Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter

Are there enough B’s in that title for you?

I can think of more. Brown sugar, beautiful, bouncy, beyond good.

Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter

Anytime you take the tenderizing and fluffing effects of buttermilk, combined with the richness, nuttiness, and depth of browned butter, add sweet ripe bananas, cinnamon, vanilla, and brown sugar, the results won’t be bad. In fact, you’ll be happy when your bananas start to turn brown.

Although I would not change a thing about my go-to Banana Bread with Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze recipe, I had some leftover buttermilk after making the Carrot Cake Loaves and it had bread-making written all over it. So I decided to deviate from my usual recipe with this. Normally I use yogurt or Greek yogurt in my banana bread and using buttermilk is different, yet the same. They’re both cultured milks and tenderize and moisten the bread, but buttermilk seems to make it fluffier, whereas yogurt (or sour cream) makes it denser. Both make it scrumptious.


If you don’t have buttermilk on hand and don’t want to buy it for a recipe that calls for a small amount, you can make a cheater’s version by adding one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to one scant cup of milk. Let it stand for about 10 minutes. The milk will sour, and then use it as needed in place of buttermilk. Not a method I’d suggest for fancy cake, but for 3/4 cup for a loaf of banana bread, perfectly fine.

Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter

I started by browning butter and in my usual recipe, I use melted butter. Although that’s fine, and you can do that with this recipe too, the whopping four minutes it takes to brown the butter first is highly recommended because it adds unparalleled depth, richness, and flavor. Kerrygold was nice enough to send me some butter and it’s burning a hole in my refrigerator. I’m inventing recipes that use butter, just to use butter. And buttermilk. Help.

I’ve talked at length about how to brown butter in here, here, and here. It’s a three to four minute process of heating the butter over medium heat, and after the butter melts, stops being noisy, foaming and hissing at you, tiny brown flecks will appear. That’s crunchtime. Remove the pan from the heat while continuing to stir or swirl the pan so that the butter doesn’t continue to cook and go from browned to burnt.

Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter

Pour the browned butter into a large mixing bowl and to it add the sugars, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, cinnamon, and whisk until it’s smooth. I don’t like banana bread recipes that require creaming ingredients because it’s one more step and one more reason to talk myself out of making something if I know I have mixer dishes to do later. I always try to use the whisk method first and foremost. My grandma never even owned a mixer and she was an amazing cook and made the best banana bread I’ve ever had.

Many banana bread recipes call only for granulated sugar, but I like to add a bit of brown sugar to boost both the moisture content, softness, and overall flavor.

I also can’t imagine not including vanilla and cinnamon in my banana bread. Any sweet bread, quickbread, muffin, pancake, waffle, pastry, or danish is fair game for vanilla and cinnamon. I love both of them, probably more than the average person, but I didn’t go overboard. They just round out and complement the existing flavors rather than adding any telltale taste.

Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter

Add one cup of mashed bananas and the riper the bananas are, the sweeter the bread will be, but they don’t have to be pitch black and on their last leg. Your bread will be extra luxurious if they’re extra dark, but sometimes it’s hard to wait for them to get to that point when you just want to bake. If you like extra banana-ey banana bread, consider using 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas. In doing so, you may need to increase the flour by one-quarter cup, for 2 cups total, give or take.

This bread is not bursting at the seams with banana flavor. It’s present, but my husband who prefers more subtle banana flavor, prefers this recipe. I prefer this version with one-and-a-half cups.

Stir in the bananas with the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Generally I shy away from baking powder because I can usually taste the chemical components in the finished product and it makes things almost too light and airy for my taste. But it’s an obvious choice in a recipe that uses buttermilk because baking powder and buttermilk react to form big, fluffy, puffy dough like a fluffy stack of buttermilk pancakes. In turn, I reduced the amount of baking soda I generally add by half.

Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter

I didn’t add salt, because buttermilk is already salty, but add salt to taste if desired. If you’re using salted butter (I used unsalted), you may wish to omit the salt because between salted butter, salty buttermilk, and added salt, you could end up very thirsty. Stir everything together and then divide the fluffy, golden batter into two 8-by-4-inch loaf pans. Baking the batter in various assortments of mini loaf pans, muffin pans, or in a Bundt pan would all work.

Although you probably could use one 9-by-5-inch pan, by looking at the volume of batter, and knowing that buttermilk-based batters rise quite a bit, I knew two pans was a safer choice. I didn’t want to press my luck and have to clean my oven. Or worse yet, waste butter and buttermilk to the bottom of my oven.

Plus, with two smaller loaves, you can freeze one and later when you unthaw it, you can relive the party, minus the work. Or give the second loaf away to someone special. Or happily eat both loaves within a few days.

Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter

Baking times will vary based on the sizes used. I baked at 350F for 37 minutes for one loaf, and 40 minutes for the other. One had a little more batter in it than the other and my oven runs hotter on one side than the other. Bake until domed, golden, and a toothpick comes out fairly clean. It’s banana bread so it’s not going to come out perfectly dry.

While the bread baked, I combined softened butter with strawberry preserves and whipped them vigorously by hand for strawberry butter. Of course you could just put a layer of butter on your bread, then top with a layer of jam, but something about whipping the butter and aerating it, and having it coat the strawberries made the combo taste better than if I kept them separate. I told you I’m making things with butter, just to use butter.

The bread is full of rich flavor. The bananas are complimented by the browned butter and it really adds another dimension, and it’s something that the more I make with it, the less I want to make without it.

Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter

Butter, buttermilk, brown sugar, bananas. All those B’s add moisture and softness, which is the only way I want banana bread, or any kind of bread or doughy pastry. Who says, oh I would love to have a dry, hard, cardboard-tasting muffin for breakfast. Oh wait, I know. The people who like biscotti. This bread is the opposite. So bouncy and springy.

I love the big crack that formed down the center from the steam as it escaped while baking. The crust that’s right near the crack, which is all shiny and smooth, is the bread equivalent of a muffin-top. I love that part and would love to dismantle the loaf, just for those parts.

Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter

I gave away the second loaf but now wish I would have frozen it for a rainy day.

Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter

Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter - Soft and fluffy banana bread with rich buttery flavor! The strawberry butter is just the icing on the cake! Easy, no-mixer recipe at

Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter

Buttermilk and browned butter are combined to create this banana bread that’s fluffy, soft, moist, and packed with rich, nutty, and deep flavor. Browning the butter takes just a few minutes and makes all the difference in the flavor. The ingredients for the batter are whisked together in minutes, making for an easy and fast quickbread. The recipe makes two medium loaves and freezes beautifully for a rainy day, or give one away to someone special. The strawberry butter makes an already tasty and moist bread that much more irresistible – pink food just tastes better.


1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), browned
2 large eggs
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 large ripe bananas)
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste

Strawberry Butter
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, well softened
2 to 4 tablespoons strawberry preserves (or another favorite jam, jelly, or preserves)


  1. Bread – Preheat oven to 350F. Spray two 8-by-4-inch loaf pans with floured cooking spray; set aside. Bread may be baked in one 9-by-5-inch pan at your own risk; or bake as muffins, mini loaves, or in a Bundt pan, adjusting baking times accordingly.
  2. In a heavy-bottomed large pot or skillet, melt 1/2 cup butter over medium-low heat, stirring nearly continuously or swirling the pan. Butter will melt, foam, turn clear, golden, turn brown, and will then smell nutty. As soon at the butter begins to turn brown, take the pan off the heat, and continue to stir for about 1 minute, to ensure carryover heat doesn’t continue to cook and subsequently burn the already browned butter. Pour butter in large mixing bowl.
  3. To the butter, add the eggs, buttermilk, sugars, vanilla, cinnamon, and whisk to combine.
  4. Add the bananas and stir to incorporate. Increasing mashed bananas to 1 1/2 cups and also increasing flour to 2 cups is optional if you prefer more intensely banana-flavored banana bread.
  5. Add the flour, baking power, baking soda, optional salt (buttermilk is already salted, and if using salted butter, and then adding salt, bread could become too salty so use caution here), and stir until just combined, taking care not to over-mix or bread will be tougher as the gluten will over-develop.
  6. Turn batter out into prepared pans, smooth tops lightly with a spatula, and bake for 35 to 42 minutes (I baked 37 mins for 1 loaf, 40 mins for the other), or until top is golden and set, and a wooden skewer, cake tester, or knife inserted in the center comes out mostly clean (banana bread is gooey and it won’t come out perfectly clean). If bread is browning too fast on the top, you may wish to lower your oven temperature to 325F in the second half of cooking or tent the pan with foil although I don’t suspect this will be an issue.
  7. Allow bread to cool in pan for at least 10 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling. Bread will keep for up to 1 week airtight at room temperature (I wrap my fully cooled bread in plasticwrap, then I place it in a gallon-sized Ziplock). Second loaf may be frozen for up to 6 months.
  8. Strawberry Butter – Combine 2 to 4 tablespoons butter with preserves and whip vigorously until combined and fluffed. The softer the butter is, the easier it will be to whip. Quantity may be doubled, tripled, etc. based on need. Store strawberry-butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Only Eats

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Do you ever bake with buttermilk? Browned butter? Have a favorite banana bread recipe?

Please share links to your favorite recipes. I’m always up for trying new ones.

Thanks for the Alexia Foods Gourmet Cooking Prize-Pack Giveaway and The Newlywed Cookbook Giveaway entries

137 comments on “Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter”

  1. Browning butter is one of my #1 go to’s when it comes to building depth with any baked good! OK, you need to tell me, honestly — is Kerrygold better than regular butter when it comes to baking with it? I’m always tempted to try it, but at the same time, my budget appreciates regular butter. ;)

    • Yes it’s wonderful butter. That said, if you’re going to splurge on it, use it on something you’re going to ‘eat’, i.e. on a piece of bread, a baked potato. To bake with it like where it’s masked is like baking with a $10 jar of gourmet peanut butter when Jif will do :)

  2. I am a brown butter convert after recently using it in blondies. But it seriously took 20 minutes to brown. Worth it though. I always put some aluminium foil in my oven if I ever think something might possibly bake over because it’s torture to clean the oven.

  3. This bread looks absolutely delicious. I love that you added so many delicious ingredients: browned butter, buttermilk, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon – WOW! Talk about packing in the flavors. Your bread turned out so pale and moist looking, too! I love how fresh and springy it looks! I also love the idea of mixing a fruit spread with the butter. Great idea! I could do that with strawberry for Simeon, blueberry for Seraphim and peach for Isaac. Then I would have happy campers, all 3! :-)

    My go to recipe for banana bread has been my grandma’s for years. It is so simple and so delicious. I have it in a simple little cookbook she gave me before she died (she passed in 1998, 2 months after Simeon was born) and it is all worn and stained. Good memories of eating it at her house and making it with her all those years ago.

    My banana bread loaves ALWAYS have a crack. I kinda like having it there! :-)

    Cute flowery board, too, btw!! :-)

    • This was a bread that stayed so pale…have no idea why. Usually my breads tend to be on the browner side in order for them to cook through and the tops get a little darker sometimes. Baking is always a science…and a mystery some days :)

      What a sweet story about your grandma and the little cookbook. I bet you cherish that like no other! :)

      I commented to a few other people what I have read a crack means…here you go:
      The crack in the center. Ive researched this as it pertains to yeast bread baking and why some loaves need slits on them pre-baking..” I never usnderstood and still don’t why some loaves rise in the middle and crack and others don’t. Even your photos, using similar recipes, some have it and some don’t. Baking is still such a mystery!”– What I can gather is that when all conditions are ideal, the flour, sugars, water, leaveners, and in yeast bread the yeast too.. when all ratios are basically in perfect alignment with the other ratios, steam forms and builds up and causes that perfect dome. Some consider it the hallmark of perfect ratios. When you don’t get that, it means that there is a certain density, or lack of pure chemical balance between the ingredients and to the tastebuds, it’s great. But from a molecular standpoint, ‘perfection’ hasn’t been achieved. I know you would love the baking science & I need to research it more too!

  4. Looks perfect Averie! I love the combo you did with the strawberry butter, yum!

  5. Mmm, love the strawberry butter!

  6. Beautiful photos, Averie! I’d love to borrow that adorable cutting board sometime!! :D Normally banana bread does not appeal to me- but I can’t resist brown butter and buttermilk. This bread looks so moist!

    p.s. Thanks for the pin! :)

  7. Best browned banana bread butter by buckets!!

  8. YUM!!! I am always on the search for the best banana bread recipe and I can’t wait to try this one!!! Looks delicious!

  9. Seriously, your breads just keep getting better!!! Love the strawberry butter, I think my kids would love that on waffles and pancakes. Quite perfect for Valentine’s Breakfast!

  10. Yummmm…Avery that looks fantastic! I could go for some right now :)

  11. I love using buttermilk when I have it on hand. It just makes everything so much more moist and delectable!

  12. Hi. My name is Ashley, and I am a banana bread fanatic. This looks awesome, Averie–and with that strawberry buttered slathered on top?! Holy moly, I love you.

  13. yeah the banana bread recipe that i specifically requsted on your other post is here ;-) LOL yeah….and I just got some strawberry jam so this is going to be perfect to try…I love the wood board you have the bread on that is so pretty. just love the photos…and now I know to keep both loaves for myself. :-)

  14. Oh yum, love browned butter just about anything! Adoring your photos on this post, and love that cutting board too. I think I want to try a bananas foster bread next :)

    Btw what plugin are you using for your recipes?

  15. That is the prettiest butter I have ever seen. Everything about this recipe is just amazing. And I adore that cutting board–so cute! :)

  16. So why have I never thought of doing a flavored butter with banana bread?! You just opened up a whole new world for me Averie!

  17. Just made this delicious bread today and my boys are currently enjoying their second slice for dessert! I loved the crispy sugary top – tasted just like a muffin top and, yes, I wanted to eat just the entire top of the loaf first :) I didn’t have time to make the strawberry butter but will be bringing some with me tomorrow when I share the extra loaves at our playdate. I made three mini loaves (5.75″ x 3″) and they still took 35 min. It probably would’ve been better to use a tblsp. or two less in each loaf for appearance sake. Luckily I keep a supply of powdered buttermilk in my fridge for just these baking occasions – I love that I can make just as much as I need when I need it. Thanks for the recipe, Averie!

    • Angela thanks for the great field report and happy to hear you loved it. The top is so muffintop-like, isn’t it! Glad yours turned out with that sort of taste-sensation as well. Loved that top :) And the 3 mini loaves sounds cute and fun and good to know they still took 35 mins. San Diego is so dry, things take a little less here I think in general. And I have been meaning to get some powdered buttermilk – glad you know you like it. My own groc store doesn’t carry it but am going to be at the one that does later in the week. Thanks for LMK you do like it!

  18. It’s funny, I just had strawberry butter for the first time this weekend (I know, I know…) on pumpkin pancakes, of all things (drizzled in peach honey syrup of all things). I’m normally a flavor purist in that I’ll make plain pancakes and make a strawberry sauce or pumpkin pancakes with maple syrup, but would have never thought to mix the flavors. I did. It worked, so that obviously a) got me hooked on strawberry butter b) made me more open minded about flavor combinations and c) made me wonder why I had never thought to combine other flavors like strawberry and banana, especially after seeing this gorgeous post! I also love that you made the banana bread with browned butter. It took me a while to be okay with nuts in my baked goods; I like the nuttiness, but would prefer the soft texture not to be interrupted with crunchy bits.

    • I love combining flavors and blending things and glad you’re on board with some new finds and more open-minded to new things and combos! I love the nuttiness of browned butter, and I do like nuts by themselves, but I always call it rocks in my cookies when I chomp into a nut. haha!

  19. Oh wow this looks divine. Oh and strawberry butter??!?! Who knew this existed! I love it!

  20. I’ve baked with buttermilk before, but I’ve never made browned butter.

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  22. Strawberry butter? Where has that been my entire life?!

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  24. Beautiful. I love the idea of strawberry butter with this delicious looking loaf. Your plates are so pretty xx

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  30. Just made this and it is AMAZING. I subbed 3/4 c of wheat flour and used 1.5 cups bananas, and it is so fluffy and moist and has such a great flavor from the browned butter. I also added some blueberries I had on hand.
    Thanks so much!!

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  32. Do you think if I used your Vanilla Brown Butter Glaze on this it would be too much (and will they wrap and travel well with the glaze?)? I want to make gifts, but I think I may skip the butter and glaze instead. I think. It was hard choosing one of your banana bread recipes.

  33. I have been looking for a new banana bread recipe, as the one I make uses sour cream and is, therefore, tangy. That’s fine, and my family loves it. But I wanted to try something different. This bread was delicious! And I’m happy to say this recipe is a keeper!

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  36. The bread and strawberry butter looks so pretty!

  37. Tried this on a whim today (looking up things to do with leftover buttermilk!) and enjoyed the results. The recipe made exactly twelve muffins that took about 19 minutes to bake. I subbed in 1/2 c of whole wheat pastry flour and cut back on the sugar because I like less sweet muffins and they were lovely. Thank you.

    • Thanks for trying this on a whim and glad you’re so pleased! Love that you made it as muffins (12 exactly, how nice!) and that you made some modifications that worked out great for you!

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