this recipe using other flours, so if you get frisky and mess around with the flours I hope you’ll leave notes in the comments below.
  • Bread Tins. More important than the size of your bread tin, is how high you fill it with batter. Fill your tins somewhere between 1/2 and 3/4 full (and not a hair more). This beauty is going to rise and you don’t want to have it spilling over…like it did during one of my tests. All over my oven. Disaster. You can make two bread loaves like I did here or during another test, I used half of the batter for muffins (and reduced the bake time for those). Because sometimes it’s fun to mix it up. …Sometimes. In terms of bread tin size, I used my Ovenex which is about 7 1/2 X 4 and another bread tin that is a touch larger.
  • Chocolate. I am a card-carrying chocolate whore. If I could bathe in a pool of it nightly, I would. But, I realize some people, like my dad, would just rather I left it out of everything I bake. That’s fair. So, don’t feel tethered to the 1 1/2 cups of chocolate I throw in here. Get frisky and throw in toasted + chopped pecans or nothing at all. This is your banana bread. OWN IT.
  • Put a Banana On It. The entire reason I fell down the rabbit hole of this recipes was so I could bake a loaf of banana bread with a banana on top. True story. I liked the way it looked with the cut side of the banana down best, but I’ve seen people put the cut side up. Let your conscience be your guide. ***If you are not going to eat the banana bread the same day that you bake it, you might consider skipping the pretty banana on top. It gets a touch weepy if it sits around. However, if you’re eating the bread the same day that you bake it and you want an A+ for presentation, put the banana on top.
  • Inspiration. I always like to give a shout out to my inspiration for recipes… First, Deborah from @rainydaybites made the banana bread from The Hot Bread Kitchen cookbook. If you don’t have this cookbook and baking bread interests you, get it. It’s a wonderful book…and the pita recipe is life changing. They bake their banana bread for a whopping two hours. I had to try it. Second, Mary Ann from @thebeachhousekitchen paraded a banana bread made with brown butter across social media and I was dumbfounded…why had I never tried this? Lastly, one of my favorite banana bread recipes is from the first Canyon Ranch cookbook and I love it. I borrowed the espresso in the bread from their recipe. Love me some good inspo.

Let’s BAKE betches!!

Brown Butter Muscovado Banana Bread | recipe via DisplacedHousewife | this is next level banana bread...loaded with spices and espresso and dotted with chocolate

Brown Butter Muscovado Banana Bread | recipe via DisplacedHousewife | this is next level banana bread...loaded with spices and espresso and dotted with chocolate

whoBrown Butter Muscovado Banana Bread | recipe via DisplacedHousewife | this is next level banana bread...loaded with spices and espresso and dotted with chocolatel

Brown Butter Muscovado Banana Bread | recipe via DisplacedHousewife | this is next level banana bread...loaded with spices and espresso and dotted with chocolate

Brown Butter Muscovado Banana Bread | recipe via DisplacedHousewife | this is next level banana bread...loaded with spices and espresso and dotted with chocolate

Brown Butter Muscovado Banana Bread

Makes Two Loaves


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed + 2 bananas cut lengthwise for the top of the bread
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup muscovado or brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cup buttermilk, room temperature, shaken
  • 2 tablespoons espresso or fresh-brewed, strong coffee
  • 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup white whole-wheat flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ teaspoon all spice
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 ½ cups chocolate chips


  1. Preheat your oven to 275 degrees F and place a rack in the top third of your oven. Butter and flour you bread pans. If you’re feeling it, add some parchment paper to the pans (see photo) to make it easier to pull the loaves out of the pans when done.
  2.  Place the butter in a small sauce pan and melt over medium heat. Once melted, crank up the heat to medium high. Stand by, stirring and watching. This isn’t the time to go and put your dry ingredients together. Small golden bits will start to settle on the bottom of the pan and it will start to smell nutty. Once this happens, take it off of the heat and pour into either your electric stand mixer (if using) or a bowl. Let it cool a minute or two.
  3. Add the 3 peeled + mashed bananas, granulated sugar and muscovado to the electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (with the butter already cooled in there) and mix on medium high for about 2-3 minutes or until everthing is well blended and the banana is broken up into small bits.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together your eggs, buttermilk, espresso and vanilla and add to the banana mixture. Mix for about 1 minute on low until blended.
  5. In a small bowl whisk together the all-purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon, cloves, all spice + nutmeg.
  6. Dump the flour mixture into the banana mixture and mix until just barely blended. Take the bowl out of the mixer, add the chocolate chips and fold until mixed in as few strokes as possible.
  7. Pour the batter into your prepared bread pans and place your banana slices cut side down. Take care not to fill them more than 1/2 to 3/4s full. Bake on the top rack of the oven for 90 minutes to 2 hours or until a toothpick comes out clean. Some bits of chocolate on the toothpick are fine.
  8. Let the bread cool completely before removing from the pan. If you added the parchment to the pan, you may be able to get them out sooner…because a warm slice (fresh from the oven) is sublime.
  9. I hope you love this banana bread! Be sure to tag me @displacedhousewife #displacedhousewife so I can see your beautiful loaves!!

On My Mind

–Rebecca xo Brown Butter Muscovado Banana Bread | recipe via DisplacedHousewife | this is next level banana bread...loaded with spices and espresso and dotted with chocolate


Leave a Comment


  • Hazel August 15, 2021 at 1:46 PM

    Wow! I read 2 hours at 275 and thought here’s a waste of ingredient! Imagine my surprise and delight when I tasted this banana bread. I am 72 and been making bb for 50 years and this is the best I’ve ever tasted. My dear hubby agrees and said “make sure you print out this recipe”. I did and I thank you!

    • Rebecca Firth August 18, 2021 at 1:50 PM

      Hi Hazel! This is the best comment — thank you so much! I absolutely love this banana bread!! So happy you liked it!!! xoxo

  • Lynne Mullaney February 5, 2020 at 2:43 AM

    I have your banana bread cooking in the oven. Loved the recipe, can’t wait to see how it turns out. Didn’t have enough bananas to put the ones on top though. Thank you for your lovely Halloween story-it is becoming very popular here in Australia too.

  • Cathy | November 7, 2016 at 3:07 PM

    your halloween sounds perfect, minus the homework (whaaaat?). and this post speaks to me so. it seems we forever have a half-eaten banana bread on the counter. we never grow tired of it and it makes me happy when the boys grab a slice and slather it with butter while they do their homework after school. and playing hooky after halloween? genius.

    • DisplacedHousewife November 7, 2016 at 4:28 PM

      Cathy — I felt a bit guilty about the hooky…but we all decided that Halloween should be moved to the last Friday or Saturday of October…so you would never have school the next day!!! And the homework…I think kids get way too much homework. :)

  • Asha Shivakumar November 6, 2016 at 12:05 AM

    Oh Rebecca, I can totally understand your writer’s block and all the craziness and routine in your life. It is chaos, it’s fun most of the time, but a lot of the time it isn’t. At least this banana bread improves some things! I love banana bread, I’ll definitely try your recipe sometime.

  • Laura | Tutti Dolci November 3, 2016 at 3:09 AM

    I have a few bananas on the counter that have been staring me down all week… clearly this post is a sign that tomorrow = all the banana bread!! xo

  • Katrina November 2, 2016 at 7:09 PM

    The more bananas, the better! Love this bread!

  • Amisha Gurbani November 2, 2016 at 6:27 PM

    Beautiful Banana bread recipe! :) So love this! I love banana bread, and i love the touch of banana on the top! Espresso does bring out amazing flavors in a banana bread! I used to drink banana coffee shakes as a kid haha! You write so well! Enjoyed your post :)

  • Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen November 2, 2016 at 2:04 PM

    You have truly taken banana bread to the next level here Rebecca! The chocolate chips, the muscovado, the espresso and of course that yummy brown butter. When I saw it on IG, I knew it was going to be good…great! I can’t wait to try it! Sounds like y’all had such fun trick or treating and playing hooky the day after!

    • DisplacedHousewife November 2, 2016 at 2:13 PM

      Mary Ann — Thank you so much for the inspiration!! I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween!! xo

  • Lynn | The Road to Honey November 2, 2016 at 1:45 PM

    Life is just a haze. Oh. . .and don’t you just hate it when the banana bread el sinkos?! But this one. . .I mean. . .these banana bread twinsies came out beautifully.

    I’m loving the addition of chocolate chips. . . brown butter always makes everything better. . .espresso in banana bread – why didn’t I think of that.

    • DisplacedHousewife November 2, 2016 at 2:12 PM

      Lynn — a haze indeed!! Sometimes too much so!! The espresso might be my favorite part!! …no…I can’t pick!! xoxo

  • Karen @ Seasonal Cravings November 2, 2016 at 10:42 AM

    This was such a fun read. I love picturing you and your kiddos on Halloween night and beyond. It also made me think how important it is to just stop and enjoy the moment now and then. I love that you baked this bread just to get that banana on top – been there, done that! There is nothing more comforting than the smell of banana bread baking! By the way – homework on Halloween?

    • DisplacedHousewife November 2, 2016 at 2:11 PM

      Karen — I know!! Homework on Halloween…I debated including that because I love my daughter’s school but I think it’s insane. I want them to run around and trick or treat for as long as possible!!! I hope you guys enjoyed your Halloween!!! xoxo

  • Ruby & Cake November 2, 2016 at 7:54 AM

    Gorgeous! That nutty brown butter flavour would take banana bread to the next level. Need. Want!

    • DisplacedHousewife November 2, 2016 at 2:09 PM

      Ruby — I’m obsessed with brown butter and I have no idea what took me so long to shove it in banana bread…truly a match made in heaven!! ❤️❤️❤️

  • amanda paa November 2, 2016 at 2:37 AM

    I love your writing in this. It brought back memories of late halloween nights growing up. But I also got a sense of your house, your kids, your life. And I can only imagine the mama you are.

    Obviously you wine mega brownie points with them for always making the BEST things. I have been lured by the looks of banana topped banana bread too, but haven’t tried yet. In fact, gf banana bread is one I haven’t cracked. Hmmm… I’ll get on that. xo

    • DisplacedHousewife November 2, 2016 at 2:42 AM

      Ahh, Amanda, your note is so sweet. Thank you. I was feeling very nostalgic. They’re so sweet and I feel like we just rush through life sometimes. I was having a moment of appreciation for the people they are. You MUST make GF banana bread and I have no idea why the banana on top is so satisfying…but it is!!! Sending lots of love. xoxo