Banana Bread with Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze

Posting my definition of the perfect banana bread recipe has been on my mental and blogger to-do list since about 2009 when I posted my last banana bread recipe and with this recipe, I can finally check that task off my to-do list.

In an ironic twist of timing, Monday August 27 is National Banana Lovers Day.

Guess this recipe was worth the wait because it happens to be the best banana bread I’ve ever made or eaten and after I made it, I began experimenting with other banana bread versions and recipes and have come up with at least three more that I will be posting over next month, one per week, in something I’m calling Banana Bread Fest.

If you’re interested in why I am calling this bread the best ever, feel free to read on; it’s a pretty wordy post. If you just want to stare at the pictures and cut to the recipe, I understand. It’s a peeve of mine when someone says ohmygodthisissogood itwillchangeyourlife and very little explanation about why they feel that way is given. I offered plenty of explanation. What’s brevity?

This banana bread is different than many of the banana bread recipes I see on blogs and Pinterest lately. It’s not loaded up with chocolate chips, white chocolate, there’s no coconut flakes or berries added to the batter. There’s a notable absence of diced peanut butter cups, miniature candies, peanut butter, almond butter, cookie butter spread, Biscoff spread, Nutella or anything else that I see in so many of the recipes floating around.

Those breads and recipes all look wonderful and they all have their time and place, but adding candy to banana bread is not something my grandma did and hers in the banana bread I wanted to most emulate.

I can be the add-candy-and-a-white-chocolate-drizzle queen, but let’s face it, when you have a pile of ripe bananas on your counter and you want to whip up a loaf of bread, sometimes you just need a really good recipe that’s rooted in practicality, not in candy or a fancy nut butter spread.

I incorporated vanilla into the bread in four ways because I’m a vanilla freak. Yes, four. I should have probably called it Vanilla Banana Bread. You can tone it down in places if you wish but I’m not sure why you’d want to.

First, I added one box of vanilla Jell-O instant pudding mix to the batter. I know some people bristle at the thought of a boxed mix of anything and you don’t have to use it, but in this application, one little three-ounce packet of vanilla pudding adds a deeper and richer vanilla flavor and it keeps this bread so incredibly soft, tender, and moist because no one hates dry bread more than me.

My oven runs hot, fast, and furious here in Aruba so the top is just a smidge darker than I wished, but the bread still goes down as the best and moistest that’s ever passed my lips.

Next, I added six ounces of vanilla yogurt to the batter, helping to boost the vanilla flavor, moisture, and tenderness. The thicker the yogurt, the better. Sour cream may be substituted or use plain yogurt or if you have a fun yogurt flavor like mango or coconut cream, I’m sure they’d be lovely as well.

Just don’t use light, diet, or fat-free yogurt. Use full-fat, thicker, or Greek-style yogurt. The point is not to shave calories; the point is to create wonderful, moist, fall-apart-soft bread. Save the thin watery yogurt for something else.

Thirdly, the batter is doused with a tablespoon of vanilla extract. I’d bathe in twenty million tablespoons of vanilla extract if I could.

Finally, I glazed this baby with a vanilla-browned butter glaze, which is to-die-for crazy good and I think should be a mandatory glaze on everything from Baked Vanilla Donuts to Puffy Vanilla and Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Although the photos show the glaze applied as a pretty and delicate thin little drizzle, that’s not reality.

Reality is dipping my knife into the jar of glaze and spreading it in a nice thick layer over the entire surface of the bread, like buttering a piece of toast in browned butter frosting. Try it. You’ll love it.

If you’ve never browned butter before, the visual guide below may help guide you in creating the rich, nutty-aroma, and amber-hued butter that’s so scrumptious. Watch the butter closely and stop cooking when the butter is browned, not burned, taking into account carryover-cooking times. Remember to transfer the hot butter into a cool container immediately after removing it from the heat source so that it doesn’t continue to cook and possibly burn.

Browned butter is divine and will make you wonder why you haven’t been browning butter all your life for everything you’ve ever used butter for. Burnt butter is putrid and will make you want to evacuate your kitchen because it’s stinky and vile.

According to Christina Tosi, you can brown butter in the microwave. I tried it here in Aruba rather than browning it on the stovetop and you know what, she’s right. The details are in the recipe section.

It’s been 3-plus years since my last banana bread recipe (vegan, GF) which is truly wonderful, but includes a hefty dose of peanut butter in the batter and peanut butter makes anything more moist and more wonderful. This new banana bread recipe holds it’s own on every level, no peanut butter required.

Another reason I love this new recipe is because no mixer is required. Some recipes call for creaming butter and sugar, creaming in the eggs, beating in the bananas for two minutes and so forth. This recipe instead uses melted butter (and I much prefer melted butter to using oil for the added layer of flavor), and the batter is whisked together in one bowl, which is how my grandma made her banana bread.

A browned exterior and chewy crust with an incredibly moist and soft interior. It rose beautifully and there’s a balance of lightness and tenderness to the crumb but also some density. It’s loaded up with vanilla, and no mixer is required, which is why this is my new favorite banana bread. Scott said that hands down, it’s also the best banana bread he’s ever eaten and he’s not a banana bread guy. He’s a salty ‘n sweet Cinnamon Sugar Chocolate Pretzels guy.

I can’t wait to make another loaf when I’m back in San Diego with my regular oven. Or make the recipe as muffins, as mini loaves, as a 9-inch banana cake, or maybe add some pumpkin to the batter. My wheels were turning and I’ve since made three more banana bread versions and I’m no where near done. Stay tuned for the recipes in the upcoming weeks of Banana Bread Fest.

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Banana Bread with Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze

Makes one 9-by-5-inch loaf (or can be made as two 8-by-4-inch loaves or three mini loaves, adjusting baking times as necessary)

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (half of one stick)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

6 ounces vanilla yogurt (one standard-sized small container; Greek-style preferred, or sour cream may be substituted – do not use fat free or light yogurt or sour cream)

2 large or 3 small very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 1/2 cups mashed)

one 3.4-ounce box vanilla instant pudding mix (not Cook ‘n Serve), optional see notes below

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste

Preheat oven to 350F, spray a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray with flour (I use Pam for Baking) or grease and flour the pan; set aside.

In a large microwave-safe mixing bowl, melt the butter, about 1 minute. To the melted butter, add the sugars, eggs, vanilla, yogurt, and stir or whisk to combine. Add the bananas and stir to incorporate. Add the dry pudding mix and stir to combine (Note: You are not making pudding; simply add the mix as a dry ingredient. You don’t have to use pudding mix but it creates wonderful moisture and flavor in the bread. If omitting, you may wish to add an additional 1/4 cup granulated sugar and an additional 1/4  to 1/3 cup flour, based on taste preference and how your batter looks).

Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and stir until just combined, taking care not to over-mix or bread will be tougher as the gluten will over-develop. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 50 to 58 minutes, or until top is golden and set, and a wooden skewer, cake tester, or knife inserted in the center comes out clean. If bread is browning too fast on the top, you may wish to lower your oven temperature to 325F midway through cooking, at about the 30-minute mark if your oven runs hot or tent the pan with foil in approximately the last 20 minutes of cooking. Allow bread to cool in the loaf pan for at least 20 minutes before removing from the pan and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.

Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze

1/4 cup butter (half of one stick)

1 cup+ confectioners’ sugar, sifted

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 tablespoons+ cream or milk, optional and to taste

You can brown the butter in a small saucepan on the stovetop, heating over medium heat. Swirl the pan or stir frequently for about 5 to 7 minutes, until the sputtering, crackling, and foaming has subsided, the butter has browned, and has a nutty aroma. Watch it closely so that it doesn’t go from browned and nutty to burnt and inedible.

Or, brown the butter in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl by heating it on high power, uncovered, for 5 to 7 minutes, until the sputtering, crackling, and foaming has subsided, the butter has browned, and has a nutty aroma. The same rules apply in the microwave as on the stovetop; watch it closely and start checking it every 15-to-30 seconds starting at about the 5-minute mark, so that it doesn’t go from browned and nutty to burnt and inedible.

Transfer hot butter to medium-sized mixing bowl and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes.  Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and whisk to combine. Based on desired glaze consistency and taste preference, add the cream one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached, playing with sugar and cream ratios as necessary. (I only use butter, sugar, vanilla in this glaze, no cream). Drizzle glaze over the top of the bread before slicing and serving; or slice, serve, and glaze each piece individually. I prefer to use the glaze like butter and spread it liberally on the interior surface of a slice.

Store unglazed bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or store glazed bread in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Unglazed bread can be frozen for up to 3 months.

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Related Recipes:

Peanut Butter Banana Bread (vegan, GF) – no mixer required, batter can be made in a blender

Banana Bread Cake (vegan, GF) – no mixer required, batter can be made in a blender

Banana Nut Muffins (vegan, GF) – one bowl, no mixer required, make by hand

Strawberry Banana Bread

Do you have a tried and true favorite banana bread recipe that you want to link up for Banana Bread Fest?

Or another quick bread recipe you love from zucchini to pumpkin to strawberry bread?

Link it up and have a great week!

The winner of the Capresso 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker Giveaway is Jocelyn @BruCrew Life

   

151 Responses to “Banana Bread with Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze”

  1. #
    51
    marti — October 25, 2012 at 8:47 am

    i have this in the oven right now and it smells soooooooo good! and i made this glaze and i’m holding myself back from digging in with a spoon. Mmmmmm :) thanks avery! can’t wait for the bread to get done!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — October 25th, 2012 at 9:46 am

      Thanks for making this and telling me about it, Marti! By now it’s out of the oven and I hope you’ve dug in with a big serving of bread & glaze and that it made your morning :)

      Reply

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    thefinishedplate — November 15, 2012 at 10:35 am

    The best banana bread recipe out there! Thanks for the recipe! :)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 15th, 2012 at 4:29 pm

      Thanks so much and for blogging about it, too. Glad you love it and it’s my base-recipe that I derive all my other banana breads, cakes, etc from!

      Reply

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    Elise — January 3, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Made some today – this is hands down the best banana bread I have ever had. And that glaze was to die for! Thanks for sharing the recipe! Just posted it on my blog: http://elisebakes.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/banana-bread-with-vanilla-browned-butter-glaze/

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — January 3rd, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      Just checked out your post and I’m so glad you made it, loved it, and that it’s hands down the best banana bread you’ve ever had. I agree and I don’t toss words like ‘best ever’ around lightly so when I say it, I do mean it and glad you concur!

      Reply

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    The Kook @ The Kitchen Kook — January 30, 2013 at 10:07 am

    This banana bread looks and sounds amazing! I just baked with bananas (for some delicious banana bars with brown butter frosting AND a honey cinnamon crumble banana bread) but now, I want to make this bread too! Why must you do this to me?! ;)

    Reply

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    Abby Johnson — March 4, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    BEST. BANANA BREAD. EVER. It’s taking all I have to not eat the entire loaf myself! I’m already planning for my next batch! Thanks for sharing:)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 4th, 2013 at 7:17 pm

      Abby, I totally agree!!!!! I have about 15 recipes for banana bread on my site, and THIS is the one to beat. It always turns out, it never fails, it’s always super moist, I truly love it! Glad you’re a fan, too! :) Thanks for LMK you tried it!

      Reply

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    Anita — May 21, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Baked this bread this afternoon…just tried the first slice…and then immediately another one….oh my god…this one is sooooooo good!

    Used a pudding powder that is available in shops here in NL, don’t know whether it compares to yours but yummmm I loved it!

    Thanks for sharing…looking forward to find more yummie recipes here in the future :-)

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — May 21st, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      So glad to hear you made this and are loving it! It’s my fave ‘basic’ banana bread but it’s far from basic :) Your pudding powder sounds about like what we have and whatever you did, sounds like it worked! LMK if you try other recipes!

      Reply

      • Anita replied: — May 21st, 2013 at 1:03 pm

        Will certainly do…I just recently started to fall in live with baking…especially with bananas (driving my friend nuts here too *grin*) and just love the recipes from your site and some other -no sites from Holland funnily enough-

        Living in Holland does present some difficulties for certain ingredients but some are easily replaced by something dutch (like the custard pudding powder I used) or not…it means sometimes that I cannot bake it but that’s okay (not always, sometimes I’m totally drooling here and grumpy since no Reece’s thingys can be bought here f.e.), as long as I find things like these ;-)

        Got ideas also for this one…as muffins (oh more crust-must be heaven)…with chocolate…other fruit yummmm (my stomach growls for more RIGHT now_

        • Averie Sunshine replied: — May 21st, 2013 at 1:15 pm

          We have a house in Aruba (Dutch island) and I am very familiar with Dutch grocery stores and foods! Last summer I did this post about various PBs I bought there! http://www.averiecooks.com/2012/08/peanut-butter-comparison.html

          I totally understand the challenges of finding ingredients you want. When I make simple things there, I sometimes have to go to 3 or 4 grocery stores and pray I can even find what I want! If you ever need suggestions about substitutions on my recipes with ingredients, just email me :)

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    Jennifer — July 23, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    This is still cooling on my counter, yet I’ve eaten almost half of it already. It’s SO good. I did some things a bit different as to avoid going to the store. I left out the pudding and added 1/4 C flour and 1/4 C brown sugar instead of granulated. My batter was a touch dry, so I added a bit more vanilla extract. Maybe 1-2 tsp. Can’t go wrong there! I also used plain Greek yogurt. I love that the top is beautiful browny crispiness and the inside is moist and soft. Next time I will add walnuts as I just love them in banana bread. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — July 23rd, 2013 at 12:20 pm

      So glad you loved it and were able to work with what you had on hand! I think that 1/4 c flour AND 1/4 c brown sugar as a replacement for pudding mix may have been a touch on the high side only b/c pudding mix is so fine and powdery – then again, I haven’t tested it. If you ever feel like it’s dry in the future, another half of a banana would probably do the trick too – but so does vanilla. Love that! So happy you found a recipe you like so much and thanks for report back!

      Reply

      • Jennifer replied: — July 23rd, 2013 at 12:33 pm

        Hmmm…I added both based on the options you listed in the directions…just swapped out the brown for granulated. Is that the difference? Oh, and I almost threw in another whole banana for an in-your-face banana flavor. lol

        • Averie Sunshine replied: — July 23rd, 2013 at 12:49 pm

          Yes there is a difference in brown vs. white – brown is denser/heavier and will cause batters to be thicker than if you used the same amt of white. Sounds like it all worked out though!

          Have you seen this one? Six bananas in one loaf. You can never go wrong with adding more banana! http://www.averiecooks.com/2013/05/six-banana-banana-bread.html :)

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    Kourtney — August 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Just wondering, if I were to freeze this bread, how would you suggest thawing it? Would it be best to pop it in the oven for a while, or just let it sit out until it’s thaw, or something else?

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — August 3rd, 2013 at 2:59 pm

      Just on the countertop! Won’t take but maybe 1-2 hours, depending on how warm your kitchen is. Don’t pop it in the oven. In my experience, it will just dry it out!

      Reply

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    Ande M. — December 16, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Banana bread came out perfect! Soooo moist, and the flavor was amazing! Advice to others making this: don’t change a thing!

    Averie, you are the master and i am but your humble grasshopper. Thank you for making baking fun and idiot-proof for the beginner.

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — December 16th, 2013 at 7:24 pm

      Thanks for trying this, Ande, and for the funny and nice things you said :) I am glad you found it to be idiot-proof & that you told others not to change a thing! (I wish more people would just do that!)

      Reply

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    Ellen Renee — January 8, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    I have tried so so many different banana bread recipes….at least 30…not even joking. So many my husband and son kid me about it. Every person in our family and all my friends give me their fave family recipe to try and many have been good but not IT. Always looking for that perfect elusive loaf. Your recipe has been sitting in my ever expanding pile of recipes to try and today was the day after scoring a pile of yucky rotten :o) bananas super cheap at the store. It was perfect! EXACTLY what I was looking for…moist but not wet…yes there is such a thing as too many bananas (tried a recipe that called for 6 of them…blech!) I loved everything about it. I was going on about it so much my son even had a slice and that is not typical of him – yes he liked it too. I had to use sour cream because for whatever reason…I can only find low or no fat vanilla yogurt here (southern Illinois)..I did find a few choices of flavored yogurts with fat but not any vanilla…I picked up a coconut…going to try that in a new batch tomorrow (have a couple more bananas to use up…made a batch of whole wheat banana pancakes also today). Oh…did not even use the glaze either although I will try it on at least 1 of the loaves (I made 3 minis and put 2 in the freezer). Thank you for sharing this recipe….deeply appreciated.

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — January 8th, 2014 at 5:58 pm

      You sound like me with the never-ending quest for banana bread recipes – I have about 35+ here that I have personally tried/made – all are my own recipes, nothing adapted from others because I don’t trust most ppl’s banana bread recipes :)
      http://www.averiecooks.com/2013/02/30-favorite-banana-bread-and-banana-recipes.html

      This one that you made though, honestly, of ALL of them, it always works, and I love it, every time. If you can find any kind of Greek yogurt (some of the low/no fat ones are nice and thick these days) you can use that instead of the sour cream but sounds like you’re perfectly happy.

      I also have a 6-banana loaf and I love it…but the odds of having 6 bananas all laying around being brown/black are not likely for many ppl. That’s why I love the recipe you made :)
      http://www.averiecooks.com/2013/05/six-banana-banana-bread.html

      Reply

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    Sierra — February 26, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Hi Averie! I first if all just wanted to thank you for this amazing recipe! I can’t wait to try it out this weekend! I was wondering if the bread would still be just as moist and delicious as muffins?

    Reply

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    Maisk — May 5, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Hi! Do you think I could replace the yogurt with peanut butter? I don’t have full fat yogurt or sour cream, just fat free, so I thought maybe peanut butter could work? I hope so, can’t wait to try it! :)

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — May 5th, 2014 at 4:34 pm

      I would just use the yogurt you do have, not PB, since that will alter the recipe too much without possibly making other compensating adaptations.

      Reply

      • Maisk replied: — May 5th, 2014 at 5:05 pm

        Ok great, thank you!

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    Maisk — May 5, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Oh and I’ve always had bad luck with loaf pans, the middle never seems to cook through! Do you think if I used a 9inch square pan it would work too?
    Same baking time? Maybe I’ll just cross my fingers and go with the loaf, I am just nervous bc I’m gifting it! Help! ;)

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — May 5th, 2014 at 4:35 pm

      You could bake it in two 8×4 pans or as a 9-inch square. If you do either, you’ll need to shave off baking time. I do understand your frustration about cooking through with loaf pans (happens to me a lot) but you can put a sheet of foil over the top at about the 30 min mark so top/sides don’t get too browned before center cooks through.

      Reply

      • Maisk replied: — May 5th, 2014 at 5:06 pm

        Awesome, will do! I think maybe I’ll do the 2 pans so I can taste one too! :)

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