Brown-Butter Banana Bread


Brown butter adds a deep, caramel-like note of nutty richness to this decadent make-ahead banana bread. To hit the proper note, 2020 F&W Best New Chef Lena Sareini insists on waiting until your bananas are extremely ripe—very speckled and mushy. "Be patient," she says. "That's the only way the banana flavor is going to show through." For an easy next-level topping, make this Banana-Caramel Sauce.

Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
6 hrs


  • Unsalted butter, softened, for greasing

  • 3 cups mashed ripe bananas

  • 1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (8 ounces), melted and browned

  • 4 large eggs

  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

  • 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour (about 19⅛ ounces), plus more for dusting

  • 2 ¾ teaspoons baking soda

  • 2 ¼ teaspoons ground nutmeg

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • Cooking spray

  • Coffee ice cream, for serving

  • Banana-Caramel Sauce, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease 2 (9-x 5-inch) loaf pans with softened butter, dust with flour, and line bottom of each pan with a strip of parchment paper. Whisk together bananas, brown sugar, granulated sugar, brown butter, and eggs; stir in chocolate chips. Whisk together flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt in a separate bowl, and fold into banana mixture until just combined.

  2. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven until set, 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 40 minutes, tenting with aluminum foil after 1 hour. Let loaves cool in pans 10 minutes; transfer to refrigerator to let cool completely, about 4 hours. Once cool, remove loaves from pans, and cut into 1-inch-thick slices.

  3. Preheat oven to broil with rack 6 inches from heat source. Place slices in a single layer on a sheet pan coated with cooking spray, and broil until a golden crust develops, about 4 minutes. Transfer slices to plates; top with coffee ice cream and banana-caramel sauce.

    Brown Butter Banana Bread
    Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Prissy Lee
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