Banana Bread with Brown Butter and Cardamom
Sometimes my kids eat bananas, so I buy them. Sometimes they decide they don’t eat bananas. So when I’m left with lots of bananas on the brink of going in the garbage, I love to make banana bread. No one complains!
I originally got the idea for this banana bread recipe from a friend who makes hers with brown butter and cardamom as well. Hers is extra fancy with turbinado sugar lining the pan and a whole banana on top sliced in two. You can certainly do this! Mine is a simplified version for my busy life and based on my family’s preferences. We also love to add nuts- I prefer pecans but Andy prefers walnuts. Either way, this banana bread makes a delicious breakfast or afternoon snack to go with coffee or tea. Even my pickiest eater enjoys it!
Banana bread can be tricky to get cooked all the way through without drying it out or burning it. It depends a lot on your oven. My best trick is to tent it with foil after about 30 minutes of cooking and then to test it by inserting a butter knife and seeing if it comes out clean. I also let it cool for a bit in the pan to let the carry-over heat continue to cook the middle.
If you wait until it is cooled, it will slice beautifully. However, I would never try to keep you from having a slice of warm banana bread! You decide.
Brown Butter Banana Bread
This isn't your grandma's basic banana bread! Mine is full of browned butter giving it deep caramel notes, and it includes cardamom for an additional warm spice that creates an incredible depth of flavor. Add pecans or walnuts to make it into delicious banana nut bread.
- 3-4 overly ripe bananas
- 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp vanilla
- optional: 1/2 cup to 1 cup walnuts or pecans
- Brown 2 sticks of salted butter on the stove being careful not to burn it. Let it cool down until it is soft but not melted. (I usually put mine in a bowl and pop it into the freezer for about 5-10 minutes to cool it down more quickly.)
- Preheat the oven to 350F and prepare a loaf pan by greasing it and lining it with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and cardamom. Stir to combine.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or by hand), mash up the bananas until completely mashed.
- Add the browned butter and the brown sugar to the bananas. Mix well.
- Add in the eggs and vanilla. Mix well.
- Add in the flour mixture until it is all just incorporated. Be careful not to over-mix.
- Optional: If you are choosing to add nuts, fold them in now using a rubber spatula.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Tap on the counter to get any air bubbles out.
- Pop the loaf into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Then tent the loaf with foil to keep the top from burning while you are getting the middle cooked through. Put it back in the oven for about 45 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a butter knife into the center. If it comes out clean, it is baked through. If not, allow it to continue to bake.
- Once it's done, let it cool for 10 minutes in the loaf pan. Once the pan is cool enough to handle, flip the tin over and allow the bread to slide out into your hand. Place on a cooling rack or plate to cool. Once it is cool, slice it up and serve!