Brown Butter Banana Bread

A jazzed-up Brown Butter Banana Bread that gets a ton of flavor from the combination of brown butter, muscovado (you can also use regular brown sugar), espresso/coffee and chocolate. This is banana bread but on steroids. The bread is a cinch to throw together but allow time for the low and slow bake that really brings out a ton of banana flavor.
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The most delicious Brown Butter Banana Bread! Loaded with heaps of flavor, this bread is simple to throw together and cooks low and slow to bring out a ton of banana flavor.

Two loaves of banana bread on a marble surface.

How to Pick Bananas for Banana Bread

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.

Adding Espresso to Banana Bread

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.

*IF* you don’t want to add espresso or coffee, use water in its place.

One loaf of banana bread with a banana baked into the top.

Brown Butter Muscovado Banana Bread Q&A

What is Muscovado Sugar?

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.

Can I substitute 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.

If you don’t have any on hand, feel free to substitute regular all-purpose flour 1:1.

A hand holding a piece of banana bread.

The Type of Loaf Tin to Use for Banana Bread

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.

A close up of brown butter banana bread.

Adding Chocolate to Banana Bread

I am a card-carrying chocolate lover. 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.

A Note About Adding Bananas to the Top of Your Loaves

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.

Banana Bread 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.

Two loaf tins with parchment paper.

The Magic of Browning Butter

My number one (only?) reason for browning butter is that the flavor it imparts on baked goods is next level. Think of flavors like toffee and caramel being added to your cookie without actually adding toffee and caramel.

Browning butter only takes about 5 minutes, with an additional 5-ish minutes more for it to cool before using. It’s literally the only element keeping this from being a true, one-bowl recipe (because we need the saucepan for browning).

When browning butter, moisture in the butter evaporates. This is why I like to get in and brown my butter quick as the longer your saucepan is on the hot burner the more moisture will evaporate.

In this recipe, we start with 7 tablespoons (99 g) of butter. You’ll end up with around 78 g of butter once browned. I have you add 2 tablespoons (26 g) of espresso/coffee/water to the bread batter to compensate for this moisture loss.

If you start with 7 tablespoons (99 g) of butter and follow my browning butter instructions below, I don’t think you need to then, again, weigh your brown butter (unless out of curiosity). But this is a good baking fact to stash away for all of your brown butter baking.

I have a full brown butter tutorial here!

Two unbaked banana breads with chocolate chips.

Using The Perfect Bananas for Your Bread

A quick note on the perfect bananas for your muffins!

I don’t love black bananas. I know some recipes suggest that they should be dark brown or black before using for baking and I could not disagree more lol. The flavors go off when they get to that point (and not in a good way).

DH Hot Tip
I recommend using bananas that are sugar spotted. Those brown spots on your bananas are called ‘sugar spots.’ As your bananas ripen and get more of those spots, your bananas get sweeter (love). Thus making them perfect for banana bread, muffins and other baked goods.
When your bananas are speckled with sugar spots and yield to the touch (and are no longer firm), that’s when they are perfect for baking. If they are completely dark (the spots have blended together) and your bananas are mushy, then they are no longer ideal to bake with, in my humble opinion.

To expedite ripening bananas (if yours are green-ish and firm), you can roast them in a 300°F (149°C) oven on a parchment-lined baking sheet for one hour. I’ve tried this before and I loved it. Whilst the bananas will turn black, they don’t have the off flavor that naturally over-ripe bananas have (again, in my humble opinion). See more details here!

If you’ve been using black or dark brown bananas for years and love it, then you do you! This is just my preference from recipe testing! :)

The Baker’s Guide to Measuring Flour

One of the biggest (and most common) mistakes in baking is how we measure flour. If you find yourself without a scale, see my top tips on how to properly measure flour for the perfect amount every time!

More Banana Deliciousness!

I’m in love with these Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (a one-bowl dream), this Fluffy Banana Oat Snacking Cake is a slice of heaven, these Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins and if you’re looking for a super simple banana bread, check out my Easy Everyday Banana Bread.

Rebecca Firth

Brown Butter Banana Bread

A jazzed-up Brown Butter Banana Bread that gets a ton of flavor from the combination of brown butter, muscovado (you can also use regular brown sugar), espresso/coffee and chocolate. This is banana bread but on steroids. The bread is a cinch to throw together but allow time for the low and slow bake that really brings out a ton of banana flavor.
5 from 2 reviews
Print Save Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Keyword: Banana Bread, Brown Butter, Muscovado, Chocolate Chips
Servings: 2 Loaves


  • 78 grams unsalted brown butter (about 7 tablespoons (99 g) unsalted butter before browning)
  • 3 ripe bananas (peeled and mashed + 2 bananas cut lengthwise for the top of the bread)
  • ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (110 g) muscovado or brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ teaspoon all spice
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • ¾ cup (180 g) buttermilk (room temperature, shaken)
  • 2 tablespoons (26 g) espresso or fresh-brewed strong coffee
  • 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon (212 g) all-purpose flour (how to measure flour)
  • ¾ cup (102 g) white whole-wheat flour (or more all-purpose flour)
  • 1 ½ cups chocolate chips


  • Preheat your oven to 275°F (135℃) and place a rack in the top third of your oven. Butter and flour your 8 X 4-inch (20 x 10-cm; 4 cup capacity) loaf 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.
  • Place 7 tablespoons (99 g) butter in a small sauce pan and melt over medium heat. Once melted, crank up the heat to medium high. Stand by, continuously stirring and watching. Small golden bits will start to settle on the bottom of the pan. Once this happens, take it off the heat and pour into a medium, heat-safe bowl to cool until closer to room temperature, but still liquid.
    (For more details on browning butter, check out my How to Perfectly Brown Butter tutorial)
  • To the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add the 3 peeled + mashed bananas, granulated sugar, muscovado/brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, all spice and nutmeg and mix on medium high for about 1 minutes or until everthing is well blended and the banana is broken up into small bits. Add the cooled brown butter, eggs, buttermilk, espresso and vanilla and mix on low for 1 minute more or until combined.
  • Add the flour to 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.



Instructions use a mixer, but feel free to use a spatula and your arms to mix this delicious banana bread!

Loaf 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 NordicWare which is about 8 X 4-inch (20 x 10-cm; 4 cup capacity).
Thanks for baking with me! Please rate + comment this recipe and tag me on social @displacedhousewife #displacedhousewife so I can see your beautiful treats! xo


Leave a Comment & Rate this Recipe

I love your comments, reviews and questions! If you love this recipe, please rate it when you leave a comment. Star ratings 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 help people discover my recipes. Your support means a lot, I look forward to chatting with you!

Rebecca xox

Recipe Rating


  • 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